The Kelso-Hanford partnership reached unprecedented heights, including the half-decade reign as the outstanding Thoroughbred in training.Kelso, considered by many observers as one of the top horses of the 20th Century, retired in 1966 after winning 39 of 63 starts. He won the prestigious Jockey Club Gold Cup, then run at two miles, five years in a row. His career earnings record of $1,977,896 stood until 1979 when it was broken by Affirmed. "I just can't see myself with guys like Ben Jones and Preston Burch, those type of trainers, but I guess when you're the Horse of the Year five years in a row, you might have to be considered," he said. "Charlie Whittingham and those guys had many good horses. I had a few stakes horses, but I never had anything else like Kelso, but I don't think any of them in the Hall of Fame had a Kelso either."
Hanford retired as a trainer in 1968 and began a second career as a racing official. He is retired and lives in Delaware. Boland, 72, was shocked when he was notified that he had been voted into the Hall of Fame. He said he did realize that he was no longer eligible for the contemporary categories, whose nominees are made public. However, his resume was being looked at by the Historic Review Committee, which does not list the nominees it is considering.
"I was the most surprised guy in the world," he said. "I read something in the paper that there were 10 or 15 jockey nominations, and my name wasn't on there, so it was a complete surprise. It's wonderful." Boland was a 16-year-old apprentice when he rode Middleground to victory for King Ranch in the 1950 Kentucky Derby. He was the second apprentice jockey to win the race, following Carl Hanford's brother, Ira, who rode Bold Venture to victory in 1936. Prior to Middleground's Derby victory, Boland won the Kentucky Oaks on Ari's Mona. Middleground, second in the Preakness after a rough trip, also won the 1950 Belmont Stakes carrying the apprentice rider from Corpus Christi, Texas. He also won another running of the Belmont, on Amberoid, in 1966. Before retiring as a jockey in 1969 to begin training, Boland won such important races as the Santa Anita Handicap, Jockey Club Gold Cup, Acorn, Man o' War, Metropolitan Handicap, Alabama, Whitney, Wood Memorial, Hawthorne Gold Cup and Hialeah Turf Cup. On Beau Purple, he defeated Kelso three times. During his career, Boland rode 1,980 winners from 16,639 mounts and had purse earnings of $14 million. Boland retired as a trainer in 1988 and spent 10 years as an official with the New York Racing Association. He is retired and lives in Florida. Bradley purchased the Chilean-bred Cougar II on the advice of her trainer, Hall of Fame member Charlie Whittingham. The son of Tale of Two Cities out of the Madara mare Cindy Lou, became the first foreign-bred millionaire in American racing history when he won the Century Handicap at Hollywood Park on May 5, 1973. He completed his career with an overall record of 20-7-17 in 50 starts and purse earnings of $1,162,725. In 38 starts over four seasons in the United States, he had a record of 15-7-11. "I'm very honored and thrilled and delighted," Bradley said. "I thought he was a wonderful, wonderful horse and I'm just so glad he's getting this recognition." During his turf championship season in 1972, Cougar II won the Century Handicap, the Californian, the Carlton F. Burke Handicap, and the Oak Tree Invitational and was second in the San Juan Capistrano. On dirt, he was second in the San Pasqual and Santa Anita Handicap and third in the San Antonio. He was a major winner over several years and his triumphs on dirt included the Santa Anita Handicap in 1973.
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