Russell Baze, racing’s winningest jockey, tops a list of 15 horsemen and Thoroughbreds nominated for election to the Canadian Horse Racing Hall of Fame’s class of 2012. Balloting to select those who will be inducted will begin March 28.
Baze, who was born in Vancouver and has won more races than any jockey in history, was nominated along with Mickey Walls and Lloyd Duffy in the jockey/trainer category. Baze, a member of the National Museum of Racing and Hall of Fame and winner of over 11,500 races, has ridden mainly in the United States. He has won the Eclipse, George Woolf, and Isaac Murphy awards, and more than 400 races 11 times in a season.
Walls won an Eclipse Award and Sovereign Award as the leading apprentice jockey in both the U.S. and Canada in 1991. Duffy won a Sovereign Award in 1982 and the Avelino Gomez Memorial Award in 1990. He is a member of the P.E.I. Sports Hall of Fame.
Jean Louis Levesque’s juvenile star L’Alezane, who a member of Veterans category, won stakes in New York, Kentucky, Manitoba, and Ontario and captured a Sovereign Award in 1977. Also nominated in this category are Kinghaven Farms’ broodmare Cool Mood, a Canadian Oaks winner, plus multiple Canadian champion Rainbow Connection, owned by Ron Edgar and Doug Cameron.
Robert Costigan’s Arravale, winner of the 2006 E.P. Taylor Stakes (Can-IT), is a nominee in the filly/mare category. She was was voted Canada’s champion turf female that year. Also nominated in that category are multiple stakes winner Apelia, owned by Steve Stavro’s Knob Hill Stables, and Sovereign Award winner One for Rose, owned by the Tucci Stables family.
Jambalaya, winner of the Arlington Million (gr. IT), leads the Male category. His opponents for honors are Quiet Resolve and Soaring Free, both from Sam-Son Farms.
In the Builder’s category, two leading Ontario breeders, the late John Sikura Jr. and Aubrey Minshall, were nominated, along with writer Curtis Stock, a 10-time Sovereign Award winner for his coverage of Thoroughbred racing. Sikura built Hill ‘N Dale Farms into a highly successful breeding and stallion operation.
Minshall was posthumously recognized by the industry in 1996 when his Minshall Farms was named both the leading owner and breeder in Canada. He also was the owner of Canadian Horse of the Year Mt. Sassafras.
This year’s inductees will be announced along with the horses and people in the Standardbred division of the Hall of Fame on Tuesday, April 10. The Hall of Fame’s induction and awards dinner will be held Thursday, Aug. 16, at the Mississauga Convention Centre.