The Maryland Horse Breeders Association and Maryland Racing Media Association announced the 12-horse inaugural class of the Maryland-bred Thoroughbred Hall of Fame.
Flat runners Broad Brush, Challedon, Cigar, Find, Gallorette, Jameela, Politely, Safely Kept, Twixt, and Vertex join steeplechasers Elkridge and Jay Trump in the first hall of fame class. The honorees, with biographies, photos, videos, and complete race records, will be showcased on-line while plans to establish a physical facility continue.
"It is virtual for now but, as we move forward with a horse industry museum here, we will make sure that the great Maryland-bred horses will have a place of honor," said MHBA executive director Cricket Goodall. "It is important that their achievements be marked for all time."
The MTHOF endeavors to celebrate the racing and stud-book achievements of Maryland-bred Thoroughbreds nationally and internationally, and to showcase their enduring legacies.
A planning committee representing varied state racing interests determined hall of fame eligibility for flat runners and steeplechasers retired from racing at least five years. Challedon, Cigar, Elkridge, Gallorette, Jay Trump, and Safely Kept are the only Maryland-breds in the National Racing Hall of Fame; Find and Vertex were included in a comprehensive 1963 vote of state sportswriters who determined the greatest-ever racing Maryland-breds; and Broad Brush, Jameela, Politely, and Twixt are the only remaining two-time Maryland-bred horses of the year, an honor first awarded in 1962.
The MTHOF committee considered only racehorses for the initial class but left open the possibility of inducting notable persons in subsequent years. It also determined to limit future classes to no more than two equine inductees.
In addition to Goodall and MRMA president Ted Black, the selection committee includes Frank Vespe, MRMA vice president and prominent racing blogger; Cindy Deubler and Anne Pennington of the Maryland Horse Breeders Association; Joe Clancy, magazine editor and MRMA member; Josh Pons, Country Life Farm principal and Eclipse Award-winning writer; Katy Voss, trainer/breeder and a director of the Maryland Thoroughbred Horsemen's Association; Georganne Hale, Maryland Jockey Club racing secretary, Jim McCue, Maryland Jockey Club photographer; and Vinnie Perrone, Eclipse Award-winning writer.
A celebration to recognize the inaugural class of inductees will take place May 11, at Pimlico Race Course, which will adorn its program with ceremonies, remembrances, and races named for inductees.