The Canadian Horse Racing Hall of Fame is pleased to announce its 2015 inductees. A total of 10 horses and people have been elected to the Hall of Fame. Standardbred inductees include horses Artsplace, J Cs Nathalie and people H. Charles (Charlie) Armstrong, William (Bill) Gale and Harry Eisen. The Thoroughbred inductees are Mine That Bird, Robert (Bob) M. Anderson, James (Jim) Bannon, Stewart Elliott and Roger Laurin.
Thoroughbred Male Horse, Mine that Bird was bred in Kentucky by Canadian Breeder Peter Lamantia and partners. The colt was purchased as a yearling by Canadian trainer Dave Cotey for $9,500 on behalf of owners Dominion Bloodstock, Derek Ball and Hugh Galbraith. His Juvenile year began at Woodbine with an impressive 4 wins in 5 starts, earning the 2008 Sovereign Award for Champion 2-year old. Later in 2008 Mine That Bird was sold to Mark Allen (Double Eagle Ranch) and Leonard Blach (Buena Suerte Equine) of New Mexico. The gelding gained international attention with his 2009 Kentucky Derby longshot performance paired with jockey Calvin Borel when they made a sweeping 21 length ‘last to first’ victory. Mine That Bird’s Triple Crown pursuit was dashed with a 2nd place finish in the Preakness to Kentucky Oaks winner Rachel Alexandra, and a 3rd in the Belmont. Mine That Bird’s total career purse earnings were $2,248,496 in 18 starts (5-2-2).
Toronto-born, second generation jockey Stewart Elliott will be inducted in the Jockey Category. In 2004, Stewart made headlines around the world when he became the first jockey in 25 years to win the Kentucky Derby in his first appearance when he rode Smarty Jones. The pair followed up with a dominating win in the Preakness, only to be beaten a length by Birdstone in the Belmont. During a career consisting of over 29,000 starts, horses ridden by Elliott horses amassed earnings in excess of $93 million with wins in 4,650 races. In 2010 he was named the winner of the Avelino Gomez Memorial Award. Steward Elliot currently stands 36th on the all-time list for career wins, and 5th on the all-time win list amongst Canadian-born rider.
Robert M. (Bob) Anderson was a long-time horseman based in St. Thomas, ON. As President of Anderson Farms, he was involved with breeding, racing and selling both thoroughbred and Standardbred horses for 41 years in Canada, U.S., and Europe. A former Director of Woodbine Entertainment Group (formerly OJC) and past national President of the Canadian Thoroughbred Horse Society from 1981-82, he was also a Board member of Thoroughbred Owners and Breeders Association in the U.S.A, a Steward of the Jockey Club of Canada as well as a member of the Ontario Racing Commission Advisory Board, the First Chairman of the Guelph Research Centre for Equine Research and member of the E.P. Taylor Equine Research Fund.
He bred and matured over 1,400 thoroughbreds including champions Pinafore Park, Larkwhistle, and Prince Avatar. He was the breeder of successful sires Ascot Knight, National Assembly and Alydeed.
His Standardbred success stories include Pampered Princess, a champion at two and three and winner of $1.74 million; as well as champions and world record holders Southwind Allair and Cabrini Hanover.
Toronto’s Jim Bannon was part of the first Simulcast Racing TV Show in North America in 1981. His natural comfort in front of the camera and extensive Thoroughbred racing knowledge propelled Bannon into a career that includes television analyst, commentator and handicapping expert with followers at racetracks and living rooms across North America. From that humble start, Bannon became the face of Thoroughbred racing in Canada. Jim became a television analyst, commentator and handicapping expert for the CBC’s Queen’s Plate and Breeders’ Cup shows and in 2010 he was rewarded with a Gemini Award as Canada’s Best Sports Analyst. For the past 40 years he has published Woodbine Journal, a staple for bettors. In addition to his journalistic endeavours he gives generously of his time as an educator in handicapping seminars. He is head of the Chaplaincy Program at Woodbine. Jim is a Director of the Canadian Horse Racing Hall of Fame and in 2010 was voted into the Etobicoke Hall of Fame for his contributions to the community.
The 2015 Inductee in the Thoroughbred Veteran Person Category will be trainer Roger Laurin. The Montreal-born son of Hall of Famer Lucien Laurin came into prominence in 1964 when he took charge of conditioning a filly named Miss Cavandish for Harry S. Nichols. Miss Cavandish became one of the top two fillies racing in the United States that year. From there the list of graded stakes horses he conditioned reads like a who’s who of 1960’s and ‘70’s racing. He trained Drumtop who won numerous top stakes and who broke three track records in 1971 for John Moseley, while at the same time conditioning the 1971 2-year-old Eclipse champion filly Numbered Account for Ogden Phipps. In 1984 Chief’s Crown won the inaugural Breeders’ Cup Juvenile and was named the 2-year-old male Eclipse Champion. Roger continues to keep his hand in the game with a small stable based at Woodbine.
Standardbred inductees include horses Artsplace, J Cs Nathalie and people H. Charles (Charlie) Armstrong, William (Bill) Gale and Harry Eisen.
The Canadian Horse Racing Hall of Fame 2015 Induction Ceremony will be hosted at the Mississauga Convention Centre on Wednesday, August 5th, 2015.
Male Horse Category: Artsplace – bred and owned by George I. Segal, Chicago, Illinois & Brian P. Monieson, Northbrook, Illinois; later owned by Artsplace Syndicate, Versailles, Kentucky.
Veteran Horse Category: J Cs Nathalie – bred by Gaetan Dessureault, St. Ours, Quebec; owned by John P. Lamers, Ingersoll, ON
Builder Category: H. Charles Armstrong, Brampton, Ontario
Communicator Category: Harry Eisen, London, Ontario
Driver/Trainer: William (Bill) Gale, Ingersoll, Ontario
Male Horse Category: Mine That Bird, bred by Lamantia, Blackburn & Needham/Betz Thoroughbreds; owned by Double Eagle Ranch Inc. and Buena Suerte Equine, New Mexico
Builder Category: Robert (Bob) Anderson, St. Thomas, Ontario
Communicator Category: James (Jim) E. Bannon, Toronto, Ontario
Jockey Category: Stewart Elliott, Auburn, Kentucky
Trainer Category: Roger Laurin, Ocala, Florida
Additional information about the Canadian Horse Racing Hall of Fame may be found at www.canadianhorseracinghalloffame.com