2020 Ballot Announced by Canadian Horse Racing Hall of Fame

The Canadian Horse Racing Hall of Fame has announced its 2020 ballot featuring 30 people and horses; results will be announced Tuesday, April 7th.

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By: Canadian Horse Racing Hall of Fame |

The Canadian Horse Racing Hall of Fame is pleased to announce its 2020 ballot. A total of 30 people and horses comprised of 15 Thoroughbred and 15 Standardbred candidates, have been selected to appear on the voting ballot. A 20-person Election Committee for each breed will determine the recipients in their respective categories. Results will be announced Tuesday, April 7th.

The five categories selected for the 2020 Thoroughbred ballot are Builder, Jockey, Trainer, Female Horse, and Veteran Horse
A Thoroughbred Builder ballot comprised of Charles E. Fipke, Phillip Kives, and Sue Leslie, is offered for voter consideration.

Edmonton, Alberta born Charles E. Fipke, a successful Canadian geologist and prospector who was involved in the discovery of the Ekati Diamond Mine in the Northwest Territories, has been involved in the Canadian Thoroughbred Industry for close to forty years. Among his accomplishments, he bred and owned three Sovereign Award-winners including 2008 Champion Three-Year-Old Male and winner of the 2008 Queen’s Plate, Not Bourbon; 2010 Champion Older Female, Impossible Time; and 2003 Champion Male Turf Horse Perfect Soul, who went on to become a successful sire. Also, Mr. Fipke bred and owned a number of other successful racehorses including winner of the 2011 Breeder’s Cup Filly and Mare Turf (GI), Perfect Shirl.

The late Phillip Kives, based in Manitoba, known worldwide as the owner of K-Tel and the inventor of the info-mercial, became involved in thoroughbred racing in 1977 with the launch of K-4 Stables (later changed to K-5) to recognize the addition of his son to the Kives family. His passion for racing continued for four decades until his passing in 2016. Kives owned-and-bred horses won multiple stakes races at Winnipeg’s Assiniboia Downs as well as in Kentucky, Florida, New York, Ontario, and Alberta. As owner, Mr. Kives won every single stakes race at Assiniboia not just once but multiple times each, including two Manitoba Derbies, (best 3-year-olds) eight Gold Cups (top older horses), three Winnipeg Futurities (best 2-year-olds), and five Matrons (top filly/mare).

Sue Leslie has dedicated the better part of her life to the sport of horseracing — breeding, owning and training thoroughbred horses in Ontario for over 30 years. As the President/Chair of the HBPA, the President/Chair of OHRIA), on the Board of Directors on the Avelino Gomez Memorial Foundation, a member of the Jockey Club of Canada and CTHS, Leslie has been a proponent for horsepeople across all facets of the industry, most recently working to establish what is now known as Ontario Racing. In 2011, Leslie was honoured with a special Sovereign Award for her lifetime work in horseracing and she continues to be a strong leader and a devoted advocate.

Gary Boulanger, Richard Dos Ramos and Irwin Driedger have been selected to appear on the Thoroughbred Jockey ballot.

Edmonton, Alberta born Gary Boulanger began his riding career in 1987, spending his early years at tracks in the U.S. and earning leading jockey status at Longacres Racetrack (1989, 1990, 1991) and Calder Race Course (1994, 1995). In 2000 Boulanger returned to Canada, riding primarily at Woodbine. In 2001, the top money-winning year of his career, he rode Hall of Fame filly Dancethruthedawn to wins in the Canadian Oaks and Queen’s Plate Stakes. Despite suffering what could have been a career-ending injury from a racing accident at Gulfstream Park in 2005, Boulanger fought back and continues to ride, splitting his time between Florida and Woodbine. The 2017 Avelino Gomez Award recipient has to date won 3,578 races, including 41 grades stakes and has earnings of over $78 million (US) and is an elder statesman in the jock’s room.

Richard Dos Ramos retired from riding in 2013 as the senior statesman of the Woodbine Jockey’s Room following a career that began in 1981 at Greenwood, where a total of 142 wins garnered him the Sovereign Award as Canada’s top apprentice jockey. He won a second Sovereign in 1982. During the 1990’s the Trinidadian born jock experienced some of his top career highlights including his 1992 upset aboard Benburb over legendary A.P. Indy in the Molson Export Million and a 1999 longshot victory in the $1.5 million Canadian International aboard Thornfield, both trained by CHRHF Honoured Member Philip England. His success continued through the millennium when he was the recipient of the Avelino Gomez Memorial Award in 2002 and followed up the same day with a win in the Canadian Oaks with Ginger Gold. Dos Ramos’ career stats include 2,159 wins in 18, 645 starts and almost $61 million (US) in earnings.

Irwin Driedger, a native of Russell, Manitoba, launched his career at age 11 in 1967, riding at fairs in Western Canada. He began riding at recognized Canadian race tracks in 1973 and competed at major tracks across Canada for the next 17 years achieving leading rider honours at Winnipeg’s Assiniboia Downs from 1979-1982, before re-locating to Woodbine
When he retired as a jockey on August 12, 1990, he had won over 1700 races. Upon retirement from competition Driedger became the Secretary- Manager of the Jockeys’ Benefit Association of Canada, serving until 2006. Under his direction, Canadian Jockeys became the first in North America to wear safety vests. Driedger was also instrumental in helping to install safety rails at Woodbine. Following 14 years as Director of Thoroughbred Racing Surfaces at Woodbine, he returned to JBAC as Executive Director in 2019.

The three Trainers on the 2020 Thoroughbred Election ballot are Michael Keogh, J.G (Jerry) Lavigne and Daniel J. Vella

As longtime private trainer for Hall of Fame Builder Gus Schickedanz, Mike Keogh is a two-time Queen’s Plate winning trainer, first with Woodcarver in 1999 and then with Triple Crown champion Wando in 2003. During that Triple Crown winning season, Keogh was also training stablemate Mobil who would earn a Sovereign Award at age four. Hall of Fame horse Langfuhr, also trained by Keogh, won three G1 Stakes and received the Sovereign in 1996 as Champion Sprinter. As an assistant to Hall of Fame Trainer Roger Attfield from 1986-1993, Keogh worked with a long list of Hall of Fame inductees including Alywow, Peteski, Carotene, Izvestia and With Approval. Since 1993, Mike Keogh stats include 2,689 starts with 330 wins and over $21.5 million in Earnings.

The late J.G. (Jerry) Lavigne’s career as a trainer began in 1958. His achievements included 68 stakes race wins with 22 stakes winners, as well as two Queen’s Plate races with Almoner in 1970 and Son of Briartic in 1982. He was the conditioner of Canadian Champion colt Nice Dancer, a multiple stakes winner on the turf; Lost Majorette and sprinter Park Romeo. His trainee Fabe Count had a stellar record over four years as a multiple stakes winner at nine different distances over both turf and dirt.

Daniel Vella captured the Sovereign Award Trainer title in both 1994 and 1995 while working with the powerful Stronach stable. He has won the coveted Queen’s Plate twice in his career thus far, the first in 1994 with Frank Stronach’s Basqueian and followed up in 2012 with Strait of Dover for Wally and Terry Leong. Mr. Vella has scored one hundred and thirty-five (135) career stakes wins in a career that began in 1985. Current career stats include: 5,478 starts (838-804-670) and $37.7 million in earnings.

In the Thoroughbred Female Horse category, voters will select from Hard Not to Like, Marketing Mix and Tepin

Bred in Ontario by Garland Williamson, well-travelled Hard Not to Like won at five of the eight tracks she visited during her 22 starts over five years. She earned more than $1.2 million while accumulating eight victories including the Jenny Wiley Stakes (G1) at Keeneland in 2014, the Diana Stakes (G1) at Saratoga in 2015, and the Gamely Stakes (G1) at Santa Anita the same year. It adds up to three Grade 1 turf scores at three different tracks. The striking grey filly by Hard Spun and out of Tactical Cat mare Like a Gem, herself a multiple graded stakes winner, was indeed bred for success.

Tepin, under the direction of trainer Mark Casse throughout most of her race career accumulated a record of 13-5-1, including nine Grade 1/Group 1 wins or placings in three countries – Canada, England and the US for owner Robert Masterson. Racing from age 3 to 6, the striking bay filly’s most notable wins, often against the boys, included the 2015 Breeders’ Cup Mile (G1) and 2016 Woodbine Mile (G1). A trip across the pond in June 2016 resulted in a win in the Group One Queen Anne Stakes at Royal Ascot. She was twice presented with the Eclipse Award as American Champion Female Turf Horse; 2015 and 2016.

Marketing Mix, an Ontario-bred Medaglia D’Oro filly bred by Sean Fitzhenry, was a $150,000 Keeneland yearling purchase in 2009. Her 21- race career for Glen Hill Farm of Ocala, FL., under the tutelage of trainer Tom Proctor, banked $2 million in earnings with 10 wins including stakes victories in the 2012 editions of the Rodeo Drive Stakes (G1), Nassau (G2), Dance Smartly (G2) and the 2013 Gamely Stakes (G1) as well as 2nd place finishes in the 2012 Breeders’ Cup Filly & Mare Turf (G1) and the 2013 Rodeo Drive Stakes (G1).

The Thoroughbred Veteran Horse category will be contested by Bold Executive, Formal Gold and Play the King.

Bold Executive, a Gus Schickedanz-bred son of Bold Ruckus had a race career of 19 starts that included wins in the prestigious Coronation Futurity in 1986, as well as the Yearling Sales Stake and Shepperton for Owners Romeo, Marcello and Pedigree Stud Farm. As a stallion, he topped the Canadian sires’ list six times between 2001-2012, producing 23 crops which included 518 winners and earnings of $53 million including top earners Sand Cove, Krz Exec, Main Executive, and Sans Sousi.

Ontario-bred Formal Gold remains the fastest Canadian-bred in terms of speed figures, even though his final year of racing occurred in 1997. A son of Black Tie Affair, his Equibase Rating is 136 – one of the highest in history. Formal Gold was also ranked among the top handicap horses of 1997 with gate-to-wire efforts in two Grade 1 victories; the Woodward Stakes in September of that year after winning the Donn Handicap at Gulfstream in February, defeating HOY Skip Away. At stud, he ranked among the top 1% as sire of 2-yr-old winners from starters at 45% and sired progeny with global earnings of nearly $16 million (US) including 19 stakes winners.

Play the King, a Kinghaven Farms’ homebred, started his racing career slowly but would eventually become an overachiever and Canadian Horse of the Year. With 29 starts over his four year race career he visited the winner’s circle 19 times and earned just shy of $1 million. While unsucessful as a juvenile, at age three he had wins in the Toboggan Hcp (G3) at Aqueduct, as well as wins in the Jacques Cartier and Vigil Stakes at Woodbine. The following year resulted in an additonal four stakes wins, all at six furlongs – the Suffolk Sprint in Boston followed by the Budweiser BC Stakes, Highlander (G3) and Nearctic Stakes (G3) at Woodbine. An injury forced him to miss the 1987 racing season, he returned the following year in championship form repeating wins in the Budweiser BC and Nearctic (G3) before making his most noted performance, the Breeders Cup Sprint (G1) at Churchill Downs. A strong 49-1 second-place finish brought him Sovereign Awards as Champion Sprinter, Older Horse and Horse of the Year in 1988.

The five categories selected by the Standardbred nominating committee to appear on the 2020 Standardbred ballots are: Driver, Trainer, Female Horse, Male Horse and Veteran Horse

The 2020 Standardbred Driver Ballot features Paul MacDonell, Ed Tracey and Randy Waples.

In the Standardbred Trainer category voters will select from John Bax, Jack Darling and Ben Wallace.

The Standardbred Female Horse Category features Amour Angus, Great Memories, and West Of LA
Nominated In the category of Standardbred Male Horse are Majestic Son, McWicked and Shadow Play.

The 2020 Veteran Horse Ballot offers B Cor Tamara, Rambling Willie and Western Dreamer for the voters to select from.

Additional information about the Canadian Horse Racing Hall of Fame may be found at www.canadianhorseracinghalloffame.com