2008 Hall of Fame Inductees

On the 4th of August 2008, at Saratoga Springs in New York, six new names will be added to distinguished list of people and horses who have made it into the National Museum of Racing Hall of Fame. When the nominees were announced earlier this year, everyone knew that it would be a tough decision for the Historic Review Committee, as many deserving names had made it onto the nominations list. But they finally decided on Edgar Prado (Jockey), Carl Nafzger (Trainer), Ismael Valenzuela (Retired Jockey), Ancient Title (Winning horse of the 1970’s), Inside Information (Champion Filly) and Manila (A grass champion during the 1980’s).

Edgar Prado will probably be best remembered for his partnership with the magnificent Barbaro. Together they took the racing industry by storm, winning hearts, support and the Kentucky Derby. And as Barbaro will forever by cherished in the hearts of those who loved him, Edgar Prado will take his rightful place amongst other memorable jockeys. In his career, Edgar Prado has won 535 races in one year and has won thousands of racing events. Currently, his earnings are over $2 million, placing him seventh on the earnings list.

Carl Nafzger is a well respected trainer who started as a bull rider, but soon found that his talent could be extended to training racehorses. He has enjoyed over a thousand victories and in his career as a trainer he has raked in purse earnings of more than $50 million. Nafzger has also watched his well trained racing sensations such as Banshee Breeze, Unbridled and Street Sense take on big races and walk away victorious. Now, at age sixty-six, Carl Nafzger is pleased with his induction and many fantastic years in the horse racing industry.

Ismael Valenzuela is a retired jockey of seventy-three. He has compared his induction as the last finish line that he will be crossing in his racing career, and he has a magnificent horse racing career to look back on. The wonder horse, Kelso, carried Valenzuela to winning twenty-two stakes races, he won the Derby twice and had enjoyed 2 545 victories between 1951 and 1980. Another spectacular horse, Forward Pass, won him the Preakness-Derby double, and on Tim Tam he also pulled off the same feat, but in 1958.

Honorary horse Inside Information won the Breeders’ Cup Distaff in 1995 by a record setting thirteen lengths, received the Champion Older Filly Eclipse Award in the same year and won fourteen of her last seventeen career starts. Ancient Title earned more than $1 million is his career that spanned from 1972 to 1978, winning twenty four races, of which twenty were stakes events. Manila earned over $2 million during his career, winning twelve of his eighteen starts and the Breeders’ Cup Turf Stakes in 1986. Between 1986 and 1987 he won nine races consecutively.

Looking at the achievements of these inductees, each one of them most certainly deserves to be remembered for their contribution to racing. People and horses each have their own role to play within the horse racing industry, and when they do it as well as these six inductees, they merit the recognition.