2011 Hall of Fame Finalists

It is that time of the year again, and the final nominees for induction into the National Museum of Racing’s Hall of Fame have been announced. The highest votes in each category will determine the inducteesThe prestigious awards ceremony will be held on 12 August 2011 at the Fasig-Tipton Sales Pavilion. There is a special category for those who have been in the industry for more than twenty-five years, and the inductee candidates will be selected by the Historic Review Committee. But as far as horses, jockeys and trainers go, the finalists have been announced and four of the nominees have made the list this year for the first time.

Jerry Hollendorfer, Calvin Borel, John Valezquez and Garrett Gomes have made it onto the nominations list for the first time, and each of these candidates is as deserving as the next. The three jockeys are joined on the nominations list by Alex Solis. Calvin Borel has led several horses to victory in 2010, raking in purse earnings of $113 million and has enjoyed 4 815 wins during his career. Alex Solis also had a very successful 2010 season with purse monies of over $221 million and has 4 828 victories to his name. Garrett Gomez comes in with more than $193 million for 2010 and 3 435 wins; while John Valazquez has 4 483 racing victories and 2010 earnings of just over $241 million.

In the trainers selection there is Jerry Hollendorfer, Robert Wheeler and Gary Jones. Hollendorfer has enjoyed numerous unforgettable moments during 2010, with $119 million in earnings and 5 863 victories. He was also the trainer of the well-known race horse Blind Luck. Robert Wheeler has been in the industry since 1938, and has had champion horses such as Bug Bush, Tompion, Track Robbery and Silver Spoon under his care. Gary Jones has also enjoyed many years within the industry, which started in 1974, and has had Best Pal and Turkoman in his stable, with a 102 graded victories and earnings of over $52 million.

There are three horses being nominated for the 2011 Hall of Fame induction, of which one is Sky Beauty. During her career, she had twenty-one starts and won fifteen of them, with nine being graded races. Her career earnings totaled $1.3 million. Open Mind gripped the racing industry in 1988, winning ten consecutive events, including Grade 1 events such as the Kentucky Oaks, Mother Goose and the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Fillies. Safely Kept retired from racing with earnings of just over $2.1 million, participating in thirty-one starts and enjoying twenty-four victories. Each nominee is deserving of a place in the Hall of Fame, but now it is up to the voting process to find out who the new inductees will be.

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