May 30, 2007 — Eight standouts from three centuries have been elected to the National Museum of Racing’s Hall of Fame. Jockeys Jose Santos and John Sellers, trainers Henry Forrest, Frank McCabe and John Veitch and the horses Mom’s Command, Silver Charm and Swoon’s Son comprise the 52nd Hall of Fame class and will be inducted on August 6 at the Fasig-Tipton Sales Pavilion in Saratoga Springs, N.Y.
Santos, Veitch, Mom’s Command and Silver Charm were elected in the contemporary categories. Sellers, Forrest, McCabe and Swoon’s Son were elected by the Historic Review Committee, which considers candidates who have not been active for at least 25 years. Forrest, who saddled two Kentucky Derby winners, and McCabe, whose resume includes developing three Hall of Fame horses, tied in the voting for trainer.
During his career, Veitch, 61, trained four champions, but his best-known horse is Hall of Fame member Alydar, who was part of the great rivalry with Affirmed in 1977 and 1978. Retired from training since 2003, Veitch is the Chief State Steward in Kentucky. He joins his father, the late Sylvester Veitch, in the Hall of Fame.
Veitch’s other champions were Davona Dale, Our Mims, Before Dawn and Sunshine Forever. Davona Dale is also a member of the Hall of Fame. After serving as an assistant for his father and Elliott Burch, Veitch opened a small public stable in 1974. He subsequently was offered the position as private trainer for Calumet Farm and guided that historic stable back to prominence. He moved on to become the private trainer for the Galbreath family’s Darby Dan Farm and enjoyed a long run of success.
Veitch recorded 410 victories from 2,340 starters with purse earnings of $20,097,920. He won 76 graded stakes from 401 starts, 19 percent, and a total of 93 stakes from 500 starts.
Santos, 46, the rider of the Kentucky Derby, Preakness and Jockey Club Gold Cup winner Funny Cide, was born in Chile and recorded his first victory there in 1976. He arrived in the United States in 1984 and quickly established himself as a prominent rider. He was the nation’s leading rider in earnings for four consecutive years, from 1986 to 1989, and was the Eclipse Award-winning jockey in 1988 when he set a record for purse earnings of $14,856,214.
Through December 31, 2006, Equibase statistics show Santos had 4,076 victories in North America with purse earnings of $186,936,820. In addition to Funny Cide, he has been the regular rider or frequent rider of champions Manila, Meadow Star, Criminal Type, Chief Bearhart, Fleet Indian, Fly So Free and Rubiano.
Silver Charm rose to international prominence in 1997 when he edged Captain Bodgit by a head in the Kentucky Derby and prevailed by a head over Free House in the Preakness with Captain Bodgit another head back in third. The Florida-bred son of Silver Buck out of the Poker mare, Bonnie’s Poker, had the lead in the stretch of the Belmont Stakes and appeared poised to complete the sweep of the Triple Crown, but was passed by Touch Gold and finished second by three-quarters of a length. He was the champion 3-year-old.
Racing from 1996 through 1999 for trainer Bob Baffert, Silver Charm won 12 of 24 starts and earned $6,944,369 in purse money. Eight years after his final race, he stands seventh on the career earnings list. Silver Charm was retired as a 5-year-old with 11 graded/group stakes victories. He stands at stud in Japan.
Mom’s Command, bred and owned by Peter Fuller and primarily ridden by his daughter, Abby, was the champion 3-year-old filly of 1985. Trained by Edward T. “Ned” Allard, the front-running filly won seven of nine starts that year, including the New York filly Triple Crown of the one-mile Acorn, the 1 1/8-mile Mother Goose and the 1 1/2-mile Coaching Club American Oaks. After finishing second to Hall of Famer Lady’s Secret in the Test, she defeated Fran’s Valentine in the historic Alabama in what turned out to be her final start.
“Of course, I’m thrilled to have her elected to the Hall of Fame,” Peter Fuller, 84, said. “I think she does deserve it and I think the fact that my daughter rode her is one of those things that is just marvelous. It’s very helpful to racing, in particular. I have a fellow who teases me, ‘You’re the only fellow who bred the horse and the jockey,’ which I think is pretty cute.”
Sellers, 69, was born in Los Angeles and was raised in Oklahoma. He rode from 1955 through 1977. The peak of his career was the decade of the 1960s when he finished in the top 10 nationally in purse money five times in a span of six years. He led the nation in victories with 328, and was second in purses in 1961, the year he rode Hall of Fame Carry Back to victories in the Kentucky Derby and the Preakness.
Sellers’ victories includied the Belmont, Alabama, Travers, Blue Grass, Kentucky Oaks, Florida Derby, Garden State, United Nations Handicap, San Juan Capistrano, San Luis Obispo, San Felipe, Sunset, Hollywood Derby, Carter, Del Mar Invitational and the Whitney.
Forrest was a native of Covington, Ky., and trained from 1937 until his death in 1975 at the age of 69. He trained the Derby and Preakness winners Kauai King in 1966 and Forward Pass in 1968.
During his career, Forrest trained for both Calumet Farm and Claiborne Farm. He finished in the top 10 nationally in races won in a season eight times and twice was in the top 10 nationally in purse money won. At the time of his death, he held the career record for victories at Keeneland with 153, and Churchill Downs with 271.
Forward Pass finished second in the Derby in 1968, but was declared the winner when Peter Fuller’s colt, Dancer’s Image, was disqualified for testing positive for a banned substance. In the Preakness, Forward Pass won by six lengths over a 10-horse field that included Dancer’s Image. He was second in the Belmont and the Travers. The colt also won the Florida Derby, the American Derby, the Hibiscus, the Everglades and the Blue Grass and was voted the champion 3-year-old in two polls.
McCabe, who died in 1924, trained Hall of Famer Hanover, winner of the Brooklyn Handicap, Belmont Stakes, Withers and United States Hotel. McCabe trained three consecutive Belmont winners: Inspector B., 1886; Hanover, 1887; Sir Dixon, 1888. During that same period, McCabe trained Tremont, who was unbeaten in 13 starts as a 2-year-old in 1886 and was considered a champion.
McCabe’s other Hall of Fame horses were Kingston, a 1955 inductee, who won 89 of 138 starts, including 30 stakes and retired as America’s leading money winner at $140,195; and Miss Woodford, who was also handled by Rowe. Miss Woodford, elected to the Hall of Fame in 1967, won the Ladies Stakes, Alabama, Monmouth Oaks and Pimlico Stakes. She was the first horse bred and raced in America to earn more than $100,000.
Swoon’s Son was a top stakes horse during a four-season career in the 1950s. Bred and owned by Kentuckian E. Gay Drake, a charter member of the Thoroughbred Club of America, Swoon’s Son won 30 of 51 starts. When he was retired to stud in 1958, he was the fourth-leading money-winner in the world at $907,605.
For most of his career, Swoon’s Son raced in the Midwest, primarily at tracks in Chicago and Kentucky. He was trained by Lex Wilson and ridden in all but one race by Dave Erb. Swoon’s Son won 22 stakes, including the Arlington Futurity and Bashford Manor at two; the American Derby, Arlington Classic and Clark Handicap at three, and the Equipoise Mile Handicap at four and five. Notable horses that Swoon’s Son defeated were Preakness winner Fabius, Kentucky Derby-Belmont winner Needles, plus Round Table and Bardstown.
The 16-member Nominating Committee considered more than 100 candidates for the contemporary categories before selecting 13 finalists. To qualify for the ballot, candidates were required to receive at least a majority of votes from the committee. The winners received the most votes from the 186 voters in the United States and Canada. A total of 177 ballots, 95 percent, were returned.
The Historic Review Committee is composed of 12 members. The committee reviewed and discussed the credentials of the nominees during a conference call and voted to select a finalist in each category. To be elected, the finalist was required to receive approval from at least 75 percent of the committee members. When McCabe and Forrest finished in a deadheat, both were elected to the Hall of Fame.