New York Racing Association, Inc. (NYRA) and the Saratoga 150 Committee
today announced a new
attraction designed to pay homage to the most accomplished
thoroughbreds to compete at Saratoga Race Course during its 150-year
The new Saratoga Hoofprints Walk of Fame will honor the most prolific and notable horses to have raced at one of the nation’s
most historic tracks. Modeled after the Hollywood Walk of Fame, the attraction celebrates the 150th anniversary of thoroughbred racing at Saratoga Race Course.
150 Committee Honorary Chairs Marylou Whitney and John Hendrickson were
joined by Committee Chairman Charles Wait
and several senior executives from NYRA to announce the inaugural class
of honorees today at the National Museum of Racing and Hall of Fame in
Saratoga Springs. The inductees were announced during a live draw
utilizing the Whitney family trophy won by Equipoise
in the 1932 Whitney Handicap.
“Celebrating 150 years
since the birth of racing
would not have been complete unless we honored the historic athletes
who helped make Saratoga Race Course the number
one race track in the country,” said Hendrickson, who conceptualized
the project in conjunction with the Saratoga 150 committee. “I always
thought there should be some way to recognize the real stars of the
sport and the Hoofprints Walk of Fame will be a unique
and educational retrospective of our history.”
hope future generations will be inspired and humbled to see the
hoofprints of some of the greatest athletes
that have ever lived,” said Whitney, a long-time owner and breeder who
is widely regarded as a premier figure and philanthropist in the Spa
City. “Saratoga was fortunate to host these amazing stars.”
The Hoofprints Walk of Fame
be installed in the walkway outside the Clubhouse gates at Saratoga
Race Course and will feature an inaugural class of 30 horses. Each
thoroughbred will be honored
on a granite plaque alongside the names of its sire, dam, owner,
trainer, and jockey. The plaques will also feature the horse’s year of
birth and signature wins at Saratoga Race Course.
The project is a collaborative effort between NYRA, the Saratoga 150 Committee and the National Museum of Racing. It will
be unveiled in advance of the 2013 summer meet at Saratoga Race Course.
Hoofprints Walk of Fame is a true testament to the unsurpassed level of
history and outstanding sportsmanship
that has taken place in the last 150 years at Saratoga Race Course,”
said Rodnell Workman, vice president and chief marketing officer for
NYRA. “NYRA is honored to help assemble a tribute worthy of our
outstanding equine athletes and their contributions to
150 years of racing at Saratoga.”
The selection committee was led by acclaimed racing expert and life-long Saratoga Springs resident Michael
Veitch. A turf writer for the Saratogian since 1979, Veitch also
serves as a trustee of the National Museum of Racing and is a member of
the Hall of Fame Nominating Committee and Historic Review Committee.
“These horses were selected as a result of their outstanding records at Saratoga Race Course. With this first
group, we have chosen to honor outstanding thoroughbreds from the 19th and 20th centuries,” said Veitch. “This is only the first step in recognizing the many stars of Saratoga racing history.”
selection committee is rounded out by Allan Carter, librarian of the
National Museum of Racing, and author
and historian Ed Bowen of Lexington, KY, who also serves on the
committee that selects the National Museum of Racing’s Hall of Fame
selection committee will consider additional horses for the Walk of
Fame each year on an annual basis, through the National Museum of
The thoroughbreds in the inaugural class of inductees of the Hoofprints Walk of Fame are as follows:
champion in each of his racing seasons, Affirmed was the leading stakes
earner of 1978,
winning eight consecutive races at age three, including the Triple
Crown. He finished first, second, or third in 28 of his 29 starts.
In one of the great rivalries in horse racing history, Alydar narrowly lost all three
Triple Crown races to Affirmed, including an epic Belmont duel, but won the Travers after Affirmed was disqualified.
age three, Beldame beat older colts in the Carter, First Special,
Second Special and
Saratoga Cup and also won the Alabama against fellow sophomore fillies.
At age four, she won the Suburban Handicap, the most important handicap
race of the season.
Chief’s Crown won the 1984 Breeders’ Cup Juvenile as a champion two-year-old. In 1985,
he lost all three Triple Crown races despite being the favorite but came back to win the Travers.
In 1934, Discovery won the first of three Whitney Stakes and set a world record in the
Rhode Island Handicap. In 1935, he was U.S. Champion Handicap Horse and Horse of the Year.
Duke of Magenta
Duke of Magenta had one of the most prolific three-year-old campaigns in American turf
history, winning 11 of 12 starts in 1878, including the Preakness, Withers, Belmont and Travers.
Easy Goer’s remarkable three-year-old season included wins in the Travers, Whitney and
Woodward. He lost to rival Sunday Silence in the Kentucky Derby and Preakness but prevailed in the Belmont.
Eight Thirty had a distinguished career, notably winning four stakes in a month at the
1939 Saratoga meet as a three-year-old, including the Wilson, Saratoga, Travers and Whitney.
Emperor of Norfolk
One of the most important California horses ever, Emperor of Norfolk won four races at
Saratoga at age two. His eight consecutive victories at age three included the Brooklyn and American Derby.
Despite chronic hoof problems, Equipoise was one of the great handicap horses of his century.
At age four he set a world record for the mile and was named Horse of the Year, an honor he received again in 1933.
Nicknamed “Old Bones,” Exterminator won the 1918 Kentucky Derby, four consecutive Saratoga
Cups and three consecutive Pimlico Cups. His career record of 33 stakes wins has never been broken.
Go for Wand
a brief but distinguished career which included a victory in the 1990
for Wand was one of the best fillies of her generation. After suffering
a fatal injury in the 1990 Breeders’ Cup Distaff, she was buried in the
Horse of the Year at age three, Granville won a photo finish in the Belmont before sweeping
the Arlington Classic, Kenner, Travers and Saratoga Cup (defeating champion Discovery by eight lengths).
Known for his tremendous stamina, Harry Bassett was a champion two-year-old, unbeaten
as a three-year-old, and a top handicap horse at age four. He won many of the most prestigious races of his day.
Heavenly Prize was a champion filly as a three-year-old including
a dominant victory in Saratoga's Alabama Stakes; at age four,
she had commanding victories at Saratoga in the Go for Wand and John A.
Morris, winning by 11 and 8 ½ lengths, respectively.
Henry of Navarre
Henry of Navarre was a champion at ages three and four, beating the best of his era. During
his three-year-old campaign, he had nine consecutive victories, including the Belmont and Travers.
Horse of the Year for five consecutive years – 1960 through 1964 –
has never been surpassed. He still holds the American record for the
two-mile race at 3:19 1/5. Kelso was 4-for-4 at the Spa including a pair
of Whitney Handicaps in 1963 and 1965.
After losing his first race, Kentucky won 20 consecutive races – including the first Travers
and first two Saratoga Cups – to become an undisputed East Coast champion for three seasons.
Lady’s Secret dominated the fillies and mares she raced against, winning the 1985 Test
and Ballerina, and was also competitive against males. At age four, she defeated top males in the Whitney.
Man o’ War
Man o’ War is viewed by many turf experts as the greatest thoroughbred of all time. His
only loss in 21 starts was to Upset in the 1919 Sanford Memorial Stakes at Saratoga Race Course.
Dancer, racing’s first television personality, was a champion in each
of his three
racing seasons. He missed the 1953 Triple Crown by a head in the
Kentucky Derby for his only career loss, going on to win that year’s
“Mid-Summer Derby” in the Travers. As a two-year-old, Native Dancer won
the Flash, the Hopeful, the Grand Union Hotel and
the Saratoga Special.
The first filly to win the Kentucky Derby, Regret won all of her races at ages two and
three, beating colts each time.
excellent speed and weight-carrying abilities, Roamer won the 1914
Travers by 10
lengths and was the leading money earner of 1914 and Horse of the Year.
At the age of seven, he became the first horse to run a mile in 1:34
Ruthless, the first and most formidable of five champion fillies by Eclipse and Barbarity,
won the first Belmont Stakes, becoming one of only three fillies to win the classic race in 144 runnings.
In 1973, Secretariat became the first horse in 25 years to win the Triple Crown. He set
track records in all three classics, coming from last place to win the Kentucky Derby.
A force from ages two to four, Sky Beauty was just the eighth filly to sweep the New York
Filly Triple Crown races: Acorn, Mother Goose and Coaching Club American Oaks.
The champion two-year-old of 1951, Tom Fool earned Horse of the Year honors in 1953 after
winning New York’s Handicap Triple Crown: the Metropolitan, Suburban and Brooklyn.
Despite a modest pedigree, Top Flight became one of the top two-year-old fillies of her
century, defeating both fillies and colts to win the Saratoga Special, Pimlico Futurity and Belmont Futurity.
War Admiral, sired by Man o’ War, was America’s fourth Triple Crown winner in 1937. He
won the Belmont by three lengths despite injuring his hoof near the start.
overcame erratic behavior early in his career – with help from Hall of
trainer Ben Jones – to become America’s fifth Triple Crown winner and a
two-time Horse of the Year. He is the only Triple Crown winner to also
win the Travers.
For more information about the inaugural class of inductees, including each thoroughbred’s lineage and connections, please visit