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2011 Hall of Fame inductee profile: Safely Kept

Safely Kept (NYRA photo)

By BRIEN BOUYEA
Communications Officer

Safely Kept was the pride of Maryland, but she was a star everywhere she raced. Bred in Maryland at David and JoAnn Hayden’s Dark Hollow Farm, Safely Kept (by Horatius—Safely Home, by Winning Hit) contested her entire 2-year-old campaign in her home state, winning three of five starts, including two stakes, in 1988.

Owned by Barry Weisbord in partnership with Richard Santulli’s Jayeff B. Stable and trained by Alan Goldberg, Safely Kept was dominant as a 3-year-old in 1989, winning eight of nine starts and garnering the Eclipse Award for Outstanding Sprinter. Among the bay filly’s wins that year were the Grade 1 Test Stakes and Grade 2 scores in the Genuine Risk Handicap and Prioress Stakes. Her only setback was a second-place effort to Dancing Spree in the Breeders’ Cup Sprint.

At 4, Safely Kept was once again among the sport’s elite, posting eight wins in 10 starts. She earned seven stakes wins during the campaign and capped off her remarkable season with a victory in the 1989 Breeders’ Cup Sprint. That win over stars Black Tie Affair and Dayjur also avenged her only loss from the prior year, as she finished 9½ lengths in front of Dancing Spree.

Safely Kept had another triumphant campaign at age 5 in 1990. For the third consecutive year, she won the Genuine Risk Handicap, Maryland Million Distaff Handicap, and the Garden Stakes Handicap. She also won her second Meadowlands Handicap, and added the Chicago Handicap.

Safely Kept concluded her career with a record of 24-2-3 from 31 starts and earnings of $2,194,206, more than any other filly or mare bred in Maryland. She won races in Florida, Illinois, Kentucky, Maryland, New York, and New Jersey at a total of 10 tracks.

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Trainer Jerry Hollendorfer leads 2011 Racing Hall of Fame class

Trainer Jerry Hollendorfer and the fillies Open Mind, Safely Kept and Sky Beauty have been elected to the National Museum of Racing’s Hall of Fame. The Class of 2011 will be inducted on Friday, August 12 at 10:30 a.m. at the Fasig-Tipton sales pavilion. The ceremony is free and open to the public and for the second consecutive year will be televised live on HRTV.

Hollendorfer, Open Mind, Safely Kept and Sky Beauty were elected in the contemporary category by the 183 members of the Hall of Fame’s voting panel. The Hall of Fame’s Historic Review Committee will announce its selections in early June to complete the Class of 2011.

Hollendorfer has been the most successful trainer in Northern California since the mid-1980s. He won the training championship at every major Bay Area meeting from 1986 through 2008, recording 37 straight titles at Bay Meadows and 32 consecutive crowns at Golden Gate Fields. Hollendorfer has also enjoyed considerable success on the Southern California circuit and won a training title at Arlington Park in 2001.

In 2010, Hollendorfer won five Grade 1 races: the Kentucky Oaks, Alabama and Las Virgenes with champion Blind Luck; the Breeders’ Cup Dirt Mile with Dakota Phone; and the Gamely with Tuscan Evening. Hollendorfer ranked fourth in earnings in 2010 with $9,307,328 and third in wins with 286. He was fifth in earnings in 2009 ($7,309,169) and seventh in 2008 ($8,637,578). He was also third in wins in both 2009 (273) and 2008 (282). Hollendorfer won a career-high 308 races in 2004 to finish third in the trainer standings.

Hollendorfer has ranked in the top 10 in wins for 24 consecutive years (1987 through 2010) and has been in the top 10 in earnings 12 times in his career. Through 2010, Hollendorfer ranked fourth in all-time victories (5,863) and eighth all-time in earnings ($119,141,280) among North American trainers. His major wins include three runnings of the Kentucky Oaks and scores in the Santa Anita Handicap, Delaware Handicap, Fleur de Lis, Hollywood Futurity and Haskell Invitational.

Open Mind (chestnut filly, 1986, by Deputy Minister – Stage Lucky, by Stage Door Johnny), bred in New Jersey by Due Process Stables, won 12 of 19 career starts. Owned by Eugene Klein and trained by D. Wayne Lukas, Open Mind was named Champion 2-Year-Old Filly of 1988 when she won four of six starts, including the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Fillies.

At 3, Open Mind won eight of 11 starts, including the New York Filly Triple Crown (the Acorn, Mother Goose and Coaching Club American Oaks), as well as the Kentucky Oaks and Alabama Stakes. Her victory in the Alabama was her 10th consecutive win, seven of which were Grade 1 races. She repeated as her division champion at 3 and concluded her career with nine graded wins among her 11 stakes victories and earnings of $1,844,372.

Safely Kept (bay filly, 1986, by Horatius – Safely Home, by Winning Hit), bred in Maryland by Mr. and Mrs. David Hayden, raced four years, won 24 of 31 starts and accumulated earnings of $2,194,206. Owned by Barry Weisbord and Richard Santulli’s Jayeff B. Stable and trained by Alan Goldberg, Safely Kept won four of her five starts as a 2-year-old in 1988 and then took eight of her nine races at age 3 to earn the Eclipse Award as Champion Sprinter. Among her wins during that campaign were the Grade 1 Test Stakes, the Grade 2 Genuine Risk Handicap and the Grade 2 Prioress Stakes.

At 4, Safely Kept won eight of 10 races with seven of those victories in stakes events. She defeated a star-studded field in the 1990 Breeders’ Cup Sprint. That victory, over stars such as Black Tie Affair and Dayjur, also avenged her only loss from the prior year, as she defeated Dancing Spree by 9½ lengths.

Safely Kept concluded her career with five wins in seven starts as a 5-year-old in 1991, including her third victory in the Genuine Risk Handicap, Maryland Million Distaff and Garden State Stakes Handicap.

Sky Beauty (bay filly, 1990, by Blushing Groom – Maplejinsky, by Nijinsky II), bred in Kentucky by Sugar Maple Farm, won 15 of 21 starts and had purse earnings of $1,336,000 in her four-year career. Owned by Georgia Hoffman and trained by Allen Jerkens, Sky Beauty posted a five-race win streak at age 3 in 1993, which included the New York Filly Triple Crown and the Alabama.

At 4, Sky Beauty posted another five-race win streak, including a 10-length romp in the Go for Wand. She also added Grade 1 wins in the Hempstead and the Ruffian. Sky Beauty had a brief campaign at 5, adding her second victory in the Vagrancy. Nine of Sky Beauty’s 15 wins were in Grade 1 races.

Edward L. Bowen is the chairman of the Hall of Fame Nominating Committee. The 16-member Nominating Committee considered 80 candidates for the contemporary category before selecting 10 finalists. The four candidates that received the most votes from the 183 voters in the United States and Canada were elected.

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2011 Hall of Fame finalists announced

John Velazquez (photo by Brien Bouyea)

SARATOGA SPRINGS, N.Y. — Jockeys Calvin Borel, Garrett Gomez and John Velazquez and trainer Jerry Hollendorfer are first-time finalists for election to the National Museum of Racing’s Hall of Fame. Joining them on the 2011 Hall of Fame ballot are previous finalists jockey Alex Solis, trainers Gary Jones and Robert Wheeler and Thoroughbreds Open Mind, Safely Kept and Sky Beauty.

Hall of Fame voters may select as many candidates as they believe are worthy of induction to the Hall of Fame. The four candidates with the highest vote totals will be elected.

The finalists were selected by the Hall of Fame’s 16-member Nominating Committee from a total of 80 candidates suggested throughout the year by turf journalists, Thoroughbred industry participants and racing fans. To be eligible, trainers must have been active for 25 years and jockeys must have been active for 20 years. Thoroughbreds must have been retired for five years. All candidates must have been active within the past 25 years. A separate Historic Review Committee is assigned to consider candidates whose careers were completed more than 25 years ago.

The results of the voting on contemporary candidates will be announced on May 13. The induction ceremony will be held at the Fasig-Tipton Sales Pavilion in Saratoga Springs on Friday, Aug. 12 at 10:30 a.m. The ceremony is free and open to the public.

Borel has won the Kentucky Derby in three of the past four years with Street Sense (2007), Mine That Bird (2009) and Super Saver (2010). His three victories in the Run for the Roses are surpassed only by Hall of Famers Eddie Arcaro and Bill Hartack with five each and Hall of Famer Bill Shoemaker, who has four Derby wins. Borel, one of only two riders with more than 1,000 wins at Churchill Downs (Hall of Famer Pat Day is the other), won the Preakness, Woodward, Haskell, Mother Goose, Kentucky Oaks and other stakes with 2009 Horse of the Year Rachel Alexandra. Among Borel’s other major victories are the Travers, Alabama, Breeders’ Cup Juvenile, Sword Dancer and Stephen Foster. Through 2010, Borel had 4,815 career wins and purse earnings of $113,444,328. He also won the George Woolf Memorial Jockey Award in 2010.

Gomez won the Eclipse Award for Outstanding Jockey in 2007 and 2008 and led all North American riders in earnings from 2006 through 2009. He won a record 76 stakes races in 2007 and has 12 Breeders’ Cup wins to his credit, including the 2010 Classic with champion Blame. Gomez posted eight Grade 1 wins in 2010 and 11 in 2009. Among Gomez’s major victories are the Pacific Classic, Travers, Santa Anita Derby, Whitney, Stephen Foster, Kentucky Oaks and Jockey Club Gold Cup. Through 2010, Gomez had 3,435 career wins and purse earnings of $193,907,844.

Velazquez won the Eclipse Award for Outstanding Jockey in 2004 and 2005 and led all North American riders in earnings during those years. He led all New York jockeys in wins from 2001 through 2004 and set a record with 65 wins at Saratoga in 2004. Velazquez has won 21 riding titles at New York Racing Association tracks and has eight Breeders’ Cup wins. He won 12 Grade 1 races in 2010 and posted 43 Grade 1 wins from 2006 through 2010. Velazquez won the Belmont Stakes in 2007 with Rags to Riches and his other major victories include the Travers, Alabama, Champagne, Sanford, Personal Ensign, Whitney, King’s Bishop, Hollywood Derby and Kentucky Oaks. Through 2010, Velazquez had won 4,483 races and ranked fourth all time in purse earnings with $241,248,072.

Hollendorfer has been the dominant trainer in Northern California since the mid-1980s. He won the training championship at every major Bay Area meeting from 1986 through 2008, recording 37 straight titles at Bay Meadows and 32 consecutive crowns at Golden Gate Fields. In 2010, Hollendorfer won five Grade 1 races: the Kentucky Oaks, Alabama and Las Virgenes with champion Blind Luck; the Breeders’ Cup Dirt Mile with Dakota Phone; and the Gamely with Tuscan Evening. Hollendorfer ranked fourth in earnings in 2010 with $9,307,328 and third in wins with 286. He was fifth in earnings in 2009 ($7,309,169) and seventh in 2008 ($8,637,578). He was also third in wins in both 2009 (273) and 2008 (282). Hollendorfer won a career-high 308 races in 2004 to finish third in the trainer standings. He has been in the top 10 in wins for 24 consecutive years (1987 through 2010) and has been in the top 10 in earnings 12 times. Through 2010, Hollendorfer ranked fourth in all-time victories (5,863) and eighth all-time in earnings ($119,141,280) among North American trainers.

Solis, the 1997 George Woolf Memorial Jockey Award winner, has won three Breeders’ Cup races, including the 2003 Classic with Pleasantly Perfect. He has also won the Preakness and multiple editions of the Santa Anita Derby and Florida Derby. Other major victories for Solis include the Hollywood Derby, Malibu Stakes, Del Mar Futurity, Pacific Classic, Wood Memorial, Santa Anita Handicap and Dubai World Cup. Through 2010, Solis had won 4,828 races and had purse earnings of $221,907,872.

Jones, who trained from 1974 through 1996, saddled the winners of 1,465 races from 7,900 starts (18.5 percent). He won 102 graded stakes and 233 overall stakes with purse earnings of $52,672,611. Jones won 15 meeting titles on the Southern California circuit. He twice won the Santa Anita Handicap and was the conditioner of 1986 Champion Older Male Turkoman. In 1991, Jones won the Pacific Classic and the Swaps with future Hall of Famer Best Pal, as well as the Yellow Ribbon and two other stakes with Kostroma. Best Pal’s four stakes wins in 1992 included the Strub, Santa Anita Handicap and Oaklawn Handicap, while Kostrama added the Beverly D, Santa Barbara, Wilshire and Dahlia. In 1993, Jones won the Hollywood Gold Cup with Best Pal among the trainer’s 23 stakes wins for the year.

Wheeler, whose career spanned from 1938 through 1992, won 1,336 races and trained for prominent owners such as C.V. Whitney, J. Rukin Jelks, Greentree Stable and Nelson Bunker Hunt. He conditioned 56 stakes-winning horses, including 1982 Champion Older Female Track Robbery. The majority of his career predates the grading of races, but from 1976 on he won 18 of the 69 (26 percent) graded stakes his horses ran in and 44 of his 175 (25 percent) overall stakes attempts. In 1959 and 1960, Wheeler’s West Coast-based division included Tompion, winner of the Santa Anita Derby, Blue Grass Stakes and Malibu, and the distaff pair of Bug Brush and Silver Spoon. Bug Brush won six stakes at four and set a world record for 1 1/8 miles the day she beat males Hillsdale and Terrang in the San Antonio Stakes. Silver Spoon won 10 stakes in two years, including the trainer’s first of consecutive runnings of the Santa Anita Derby, in which she defeated Preakness winner Royal Orbit. He also sent out five winners of the Hollywood Juvenile Championship, which prior to the Breeders’ Cup era was one of the nation’s top races for 2-year-olds. From 1959 through 1969, Wheeler was on the leaders list of the top 30 North American trainers seven times in terms of earnings.

Open Mind was the Champion 2-Year-Old Filly of 1988 when she won the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Fillies. She won 12 of her 19 career starts, including the New York Filly Triple Crown (the Acorn, Mother Goose and Coaching Club American Oaks) as well as the Grade 1 Kentucky Oaks and Alabama Stakes at age 3. Open Mind posted a 10-race win streak, which included seven Grade 1 events. She repeated as her division champion as a 3-year-old and finished her career with nine graded wins among her 11 stakes victories.

Safely Kept raced four years, winning 24 of her 31 starts and accumulated earnings of $2,194,206. She won four of her five starts as a 2-year-old in 1988 and then took eight of her nine races at age 3 to earn the Eclipse Award as Champion Sprinter. At 4, Safely Kept was eight for 10 with seven of those wins in stakes events. She concluded her career with five wins in seven starts as a 5-year-old, including her third victory in the Genuine Risk Handicap, Maryland Million Distaff and Garden State Stakes Handicap.

Sky Beauty won 15 of her 21 starts and had purse earnings of $1,336,000 in her four-year career. She posted a five-race win streak at age 3, which included the New York Filly Triple Crown and the Alabama. At age 4, Sky Beauty posted another five-race win streak, including a 10-length romp in the Go for Wand. She had a brief campaign at 5, adding her second victory in the Vagrancy. Nine of Sky Beauty’s 15 wins were in Grade 1 races.

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