November 28, 2020

Wise Dan, Mark Casse among seven in 2020 Hall of Fame class

Wise Dan (Reed Palmer/Churchill Downs)

Two-time Horse of the Year Wise Dan and trainer Mark Casse have been elected to the Racing Hall of Fame class of 2020 along with two selections from the Historic Review Committee, jockey Darrel McHargue and the 19th century racehorse Tom Bowling, and Pillars of the Turf Alice Headley Chandler, Keene Dangerfield Jr., and George Widener Jr.

Wise Dan, Horse of the Year in 2012 and 2013, was also voted champion turf male and champion older male both seasons. The Wiseman’s Ferry gelding, owned by Mort Fink and trained by Charlie LoPresti, won 11 Grade 1 events including back-to-back renewals of the Breeders’ Cup Mile.

Trainer Mark Casse
Trainer Mark Casse (Coady Photography)

Casse, 59, is already a member of the Hall of Fame in Canada, where he earned 11 Sovereign Awards as Outstanding Trainer. Winner of numerous training titles at Woodbine as well as Churchill Downs, Keeneland, and Turfway Park, Casse has trained Eclipse Award winners Tepin, Classic Empire, World Approval, and Shamrock Rose. He also captured the 2019 Preakness (G1) and Belmont S. (G1) with War of Will and Sir Winston, respectively.

McHargue, who has served as chief steward in California since 2015, won more than 2,500 winners in a career that spanned from 1972 through 1988. He won the 1975 Preakness aboard Master Derby and major stakes on Hall of Fame inductees John Henry, Ancient Title, and My Juliet. In 1978 he was voted the Eclipse Award as Outstanding Jockey as well as the George Woolf Memorial Award.

Tom Bowling, a foal of 1870, won 14 of 17 career starts. His stakes victories included the Travers, Dixie, Jerome, Jersey Derby, and Monmouth Cup. A homebred raced by Hal Price McGrath, he was trained by Hall of Famer Ansel Williamson.

Chandler, 94, is the daughter of the late Hal Price Headley and founded Mill Ridge Farm in Lexington, Kentucky. Chandler bred 1968 Epsom Derby winner Sir Ivor and has served on numerous industry boards including the Keeneland Association (which her father co-founded), the Breeders’ Cup, and the Thoroughbred Owners and Breeders Association.

Dangerfield (1910-1993) was one of the most respected racing officials in the sport’s history, serving as a steward at 17 tracks and serving as chief state steward in Kentucky, New Jersey, and Illinois. Like Chandler, he was awarded the Eclipse Award of Merit and was a member of the Jockey Club.

Widener (1889-1971) served 14 years as Chairman of The Jockey Club and also headed the Greater New York Racing Association, the Thoroughbred Club of America, and the National Museum of Racing and Hall of Fame. Among the horses he bred and owned were champions Jaipur, Battlefield, What a Treat, Evening Out, Platter, and Stefanita, as well as Hall of Fame inductee Eight Thirty.

The Hall of Fame induction ceremony is tentatively scheduled for Aug. 7 at the Fasig-Tipton Sales Pavilion in Saratoga Springs.