June 2, 2023

Pillars of the Turf Committee elects 12 to Hall of Fame

The mighty Secretariat once had a win negated in the 1972 Champagne (Coglianese Photo provided by Leonard Lusky of Secretariat.com)

Given the leeway of selecting up to a dozen inductees this year, the National Museum of Racing and Hall of Fame’s Pillars of the Turf Committee have elected 12 new members to the Hall of Fame, joining Heavenly Prize, Preakness, and trainer William Lakeland in the 2018 class.

Below are the committee’s choices with a brief synopsis of each:

Elias J. “Lucky” Baldwin: A prominent owner-breeder in California in the late 19th and early 20th centuries, Baldwin most famously campaigned Hall of Fame member Emperor of Norfolk and operated the original Santa Anita racetrack on his Rancho Santa Anita property.

August Belmont: German-born financier was instrumental in the founding of Jerome Park in New York and the first Monmouth Park in the 1860s and 1870s, respectively. Later a leading owner-breeder, the third leg of the Triple Crown, which celebrates its 150th running next month, is named for him.

Cot Campbell: Popularizing the racing partnership concept through his Dogwood Stable, Campbell campaigned classic winners Summer Squall and Palace Malice, as well as champions Storm Song and Inlander.

Penny Chenery: Inheriting her father Christopher’s Meadow Stud in the early 1970s, Chenery campaigned Triple Crown winner and all-time great Secretariat as well as dual classic winner and multiple champion Riva Ridge.

John W. Galbreath: A key figure in racetrack construction and ownership, Galbreath is best known as the master of Darby Dan Farm, formerly Idle Hour Farm. The first person to own winners of both the Kentucky Derby (Chateaugay, Proud Clarion) and the Epsom Derby (Roberto), Galbreath campaigned five U.S. champions, a Breeders’ Cup Classic winner (Proud Truth), and stood such greats as Swaps, Ribot, and Sea-Bird II at his Lexington nursery.

Arthur B. Hancock Sr.: The founder of Claiborne Farm in Paris, Kentucky, Hancock was a multiple leading breeder and was highly influential through his importation of stallions Sir Gallahad III and Blenheim II. He later purchased two-time leading sire Princequillo.

Hal Price Headley: A prominent breeder and operator of Beaumont Farm in Kentucky, Headley was the first president of Keeneland Race Course and was instrumental in the founding of the Breeders’ Sales Company, now known as Keeneland Sales.

John Morrissey: A native of Ireland, Morrissey orchestrated the first formal Thoroughbred meeting held at Saratoga, in 1863, maintaining an ownership interest in the track and leading day-to-day operations of it until his death in 1878.

Dr. Charles H. Strub: One of the founders of the current Santa Anita Park in Arcadia, California, Strub is also credited with introducing such innovations as the finish-line camera, electronic timing, and electronic starting gates. The Santa Anita Handicap, the first race in the U.S. worth $100,000, was founded under his leadership.

William Collins Whitney: A leading owner-breeder in the late 19th and early 20th centuries, Whitney was closely involved in the revival of racing of Saratoga after a fallow period and in the creation of Belmont Park in 1905. The patriarch of a family with multi-generational ties to racing.

Harry Payne Whitney: The son of William C. Whitney, he was America’s leading breeder in earnings 11 times and leading owner eight times. His standout runners included Regret, the first filly to win the Kentucky Derby, and Whisk Broom II.

Cornelius Vanderbilt Whitney: Grandson of William C. and son of Harry Payne, C.V. (Sonny) Whitney was a founder and first president of the National Museum of Racing and campaigned such champions as Equipoise, Top Flight, Phalanx, Counterpoint, and Silver Spoon.

The Museum’s Pillars of the Turf Committee is comprised of D.G. Van Clief (chairman), Edward L. Bowen, Bob Curran, Jane Goldstein, Ken Grayson, Jay Hovdey, G. Watts Humphrey, Bill Marshall, Daisy Phipps Pulito, Barry Schwartz, Mary Simon, Stella Thayer and Gary West.

The induction ceremony will take place August 3 at 10:30 a.m. (EDT) at the Fasig-Tipton Sales Pavilion in Saratoga Springs. The ceremony is free and open to the public.