CHRHF Class of 2020 Announced


The Canadian Horse Racing Hall of Fame is pleased to announce the people and horses being recognized as inductees in 2020.  Five people and five horses have been elected from a very deep ballot of candidates.

Thoroughbred inductees include Builder Sue Leslie, Jockey Gary Boulanger, Trainer Michael Keogh along with horses Tepin and Play the King.

Sue Leslie has dedicated the better part of her life to the sport of horseracing  — breeding, owning and training thoroughbred horses in Ontario for almost 40 years.   Positions she has held, both past and current include President/Chair of the Horsemen’s Benevolent and Protection Society of Ontario, President/Chair of Ontario Horse Racing Industry Alliance, Director on the Avelino Gomez Memorial Foundation, Director of LongRun Thoroughbred Retirement Society, as well as being a member of the Jockey Club of Canada and Canadian Thoroughbred Horse Society.   Leslie has been a proponent for horsepeople across all facets of the industry.  She was involved in establishing Ontario Racing, with which she is a currently a Director and member of the Executive.  Her years of experience and knowledge have proven vital in programs and initiatives to sustain the industry — ranging from assistance with government negotiations following the cancellation of the slots-at-racetrack program to ensuring the viability of racing at Fort Erie Race Track. In 2011 Leslie was honoured with a special Sovereign Award for her dedicated work and she continues to be a strong leader and a devoted advocate.

Born in Drayton Valley, Alberta, Gary Boulanger began his riding career in 1987, spending his early years at tracks in the U.S. and earning leading jockey status at Longacres Racetrack (1989, 1990, 1991) and Calder Race Course (1994, 1995).  In 2000 Boulanger returned to Canada, riding primarily at Woodbine, he would frequently get the call to ride for Hall of Fame trainer Mark Frostad.  In 2001, the top money-winning year of his career, he rode Sam-Son Farm’s Hall of Fame filly Dancethruthedawn to wins in the Canadian Oaks and The Queen’s Plate Stakes.  In 2005 Boulanger suffered what could have been a career-ending injury in a racing accident at Gulfstream Park.  His return to the track came in 2013 when he began to pick up rides for Hall of Fame trainer Mark Casse.  Gary continues to ride, splitting his time between Florida and Woodbine, and is considered an elder statesman in the jockeys room.  The 2017 Avelino Gomez Memorial Award recipient has to date won 3,610 races, including 41 grades stakes, and earnings just shy of $80 million (U.S.).

As longtime private trainer for Hall of Fame Builder Gus Schickedanz, Mike Keogh is a two-time Queen’s Plate winning trainer, first with Woodcarver in 1999 and then with Triple Crown champion Wando in 2003.  During that Triple Crown winning season, Keogh was also training stablemate Mobil who would earn a Sovereign Award at age four.  Hall of Fame horse Langfuhr, also trained by Keogh, won three G1 Stakes and received the Sovereign in  1996 as Champion Sprinter.   As an assistant to Hall of Fame Trainer Roger Attfield from 1986-1993, Keogh worked with a long list of Hall of Fame inductees including Alywow, Peteski, Carotene, Izvestia and With Approval.  Among the many Attfield-trained horses Keogh traveled with was one of his favourites, the multiple graded stakes winning sprinter and 2008 Horse of the Year Play the King, who will also be inducted as part of the Canadian Horse Racing Hall of Fame Class of 2020.  Since 1993, Mike Keogh stats include 2,689 starts with 330 wins and over $21.5 million in Earnings.

Tepin, given the moniker “Queen of the Turf”, spent most of her race career under the direction of trainer Mark Casse and the ownership of Robert Masterson.  Racing from age 3 to 6, the striking bay filly accumulated a record of 13-5-1, including nine Grade 1/Group 1 wins or placings in three countries – Canada, England and the U.S.  In 2015 she won the Breeders’ Cup Mile (G1) against the boys.  The following year, In what would be her final year of racing, she travelled to England winning the prestigious Group One Queen Anne Stakes at Royal Ascot.  Her final career win came in the 2016 Woodbine Mile (G1) when she put an exclamation mark on her career with a half-length win, again over the boys.    Tepin was twice presented with the Eclipse Award as American Champion Female Turf Horse; 2015 and 2016.

Play the King, was conditioned thoroughout his four year race career by Hall of Fame trainer Roger Attfield for breeder/owner Kinghaven Farms of King City, Ontario.  In 29 starts, he made 19 trips to the winners’ circle and earned just shy of $1 million.  Play the King’s stakes success began at age four with a win in the Toboggan Handicap (G3) at Aqueduct, and was followed by wins in the Jacques Cartier, Vigil Handicap and the Toronto Budweiser Breeders’ Cup Handicap at Woodbine, as well as wins in the Highlander Handicap, the Suffolk Sprint in Boston (G3) and finally the Nearctic Stakes (G3), to earn him the 1987 Sovereign Award for Champion Older Male Horse and Champion Sprinter.  The following year brought repeat wins in the Nearctic Stakes (G3) at Woodbine and the Toronto Budweiser Breeders’ Cup before making his most noted performance, the Breeders Cup Sprint (G1) at Churchill Downs.  A strong 49-1 second-place finish contributed to him being presented Sovereign Awards as Champion Sprinter, Older Horse and Horse of the Year in 1988.

Representing Standardbreds in the Class of 2020 are Driver Paul MacDonell, Trainer Ben Wallace, Female Horse Amour Angus, Male Horse McWicked and Veteran Horse Rambling Willie.

Paul MacDonell’s driving career is highlighted by both consistency and superstars, with earnings surpassing $1 million for 33 consecutive years, due in part to piloting such horses as Hall of Fame Honoured Members Somebeachsomewhere, Admirals Express and Invitro.  He has also been the primary pilot for millionaires Village Jiffy, Village Connection, Elusive Desire, Bigtime Ball and Laddie.  The Guelph resident’s major stakes victories include three Metro Paces, five Confederation Cups, and eight Breeders Crowns as well as a record 16 Ontario Sires Stakes Super Finals to his credit.  The popular and affable driver was awarded an O’Brien Award as the 2008 Canadian Driver of the Year and to date has chalked up more than 15,000 top three finishes, 5,623 wins and has driven horses to in excess of $122 million in purse earnings.

Ben Wallace of Puslinch, Ont., honed his training skills working for Hall of Famers Keith Waples and the late Bill Wellwood before striking out on his own.   He trained 1999 Pacing Triple Crown Winner and Canadian Horse Racing Hall of Fame Member Blissfull Hall, Breeders Crown winners Totally Western (2002), Pans Culottes (2003), as well as a list of million dollar plus winners including Apprentice Hanover, Easy Lover Hanover, Zooka, Cam Swifty, Camotion and Lookout Victory.  Awarded an O’Brien as Canada’s Trainer of the Year in 1999, Wallace has current career stats of 1,947 wins and more than $38 million in purses, surpassing the million dollar mark in 18 consecutive seasons (1996-2013).

Bred by Pierre Levesque’s Fermes Angus of Bedford, Quebec, Amour Angus made her mark on the Standardbred industry as a broodmare. Eleven of her 15 foals raced, earning in excess of $3.5 million.  Of her eight foals sired by Garland Lobell, three went on to be top trotting sires in North America following successful race careers – Andover Hall (3, 1:51.3 ($870,510), CHRHF 2019 inductee Angus Hall 3, 1:54.3 ($830,654) and Conway Hall 3, 1:53.4 ($818,884).   Her daughter Emilie Cas El (by Garland Lobell) was the winner of the 1994 O’Brien Award for Horse of the Year following her flawless 13 for 13 two-year-old race season before going on to be the dam of Hambletonian winner Trixton.  Amour Angus is the grand dam of such horses as Nuncio, Peaceful Way, Donato Hanover, Pampered Princess, Majestic Son, Wishing Stone and Windsongs Legacy.

Recently retired from racing, McWicked earned $5.1 million during a race career that began in 2013 and included 40 wins in 110 starts while setting his lifetime mark of 1:46.2 at age 7. The ungelded son of McArdle – Western Sahara was owned primarily by Ed James’ SSG Stables and trained for the majority of his career by Casie Coleman.  McWicked’s stakes wins include the Max Hempt, Adios, Progress, Ben Franklin, TVG Open, William Haughton, Canadian Pacing Derby, Dan Rooney – twice; Roll With Joe, Breeders Crown – twice, Joe Gerrity, Jr – twice, PASS Finals, and the Jim Ewart –  twice.   He was the recipient of four O’Brien Awards — Three-Year-Old Pacing Colt/Gelding (2014), Older Pacing Horse of the Year (2018 & 2019) and Horse of the Year (2018).  His 2018 bankroll of $1.662 million made him the oldest horse to top North American harness racing’s earnings standings at the age of seven, and his $5.1 million in career earnings makes him the richest pacing stallion in the history of the sport.

The winner of 128 races in 305 starts during the 1970s and early 1980s, Rambling Willie was a three-time winner of the Canadian Pacing Derby – 1975 in a dead heat with Pickwick Baron, 1976 and 1977.  At the time of his retirement in 1983 he was the leading Standardbred money winner of all time earning more than $2 million, with most of his wins coming from overnight and invitational races.  A $15,000 purchase by trainer/driver Bob Farrington, ownership was later split between Bob’s wife Vivian and Paul Seibert.  Mrs.  Farrington in turn pledged 10% of Willie’s earnings to the church where her father served as pastor, earning the gelding the nickname “The Horse That God Loved”.  In 1981 a book titled with that nickname was published.  Willie and his connections did a promotional tour that included races in 17 cities and appearances on television shows including 60 Minutes.  Following his retirement from racing in 1983, Willie moved to the Kentucky Horse Park where he resided until his passing in 1995, when he was buried near his paddock at the Hall of Champions.  Rambling Willie was inducted into the United States Harness Racing Hall of Fame in 1997 and into the Indiana Standardbred Hall of Fame in 2003.

Details about 2020 Induction Ceremonies will be announced in the coming weeks.


The Emergency Task Force for BC Horse Racing was informed today by Great Canadian Gaming Corp. (Track Operator) that it will re-open Hastings Racecourse on May 1 for stabling.

The Track Operator will be working on protocols regarding physical distancing and safeguarding the health of all racetrack personnel in advance of May 1. Details of training/exercise protocols will be finalized in conjunction with the thoroughbred horsemen’s associations.

It was also noted that standardbred horses are being permitted to return to be stabled at Fraser Downs @ Elements, with light exercise only allowed.

The Track Operator stated its position that it is not willing at this point to conduct live racing at either Hastings or Fraser Downs unless spectators can be present, should health authorities permit such gatherings to occur at some point in the future. Racing would need to have spectators present in order for the Track Operator’s business model to be potentially sustainable.

Representatives of both breed sectors expressed their appreciation to the Track Operator for its flexibility in allowing an easing of earlier restrictions that led to the almost total removal of horses from the Hastings backstretch and a significant reduction in the number of horses stabled at Fraser Downs. The intention is for representatives of both breeds to continue to work with the Track Operator in order to resolve concerns and have the industry be as ready as it can be for a potential resumption of the racing seasons.

Breed sector representatives indicated their breed associations are working to increase awareness of federal and provincial emergency aid programs for people throughout the industry. This includes backstretch workers who can apply for the Canadian Emergency Response Benefit (CERB) program, as well as owners, trainers and other employers who may be eligible for wage subsidy programs put in place as a result of the COVID-19 crisis. The associations are gathering information about these benefit programs, posting it on their websites and working one-on-one with individuals to ensure benefits can flow to those who need them.


Santa Anita Two-Year-Old Sale Cancelled

Fasig-Tipton since 1898

Due to current restrictions in place at Santa Anita Park as a result of the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, as well as recent changes in the 2020 thoroughbred auction calendar, Fasig-Tipton announced today the cancellation of its 2020 Santa Anita Two-Year-Olds in Training Sale.  The auction had been scheduled for June 3 in Arcadia, California.

“Factors beyond our control have necessitated the sale’s cancellation,” said Fasig-Tipton President Boyd Browning.  “We greatly appreciate the support we received from those that had already committed entries, as well as the efforts and cooperation of Santa Anita’s management and staff these past several months.  With so much uncertainty, we felt it was best to go ahead and announce the sale’s cancellation to provide sellers with ample time to redirect their horses to other venues.”

“While disappointed with this outcome, we look forward to continuing to work with California breeders and sellers on the California Fall Yearlings Sale scheduled for October 19 of this year at Fairplex in Pomona, California,” added Browning.

Entries for Fasig-Tipton’s next California sale, the California Fall Yearlings Sale, are now open.  Entry forms may be found online at

For further information:
Evan Ferraro

A Word from BC Thoroughbred Associations

The COVID-19 worldwide health crisis has caused difficulties, misfortune, and hardship to not only our Racing Industry but all of Society in general.

Everyone and everything has been affected.

The BC and Vancouver State of Emergency(s) for health reasons has seen businesses, government agencies, restaurants, schools, parks etc all closed on a temporary basis and social distancing restrictions imposed on all of us.

The effect on horseracing has been the closure of the Fraser Downs and Hasting Racecourse Casinos as well as all of the TBC sites, the suspension of training and the postponement of the Hastings Racing Season.

While the Government and City restrictions are still currently in place there is reason for optimism given the recent comments from Dr Bonnie Henry, BC’s Chief Medical Health Officer and Prime Minister Trudeau saying that the restrictions are beginning to work and the numbers are indicating a flattening of the curve.  Even though these health measures will likely remain in place at a minimum, for several more weeks. But, there appears to be a growing realization that there is light at the end of the tunnel.

To all of us involved in Racing this means once the restrictions are lessened or lifted we can return to the business of training and racing our horses.  It is our expectation that Hastings will reopen for training in the not too distant future with the commencement of the Racing Season to follow.

While we need TBC and the Casinos to come on line to add monies to the Purse Account we do currently have sufficient funds on hand to run a shortened season even without those revenue sources.

There have been rumours circulating that GCGC is trying to end racing and take us all out of business.
These rumours are not true.  We have been advised by Great Canadian that they remain committed to Racing and have assured us that they will work with us in reopening Hastings for training and establishing a starting date for the Racing Season at the earliest possible time once there is some relief from the health restrictions.

It will take courage, determination, and resolve on the part of all of us to get though these difficult times but we will succeed in the end.

With that success will come the resumption of training and Racing at Hastings Racecourse.

There will be regular updates in the days ahead.

Good Luck to all.

David Milburn (President HBPA)

Ole Nielsen (President BCTOBA)

Grant Watson (President CTHS)

Glen Todd (BCHRIMC)

British Columbia Horsemen’s Associations Announce Special One Time 2020 Racing Season Postponement Program

2020 Racing Season Postponement Program








Mailing Address:

I/We, owner(s) of the thoroughbred race horse named above, hereby apply/ies for the payment of $1,000 available under this program on a one-time only basis.

I/We confirm that my/our horse was in training and preparing to race during the Hastings Racecourse 2020 Season when the postponement of the 2020 Season was announced.

I/We understand that my/our horse is not eligible to receive any payments available under the 2020 Wintering Program.

My/our horse was in training at                                from the date of                 to the present.

I/We understand the $1,000 payment will be credited to my/our account at the Horseman’s Bookkeeper Office.


Signature of Owner

Please fill out this form and email to Cristan Gossen at


Horsemen’s Associations Announce Advance Funding Available on Horses that are Eligible for the Winter Program

2020 Wintering Program


British Columbia Residents Only






 Mailing Address:                                                                                                                              

I/We, owner(s) of the thoroughbred race horse named above, hereby apply/ies for the first payment ($1,750) from the 2020 Wintering Program. It is my/our understanding that $1,750 out of the $3,500 total monies available will be paid now with the remaining $1,750 to be paid when my/our horse is stabled at Hastings Racecourse and the papers are registered with the Race Office when the track re-opens for training on a date to be announced.

I/We confirm that my/our horse was in training and is eligible for the 2020 Wintering Program and was preparing to race during the Hastings Racecourse 2020 Season when the postponement of the 2020 Season was announced.

I/We undertake to leave the horse’s papers in the Hastings Race Office and to race the horse exclusively at Hastings Racecourse until October 31, 2020. Repayment of all monies received under this program will release the papers before October 31, 2020.

I/We understand that the horse is not eligible to receive any payments available under the 2020 Racing Season Postponement Program.

My/our horse was in training at                                                                                              from the date of                                             to the present.

I/We understand the $1,750 payment will be credited to my/our account at the Horseman’s Bookkeeper Office.


Signature    of Owner

   Fill out this form and forward to Cristan Gossen via email at

Woodbine Community Rallies Together To Keep Horses in Training


Strict measures and awareness working at the barn area at Woodbine racetrack as everyone in the Thoroughbred industry hopes for opening day.

Thumbnail for Woodbine Community Rallies Together To Keep Horses in Training

Santino DiPaola photo

By: Jennifer Morrison |

Horsepeople on the Woodbine backstretch are banding together to protect their livelihood as training for the 2020 racing season continues.

As can be seen by Woodbine’s continued updates to its horsepeople (below), track management and the HBPA are doing everything to keep measures strict and in turn, convince government that the “best place for Ontario’s racehorses” is the Woodbine backstretch. The horses keep their people employed.

From all reports from provincial medical experts, it is possible as COVID-19 testing and results catch up to an early delay, that numbers of people testing positive will spike in the coming days. A mass exodus of people returning from March break this week, plus horsepeople filtering back from the US, will have to be carefully managed.

It is the SPREAD of the virus that is front and centre. People could harbour it and never have symptoms but pass it on unknowingly by going out in public.

JIM LAWSON will be on a FACEBOOK livestream Q and A on the Central Ontario Standardbred Association page at 4 p.m. today – (Sunday Mar. 22).


Trainer Santino DiPaola made signs for his Woodbine barn to keep his horses and people distanced – Santino DiPaola photo








Woodbine Operations emails:

Our intention is to keep the Woodbine backstretch open indefinitely for training and we are currently planning on opening the season on time (April 18). However, even with restricted access and safety measures in place, if COVID-19 is found in a critical part of the backstretch it would likely lead to a shutdown of active training.

We believe that with the safety measures in place, including the self-isolation requirements imposed, the Woodbine backstretch is the best place for your horses. We have made this point clear to the government. To date, there has been no sign of COVID-19 at Woodbine.

In addition to a spread of COVID-19 in the backstretch, there is significant public and government pressure not to race, and we may have to carefully consider the ramifications of moving forward. We adamantly share the public’s and government’s concern and the safety of everyone involved is our priority. Please know that while times like these are unprecedented, Canadians are a kind, understanding people who would not want to see harm come to our community.

Unfortunately, at this time, any firmer position on the start of the Thoroughbred racing season is not available. Please be assured that any decision impacting the start date will not impact the Woodbine’s ability to provide space for horses to be cared for.

As this pandemic evolves daily, we are following the Government guidelines to reduce the risk of exposure to people on the backstretch at Woodbine. We must each do everything we can to limit the risk, so that we can continue operations. If you are returning from the U.S. or another country, please understand the following:

You must self-isolate for 14 days at home or off-site accommodation

Upon arrival in Ontario, we ask that you call Robert Jordan – Senior Manager Security at 416-675-3993 ext. 12532 so that a record may be added to the Security Self Isolation Form. You must then keep, for our records, a boarding pass or slip from the border that shows your return date to Canada. Security will give you a return date to Woodbine on Day 15 from your date of entry to Canada. You will be asked to show this as proof once able to access Woodbine backstretch. If you do not reach us, please leave a message and you will receive a phone call back as early as possible.

Individuals in self-isolation will NOT be permitted to come onto our backstretch to provide care for their horses until the 14-day self-isolation period is completed.

  • Your horses will be permitted on the backstretch, but must be under the care of a Canadian-based staff or those that have already completed the 14 day isolation period.
  • The horses will still be allowed to train under the care of the staff listed above.
  • Horses are not required to be isolated: horses coming from the U.S. can return to their “regular” barns as they are completely under the care of locally based grooms, assistant trainers, exercise riders, etc.
  • “Locally based” people are those who have not traveled outside Canada or have already completed a 14-day self-isolation period.
  • Dormitory residents will NOT be permitted to return to the dorms until the 14-day isolation period is complete and have passed the health screening test at the East Stable Gate. Please help make alternate accommodation arrangements for your staff to complete the 14 day isolation period.

We recognize that horses require essential care and arrangements must be made accordingly for this 14-day period. We have implemented these rules to help limit the spread of COVID-19 and continue our training operations during these difficult times; however, we need everyone’s cooperation. There is an onus on each individual to self-police and respect the rules above for the well-being of the entire Thoroughbred community on the Woodbine backstretch.

Should you be in a situation where you do not have adequate staff that are not in self-isolation, you may have to consider sending some of your team home ahead of the others. HBPA can assist in finding ‘helping hands’ here on the ground in Canada for this short time period.

The Jockey Club of Canada announced today that its 45th Annual Sovereign Awards will be postponed until further notice

TORONTO, March 16, 2019 – The Jockey Club of Canada announced today that its 45th Annual Sovereign Awards will be postponed until further notice in response to the growing concerns about the coronavirus, COVID-19.

“The health and safety of our finalists, our guests and their families are of the utmost importance and we feel this is a necessary precaution in the current situation,” said The Jockey Club of Canada in a press release issued today. “We would like to assure all our stakeholders that we will continue to monitor the situation as it evolves and will provide regular updates throughout.

“Once an alternate date has been confirmed, the Sovereign Awards ceremony will take place in its entirety and the winners of each Sovereign Awards category will be announced during the ceremony.”

The awards, honouring Canada’s 2019 champions and recognizing their outstanding achievements in Canadian Thoroughbred racing and breeding, was originally scheduled for Thursday, April 16, 2020 at Universal Eventspace in Vaughan, Ont.

For further information, please contact The Jockey Club of Canada by email ( or phone (416-675-7756).