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Racing Hall of Fame names 11 finalists for 2020 induction

Racing Hall of Fame names 11 finalists for 2020 induction

Wise Dan, Game On Dude among the candidates in first year of eligibility
Racing Hall of Fame names 11 finalists for 2020 induction
Wise Dan wins the 2013 Fourstardave at Saratoga.
Photographer: Peter R. Barber

SARATOGA SPRINGS -- The National Museum of Racing announced 11 finalists in the contemporary division for the class of 2020 Hall of Fame inductees on Monday.

The list includes six racehorses (Blind Luck, Game On Dude, Havre de Grace, Kona Gold, Rags to Riches and Wise Dan); four trainers (Mark Casse, Christophe Clement, Doug O'Neill, David Whiteley); and jockey Corey Nakatani.

The inductees will be announced on May 6. Hall of Fame voters can choose as many candidates as they believe are worthy of induction, and candidates must receive a simple majority for induction.

The finalists were picked by the Nominating Committee from a total of 91 initial candidates.

Wise Dan and Game On Dude are in their first year of eligibility, based on a Thoroughbred needing to have been retired for five calendar years to become eligible.

Wise Dan was a two-time Horse of the Year, in 2012 and 2013 and won the Eclipse Award fir Champion Turf Horse and Champion Older Male each of those years.

He won 23 of 31 lifetime starts for purses of over $7.5 million.

His 11 Grade I victories included the Breeders' Cup Mile twice. He won the Grade II Fourstardave at Saratoga Race Course twice, and the Grade II Bernard Baruch once.

Game On Dude was 16-7-1 from 34 career starts for just under $6.5 million. He's best known as the only horse to have won the Grade I Santa Anita Handicap three times.

Blind Luck and Havre de Grace staged a close rivalry against each other. Blind Luck won the 2010 Eclipse Award as Champion 3-Year-Old Filly, and Havre de Grace was Horse of the Year in 2011, when she beat males in the Grade I Woodward at Saratoga.

In 2007, Rags to Riches was the first filly in 102 years to win the Belmont Stakes. Kona Gold was the 2000 Champion Male Sprinter.

Casse has 2,850 races for earnings of over $173 million. He won the Preakness with War of Will and the Belmont with Sir Winston last year, and his stars include Tepin, World Approval, Classic Empire, Wonder Gadot, Catch a Glimpse, Pool Play and Got Stormy.

Clement trained three-time Eclipse Award winner Gio Ponti and won the 2014 Belmont with Tonalist, who stopped California Chrome's Triple Crown bid.

O'Neill has won 2,473 races for $134 million in earnings. He took the 2012 Kentucky Derby and Preakness with I'll Have Another and the 2016 Derby with Nyquist.

Whitely, who died in 2017 at the age of 72, trained three Eclipse Award winners, Waya, Revidere and Just a Game, and stopped Spectacular Bid's Triple Crown attempt in 1979 when Coastal won the Belmont.

Nakatani won 3,909 races for over $234 million in purses from 1988-2018 and rode the winners of 10 Breeders' Cup race.

Reach Mike MacAdam at 518-395-3146 or [email protected]. Follow on Twitter @Mike_MacAdam.

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