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Jun 02, 2006

Racing Hall of Fame inductees announced


Saratoga Springs, NY (Sports Network) - The 2006 class of racing's Hall of Fame has been announced and the three inductees represent old-time thoroughbred racing.

Hall of Fame committee chairman Edward Bowen announced on Tuesday that trainer Carl Hanford, jockey Bill Boland and one-time turf champion Cougar II will make up the 2006 class. The induction ceremony will take place on Monday, August 7.

All three were voted into the Hall of Fame by the Historic Review Committee. The committee, which meets in even-numbered years, considers nominees who have been inactive for 25 years.

The 12 finalists in the contemporary categories did not qualify for induction by not receiving the minimum 75-percent of the vote.

Hanford was the trainer of five-time Horse of the Year Kelso. The gelding was voted Horse of the Year from 1960 to 1964 by both the Daily Racing Form and the Thoroughbred Racing Association.

Now 90 years old, Hanford began his training career in 1939 after a short career as a jockey. Hanford retired from training in 1968 to become a racing official.

"I just can't see myself with guys like Ben Jones and Preston Burch, those type of trainers," said Hanford, "but I guess when you're the Horse of the Year five years in a row, you might have to be considered. Charlie Whittingham and those guys had many good horses. I had a few stakes horses, but I never had anything else like Kelso, but I don't think any of them in the Hall of Fame had a Kelso either."

Boland had 1,980 winners out of 16,639 career mounts with earnings of $14 million. He achieved immortality early in his career when he rode Middleground to victory in both the 1950 Kentucky Derby and Belmont Stakes. The pair finished second in the Preakness Stakes to Hill Prince.

"I was the most surprised guy in the world," Boland commented on his election. "I read something in the paper that there were 10 or 15 jockey nominations, and my name wasn't on there, so it was a complete surprise. It's wonderful."

Boland retired from riding in 1969 to become a trainer. In 1988 he left training to become an official with the New York Racing Association.

Cougar II was owned by Mary Jones Bradley and trained by Hall of Famer Charlie Whittingham. For 1972, Cougar II was voted champion turf horse after wins in the Oak Tree Invitational, the Century Handicap and the Californian.

Among his 20 career victories was the 1973 Santa Anita Handicap. Cougar II finished with more than $1.1 million in earnings from 50 starts.

"I'm very honored and thrilled and delighted," Bradley said. "I thought he was a wonderful, wonderful horse and I'm just so glad he's getting this recognition."

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