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Jun 08, 2007

Santos and Silver Charm top 2007 Racing Hall of Fame class


Saratoga Springs, NY (Sports Network) - Jockey Jose Santos and former Kentucky Derby winner Silver Charm are among the eight racing greats who will be inducted into the National Museum of Racing's Hall of Fame. The induction will take place on Monday, August 6.

Santos, who is currently recuperating from injuries, will be joined by retired rider John Sellers. Horses Mom's Command and Swoon's Son join Silver Charm, while trainers John Veitch, Frank McCabe and Henry Forest also made the cut.

Santos, Veitch, Mom’s Command, and Silver Charm were elected in the contemporary categories, while Sellers, Forrest, McCabe, and Swoon’s Son were elected by the Historic Review Committee. The Historic Review Committee considers candidates who have not been active in 25 years.

Santos was aboard Funny Cide to win the 2003 Kentucky Derby and Preakness Stakes, and captured the 1989 Belmont Stakes with Lemon Drop Kid. The 45-year- old jockey has earned better than $155 million in his career.

"It's a great honor just to be nominated and to be elected to the Hall of Fame is even bigger," Santos said. "I know the history of the Hall of Fame in the United States, that it is all of the best. To be joining them, I don't have words to express myself."

Retired since 1977, John Sellers led the country with 328 wins in 1961. In the same year he rode Carry Back to wins in the Kentucky Derby and Preakness Stakes.

"That was as close as I got," Sellers recalled about his 1987 nomination. "It was very neat, just even to be nominated, but this is incredible."

Owned by Beverly Lewis and her late husband Robert, Silver Charm was voted 1997 three-year-old champion after taking the Run for the Roses and the Preakness. He was then second in the Belmont Stakes to Touch Gold.

"I'm thrilled to pieces," Beverly Lewis said. "He's the horse that people just love. I'm just so happy that he's there where he belongs."

Mom's Command was the 1985 champion three-year-old filly after sweeping the Acorn, Mother Goose Stakes and the Coaching Club American Oaks. She closed her career with a victory in the Alabama Stakes at Saratoga.

"Of course, I'm thrilled to have her elected to the Hall of Fame," said her owner Peter Fuller. "I think she does deserve it, and I think the fact that my daughter rode her is one of those things that is just marvelous. It's very helpful to racing, in particular."

Swoon's Son won 22 stakes races during a four year career in the 1950's. Racing at Midwest tracks, Swoon's Son won 30 of 51 starts for $907,605.

Former trainer John Veitch joins his father Sylvester in the Hall of Fame. The elder Veitch was inducted in 1977.

Currently the chief state steward in Kentucky, Veitch trained Alydar. In 1977 the three-year-old colt was part of the historic rivalry with Affirmed. While Affrimed swept the Triple Crown, Alydar finished second in all three races.

"It's the culmination of all the great horses that I've had the privilege to train and the great owners that I represented," Veitch said. "It's a great thing."

Henry Forrest trained thoroughbreds for nearly 40 years from 1937 to 1975. Before his death in 1975, Forrest trained Kentucky Derby and Preakness winners Kauai King in 1966 and Forward Pass in 1968.

Frank McCabe, who died in 1924, was a trainer in the late 1800's into the 1900's. He won the Travers with Inspector B., Sir Dixon, and Sir John. McCabe trained three straight Belmont Stakes winners, Inspector B. in 1886, Hanover in 1887, and Sir Dixon in 1888.

This is the 52nd class to be inducted into the Racing Hall of Fame.

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