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Apr 30, 2010

Nominees announced for 2010 Hall of Fame class


Saratoga Springs, NY (Sports Network) - Former Horses of the Year Point Given and Azeri along with retired jockey Randy Romero lead a list of 10 finalist nominees for election to the National Museum of Racing's Hall of Fame. The results of the voting will be revealed on Friday, May 28 with the induction ceremony to be held on Friday morning, August 13.

Under a revised format all the candidates are grouped together rather than being divided into categories.

Voters will be asked to vote for as many as four, but are not required to include one from each type of candidate. The four with the highest number of votes will be elected.

"The revised system creates the possibility that we might have more than one Hall of Famer from one group and none from another," said Edward L. Bowen, chairman of the Hall of Fame Nominating Committee.

Also nominated are Best Pal, trainer Gary Jones, Open Mind, Safely Kept, Sky Beauty, jockey Alex Solis and trainer Robert Wheeler. The nominees include contemporary female horses, contemporary male horses, jockeys and trainers.

Point Given was Horse of the Year and Champion Three-Year-Old Male for 2001. The colt won the San Felipe Stakes and Santa Anita Derby. As the favorite he was fifth in the Kentucky Derby, but was able to win both the Preakness and Belmont Stakes. Point Given, ridden by Gary Stevens, also won the Haskell and Travers. Trained by Bob Baffert, Point Given retired with nine victories in 13 career starts and earnings of $3,968,500.

In 2002 Azeri won the Breeders' Cup Distaff and was named Horse of the Year and Champion Older Female. She again was voted Champion Older Female in 2003 and 2004. When she retired she had won 17 of 24 races and was the all-time leader in earnings among females with $4,079,820.

In a seven year racing career Best Pal earned $5,668,245 with 18 wins in 47 starts. In 1992 he won the Santa Anita Handicap and the following year took the Hollywood Gold Cup.

Safely Kept won the Eclipse Award as 1989 Champion Sprinter before a seperate award was established for female sprinters. That year she finished second to Dancing Spree in the Breeders' Cup Sprint. In a four year career she won 24 of 31 starts for $2,194,206.

Sky Beauty was voted 1994 Champion Older Female and concluded her racing career in 1995 with a lifetime record of 15 wins in 21 starts for earnings of $1,336,000. As a three-year-old in 1993 she had a five-race win streak which included the Mother Goose Stakes, Coaching Club American Oaks and the Alabama Stakes.

Open Mind won the 1988 Breeders' Cup Juvenile Fillies which propelled her to being voted Champion Two-Year-Old Filly. In her career Open Mind won 12 of 19 starts for $1,844,372. In 1989 as a three-year-old the filly posted wins in the Acorn, Mother Goose, Coaching Club American Oaks, Kentucky Oaks and Alabama Stakes.

Randy Romero won 4,294 races and had earnings of $75,264,198 in a 27 year career. He was the regular rider of two-time Champion Filly Go for Wand and the undefeated Personal Ensign. Personal Ensign, who recently died, won the 1989 Eclipse Award as Champion Older Female.

Veteran jockey Alex Solis continues a riding career that began in 1981. In a nearly 20 year career, Solis has won 4,978 races with earnings of better than $219 million. In 1986 he rode Champion Three-Year-Old Male Snow Chief who won the Preakness, Santa Anita Derby, Florida Derby and Jersey Derby. Solis also won the 2003 Breeders' Cup Classic and 2004 Dubai World Cup with Pleasantly Perfect.

Retired trainer Gary Jones won 1,465 races with earnings of $52,672,611. He won 15 training titles on the Southern California circuit and trained 1986 Champion Older Male Turkoman.

Robert Wheeler trained from 1938 until his death in 1992. He won 1,336 races for such prominent owners as C.V. Whitney, J. Rukin Jelks, Greentree Stable and Nelson Bunker Hunt. Wheeler trained 1982 Champion Older Female Track Robbery.

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