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Aug 13, 2010

2010 Racing Hall of Fame class inducted



Saratoga Springs, NY (Sports Network) - Former Horses of the Year Point Given and Azeri, along with Best Pal and retired jockey Randy Romero, were inducted into the National Museum of Racing's Hall of Fame on Friday.

Also enshrined were 19th century horse Harry Bassett, trainer Michael Ernest 'Buster' Millerick and jockey Don Pierce, who were elected by the Historic Review Committee of the National Museum of Racing.

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 on the trail to the Kentucky Derby, but was fifth as the favorite in that year's Run for the Roses before coming back 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.

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 died in April, won the 1989 Eclipse Award as Champion Older Female.

"Dreams really do come true," said Romero about his Hall of Fame induction. "I was lucky in that I was able to associate myself around good people and good horses. It is good horses that make good jockeys."

Harry Bassett was a champion at age two in 1870, unbeaten champion at three and a top handicapper at four. He was bred by A.J. Alexander and raised at Woodburn Farm in Kentucky, and was owned and trained by Col. David McDaniel.

As a two-year-old he won the Nursery Stakes at Jerome Park and the Supper Stakes at Pimlico. The following season he captured the Belmont Stakes, Jersey Derby, Travers Stakes and Kenner Stakes.

Harry Bassett also posted victories as a three-year-old in the Champion Stakes and Bowie Stakes. His 14-race win streak was stopped in his four-year-old campaign by Longfellow in the Monmouth Cup. Three days later he defeated Longfellow in the Saratoga Cup

Harry Bassett completed his career with 23 wins in 36 starts and earnings of $55,920.

Millerick was a trainer for almost 50 years, retiring in 1984, and won 1,886 races and trained 54 individual stakes winners. His best horse was probably Native Diver, who entered the Hall of Fame in 1978.

Native Diver won 37 races, including 34 stakes, in 81 starts with over $1 million during seven seasons. He won three straight Hollywood Gold Cups from 1965-1967 and as an eight-year-old captured the Del Mar Handicap and won both the Los Angeles Handicap and San Carlos Handicap.

Pierce rode for 30 years and retired with 3,546 wins, including 351 stakes victories, in 28,740 mounts. He concluded his riding career with purse earnings of $39,018,422.

Pierce won the Santa Anita Handicap four times from 1960 to 1972. From 1969 to 1973 he won each running of the Los Angeles Handicap as well as five runnings of the Santa Anita Oaks. In addition, he won the Del Mar Debutante and Hollywood Oaks four times each and the Del Mar Derby, Del Mar Oaks, Santa Monica Handicap, Santa Ana Handicap and Santa Margarita Handicap three times apiece.

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