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Apr 01, 2011

Finalists revealed for 2011 Racing Hall of Fame class


Saratoga Springs, NY (Sports Network) - A list of 10 finalists has been announced by the National Museum of Racing's Hall of Fame for the 2011 class. The four candidates with the highest vote totals will be elected.

The finalists are led by three-time Kentucky Derby winning jockey Calvin Borel, who is a first-time contender. Other first time finalists are jockeys Garrett Gomez and John Velazquez, and trainer Jerry Hollendorfer.

Repeat finalists are jockey Alex Solis, trainers Gary Jones and Robert Wheeler, and thoroughbreds Open Mind, Safely Kept and Sky Beauty.

The 2011 Hall of Fame class will be revealed on Friday, May 13. The induction ceremony, which is free and open to the public, will be held in Saratoga Springs on Friday, August 12 at 10:30 a.m. (et).

Borel has won the Kentucky Derby the last two years, along with the 2007 Run for the Roses. The Louisiana native captured his first Kentucky Derby four years ago aboard Street Sense. In 2009 he rode 50-1 longshot Mine That Bird to victory and followed last year with Super Saver. He was aboard 2009 Horse of the Year Rachel Alexandra for all her starts.

Gomez has been one of the best jockeys in the U.S. for three decades. He began 2011 with 3,435 career wins and earnings of $194 million. Gomez won the Eclipse Award for Outstanding Jockey in 2007 and 2008.

Velazquez is also a two-time recipient (2004-05) of the Eclipse Award as champion jockey. In his career, Velazquez has earned more than $242 million and recorded more than 4,500 victories.

Solis has won nearly 4,900 races and has earned more than $222 million. In 1997 he was recognized with the George Woolf Memorial Jockey Award and rode Pleasantly Perfect to victory in the 2003 Breeders' Cup Classic.

The northern California racing scene has been dominated by Hollendorfer for almost 30 years. Last year he trained Eclipse Award winner Blind Luck, the top three-year-old filly of 2010. At the beginning of 2011, Hollendorfer had nearly 5,900 victories with earnings approaching $120 million.

Jones won 1,465 races from 7,900 starts for better than $52 million, He trained Hall of Fame thoroughbred Best Pal, who won the 1991 Pacific Classic and Swaps Stakes. He retired from training in 1996.

Wheeler trained from 1938 through 1992 and won 1,336 races. He had five winners of the Hollywood Juvenile Championship and trained 1982 Champion Older Female Track Robbery.

In a four-year career, Sky Beauty earned more than $1.3 million with 15 wins in 21 starts. The filly won the 1993 Alabama at Saratoga and swept the New York Filly Triple Crown of the Acorn, Mother Goose and Coaching Club American Oaks.

Safely Kept and Open Mind were both two-year-olds in 1988, when the former won the Eclipse Award as champion filly. Safely Kept won the 1989 Eclipse Award as champion sprinter. Open Mind won the 1988 Breeders' Cup Juvenile Fillies and swept the New York Filly Triple Crown the following year.

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