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Apr 27, 2012

Velazquez, Ghostzapper lead Racing Hall of Fame inductees


Saratoga Springs, NY (Sports Network) - Eclipse Award winning jockey John Velazquez and former Horse of the Year Ghostzapper are among four to be elected into this year's National Museum of Racing's Hall of Fame class. Joining them are trainers Roger Attfield and Robert Wheeler.

Additional inductees will be determined by the Historic Review Committee of the National Museum of Racing. The committee considers candidates whose careers were completed more than 25 years ago.

Velazquez, who was under consideration last year, was voted champion jockey in 2004 and 2005. He has earned more than $263 million during his riding career which includes 4,803 wins and 733 stakes. Last year he rode Animal Kingdom to victory in the Kentucky Derby and guided the filly Rags to Riches in winning the 2007 Belmont Stakes.

Ghostzapper was named Horse of the Year for 2004 after winning all four starts. Included in those four wins was the Breeders' Cup Classic in a stakes- record time of 1:59.02. Trained by Hall of Fame member Bobby Frankel, the colt also won the Woodward Stakes, Tom Fool Handicap, and Iselin Handicap during his championship season. He retired with nine wins in 11 starts for $3,446,120.

Based in Canada, Attfield has been a member of the Canadian Horse Racing Hall of Fame since 1999. He has saddled winners of 1,731 races for better than $88 million. Voted Canada's champion trainer eight times, Attfield has won the country's premier stakes, the Queen's Plate, eight times and saddled Perfect Shirl to victory in last year's Breeders' Cup Filly and Mare Turf.

Wheeler trained from 1938 to 1992 and won 1,336 races. Training for owners such as C.V. Whitney and Nelson Bunker Hunt, Wheeler won the Santa Anita Derby, Blue Grass Stakes and in 1982 Track Robbery was voted champion older female.

The class of 2012 will be inducted on Friday, Aug. 10, in Saratoga Springs at the Fasig-Tipton sales pavilion at 10:30 a.m. (ET).

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