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May 08, 2015

Jockey and horse added to 2015 Hall of Fame class


Saratoga Springs, NY ( - The Historic Review Committee of the National Museum of Racing has announced that a pair of early 20th century racing figures have been elected to the National Museum of Racing's Hall of Fame. The committee selected jockey Vincent Powers and racehorse Billy Kelly to be inducted.

These two join two-time Santa Anita Handicap winner Lava Man, filly Xtra Heat, trainer King Leatherbury and late jockey Chris Antley as the newest members of the Racing Hall of Fame. The induction ceremony is to be held on Friday, Aug. 7 in Saratoga Springs.

Powers, born June 6, 1891 in Westfield, New York, is the only jockey in North American history to top the national standings as both a flat and steeplechase jockey. He was North America's champion jockey in 1908 (324 wins) and 1909 (173 wins) and champion steeplechase rider in 1917 (15 wins). He later became the champion steeplechase trainer of 1927 (19 wins). Powers trained until 1946 and died Oct. 19, 1966.

Billy Kelly raced from 1918, as a 2-year-old, until his 7-year-old season of 1923. He won 39 of 69 career starts with 14 seconds and seven thirds, winning a total of 19 stakes. The gelding was purchased as a 2-year-old for $25,000 by J. K. L. Ross and trained for the majority of his career by H. Guy Bedwell.

Billy Kelly was a stablemate of Hall of Fame racehorse Sir Barton, the first Triple Crown winner in 1919. Billy Kelly got the best of his champion stablemate in eight of 12 races.

The Historic Review Committee considers candidates whose careers were completed more than 25 years ago.

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