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Hall of Fame - Pillars of the Turf

Name Inducted Biography
Arthur B. Hancock, Sr. 2018

There are many ways to illustrate the impact Arthur Boyd Hancock, Sr. had on thoroughbred breeding and racing. One is to recite the following: On two occasions, American Triple Crowns were won by colts in the first crops of stallions Hancock had imported, and in both cases, Hancock had sold the winners’ dams to the breeders of those immortals.

 

August Belmont I 2018

August Belmont proved to be a most important benefactor to thoroughbred racing during an era when the sport was at a crossroads in America. In the aftermath of the Civil War, racing and breeding was in a desperate struggle to find its footing when Belmont entered the picture. Throughout a critical time in the sport’s history, Belmont served the game with distinction as an owner, breeder and influential leader, leaving behind a legacy that remains prominent today.

 

Cornelius Vanderbilt Whitney 2018

Cornelius Vanderbilt “Sonny” Whitney was a man of diverse interests. His numerous passions included the arts, daring entrepreneurial endeavors, motion pictures, philanthropy, politics, polo, service to his country and a love for thoroughbred racing. His was a life well led.

 

Cot Campbell 2018

There wasn’t any sort of multi-generational family love affair with thoroughbred racing that tugged on Cot Campbell’s heart strings and convinced him to enter the sport. As Campbell tells the tale, if he had gone by his father’s experience in the game he never would have gotten involved.

 

Dr. Charles H. Strub 2018

Some building projects might be described as monuments to those who envision, design or construct them. In the case of Santa Anta Park, the masterminds used nature as their cohort. For more than 80 years, going to the thoroughbred races at Santa Anita has gifted all who enter the gates with an extra vista for glorious appreciation. Added to the beauty of the horses themselves and the timeless racing venue, the backdrop is a section of the wonderous San Gabriel mountains — sometimes snow-capped, always handsome and a perennial reminder of nature’s proclivities. Dr. Charles H. Strub was one of those masterminds.

 

Elias J. "Lucky" Baldwin 2018

Elias Jackson Baldwin lived a life full of adventure. Fortune smiled upon him in numerous undertakings, but Baldwin never much cared for his nickname, “Lucky.” He accepted the moniker but resented its implications, once commenting “I’ve worked hard for everything I’ve gotten in life.”

 

Hal Price Headley 2018

Two of the 2018 Pillars of the Turf inductees elicited similar memorial superlatives from the thoroughbred racing media. Of Arthur B. Hancock, Sr., the Bloodstock Breeders’ Review of 1957 opined he was “probably the most influential breeder in the history of the American Turf.” After Hal Price Headley’s death five years later, The BloodHorse magazine countered with “in all-around mastery of the various aspects of thoroughbred racing and breeding, Headley had no equal among his contemporaries.”

 

Harry Payne Whitney 2018

Harry Payne Whitney had big shoes to fill both in American society and thoroughbred racing. He made it all look so very effortless.

 

John Morrissey 2018

Of all the longshots to achieve improbable glory in the storied history of American thoroughbred racing, there is arguably no more astonishing rags-to-riches odyssey than that of John Morrissey, the driving force behind the inaugural Saratoga meeting in 1863 and the founder of Saratoga Race Course. 

 

John W. Galbreath 2018

The elements of sportsmanship and vast industrial prowess coalesced uniquely for John W. Galbreath on the June day in 1963 when Chateaugay won the Belmont Stakes. The race took place at Aqueduct that year because its home, Belmont Park, was closed for extensive renovation. Galbreath was the owner and breeder of Chateaugay, and his firm had already built the new and handsome Aqueduct, which opened four years earlier; in due course, the Galbreath firm would complete the renovation of Belmont Park in time for the 100th running of the Belmont Stakes in 1968.

 

Penny Chenery 2018

Like Samuel D. Riddle in his ownership of Man o’ War, Helen “Penny” Chenery launched on a voyage with a strapping reddish racehorse and found that her identity would be ever inseparable from his. For Riddle, this engulfing synergy lasted for the final three decades of life. For Chenery, the intertwined identity lasted longer, the 44 years from Secretariat’s being ordained by the racing gods in 1973 until she passed away at age 95 in 2017. The magic had resonated more than a quarter-century after the great horse’s death in 1989 — and it continues.

 

William Collins Whitney 2018

William Collins Whitney was associated with thoroughbred racing for only a few years, but his imprint on the sport was arguably as significant as any individual in the history of the American turf and still resonates more than a century after his death.

 

John R. Gaines 2017

Of all the praises directed to the memory of John R. Gaines after his death in 2005, one of the most cogent was from Ted Bassett, whose many roles in the industry included serving as president of the Breeders’ Cup organization: “Beyond his well-known contributions to the industry — Gainesway Farm, Breeders’ Cup, National Thoroughbred Racing Association — the mark of the man for those who knew him will always be his intellectual curiosity, his deep appreciation of the arts and his willingness to challenge the status quo.”

 

Matt Winn 2017

A 14-year-old Louisville native named Martin J. Winn was among the crowd estimated at 10,000 when Aristides defeated 14 rivals on May 17, 1875 at Churchill Downs in the inaugural running of the Kentucky Derby. In the years that followed, Martin J. Winn became better known as Col. Matt Winn and the Kentucky Derby was transformed from a local event into America’s signature thoroughbred race. Much of the credit for the event’s development belongs to Winn, who saw every Derby in person from the first edition through Ponder’s victory 75 years later in 1949.

 

Ogden Mills Phipps 2017

Ogden Mills “Dinny” Phipps provided inspiration and leadership to the sport of thoroughbred racing in numerous capacities while at the same time overseeing one of its premier and most historic family legacies on the track. He was passionate about all matter pertaining to the sport and its reputation, as evidenced by the fact he dedicated much of his life to the betterment of the game.

 

Arthur B. Hancock, Jr. 2016

More than anything else, Arthur Boyd “Bull” Hancock, Jr. was identifiable as a working horseman, the first of his profession to be elected to The Jockey Club. One of the most astute and accomplished breeders in American racing history, Hancock was also a prominent and respected leader in the sport who built upon an already grand foundation to further develop and entrench historic Claiborne Farm as arguably the most important horse farm in the world.

 

William Woodward, Sr. 2016

The breeder and owner of Triple Crown winners Gallant Fox and Omaha and a longtime chairman of The Jockey Club, William Woodward, Sr. was one of the most significant figures in American racing during the 20th century.

 

Alfred G. Vanderbilt 2015

Alfred Gwynne Vanderbilt loved thoroughbred racing — and for seven decades of the 20th century, Vanderbilt contributed to racing in ways that greatly benefited the sport.

 

John Hay Whitney 2015

John Hay Whitney was described by racing journalist Kent Hollingsworth as being “as close to royalty as American racing ever had.”

 

E. P. Taylor E. P. Taylor 2014

Few figures in the history of thoroughbred racing have had as diverse an impact as E.P. Taylor. The breeding, racing and sales arms of the sport all benefited from his vision.

 

E. R. Bradley E. R. Bradley 2014

A combination of legend and fact are woven into the traditional tales of Col. Edward Riley Bradley, but there is no doubt that he was an American success story on a grand scale.

 

August Belmont II August Belmont II 2013

August Belmont II (1853-1924) was born in New York City and spent part of his childhood in The Hague, where his father was serving as U.S. Minister to the Netherlands.

Paul Mellon 2013

One of the most esteemed sportsmen of the 20th century, Paul Mellon (1907-1999) was the only son of financier, industrialist and Secretary of the Treasury Andrew W. Mellon.