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Hall of Fame - Pillars of the Turf

Namesort ascending Inducted Biography
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.

 

William S. Farish 2019

William S. Farish was not being ironic when he named his Kentucky farm Lane’s End. The name evokes a charming country scene where a lightly traveled lane — perhaps not even paved — leads to a small farm tucked into the countryside. That is very much the image Farish had when he launched the operation in little Versailles, Kentucky, intending it to be far different from his 1,200-acre Huisache Ranch in Texas.

 

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.

 

Warren Wright, Sr. 2019

Born in Ohio and raised in Chicago, Warren Wright, Sr. became chairman of the Chicago-based Calumet Baking Power company in 1914, taking the reins from his father, William Monroe Wright, the company’s founder. The younger Wright led the Calumet company’s rise to remarkable prosperity, eventually selling it for $40 million in 1929 to the company that became General Foods.

 

Richard L. Duchossois 2019

It’s not often one compares a military operation to running a thoroughbred racetrack. In the case of Richard Duchossois, a Chicagoan born in 1921, the discipline and leadership skills he learned at military academy prep school and in the U.S. Army — where during World War II he landed at Utah Beach, saw action at the Battle of the Bulge, and led a tank division — is what made him the miracle worker at Arlington Park.

 

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.

 

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.

Ogden Phipps 2019

Ogden Phipps followed his mother, Gladys Mills Phipps, in establishing a thoroughbred racing stable, but it was a scenario far different from many generational baton handoffs. This was not a case of a young man observing a parent’s success for many years and then simply following the blueprint.

 

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.

 

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.

 

Marylou Whitney 2019

Marylou Whitney arrived at Hall of Fame trainer T. J. Kelly’s barn at the appointed time early one August morning at Saratoga Race Course during the final week of the 1993 summer meeting.

 

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.

 

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.”

 

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 Hettinger 2019

The world is not without its share of people who advocate for and protect horses, but for John Hettinger nothing was more central to his role in the racing industry than guaranteeing the enduring comfort and protections these beautiful animals had earned, day in and day out, for their participation on the racetrack.

 

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.”

 

James R. Keene 2019

James R. Keene always got up and dusted himself off wherever he was knocked down in life. Once back on his feet, he typically found a way to become more successful than before his setbacks.

 

James E. Bassett III 2019

Ted Bassett’s eventual involvement in thoroughbred racing was consistent with, but removed from, his earlier career proclivities. His father was one of the original officers of Keeneland Association and manager of Greentree Farm in Lexington, Kentucky, but Bassett’s experience as a farmhand instilled no wish for advancing along that path. 

 

Helen Hay Whitney 2019

Often referred to as the “First Lady of the American Turf,” Helen Hay Whitney guided the ascent of mighty Greentree Stable during some of thoroughbred racing’s most glorious years.

 

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.

 

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.”

 

Gladys Mills Phipps 2019

Gladys Mills Phipps made her first purchases of yearlings at the Saratoga sale in 1925, and several months later, on Feb. 4, 1926, Sturdy Stella won a quarter-mile dash at the old Miami track for her Wheatley Stable. 

 

Frank E. Kilroe 2019

Frank Eugene Kilroe, known to racetrackers from California to New York by his nickname “Jimmy,” was one of the most respected and influential figures in American thoroughbred racing during the second half of the 20th century.

 

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.”

 

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.

 

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.

 

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.

 

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.

 

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.

 

Christopher T. Chenery 2019

Christopher T. Chenery will always be associated with one of the greatest thoroughbreds of all time. Triple Crown champion Secretariat will figure prominently in any biography of this celebrated horseman, as will the name of his daughter, Penny Chenery, whose leadership in the sport earned her a spot in the Hall of Fame and, not to mention, a prominent role played by Diane Lane in the movie “Secretariat.”

 

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.

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.

 

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.

 

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.

 

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.