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Jockey Craig Perret among 9 finalists for racing HOF

February 14, 2019

SARATOGA SPRINGS, N.Y. (AP) — Jockey Craig Perret, trainers Mark Casse, Christophe Clement and the late David Whiteley, and five thoroughbreds are contemporary finalists for the National Museum of Racing’s 2019 Hall of Fame ballot.

The racehorses are Blind Luck, Gio Ponti, Havre de Grace, Rags to Riches and Royal Delta.

Results of the voting will be announced April 22. All candidates that receive majority approval of the voting panel will be elected to the Hall of Fame.

The hall’s induction ceremony will be held Aug. 2 in Saratoga Springs.

The 68-year-old Perret, a native of New Orleans, won 4,415 races with purse earnings of more than $113 million from 1967-2005. He captured the 1987 Belmont Stakes aboard Bet Twice, denying Alysheba the Triple Crown, and in 1990 won the Eclipse Award for outstanding jockey. Three years later, Perret won the Kentucky Derby with Unbridled. He also took four Breeders’ Cup races and had 208 graded stakes victories.

The 58-year-old Casse, a native of Indianapolis, has won 2,645 races to date with purse earnings of more than $157 million, eighth all-time, in a career that began in 1979. He has won seven races in the Canadian Triple Crown series — including the Queen’s Plate and Prince of Wales in 2018 with Wonder Gadot — and has 148 graded stakes wins.

Clement, 53, a native of Paris, has won 1,906 races with purse earnings of more than $127 million since 1991. He trained Gio Ponti, winner of four straight Grade 1s on the turf in 2009, as well as 2014 Belmont Stakes winner Tonalist, who won the Jockey Club Gold Cup two straight times (2014-15). In all, Clement has won 237 graded stakes.

Whiteley, a native of Easton, Maryland, won 678 races and had purse earnings of more than $11 million from 1970-95, trained Eclipse Award winners Waya, Revidere and Just a Game. In 1979, he won the Belmont Stakes with Coastal, denying Spectacular Bid the Triple Crown. Whiteley died at 73 in 2017.

Trained by Todd Pletcher, Rags to Riches won the Eclipse Award for champion 3-year-old filly in 2007 after her victory in the Belmont Stakes, the first filly to win the Belmont in 102 years. An injury to her right front leg forced her into retirement in 2008 with a record of 5-1-0 from seven starts and earnings of $1,342,528.

Royal Delta won the Eclipse Award for champion 3-year-old filly in 2011 and Eclipses for champion older mare the next two years. Trained by Hall of Famer Bill Mott, she won the Breeders’ Cup Ladies’ Classic two straight times (2011-12). She was retired after five years with a record of 12-5-1 from 22 starts and earnings of $4,811,126. Ten of her wins were in graded events, including six Grade 1s.

Trained by Hall of Famer Jerry Hollendorfer, Blind Luck won the 2010 Eclipse Award as champion 3-year-old filly and posted a career record of 12-7-2 from 22 starts with earnings of $3,279,520. She won 10 graded stakes in her career, including six Grade 1s.

Gio Ponti, a two-time winner of the Eclipse Award for champion turf male (2009-10) who also won the Eclipse for champion older male (2009), posted a career record of 12-10-1 from 29 starts and earned $6,169,800.

Havre de Grace won Eclipse Awards for horse of the year and champion older mare in 2011. Trained by Anthony Dutrow and Larry Jones, the bay filly had a career record of 9-4-2 from 16 starts and earnings of $2,586,175.

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