from the Harness Racing Museum and Hall of Fame
The Living Horse Hall of Fame nominating committee of the Harness Racing Museum & Hall of Fame has announced the results of recent voting to determine the 2017 inductees into the Harness Racing Living Horse Hall of Fame. Museum members in good standing voted for the two horses they felt best exemplified greatness. Their choices are racehorses Mr Muscleman and Rock N Roll Heaven.
Broodmares Fox Valley Monika and Stienam’s Place will also be inducted into the Hall of Fame, having met the qualifications for broodmares.
Mr Muscleman, Rock N Roll Heaven, Fox Valley Monika and Stienam’s Place will be inducted on Hall of Fame Day, Sunday (July 2). The ceremonies honoring these extraordinary Standardbred horses will take place during the Harness Racing Museum & Hall of Fame’s annual dinner. For information on the Hall of Fame weekend and other festivities surrounding this important occasion visit www.harnessmuseum.com from April 2017 onward or call or write the Museum at 240 Main St., Goshen, NY 10924. Phone: 845.294.6330.
Currently, Standardbreds are only eligible for nomination to harness racing’s highest accolade if they comply with the following strict criteria:
They must be retired from racing for five years and had a drug-free career. In addition, racehorses must have won 75 percent of their lifetime starts, or gone undefeated in a single season campaign of 12 or more races, or been the winner of $3 million lifetime or named Harness Horse of the Year (US and/or Canada).
Stallions must rank among the 10 all-time leading money-winning sires at their gait or have sired at least 100 $200,000 winners or been a leading money-winning sire at his gait in three or more seasons.
Broodmares are automatically elected if they have produced a $1 million winner and two other winners of $500,000 or produced a Harness Horse of the Year (US and/or Canada) and another $500,000 winner.
The 2017 Living Horse Hall of Fame Inductees:
(Nominated as racehorse)
5,1:51.1s ($3,582,823) Bay Gelding, 2000
(Muscles Yankee – Meadowbranch Irene – Meadow Road)
Mr Muscleman raced from 2002-2007. At the time of his retirement, he was ranked ninth among the leading moneywinning trotters of all time and is currently ranked fourth among North American trotters. Mr Muscleman recorded 37 wins out of 69 starts, finishing off the board only eight times in six seasons of racing.
In 11 starts as a 2-year-old in 2002, Mr Muscleman had five wins, including the Bluegrass and Harold Dancer Memorial.
The following year, victories in the Breeders Crown, Canadian Trotting Classic and Kentucky Futurity contributed to Mr Muscleman being voted 2003’s 3-year-old Trotting Colt of the Year. His earnings of $1,178,115 were the most ever by a 3-year-old trotting gelding.
In 2004, winning the Maple Leaf Trot and American-National helped earn Mr Muscleman the title of Older Trotting Male of the Year in both the U.S. and Canada.
In 2005, 5-year-old Mr Muscleman’s victories included the Breeders Crown, Maple Leaf Trot, Titan Cup and Classic Series, where he set his record 1:51.1s. His season’s earnings of $1,364,220 were the most ever by an older Standardbred gelding and made Mr Muscleman the only Standardbred to earn $1 million in two non-consecutive seasons of North American racing. He was voted 2005 Trotter of the Year and Older Trotting Male of the Year.
In 2007, 7-year-old Mr Muscleman finished a close second in Sweden’s Elitlopp and won all four of his North American starts.
Persistent soundness issues forced his retirement in 2008. Mr Muscleman has been a resident of the Kentucky Horse Park’s Hall of Champions since October 2009.
Rock N Roll Heaven
(Nominated as racehorse)
p,3,1:47.3 ($2,748,818) Bay Horse, 2007
(Rocknroll Hanover – Artistic Vision – Artsplace)
At the time of his retirement from racing, 2010 Horse of the Year and world champion Rock N Roll Heaven was the tenth-leading single-season moneywinning Standardbred of all time, recording 20 wins out of 30 career starts.
In 2009, 2-year-old Rock N Roll Heaven finished on the board in each of his nine starts, with four wins, including the New Jersey Sire Stakes final and the Bluegrass. He earned $592,626 and set a world record 1:50.3 for 2-year-old pacing colts on a five-eighths-mile track.
In 2010, 3-year-old Rock N Roll Heaven won 16 of 21 starts, earning $2,156,192, and was that year’s leading moneywinning Standardbred. Major victories included the Breeders Crown, Little Brown Jug, Tattersalls Pace, Battle of the Brandywine, Messenger Stakes, Bluegrass Stakes, Matron Stakes final, Berry’s Creek final and the New Jersey Sire Stakes final. Rock N Roll Heaven was elected 2010 Dan Patch Horse of the Year, Dan Patch Pacer of the Year, and Dan Patch and O’Brien 3-year-old Pacing Colt of the Year.
In winning the Little Brown Jug in record time (1:49.2h), Rock N Roll Heaven became the first horse to pace two sub-1:50 miles on the same day, while setting the world record for pacing on a half-mile track in a two-heat race and the record for 3-year-old pacers on the half-mile.
In 2010 he paced a record 11 sub-1:50 race miles (seven consecutive), with victories in 1:49.2 or faster on half-mile, five-eighths-mile, seven-eighths and mile tracks.
Fox Valley Monika
Incredible Finale – Lady Kin – Cam Fella
Bred by Fox Valley Standardbreds, broodmare Fox Valley Monika was foaled on April 29, 1998 in Sherman, Ill. The progeny that qualified Fox Valley Monika for the Hall of Fame are Glass Pack p,4,1:49.4 ($1,002,820), Doubletrouble p,5,1:50 ($702,203) and Our Dragon King p,4,1:49.1 ($523,801).
To date, Fox Valley Monika has produced three fillies and six colts, with seven starters and earnings of $2,937,769.
Artsplace – Stienam’s Girl – Nihilator
Bred by James Leadbetter, Richard Stansley and John Powell, Jr., broodmare Stienam’s Place was foaled on May 2, 1994 in Lexington, Ky. A world champion, Stienam’s Place raced for two years, winning the 1996 Sweetheart Pace and the 1997 Breeders Crown and Mistletoe Shalee. She earned more than $1,400,000 in her racing career and was voted 1997 Dan Patch 3-year-old Pacing Filly of the Year.
The progeny that qualified Stienam’s Place for the Hall of Fame are Put On A Show p,5,1:47.3 ($2,406,628), Showherthemoney p,3,1:49 ($871,161) and Good Day Mate p,3,1:49.3f ($503,349).
To date, Stienam’s Place has produced seven fillies and four colts, with nine starters and earnings of $4,551,107.