The Equine Elite – Six horses inducted into the Hall of Fame

The trio of horses selected to enter the Living Hall of Fame are a diverse and worthy group. Art Major was nominated as a stallion and racehorse, while the gelded Foiled Again did his best work as an older horse. Captaintreacherous was a two-time Pacer of the Year as a freshman and sophomore.

Three broodmares—Graceful Touch, Southwind Serena and Delinquent Account—will accompany their male counterparts. Graceful Touch and Southwind Serena will become Living Horse Hall of Fame members, while Delinquent Account will enter the Immortal Hall of Fame.

Hoof Beats is pleased to present the following profiles to celebrate the careers of these latest equine Hall of Fame inductees.


Beat the Drum
Art Major enters the Hall of Fame after a sterling career on and off the track
story by Charlene Sharpe

On the racetrack, Art Major won 32 of 49 starts, earning $2.7 million in the process. As a stallion, the son of Artsplace sired the winners of more than $125 million, with his first two crops highlighted by standouts such as Art Official and Hypnotic Blue Chip.

“Look at his whole body of work, as a racehorse and a sire,” said John Campbell, his regular driver. “He’s one of the all-time greats.”

Bred by Brittany Farms, Art Major was the sixth foal from the Nihilator mare Perfect Profile. He was no “killer yearling,” but his breeders were nonetheless disappointed when he brought only $65,000 at the Tattersalls Yearling Sale in September 2000—especially considering he was a full brother to Perfect Art ($576,983) and half sibling to Affluence (Life Sign, $287,264).

“I never looked at him as one of the greats, but he was one of the nice ones we raised,” Art Zubrod, Brittany Farms general manager, recalled.

As a 2-year-old, Art Major, trained by Chris Ryder, made seven starts, winning four races and earning $81,515. He took a record of 1:54.3 in a division of the Reynolds Memorial at The Downs at Mohegan Sun Pocono.

Although the first win of his sophomore season was slow to arrive and took seven attempts, Art Major’s victory at Woodbine Racetrack for new trainer William Robinson on June 24, 2002, would kick off a four-race win streak. That summer, the colt went on to win the $450,000 Hoosier Cup in 1:50.4, the $326,970 Confederation Cup in 1:51.1 and the $369,188 Cane Pace in 1:53.1.

“He was pretty much unstoppable for a while,” Zubrod said.

After a fourth-place finish in that year’s $334,057 final of the Little Brown Jug, Art Major launched yet another string of wins with a victory in an $89,000 division of the Bluegrass Stake at Red Mile. From there he went on to trounce his competition in the $500,000 Breeders Crown final—defeating Allamerican Ingot in the elimination as well—in addition to the $209,500 James Dancer Memorial and $335,000 Progress Pace finals.

“He was very easy to drive,” Campbell said. “You just pointed him out of the gate. He did the rest.”

Art Major ended the year with 20 wins and earnings of $1.56 million, the most of any Standardbred that year. He was voted both the Dan Patch and O’Brien 3-Year-Old Pacing Colt of the Year.

Blue Chip Farms’ Tom Grossman was among the pacer’s admirers.

“I was really drawn to the horse,” he said. “He had some bad luck and didn’t have a genuine stud deal by the end of his 3-year-old year. My father and I decided to go for it.”

They bought 50 percent of Art Major, but opted not to immediately focus on his breeding career. Though it was relatively uncommon then, they decided to race Art Major through his 4-year-old season.

“We felt he’d make some money and improve his stud value,” Grossman said.

It proved to be the right call, as Art Major won eight of 11 starts, finishing second in the three races he didn’t win. The pacer kicked off the year with victories in a free-for-all pace at Mohawk Racetrack and an invitational at Hoosier Park. He finished second in the $150,000 Battle of Lake Erie but bounced back to win a free-for-all pace at Woodbine a few weeks later in 1:49.4 for driver Chris Christoforou.

Campbell, who’d spent months recovering from an injury, recalled his reunion with Art Major in July 2003 easily. It was the $350,000 U.S. Pacing Championship at The Meadowlands. Campbell was back in the bike for the first time in months and Art Major was coming off a rare pair of defeats.

“I left the gate going a hundred miles an hour and raced him extremely hard,” he said.

The pacer’s endurance, which Campbell had always admired, didn’t fail him that night. He crossed the wire a neck ahead of Four Starzzz Shark, taking a new lifetime mark of 1:48.4.

“It was a tremendous effort,” Campbell said. “And coming back from an injury, it was a really big win for me.”

Art Major closed out his racing career with victories in the $609,760 Canadian Pacing Derby and $540,000 Breeders Crown, again earning Dan Patch and O’Brien honors.

In the ensuing 14 years, he would go on to earn nearly as much acclaim as a stallion as he did on the racetrack. His initial crop of 137 registered foals resulted in 118 starters who went on to earn $15.47 million.

He went on to sire 22 foals with sub-1:49 records. His offspring have won more than $125 million and include nine millionaires, most notably Art Official p,3,1:47 ($2,082,885), JK Endofanera p,3,1:48.2 ($2,049,580), Hypnotic Blue Chip p,4,1:47.2 ($1,787,311) and Santanna Blue Chip p,1:51s ($1,666,701).

“The best attribute of him and his offspring is lung capacity,” Grossman said. “They never get tired. His numbers really picked up in the second half of his career.”

Grossman believes what also made Art Major’s stud career impressive is the fact that he spent it traveling between hemispheres. Grossman, who was relatively new to breeding at the time, traveled to Asia for business and decided to explore the possibility of breeding in both Australia and the U.S.

“People said it couldn’t be done,” he said. “I didn’t understand why.”

He spent months researching the concept and connected with contacts in Australia. The rest is history.

“He was really the first premier stallion to shuttle to the Southern Hemisphere,” Grossman said. “He earned the shareholders as much in Australia as here.”

Grossman is thrilled to see Art 
Major being recognized for his widespread impact on the sport. The pacer was nominated to the Hall of Fame both as a stallion and a racehorse.

“Each would qualify separately,” Grossman said, “but together—racing at 4 when that was almost taboo, his stallion stats, his longevity—it’s amazing. He’s been a blessing from day one. He certainly deserves to be in the Hall of Fame.” HB

Charlene Sharpe is a freelance writer living in Delaware.
To comment on this story, email us at readerforum@ustrotting.com.


Hail to the Chief
Captaintreacherous enters the Hall of Fame
story by Matt Dorsey

Until a colt has been tested in an actual race, a trainer doesn’t really know how good a horse he has on his hands. Certainly, he can’t know the colt he’s been working with will be a record-shattering Hall of Famer.

Still, early in 2012, Tony Alagna could tell Captaintreacherous, by Somebeachsomewhere out of Worldly Treasure, was extraordinary.

“The last time I trained him to the bike at The Meadowlands before he qualified as a 2-year-old, he was just exceptionally good,” Alagna said. “And when I asked him one more time right down by the wire, he just hit another gear, and I wasn’t even to the bottom of the tank yet. So I knew that day we had something special.”

It wouldn’t take long before Alagna and the rest of the harness racing world would find out just how special.

Guided by Tim Tetrick, his only driver, Captaintreacherous finished second and first, respectively, in his first two races and then entered the $309,050 Woodrow Wilson final at The Meadowlands the 3–10 favorite. He didn’t just win that race; he dominated. After taking the lead shortly before the half-mile marker, he kept pushing forward, winning by 10¼ lengths in a time of 1:49.3, a track and stakes record.

“He did that with just ultimate ease,” Tetrick said.

That event marked the first time a 2-year-old had ever completed a mile under 1:50 at the Meadowlands. The sub-1:50 mile became a calling card for the colt that year; he recorded times of 1:49.3 and 1:49.2 with wins in the Metro Pace elimination and final, respectively, at Mohawk Racetrack, and became the first 2-year-old in history to win with three sub-1:50 miles.
Captaintreacherous was on the board in all 10 of his freshman starts, winning eight, and earning $918,253. He was awarded the 2012 Dan Patch Pacer of the Year trophy, becoming the first 2-year-old since Niatross given the honor in nearly 25 years.

While no one can predict that kind of success, it didn’t surprise Alagna or Tetrick.

“The first time I sat behind him, I loved him,” Tetrick said. “You never know if they’re going to go like he did and win almost every race he was in, but I knew he was very special, and he was going to be one that people would talk about.”

Now, with his upcoming induction into the Living Horse Hall of Fame, it is certain Captaintreacherous will be remembered for years to come.

Amazing as his freshman campaign was, following it with a season in which he earned $2.05 million in purse money and compiled a record of 16-13-2-0 ensured his place in the history books.

“He won the North America Cup, the Hempt, and the Meadowlands Pace within six weeks, which is a huge accomplishment,” Alagna said. “It’s very tough for any horse to do that.”

Also tough: racing a mile in 1:47.1, a mark Captaintreacherous recorded in a $95,500 division of the Bluegrass Stakes at Red Mile on Sept. 28, 2013. That time—his career best—places him into genuinely rarefied company, alongside some of the fastest Standardbreds ever.

Other notable wins that year included the $360,211 Cane Pace, the $256,000 American-National Stake, the $215,500 Tattersalls Pace division and the $500,000 Breeders Crown final. Once again, Captaintreacherous was awarded Pacer of the Year.

The success came naturally to the colt, who both Alagna and Tetrick described as being very easy to work with.
“He’s like a big puppy dog, like anybody can handle him,” Alagna said. “He was very laid back, never aggressive. You’d never know he was a stallion to be around him.”

A puppy dog with a killer instinct for speed, perhaps. Tetrick described how Captaintreacherous would take the lead, then save his energy for late in the race, waiting for another horse to make a move.

“[Then] he would dig in, and it took a bearcat to get by him, that was for sure,” Tetrick said.

Following a 4-year-old season in which Captaintreacherous established a resume of 7-2-2-1 and banked $175,371, he was retired to stud duty at Hanover Shoe Farms, which has already yielded great results.

His first crop began racing last year with total earnings of $3.3 million, establishing him as the year’s leading sire of 2-year-old pacers.

Ten of Captaintreacherous’ progeny from that first crop earned over $100,000, with Breeders Crown and Dan Patch winner Captain Crunch leading the pack with $616,113 earned in a 10-6-1-1 freshman campaign.

Alagna has trained many of the now 3-year-olds sired by Captaintreacherous and said he has seen some of his best traits in them.

“I think a lot of the things that he had, which were a great gait, great work ethic, and they show up to work every day,” Alagna said. “They take good care of themselves. I think there’s a lot of those characteristics that he had that he’s passing onto his progeny.”

Now 9, Captaintreacherous likely has many successful years as a stallion ahead of him. This July, however, he will be commemorated for his prowess on the racetrack, something that Tetrick will always remember fondly.

“He’s probably the best horse I ever sat behind,” he said. “Every day I keep looking for another one like him and they’re hard to find.” HB

Matt Dorsey is a freelance writer and former Hoof Beats intern living in Ohio.
To comment on this story, email us at readerforum@ustrotting.com.


Ageless Wonder
Foiled Again enters Hall of Fame immediately upon retirement
story by Charlene Sharpe

In July of 2008, the Burke stable welcomed a modestly successful 4-year-old pacer. While he showed plenty of speed, the son of Dragon Again had just a handful of wins.

“We thought he’d be a good 4-year-old $50,000 claimer,” trainer Ron Burke said.

A decade later, Burke, along with just about every harness racing fan in America, watched as that pacer ended his career with 109 wins and a
record-breaking $7.63 million in earnings Dec. 31, 2018.

“Foiled Again has done things no other horse has done and his longevity and the style in which he did it truly separate him,” Burke said.

Foiled Again’s induction into the Living Horse Hall of Fame isn’t a surprise to anyone who followed his career, the likes of which had never been seen before. While he won races as a 2- and 3-year-old, Foiled Again—out of the Artsplace mare In A Safe Place—attracted little attention. As a 4-year-old, however, he hit his stride, earning in one season three times as much as he earned his first two years on the track. His success only multiplied from there.

As a 7-year-old in 2011, Foiled Again won the $306,000 Molson Pace, the $335,000 Quillen Memorial, the $246,000 Graduate final, the $205,000 Indiana Pacing Derby and the $175,000 American-National Stake, marking his first $1 million season. In fact, his earnings of $1.4 million made him the top single-season money-winning older pacing gelding ever. He was voted Dan Patch Pacer of the Year as well as the Dan Patch and O’Brien Older Pacing Horse of the Year.

Foiled Again went on to record two more $1 million-plus seasons as an 8- and 9-year-old. The fastest win of the pacer’s career came when he was a 9-year-old, as he set a world record for all age pacing geldings of 1:48 in the Ben Franklin elimination at The Downs at Mohegan Sun Pocono. A few months later, he became the oldest horse to ever win a Breeders Crown, defeating the likes of Pet Rock, Sweet Lou and Golden Receiver in the $500,000 final.

“That was a really special race,” driver Yannick Gingras recalled.

Gingras, who was in the sulky for many of Foiled Again’s key wins, credits the pacer with boosting his own success.
“I always will have a lot of respect for what he did for my career,” Gingras said.

In 2014, a 10-year-old Foiled Again won his third Quillen Memorial at Harrington Raceway. Parked at the quarter pole, he eventually made the front and didn’t look back, crossing the wire a neck in front of Clear Vision in 1:50.2.

“He always liked to be involved,” Gingras said. “He was never a horse that liked to sit in back. If you tried to race him easy, it didn’t work out.”

Long past the time most Standardbreds retire, Foiled Again remained a hard-hitting competitor at tracks throughout the U.S. and Canada. By then, his achievements had earned him respect even beyond the confines of the harness racing industry. He caught the interest of young horse lovers everywhere when he became one of the select few equines to be honored with a Breyer horse model of his own in 2015.

In 2018, he surpassed yet another milestone as he won his 100th race at Harrah’s Philadelphia, crossing the wire first in 1:53. With that momentous achievement accomplished, Foiled Again spent the last few months of his racing career on a farewell tour, making special appearances throughout the country. He competed at a number of fairs, providing fans of all ages and backgrounds with the opportunity to see one of the sport’s biggest names.

Tim Harless, director of racing at the Darke County (Ohio) Fair, was thrilled to have Foiled Again compete there, particularly since the pacer had been entered in the fair’s Gene Riegle Memorial the previous year but failed to get in. Foiled Again arrived at the fair track in Greenville, Ohio—a town considered a veritable harness racing hotbed—after a third-place finish at Celina. Harless and thousands of others waited with bated breath as Foiled Again went behind the gate.

“He drew the six-hole,” Harless said. “We score six wide and after a scratch there are five in the race. Chris Page left hard with him and I’m scared to death they’re going to hang him. He gets a seat but then he’s still got to come first up. He just kept going and going. It was stunning to watch him race.”

Foiled Again won 11 races in his final season on the track, ending his career not a day sooner than he had to. Although he might have slowed down slightly in his last few seasons, Burke said the pacer never experienced any lameness issues.
“His legs at the end still looked like a young horse’s legs,” Burke said.

Gingras agreed and credited Burke with keeping the gelding sound.

“Ronnie’s done a great job with a lot of horses, being able to bring them back year after year,” he said.

Foiled Again, who continues to make celebrity appearances at various racetracks and events, will enter the Hall of Fame with 109 wins and as the only Standardbred to have earned more than $1 million in three consecutive seasons.

“I don’t think you could find a reason not to put him in the Hall of Fame,” Gingras said.

Burke was amazed at the way Foiled Again was able to transform his success on the track into a source of excitement for fans throughout the country as he worked his way from state to state as a harness racing ambassador.

“I can’t believe how much people love him,” he said. “I’m very proud.” HB

Charlene Sharpe is a freelance writer living in Delaware.
To comment on this story, email us at readerforum@ustrotting.com.


Living Horse Hall of Fame Broodmares

Graceful Touch
Bred by Peter Eriksson of Soraker, Sweden, broodmare Graceful Touch was foaled on Feb. 23, 2000. During her racing career, she was owned by Perretti Farms. She is currently owned by Steve Stewart, Black Creek Farm and Maumee River Stables.

Graceful Touch has 11 registered foals with six starters and $1,940,270 in total earnings. Her most successful offspring are 2010 Hambletonian winner Muscle Massive 3,1:51 ($1,239,138) and 2010 Merrie Annabelle winner Thatsnotmyname 2,1:55 ($340,730). Son Muscle Mass 2,1:53.4 ($229,000) is the sire of the sub-1:50 2018 3-year-old world champions Six Pack 3,1:49.1 ($1,389,290) and Plunge Blue Chip 3,1:49.4 ($1,010,034).

Southwind Serena
Bred by Southwind Farm in Pennington, N.J., 2007 Breeders Crown winner Southwind Serena was foaled on April 18, 2004. During her racing career, she was owned by Andrea Lea Racing Stables. She is currently owned by Steve Stewart, Black Creek Farm and Andrea Lea Racing Stables.

Southwind Serena has six registered foals with four starters and $3,101,926 in total earnings. Her most successful offspring are 2014 2-year-old Trotting Filly of the Year and Breeders Crown winner, 2015 3-year-old Trotting Filly of the Year, and world champion Mission Brief 3,1:50.2f ($1,599,587); and 2018 Breeders Crown winner Tactical Landing 3,1:50.2 ($812,300).

Immortals Hall of Fame

Delinquent Account
Broodmare Delinquent Account produced 13 foals, including two-time Breeders Crown winner Artiscape, sire of eight millionaires, including 2004 Horse of the Year and Hall of Famer Rainbow Blue. Delinquent Account also produced Hall of Fame broodmare Arterra, dam of world champion If I Can Dream, a Breeders Crown and Messenger Stakes winner.

133 More posts in Hoof Beats Magazine category
Recommended for you
Hoof Beats July 2019

Features The Highest Honor: Twelve people to enter the Hall of Fame Pursuing His Passion...