08/27/2009 11:00PM

2009 Canadian Hall class enshrined


ETOBICOKE, Ontario - A crowd of about 200 turned out Thursday evening at the nearby Mississauga Convention Centre to welcome the 2009 inductees to the Canadian Horse Racing Hall of Fame.

The annual ceremony and fundraising event, which included dinner, a silent auction, and a live auction, also featured a performance by Ontario comedian Derek Edwards and some entertaining and informative video presentations compiled by Woodbine's television department.

Gustav Schickedanz, inducted in the builders category in recognition of his legion accomplishments as an owner and breeder, was accompanied to the stage by his longtime farm manager Laurie Kenny and trainer Mike Keogh.

Kenny, who spoke on Schickedanz's behalf, cited not only his numerous successes but the hands-on role he continued to play in the operation at age 80.

Champions owned by Schickedanz and trained by Keogh have included Langfuhr, Wando, Woodcarver, and Mobil.

Peteski, who swept Canada's Triple Crown in 1993, was inducted in the male horse category.

His owner, Earle Mack, had flown up from Saratoga for the occasion but had to leave in order to catch his return flight. Trainer Roger Attfield accepted on his behalf.

"He was a great horse to train," said Attfield, himself an inductee in 1999.

Maryfield, who closed out her career with back-to-back victories in the 2007 Ballerina and Breeders' Cup Filly and Mare Sprint, was the next Thoroughbred to be honored, in the female horse category.

Claimed for $50,000 in the winter of 2006 at Santa Anita, Maryfield went on to be a multiple stakes winner for trainer Doug O'Neill. One of her co-owners, Nick Mestrandrea, was present for her induction.

"All we ever wanted was to race the horse and get a couple of wins," Mestrandrea said. "We never thought something like this would happen."

La Voyageuse was inducted into the veterans category for horses whose careers ended at least 20 years ago.

Pierre Levesque, son of the three-time champion racemare's late owner Jean-Louis Levesque, made the acceptance speech.

"La Voyageuse was my father's favorite," said Levesque. "I want to thank you all for remembering her."

Alywow was the fifth and final Thoroughbred inductee of the evening and the second in the female horse category.

Accepting on behalf of her owner and breeder, David Willmot, were Ian Black, longtime manager of the Willmot family's Kinghaven Farm, and trainer Attfield.

"She was a great mare for us," said Black, who foaled and raised Alywow and now is a successful trainer based at Woodbine.

The Canadian Horse Racing Hall of Fame, located at Woodbine, is a dual-breed facility, and three Standardbred inductees also were honored.

Concluding the evening was the presentation to the connections of Somebeachsomewhere, who wound up his highly successful harness racing career last year.