04/10/2012 1:57PM

Canadian Hall of Fame: Jambalaya tops 2012 inductees

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Jambalaya wins the Grade 1 Arlington Million in 2007 at Arlington Park. He is is among the 2012 inductees to the Canadian Horse Racing Hall of Fame.

ETOBICOKE, Ontario – Jambalaya never won a Sovereign Award, as his major accomplishments came during a season in which he did not make the requisite three starts in Canada.

But, Jambalaya has been accorded an honor which has eluded many, many Sovereign Award winners as he is among the 2012 inductees to the Canadian Horse Racing Hall of Fame.

The inductees were announced on Tuesday following the vote of 20 members of the Hall of Fame election committee, who chose from lists of three candidates submitted by the group’s nominations committee in each of five categories.

Jambalaya, the choice in the male horse category, will be joined by Arravale, female horse; L’Alezane, in the veteran horse category; jockey Russell Baze; and the late Aubrey Minshall, in the builders category.

All will be honored, along with five Standardbred inductees, at the Canadian Horse Racing Hall of Fame’s annual dinner/awards ceremony on Aug. 16 at the nearby Mississauga Convention Centre.

Owned by his trainer Catherine Day Phillips in partnership with her husband, Todd Phillips, Jambalaya enjoyed his breakthrough season at age 5 in 2007 when he won the Grade 1 Arlington Million, the Grade 1 Gulfstream Park Handicap, and Gulfstream’s Grade 3 Pan American with all of his successes coming on the turf.

Away from the races for more than two years after his Arlington Million victory, Jambalaya returned with a win under allowance terms at Woodbine and then finished a close fifth in Belmont’s Grade 2 Red Smith Handicap.

That race turned out to be the Ontario-bred gelding’s last start, however, and Jambalaya was retired to a life of leisure at the Kingfield Farm of his owners in the summer of 2010.

Arravale, owned by Robert Costigan, was Canada’s Horse of the Year and champion turf female in 2006 for Hall of Fame trainer Mac Benson.

Bred in Kentucky, Arravale won Woodbine’s Grade 1 E.P. Taylor and the Grade 1 Del Mar Oaks while competing exclusively on the grass in her 3-year-old season. She retired to the broodmare ranks in the spring of 2008.

L’Alezane also was a Canadian Horse of the Year, earning that honor along with the Sovereign Award as Canada’s outstanding 2-year-old filly in 1977.

Owned by Jean-Louis Levesque and trained by Yonnie Starr, both of whom are in the Hall of Fame, L’Alezane won Keeneland’s Grade 2 Alcibiades and Saratoga’s Grade 3 Schuylerville and Grade 3 Adirondack.

L’Alezane’s eight wins in her first campaign also included the Princess Elizabeth and Shady Well at Woodbine and the Manitoba Futurity at Assiniboia Downs.

Baze, born in Vancouver, holds dual U.S.-Canadian citizenship but has campaigned almost exclusively south of the border.

Still going strong at age 53, Baze rode three winners at Golden Gate Fields last week to bring his all-time record Thoroughbred win total to 11,546.

Baze was inducted into Saratoga’s Thoroughbred Racing Hall of Fame in 1999.

Aubrey Minshall, who died in 1993, was the founder of Minshall Farm, which bred and raced a number of Canadian champions, including King Corrie, Dance for Donna, Bold Ruritana, and Mt. Sassafras, and multiple stakes winners including Kiridashi, Stephanotis and Sea Wall.

Unfortunately, most of Minshall’s success on the racetrack came after his death as his widow, Barbara Minshall, guided the stable through years which included her personal Sovereign Award as Canada’s outstanding trainer in 1996.