08/17/2012 9:35AM

Canadian Hall of Fame: Russell Baze, Aubrey Minshall, Jambalaya among inductees

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Iron Horse Photo
Sandy Hawley (right) makes a presentation to Russell Baze, who was inducted into the Canadian Racing Hall of Fame on Thursday night.

ETOBICOKE, Ontario – Trainer Barbara Minshall, speaking on behalf of her late husband, Aubrey Minshall, delivered what was perhaps the most emotional acceptance speech of the evening at the Canadian Horse Racing Hall of Fame induction ceremonies on Thursday night.

Aubrey Minshall was honored in the builder category and Jamie Martin, senior vice president of racing for the Woodbine Entertainment Group and a director of the Canadian Horse Racing Hall of Fame, made the presentation.

“This is really something he had worked for for a long, long time,” said Minshall, addressing an audience of some 260 people at the nearby Mississauga Convention Centre.

“He was born in Guyana, and came here from Trinidad with nothing. He made it all happen.

“Only his dreams and determination made him succeed in what he wanted to do. Unfortunately, he never got to see the true result of his breeding program.”

Aubrey Minshall, founder of Minshall Farm, was honored posthumously with Sovereign Awards as Canada’s outstanding owner and breeder in 1996. His homebred Mt. Sassafras was the Canadian Horse of the Year and Barbara Minshall was voted outstanding trainer.

A total of five Thoroughbred inductees and five from the Standardbred side were honored at the annual gathering which also is the main fund-raising event for the Canadian Horse Racing Hall of Fame and included live and silent auctions.

Sandy Hawley, himself a Hall of Famer in both Canada and the United States, presented rider Russell Baze with his Canadian Horse Racing Hall of Fame ring.

Baze, born in Canada, is closing in on 11,700 races won and is North America’s all-time race-winning rider. The 54-year-old Baze was inducted into the Saratoga Horse Racing Hall of Fame in 1999.

Jambalaya, who in 2007 became the first Canadian-bred to win the Grade 1 Arlington Million, was this year’s inductee in the male horse category.

Catherine Day-Phillips trained Jambalaya and owned the gelding in partnership with her husband, Todd Phillips.

“Through the seven years he was in training, he touched the lives of so many people,” said Day Phillips, who has given Jambalaya a permanent home at her family’s Kingfield Farm.

“I’m happy and proud to be associated with him.”

Lou Cauz, who was inducted into the “builder” category in 2008, presented the award to Day Phillips and himself was the recipient of a special award of merit earlier in the evening.

Cauz, a founder of the Canadian Horse Racing Hall of Fame, also was its longtime managing director before retiring this year. He is now director emeritus of the organization.

Arravale, Canada’s Horse of the Year in 2006, was honored in the female horse category.

“It’s wonderful recognition of a tremendous filly,” said Arravale’s owner, Bob Costigan, upon accepting the award from Ontario Canadian Thoroughbred Horse Society president and Canadian Horse Racing Hall of Fame director Glenn Sikura.

Arravale’s trainer, Mac Benson, was inducted in 2002.

L’Alezane, a filly who was Canada’s Horse of the Year as a 2-year-old in 1977, was honored in the veteran horse category.

Pierre Levesque son of L’Alezane’s late owner, Jean-Louis Levesque, accepted the award from Tom Cosgrove, co-chair of the nominating and election committees for the Canadian Horse Racing Hall of Fame.

“She was my favorite horse of all time,” said Levesque.

Jean-Louis Levesque, in the builder category, and Yonnie Starr, L’Alezane’s trainer, are longstanding inductees.

Trainer Patrick MacMurchy and jockey John Dewhurst were inducted into the Hall of Fame in the Thorougbred “Legends” category.

The Standardbred inductees were male horses Astreos and Kadabra; female horse Mystic Mistress; “builder” Charles Juravinski; and driver/trainer Dave Wall.

The trotter Dalyce Blue and pioneering female trainer/driver Mildred Williams were the Standardbred “Legends” inductees.