08/22/2001 11:00PM

Canadian Hall honors four

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ETOBICOKE, Ontario - A full house of approximately 500 was on hand at Woodbine on Thursday to welcome the 2001 inductees to the Canadian Horse Racing Hall of Fame.

Following Julie Krone's turn as guest speaker, Larry Attard was the first new inductee to be enshrined.

Attard, 49, retired from a successful riding career four years ago and is now a trainer here along with older brothers Joe, Tino, and Sid.

"They made me," said Attard, in his acceptance speech. "Without them, I'm sure I'm not here today."

Owner-breeder Frank Stronach was on hand to accept congratulations on behalf of Awesome Again, winner of the 1998 Breeders' Cup Classic, while owner Albert Coppola was present for Runaway Groom, whose exploits included a victory in the 1982 Travers.

The late Jack Hardy, a Manitoba-based owner-breeder who was a founder of Winnipeg's Assiniboia Downs, was the other inductee among Thoroughbred participants.

Woodbine television host Jim Bannon, who served as the master of ceremonies, noted the event will be moving after being held at Woodbine for the past seven years. Next year's locale will be the nearby Toronto Congress Centre, which will allow for a larger audience and provide more space for related fund-raising activities.

Bannon also announced the Canadian Hall of Fame will be expanding its "Legends of the Past" category this fall.