11/13/2011 2:00PM

Charles Town: Coin Collector among seven new members of track's Hall of Fame

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Mike Montgomery Photo
Larry Dupuy, now a steward at Charles Town, won six Breeders' Cup Classic races during his career as a jockey.

Coin Collector, a two-time winner of the West Virginia Breeders’ Classic, and Miss Prime, a mare nicknamed the “Citation of the bush league tracks,” are among the seven newest members of Charles Town’s Racing Hall of Fame.

The class of 2011, which will be inducted during a ceremony at the track on Saturday, Dec. 10, includes former jockeys Larry Duruy and Woody Kirk, West Virginia Breeders’ Classic founders Sam Huff and Carol Holden, along with Ann Hilton and Elwood Heironimus.

The Hall of Fame is comprised of individuals and horses with ties to Charles Town that have displayed superior performance or achievement in their careers in racing.  Candidates are voted on and inducted in one of four categories: Distinguished Achievement, Horse, Industry, and Jockey.

A gelding who was bred and owned by John A. Casey, Coin Collector won back-to-back runnings of the Classic in 1992 and 1993. As a 2-year-old of 1991, Coin Collector finished third in the Grade 2 Saratoga Special behind winner Caller I.D. Overall, he won 12 of 43 starts and close to $330,000.

Miss Prime, a foal of 1944, won 31 of 85 lifetime starts during a six-year racing career, winning at least one race from age 2 to 7, including a 10-for-24 record during her 6-year-old campaign in 1950. Trained by Babe Soportas, Miss Prime was called the “Citation of the bush league tracks” in a 1950 article in Life magazine.

Larry Dupuy rode 3,204 winners over the course of a career that included several riding titles at Charles Town.  Although he has not ridden since 2000, Dupuy still ranks as one of the top 10 jockeys in West Virginia Breeders’ Classics’ history with six wins. He is currently a steward at the track.

Woody Kirk rode his first winner at Charles Town in 1933 and was at or near the top of the jockey standings at the track for much of the 1930s and 1940s. He died in 1959 at age 43.

Huff and Holden, recognized in the distinguished achievement category, founded the West Virginia Breeders’ Classic program  in 1987 and went on to grow the event into one of the premier statebred days in U.S. racing. In addition, they co-host a weekly racing show on the Middleburg Broadcasting Network. 

Ann Hilton and Elwood Heironimus were recognized in the industry category. A longtime fixture at Charles Town, Hilton has been an owner and served a stint as president of the Charles Town Horsemen’s Benevolent and Protective Association.  Heironimus began working at Charles Town in 1941 as a stable hand. He was the racing secretary at next-door Shenandoah Downs from 1969 to 1978 and held the same position at Charles Town until 1984. He then worked as a steward until his retirement in the mid-1990s.