04/03/2013 5:05PM

Cigar, Safely Kept headline inaugural Maryland Thoroughbred Hall of Fame class

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Barbara D. Livingston
Champion sprinter Safely Kept is among the inaugual class of Maryland Thoroughbred Hall of Fame inductees.

The Maryland Horse Breeders Association and the Maryland Racing Media Association have announced the 12-horse inaugural class for the Maryland Thoroughbred Hall of Fame.

The inaugural class includes:

• Cigar, Horse of the Year in 1995 and 1996, who won a then-record 16 consecutive races.

• Safely Kept, champion sprinter of 1989.

• Broad Brush, winner of the 1987 Santa Anita Handicap and Suburban Handicap, leading sire of 1994.

• Challedon, Horse of the Year in 1939 and 1940.

• Gallorette, Champion handicap mare in 1946.

• Jameela, winner of the Grade 1 Maskette Stakes and Ladies Handicap in 1981 and the Grade 1 Delaware Handicap in 1982.

• Find, winner of 13 stakes races.

• Politely, winner of 13 stakes races.

• Twixt, winner of the Grade 1 Top Flight Handicap in 1975.

• Vertex, winner of nine stakes races.

• Elkridge, champion steeplechaser in 1942 and 1946.

• Jay Trump, first American-bred, owned, and ridden horse to win the English Grand National steeplechase in 1965.

A celebration for the inaugural class of inductees will be held at Pimlico Race Course on Saturday, May 11, featuring ceremonies, remembrances, and races named in honor of the inductees.

The horses were chosen for the inaugural class for one of three reasons: They were the only Maryland-breds in the National Racing Hall of Fame (Challedon, Cigar, Elkridge, Gallorette, Jay Trump, and Safely Kept); they were included in a comprehensive 1963 vote of state sportswriters who determined the greatest-ever racing Maryland-breds (Find and Vertex), or they were two-time Maryland-bred Horses of the Year not included in one of the previous two groups (Broad Brush, Jameela, Politely, and Twixt).

While the first group of inductees only consisted of equine competitors, future classes will be open to owners, trainers, and other notable people as well. Future classes will also be limited to no more than two equine inductees.

Information on the Hall of Fame horses, including biographies, photos, videos, and complete race records will be showcased online at www.mdthoroughbredhalloffame.com with plans to eventually build a physical facility.

“It’s virtual for now, but as we move forward with a horse industry museum here, we will make sure that the great Maryland-bred horses will have a place of honor,” said Cricket Goodall, executive director of the Maryland Horse Breeders Association. “It is important that their achievements be marked for all time.”

The Hall of Fame selection committee includes Goodall, MRMA President Ted Black, Frank Vespe, MRMA vice president and prominent racing blogger; Cindy Deubler and Anne Pennington of the Maryland Horse Breeders Association; Joe Clancy, Mid-Atlantic Thoroughbred editor and MRMA member; Josh Pons, Country Life Farm principal and Eclipse Award-winning writer; Katy Voss, trainer/breeder and a director of the Maryland Thoroughbred Horsemen’s Association; Georganne Hale, Maryland Jockey Club racing secretary; Jim McCue, MJC photographer; and Vinnie Perrone, Eclipse Award-winning writer.