Updated on 03/04/2012 2:19AM

Ghostzapper, Borel among Hall of Fame finalists

Adam Coglianese
Ghostzapper is among the 10 finalists for the 2012 class of the National Museum of Racing's Hall of Fame.

Ghostzapper, the 2004 Horse of the Year; two-time champions Ashado and Housebuster, and Eclipse Award winner Xtra Heat are the four horses who join four jockeys and two trainers as the 10 finalists for this year’s ballot to the National Museum of Racing’s Hall of Fame, the Hall announced Friday.

The four jockeys who made the ballot are Calvin Borel, Garrett Gomez, Alex Solis, and John Velazquez, all of whom are still active. Roger Attfield and the late Bob Wheeler are the two trainers.

The 10 finalists were chosen by a 16-member nominating committee that sifted through 82 original nominations. Under the Hall of Fame’s current rules, the nominating committee has to pare the final ballot to 10 entities, but there is no quota for horses, jockeys, or trainers.

There are nearly 200 people who will now receive Hall of Fame ballots, and those voters can choose as many of the 10 finalists as they wish. The four receiving the most votes will be this year’s induction class. As with the nominating committee, voters do not have a quota on whom they select. In theory, for instance, all four horses, or all four jockeys, could be the four inductees. Voters can mix and match from the 10 as they prefer.

The winners will be announced April 23. The induction ceremony is Aug. 10 in Saratoga Springs, N.Y.
The four jockeys and Wheeler were all on the ballot last year, but failed to finish in the top four. The four horses and Attfield are new to the ballot.

Those who did not make the final ballot, but who were eligible this year, included Barbaro, the 2006 Kentucky Derby winner; and trainer Steve Asmussen.

Ghostzapper ran just 11 times, but won nine, including the 2004 Breeders’ Cup Classic, which clinched his title as Horse of the Year.

Ashado was the champion 3-year-old filly of 2004, when she won the Kentucky Oaks and the Breeders’ Cup Distaff. She was the champion older female of 2005 and won Grade 1 races at ages 2, 3, and 4.

Housebuster was the Eclipse Award-winning sprinter in 1990 and 1991. He won 15 times in 22 starts.

As with Housebuster, Xtra Heat was a brilliant sprinter, but she got her lone Eclipse Award as champion 3-year-old filly in 2001. She won 26 times in 35 starts.

Borel is best known as a three-time winner of the Kentucky Derby. He has won more than 4,900 races. He was the regular rider for Rachel Alexandra, the 2009 Horse of the Year.

Gomez is a two-time Eclipse Award winner and has won more than 3,500 races. He has won 12 Breeders’ Cup races, including on Blame in the 2010 BC Classic, the race in which Zenyatta suffered the only loss of her career.

Solis has won more than 4,900 races, including three Breeders’ Cup races, most notably with Pleasantly Perfect in the 2003 BC Classic. He also ended Cigar’s 16-race win streak when riding Dare and Go to an upset victory in the 1996 Pacific Classic.

Velazquez, a two-time Eclipse Award winner, has won more than 4,700 races, including last year’s Kentucky Derby with Animal Kingdom. He has won nine Breeders’ Cup races.

Attfield has won the Sovereign Award as Canada’s champion trainer eight times and has won the Queen’s Plate eight times. He won his first Breeders’ Cup race last year when Perfect Shirl captured the BC Filly and Mare Turf.

Wheeler, who died in 1992, has been passed over on several occasions, despite being one of the greats of his era, most notably in the 1950s and 1960s, when he trained the likes of Bug Brush and Silver Spoon. He trained Track Robbery, the Eclipse Award-winning older female of 1982.

Hall of Fame finalists

Hall of Fame voters can vote for as manyof the 10 finalists as they wish. The top four vote-getters will be elected.



2004 BC Distaff winner was two-time champion
2004 Horse of the Year had highest-ever Beyer, 128
Champion sprinter in 1990 and 1991 won 15 of 22 starts
Xtra Heat
2001 3-year-old filly champ had highest-ever Beyer for female, 120


Calvin Borel
Winner of nearly 5,000 races won three Kentucky Derbies in four years
Garrett Gomez
Eclipse winner in 2007 and 2008 had record 76 stakes victories in 2007
Alex Solis
Has won over 4,900 races, including the BC Classic and Preakness
John Velazquez
Two-time Eclipse titlist has nine BC wins and a Kentucky Derby


Roger Attfield
Trained three Canadian Triple Crown and eight Queen’s Plate winners
Robert Wheeler
Top California horseman trained Bug, Brush, Silver Spoon, and Track Robbery