08/23/2007 11:00PM

L'Enjoleur heads new Canadian Hall inductees


MISSISSAUGA, Ontario - Queen's Plate winners L'Enjoleur, Canadian Champ, and Jammed Lovely were among the six inductees into the Canadian Horse Racing Hall of Fame for 2007 at a dinner and ceremony here on Thursday.

Natalma, the dam of legendary racehorse and sire Northern Dancer, was also inducted in the equine category.

In the builder's category, Russ and Lois Bennett, longtime leading breeders in British Columbia, were recognized, and Chris Loseth, who rode 3,668 winners, became the first jockey in five years to be inducted into the Hall of Fame.

"I remember the year before L'Enjoleur came along," said Pierre Levesque, whose father, Jean Louis Levesque, owned and bred L'Enjoleur, a son of Buckpasser. "The press was interviewing my dad about the great horses he had owned, like La Prevoyante. He said there was still one race he dearly wanted to win and that was the Queen's Plate. Well, L'Enjoleur gave him that, and I'm so glad to be back here 30 years later for this honor."

L'Enjoleur was a two-time Canadian Horse of the Year in 1974 and 1975, at the ages of 2 and 3. The colt won all the major juvenile stakes races in Canada, plus the Laurel Futurity at Pimlico over Wajima.

He was installed as an early second favorite for the Kentucky Derby, but was plagued by bouts of colic during the winter.

He missed the Derby but won the Plate in near-track-record time and five other stakes races. He won 15 of 30 career starts and $546,000. At stud, L'Enjoleur sired champions Avowal and Par Excellence and more than 30 stakes winners.

Judith Mappin Taylor, daughter of E.P. Taylor, accepted the Hall of Fame induction ring on behalf of Natalma, her father's foundation mare.

"She was a great matriarch for Windfields Farm," said Mappin Taylor. "I'm only sorry my parents didn't live to see the dynasty she created."

Jammed Lovely was not only a surprise entrant in the 1968 Plate but upset 13 colts when she overcame traffic trouble to win at 11-1 under Jim Fitzsimmons.

Tom Smythe, grandson of Conn Smythe, who owned and bred Jammed Lovely, has been battling cancer but was in attendance for the filly's induction.

"I remember every moment of the race," said Smythe. "She was supposed to be taken back off the pace but instead she was close to the lead. I'll never forget that split second when Fitzsimmons swung her out to win."

* Among the Standardbred inductees were the champion pacer Bettor's Delight, top 2-year-old pacing filly and broodmare Cathedra, and builder Jack McNiven, the owner of Killean Acres.