03/21/2017 8:59AM

Loiselle, Vella, Baker among Canadian Hall nominees

File Photo
All Along, winner of the 1983 Canadian International, is among the horses nominated for induction to the Canadian Hall of Fame.

ETOBICOKE, Ontario -- Longtime Woodbine track announcer Dan Loiselle and Sovereign Award-winning trainers Daniel Vella and Reade Baker headline the list of 15 Thoroughbred candidates eligible to be inducted to the Canadian Horse Racing Hall of Fame in 2017.

One inductee will be elected in each of the five Thoroughbred categories on this year’s ballot, which include builder, communicator, trainer, male horse, and veteran horse. The Hall of Fame’s 20-member election committee will cast a secret ballot, with the candidate receiving the most “yes” votes in each category to be declared elected. The results will be announced on April 4, with the induction ceremony set to take place at the Mississauga Convention Centre on Aug. 9.

Loiselle, who served as Woodbine’s Thoroughbred track announcer from 1986 through through his retirement in 2015, is eligible to be inducted in the communicator category, along with longtime Daily Racing Form columnist Joe Hirsch, and Edmonton Journal writer Curtis Stock.

Vella and Baker are both on the ballot for the first time in the trainer category, along with Harold Barroby, the all-time leader in wins and stakes wins at Hastings Park. Vella is a two-time Queen’s Plate winner and won the Sovereign Award for outstanding trainer in 1994 and 1995, while Baker captured the 2015 Prince of Wales Stakes with Breaking Lucky and was Canada’s outstanding trainer in 2005.

Frank McMahon, a founding member of the Jockey Club of Canada; 12-time Sovereign Award winner Eugene Melnyk; and John G. Sikura, owner and president of Hill ’n’ Dale Farms in Kentucky, are the three candidates eligible for election in the Thoroughbred builder category.

Three previous winners of Canadian Horse of the Year make up the three candidates for election in the Thoroughbred male horse category. Mt. Sassafras, the 1996 Canadian Horse of the Year, has been nominated for election, along with 2000 Canadian Horse of the Year Quiet Resolve and 2005 Canadian Horse of the Year A Bit O’Gold.

Rounding out the Thoroughbred nominees in the veteran horse category are 1983 Canadian International winner All Along; 1989 Sovereign Award winner for Outstanding Broodmare Passing Mood; and 1970 Canadian Oaks winner South Ocean.

An additional 15 candidates are eligible for election in five Standardbred categories.