08/10/2017 7:45AM

Melnyk among five Thoroughbred-racing inductees in Canadian Hall of Fame

Barbara D. Livingston
Eugene Melnyk leads Speightstown off the track after winning the 2004 Breeders' Cup Sprint.

Prominent owner and breeder Eugene Melnyk was among the five inductees on the Thoroughbred side at the 2017 Canadian Horse Racing Hall of Fame induction ceremony on Wednesday night at the Mississauga Convention Center in suburban Toronto.

The Toronto-born Melnyk earned two Sovereign Awards for Canada’s outstanding owner and one for outstanding breeder. Melynk won the 1998 Queen’s Plate with Archer’s Bay. His homebred Sealy Hill remains the only filly to capture the Canadian Triple Tiara, a feat that helped make her the 2007 Canadian Horse of the Year. At 4, Sealy Hill finished second in the Grade 1 Breeders’ Cup Filly and Mare Turf.

Other top Melnyk runners included Eclipse Award-winning champion sprinter Speightstown, Breeders’ Stakes victor Marchfield, Canadian champion female sprinter Roxy Gap, Canadian champion 3-year-old filly Leigh Court, and Grade 1 winners Flower Alley and Lukes Alley.

Melnyk has been a resident of Barbados since 1991 and has won the prestigious Barbados Gold Cup twice. At one time, he owned more than 200 horses, but a 2013 dispersal sale whittled his numbers down considerably. Lukes Alley is his only remaining horse of note.

Melnyk has been involved in many horse-racing philanthropic endeavors, including as the founding donor of Anna House at Belmont Park. 

The other inductees were:

• Harold Barroby, from Ravenscrag, Saskatchewan, has been the leading trainer in British Columbia a record 10 times and is the all-time-leading B.C. trainer in wins and stakes scores. He sent out Fortinbras to take both the Grade 3 B.C. Derby and Grade 3 B.C. Premier’s Championship Handicap in 1986.  

• Curtis Stock, a native of London, Ontario, covered racing at the Edmonton Journal for 32 years and has won numerous Sovereign Awards for writing.

• Quiet Resolve, a Sam-Son Farm homebred trained by Mark Frostad, earned $3.2 million while competing from 1998 to 2002. He was voted Canada’s Horse of the Year and champion male turf horse in 2000 after taking the Grade 1 Atto Mile by disqualification and ending up second in the Breeders’ Cup Turf.

• South Ocean won the 1970 Canadian Oaks but is best known for producing Group 1 Dewhurst winner Storm Bird, the sire of the legendary sire Storm Cat. South Ocean also produced the Canadian champion Northernette and Natalma Stakes winner Ocean’s Answer.

This year’s Standardbred inductees are trainer-driver Blair Burgess, builder Dr. Gordon Gilbertson, and the horses Mach Three, Elegantimage, and Happy Lady.