05/20/2008 12:00AM

Smart Strike, Wilderness Song head Hall class


ETOBICOKE, Ontario - Smart Strike and Wilderness Song, a pair of homebreds who were Grade 1 winners for Sam-Son Farm, are among this year's four Thoroughbred industry inductees to the Canadian Horse Racing Hall of Fame.

Bob Tiller, in the trainer/jockey category, and Lou Cauz, in the builder's category, will be the other Thoroughbred participants to be honored at the annual awards ceremony on Aug. 28.

The honorees were determined by the vote of a 20-member election committee, with a minimum of eight votes required for induction.

The voters were asked to choose from three nominees in each of four categories - male horse, female horse, jockey/trainer, and veterans/builders, a category that includes media and industry members.

Smart Strike, who was trained by Mark Frostad, outpolled Canadian Triple Crown winners Peteski and Wando in the male horse category.

Winner of Monmouth Park's Grade 1 Iselin in an eight-start career that ended in 1996, Smart Strike has gone on to a very successful career at stud and currently stands at Lane's End in Versailles, Ky.

Smart Strike's progeny include Curlin, last year's Eclipse Award-winning Horse of the Year, and North American turf champion English Channel.

Wilderness Song, who was trained by Jim Day, got the nod over Alywow and Rainbow Connection in the female horse category.

In her 37 starts, Wilderness Song won Keeneland's Grade 1 Spinster in 1991 and wound up her career two years later with 15 victories and earnings of almost $1.25 million.

Wilderness Song was Canada's champion older mare in 1992.

Tiller, 58, was the Sovereign Award winner as Canada's outstanding trainer in 2001, 2003, and 2004, and remains very active at Woodbine.

His major success stories include Win City, who was Canada's horse of the year and top 3-year-old male in 2001.

Born in Amsterdam, Holland, Tiller has been training at Woodbine since 1972 and has sent out more than 100 stakes winners.

Cauz, 75, is Woodbine's archivist and the managing director of the Canadian Horse Racing Hall of Fame.

A member of the Etobicoke Sports Hall of Fame, Cauz won a Sovereign Award in 1984 for his book "The Plate: A Royal Tradition" and has played various roles in the Canadian horse racing industry for more than 40 years.

The Canadian Horse Racing Hall of Fame, based here at Woodbine, is a dual-breed facility and also will welcome four Standardbred inductees.