08/20/2010 12:02PM

Victory Gallop among those inducted into Canadian Hall of Fame

Adam Coglianese/NYRA
Victory Gallop (left) nails Real Quiet on the wire in the 1998 Belmont Stakes.

ETOBICOKE, Ontario – Victory Gallop, an outstanding Canadian-bred racehorse who never competed in his homeland, joined a select group on Thursday as one of five Thoroughbred interests inducted into the Canadian Horse Racing Hall of Fame.

A capacity crowd of approximately 360 was on hand for the induction ceremonies at the nearby Mississauga Convention Centre for an evening which also featured a dinner and silent and live auctions.

Victory Gallop, bred in Ontario by the Tall Oaks Farm of Ivan Dalos, enjoyed his finest hour in the 1998 Belmont with a late rally which narrowly deprived Real Quiet of winning the Triple Crown.

Trained by Elliott Walden and racing for the Prestonwood Farm of brothers Art, Jack, and J.R. Preston, Victory Gallop concluded his career the following year with a victory in Saratoga’s Grade 1 Whitney and was the Eclipse Award winner in the older male category.

Walden and Art Preston flew in for the ceremony and Dalos made the presentation.

“Victory Gallop was a true campaigner,” said Walden, who currently is the racing manager for WinStar Farm. “There was not a day he didn’t show up for work.”

This year’s other Thoroughbred inductees were owner/breeder Mel Lawson, in the builder category; female horse Lady Angela; veteran horse Victorian Era; and trainer Frank Barroby.

Lawson, 87, was present for the ceremony but his award was accepted by his daughter, Dana.

Since purchasing his first racehorse in 1964, Lawson has gone on to race multiple Canadian champion Eternal Search.

Homebred Sovereign Award winners Let’s Go Blue and Ginger Gold are among his many other successes.

Lady Angela, owned by the famed Windfields Farm of the late E.P. Taylor, was the dam of Neartic, who became the sire of superb Northern Dancer.

Judy Mappin, daughter of E.P. Taylor, accepted the award.

“When my father decided to breed great racehorses, he set out to buy a great mare,” said Mappin.

“Now, Lady Angela has joined this exclusive club.”

Victorian Era, bred by Windfields Farm, was sold as a yearling to Allen Case but bought back by Taylor in 1966.

Trainer Lou Cavalaris, who sent out Victorian Era for 18 stakes wins and a Canadian Horse of the Year title, was on hand for the presentation.

“He was the closest thing to a perfect horse that I ever had,” said Cavalaris. “He was as sound as money – maybe sounder. He was just a gem.”

Barroby, 66, enjoyed a successful career as a jockey and saddled his first winner as a trainer in 1977 in Vancouver.

Still active at Hastings Park, where he has been the leading trainer three times, Barroby was inducted into the British Columbia Thoroughbred Hall of Fame last year and becomes the first B.C.-based trainer in the Canadian Horse Racing Hall of Fame.

“I am so honored; said Barroby, who flew in from Vancouver with his wife, Lynne, for the occasion. “I can hardly believe it.”

Barroby also recalled riding Victorian Era once, in a race at Fort Erie. That occasion was the 1966 Fair Play Stakes, in which Victorian Era finished second.

The Canadian Horse Racing Hall of Fame, a dual-breed facility, is located at Woodbine. Five Standardbred representatives also were inducted on Thursday evening.