Two Kentucky Horses In 2022 Racing Hall Of Fame Class

Written By J.R. Duren on June 21, 2022
Two Kentucky Horses Make It Bigtime In 2022 Hall Of Fame

Excellence is in the eye of the beholder. For the selection committee of the National Museum of Racing and Hall of Fame (NMRHF), the excellent careers of Kentucky horses Beholder and Tepin, and breeder James Ben Ali Haggin were enough to earn them a spot in the horse racing hall of fame.

The pair of racers were part of a class of eight horses, trainers, administrators, and jockeys.

The inductees will officially enter the hall of fame at an enshrinement ceremony at 10:30 a.m. on Aug. 5 at Saratoga Springs. Tickets to the event are free, and the NMRHF will live stream the event.

Beholder broke records, maintained career-long excellence

Beholders trophy case is about as illustrious as you’ll ever see. The Clarkland Farm filly won the Eclipse Award as a two-year-old, three-year-old, and twice as an older horse.

In the past decade of riveting races, she’s the only horse to win the Eclipse Award four times.

On the track, Beholder was a fierce competitor. She’s one of only two horses to win three Breeders Cup races. Even more impressive is that she won a Grade 1 race every year from ages two to six, making her the only horse to accomplish that feat in the past 25 years.

Beholder’s record was 18-6-0 in 26 starts, and she earned $6.16 million over the course of her career. The horse is ranked 34th in Horse Racing Nation’s best fillies and mares of all time.

Tepin made a habit of beating the boys

Trained by hall-of-famer, Mark Casse, and bred by Lexington-based Machmer Hall, turf queen Tepin earned $4.44 million over her career and compiled a record of 13-5-1 in 23 starts.

Her first championship season came in 2015 when she downed a mainly male field in the Breeders Cup Mile, pulling away on the backstretch and holding off a spirited charge by Mondialiste. That year, Tepin won four graded stakes.

The following year, she took home another championship after impressive wins at the Jenny Wiley Stakes and Woodbine Mile where, again, she prevailed against predominantly male fields.

Tepin also notched a significant win across the pond in the Group 1 Queen Anne Stakes at Royal Ascot. She stayed with the pack until the last quarter mile, winning a close duel with Belardo.

Kentucky native James Ben Ali Haggin gets in, too

James Ben Ali Haggin was a famous name in horses and industry at the turn of the 20th century. The Harrodsburg native made a fortune from copper mining and, along the way, established the world’s largest thoroughbred nursery in California.

Haggin won the Belmont Stakes in 1885 and the Kentucky Derby in 1886. By the late 1800s, he acquired Lexington-based Elmendorf Farm and, within a decade, the farm was home to more than 1,000 horses.

Haggin had a hand in the development of several hall-of-fame horses, including Firenze, Salvator, and Miss Woodford.

Miss Woodford was such a dominant horse that she still ranks in Horse Racing Nation’s top 10 for all-time best fillies and mares. Elmendorf was also the home of Man o’ War’s sire and dam, Fair Play and Mahubah.

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J.R. Duren

J.R. Duren has covered the Pennsylvania, New York and New Jersey gambling beats for Catena Media. His past reporting experience includes two years at the Villages Daily Sun. Duren is a member of the Society of Professional Journalists and a first-place winner at the Florida Press Club Excellence in Journalism Contest.

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