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Trainer, Jockey and Horse Join Hall of Fame

Kelso handler Hanford, 1950 Derby apprentice winner Boland and versatile Chilean-bred Cougar II are honored.

August 08, 2006|Bob Mieszerski | Times Staff Writer

No horse will ever accomplish what Kelso did.

Owned by Allaire du Pont, Kelso was a five-time horse of the year before his retirement in 1966. He won 39 of 63 starts and retired as the richest horse in history with earnings of $1,977,196 -- a record that stood until Affirmed surpassed him more than a decade later as prize money grew.

Kelso, who died in 1983, was elected into racing's Hall of Fame in 1967. On Monday, Carl Hanford, his trainer, joined him.

Hanford, 90, former jockey Bill Boland and Cougar II were inducted into the National Museum of Racing and Hall of Fame during ceremonies in Saratoga Springs, N.Y.

"I am here because of one horse and one horse only," said Hanford, a former jockey who retired from training in 1968 but went on to have a career as a racing official. "Although I had a few stakes horses before, they did not compare with Kelso.

"My accomplishments didn't get me here. Kelso did."

Ellen Hunt, the daughter of Mary Jones Bradley, accepted the Hall of Fame plaque for Cougar II, a versatile Chilean-bred Bradley purchased for a reported $125,000 in 1970 on the recommendation of the late Hall of Fame trainer Charlie Whittingham.

The first foreign-bred to go over $1 million in earnings in this country, Cougar II, who was accomplished on turf and dirt, finished with 20 wins in 50 starts and earned $1,162,725. Worse than third in only six of his races, Cougar II, who died in 1989, was the champion turf horse of 1972.

"Mom always thought that Cougar deserved to have a plaque on the wall with all the rest of the great thoroughbreds," Hunt said. "She owned lots of horses in 35 years, but there was only one Cougar. I'm very happy to be standing in for my mother. This a tremendous honor."

Boland, who lives in Florida, was 16 when he won the 1950 Kentucky Derby on Middleground.

This victory as an apprentice came the day after he had won the Kentucky Oaks with Ari's Mona. Boland was only the second apprentice to win the Derby. Ira Hanford, Carl Hanford's brother, was the first to do so when he won with 20-1 Bold Venture in 1936.

Boland, who also trained horses and worked as a racing official, retired from riding in 1969 with nearly 2,000 victories.

Hanford, Boland and Cougar II were elected to the Hall of Fame by the historical review committee, which meets every two years and considers nominees who have not been active in racing for at least 25 years.

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The inductees

This year's inductees into the National Museum of Racing and Hall of Fame in Saratoga Springs, N.Y.:

HISTORIC

* Carl Hanford -- Trainer for 40 years whose most famous charge was five-time horse of the year Kelso.

* Bill Boland -- Jockey who had earnings of $14 million and rode 1,980 winners, including Middleground in the 1950 Kentucky Derby.

* Cougar II -- Chilean-bred turf specialist who had 20 victories, placed seven times and showed 17 in 50 races in the early 1970s.

CONTEMPORARY

None of the 12 finalists in four categories was able to receive the required 75% of the vote for induction.

\o7Source: racingmuseum.org

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