INGLEWOOD, Calif. (August 12, 2010)—The induction ceremonies Friday at the National Museum of Racing and Hall of Fame will have a distinct Southern California feel.
Five members –two human and three equine – of the class of 2010 for the sport’s Hall of Fame all rose to local prominence.
The inductees during ceremonies in Saratoga Springs, N.Y. include jockey Don Pierce, trainer Michael Ernst “Buster’’ Millerick and thoroughbreds Azeri, Best Pal and Point Given.
Pierce, who finished his career with 3,546 victories, ranks 17th all time at Hollywood Park with 698 wins, including 85 stakes scores. In addition to winning the Los Angeles Handicap a record five times in a row (1969-73), Pierce won the Hollywood Gold Cup and Hollywood Derby twice and had four victories in the Hollywood Oaks.
Millerick, who is 10th all time among trainers with 467 wins at Hollywood Park, is best known as the trainer of the legendary Native Diver. The California bred is one of only two horses – the other is fellow Cal bred Lava Man – to have won the Gold Cup three times.
Owned by the Allen Paulson Living Trust and trained by both Laura de Seroux and Wayne Lukas, Azeri earned five of her 17 lifetime wins at Hollywood Park. Four of those victories came in stakes. She won the Vanity and Milady Handicaps twice, winning in both 1992 and 1993. Overall, the daughter of Jade Hunter won 17 of 24 and earned $4,079,820.
Best Pal, who won 18 of 47 for owner-breeders John and Betty Mabee’s Golden Eagle Farm during a career that spanned from the spring 1990 until the beginning of 1996, earned the first of those wins at Hollywood Park.
Facing nine opponents in a five furlong race on the main track, the son of Habitony prevailed by a half-length in his racing debut on May 18, 1990. Patrick Valenzuela rode for trainer Ian Jory.
His stakes wins at Hollywood Park included the 1991 Swaps, the 1993 Gold Cup, and both the Answer Do and Native Diver in 1994.
Owned by the Thoroughbred Corporation and trained by Bob Baffert, Point Given won nine of 13, including the Preakness and Belmont Stakes in 2001. He was a winner in his lone outing at Hollywood Park, capturing the Hollywood Futurity by one length on Dec. 16, 2000.
The other two Hall of Fame inductees Friday are jockey Randy Romero and the horse Harry Bassett.
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