Heavenly Prize chosen for Hall of Fame
SARATOGA SPRINGS, N.Y. — Eclipse Award-winning filly Heavenly Prize has been elected to the National Museum of Racing and Hall of Fame.
The lone contemporary selection from the 10 finalists chosen by the Hall of Fame’s Nominating Committee, Heavenly Prize will be inducted into the Hall of Fame on Aug. 3 at 10:30 a.m. at the Fasig-Tipton sales pavilion. The Hall of Fame induction ceremony is open to the public and free to attend.
New inductees in categories selected by separate processes will also be announced next month. The Historic Review Committee choices for the Hall of Fame will be revealed on May 9 and the Pillars of the Turf Committee’s Hall of Fame selections will be announced on May 23.
Heavenly Prize was elected by a nationwide voting panel comprised of 166 racing writers, broadcasters, industry officials and historians. Finalists are required to receive majority approval (50.1 percent) from the voting panel to be elected to the Hall of Fame.
A bay filly bred in Kentucky by owner Ogden Phipps, Heavenly Prize (Seeking the Gold—Oh What a Dance, by Nijinsky II) won the Eclipse Award for Champion 3-Year-Old Filly in 1994. She was a Grade 1 winner at ages 2, 3 and 4. Trained by Hall of Famer Claude R. “Shug” McGaughey III, Heavenly Prize won the Grade 1 Frizette at age 2 and three consecutive Grade 1s as a 3-year-old: the Alabama, Gazelle and Beldame.
As a 4-year-old, she won four Grade 1s in a row: the Apple Blossom Handicap, Hempstead Handicap, Go for Wand Stakes and John A. Morris Handicap. Heavenly Prize also finished second in the Breeders’ Cup Distaff in both 1994 and 1995. She raced once as a 5-year-old, finishing third in the Donn Handicap, which was won by Hall of Famer Cigar.
Heavenly Prize was retired with a career record of 9-6-3 from 18 starts and earnings of $1,825,940. Throughout her career, she defeated the likes of Hall of Famers Paseana and Sky Beauty, as well as multiple graded stakes winners Lakeway, Halo America and Classy Mirage, among others. Eight of Heavenly Prize’s nine career victories were in Grade 1 events. Heavenly Prize was ridden by Hall of Fame jockey Mike Smith for her first eight starts and by Hall of Fame jockey Pat Day for her final nine races.
As a broodmare, Heavenly Prize produced seven winners from eight starters, including the multiple Grade 1-winning turf standout Good Reward. She is also the dam of Grade 2 winner and successful sire Pure Prize. Heavenly Prize also produced stakes winner Cosmic; stakes-placed Distinctively; and Just Reward, whose daughter Persistently upset Horse of the Year Rachel Alexandra in the Grade 1 Personal Ensign.
Heavenly Prize died in 2013 at the age of 22 at Claiborne Farm in Paris, Ky.
HALL OF FAME: Jockey Pat Day on Heavenly Prize (5) takes the lead in the stretch of the 1995 Apple Blossom Handicap ahead of Paseana with Chris McCarron on board.