Heav­enly Prize cho­sen for Hall of Fame

The Sentinel-Record - - SPORTS - FROM STAFF RE­PORTS

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.

The Sen­tinel-Record/File photo

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.

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