Triple Crown winner Justify, jockey Joel Rosario among those elected to horse racing's Hall of Fame

SARATOGA SPRINGS, N.Y. (AP) — Triple Crown winner Justify, 2017 Horse of the Year Gun Runner and jockey Joel Rosario have been elected to the National Museum of Racing and Hall of Fame in their first year of eligibility.

They were elected this week in the contemporary category.

Jockey Abe Hawkins, Aristides, winner of the first Kentucky Derby in 1875, and Lecomte were selected by the Pre-1900 Historic Review Committee. The late Harry F. Guggenheim, the late Clement L. Hirsch and the late turf writer Joe Hirsch were selected by the Pillars of the Turf Committee.

The enshrinement ceremony will be Aug. 2 in Saratoga Springs.

Rosario has won more than 3,600 races in his career, which began in 2003. He won the 2013 Kentucky Derby with Orb and the Belmont Stakes in 2014 with Tonalist and in 2019 with Sir Winston. The 39-year-old native of the Dominican Republic also has won 15 Breeders’ Cup races.

Gun Runner competed from 2015-18, with 12 wins in 19 starts and earnings of more than $15 million, second-most all-time among North American-based horses. He was trained by Hall of Famer Steve Asmussen.

Justify swept the Kentucky Derby, Preakness and Belmont to become racing’s 13th Triple Crown winner. He was named Horse of the Year in 2018. He was trained by Hall of Famer Bob Baffert and ridden by Hall of Famer Mike Smith.

Hawkins was the first Black jockey to gain national prominence, rising from being enslaved on a plantation in Louisiana to winning 25 documented races from 1864-66 and countless other undocumented events during his career. After the Civil War, Hawkins moved north and achieved success riding at Saratoga and Jerome Park, which first hosted the Belmont Stakes.

Aristides won the Kentucky Derby and finished second in the Belmont Stakes in 1875, when he was considered the 3-year-old male horse of that year. He has a race named for him at Churchill Downs, where a life-sized bronze statue of him stands.

Lecomte had 11 wins in 17 career starts.

Guggenheim was a leading figure in the fields of publishing, mining, government service, aeronautics and philanthropy. He won 540 races as an owner and bred the winners of 1,230 races. Among his top horses were 1953 Kentucky Derby winner Dark Star and Hall of Famer Ack Ack.

Hirsch was the founder of Kal Kan Foods for pets and Stagg Foods, a major producer of canned chili. He was a co-founder and president of the Oak Tree Racing Association, which hosted a fall meet at Santa Anita in California.

Joe Hirsch, who was no relation to Clement L. Hirsch, covered the sport for the Daily Racing Form from 1954-2003. He was highly influential and played a role in the creation of the Arlington Million in 1981.


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