Their careers overlapped, highlighted by a remarkable tag-team approach in 1995, and now, 10 years after the mare Inside Information was voted into the National Museum of Racing and Hall of Fame, stablemate Heavenly Prize will be enshrined, too, during ceremonies on Friday at the Fasig-Tipton Sales Pavilion in Saratoga Springs, N.Y., just around the corner from the Hall of Fame itself.
Heavenly Prize, like Inside Information, was trained by Shug McGaughey. Heavenly Prize was owned and bred by Ogden Phipps, while Inside Information was owned and bred by his son, Ogden Mills “Dinny” Phipps.
Both were foals of 1991, both were born at Claiborne Farm, and both raced at the highest levels after beginning their careers on Sept. 15, 1993, at Belmont Park, just two races apart, with lengthy maiden victories.
In 1995, they combined for eight Grade 1 victories – four apiece. Heavenly Prize won the Apple Blossom, Hempstead, Go For Wand, and John A. Morris, while Inside Information took the Shuvee, Ruffian, and Spinster before a powerhouse performance against Heavenly Prize in the Breeders’ Cup Distaff, their only head-to-head meeting.
Inside Information, with 14 wins in 17 starts, went into the Hall of Fame in 2008. It took another decade for Heavenly Prize to take her rightful place alongside her stablemate.
Heavenly Prize won nine times in 18 starts, and was a Grade 1 winner at ages 2, 3, and 4. She won the Frizette as a 2-year-old, then at age 3 captured the Alabama, Gazelle, and Beldame, victories that brought her the Eclipse Award as that year’s champion 3-year-old filly. Her four additional Grade 1 victories at age 4 gave her a total of eight Grade 1 wins for her career.
Heavenly Prize – a daughter of the Phipps family’s Seeking the Gold out of the Nijinsky II mare Oh What A Dance – was the only horse, jockey, or trainer elected from the 10 finalists on this year’s ballot.
But there are numerous other inductees this year, including the horse Preakness and the trainer William Lakeland, both chosen by the Hall of Fame’s Historic Review Committee. In addition, Elias J. “Lucky” Baldwin, August Belmont I, Cot Campbell, Penny Chenery, John W. Galbreath, Arthur B. Hancock Sr., Hal Price Headley, John Morrissey, Charles H. Strub, Cornelius Vanderbilt Whitney, Harry Payne Whitney, and Williams Collins Whitney all are being inducted as Pillars of the Turf on the eve of the Whitney Stakes.
John Hendrickson, the husband of prominent owner-breeder Marylou Whitney and the president of the museum, will make an announcement regarding a project “intended to revolutionize the Hall of Fame,” according to a press release from the Hall of Fame.
“This initiative is not only going to forever change the experience at the museum but will affect every past and future Hall of Famer,” Hendrickson said. “It will be the most important thing that our industry has done for this sport in our lifetimes.”
Hendrickson and his wife have pledged $1 million to the project, the Hall of Fame said.
Kenny Rice of NBC Sports will be the emcee for the inductions. The ceremony begins at 10:30 a.m. Eastern and is open to the public, but the Hall of Fame advises that seating is limited. Doors open to the sales pavilion at 9 a.m.
The ceremony will be live-streamed on the museum’s website, www.racingmuseum.org.
This story originally appeared on DRF.com.
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