- The Washington Times - Monday, April 20, 2009

SARATOGA SPRINGS, N.Y. (AP) - Three-time Kentucky Derby-winning trainer Bob Baffert and jockey Eddie Maple were elected Monday to the National Museum of Racing’s Hall of Fame.

Other inductees announced by the museum in Saratoga Springs are steeplechase trainer Janet Elliot and horses Ben Nevis II, Tiznow and Silverbulletday, a mare trained by Baffert.

Elliot becomes the first woman trainer elected to the Hall of Fame and just the second overall. Jockey Julie Krone was elected in 2000.

Baffert won the Derby and Preakness with Silver Charm, Real Quiet and War Emblem, but failed to complete the Triple Crown sweep in the Belmont Stakes each time.

He has trained the winners of eight Triple Crown races, seven Breeders’ Cup races and has handled 10 champions, including Silverbulletday.

Baffert started out training quarter horses before making the switch to thoroughbreds in the late 1970s. Through 2008, Baffert ranked fifth among trainers in career earnings at $134.8 million.

“It’s the ultimate honor you can receive as a horse trainer in the business,” said Baffert, who credited his father, Bill, a quarter horse trainer, with getting him started in racing. “It’s really emotional for me. I’m basically a product of my dad getting me going.”

Maple won 4,398 races over a 34-year career. He retired in 1998.

“I’m tickled to death,” Maple said. “It’s just a great honor. I enjoyed riding all those years and to have something like this come back is really, really thrilling.”

He won the Belmont Stakes on Temperence Hill and Creme Fraiche, and he rode Secretariat to victory in the Canadian International, the colt’s final start.

“It was a pretty touching moment for a lot of people,” Maple recalled.

Among Maple’s other stakes-winning mounts were the Woody Stephens-trained quartet of Conquistador Cielo, Devil’s Bag, Swale and Forty Niner.

The Irish-born Elliot worked for Hall of Fame trainer Jonathan Sheppard for nearly a decade before opening her own stable in 1979. She won the inaugural running of the Breeders’ Cup Steeplechase in 1986 with Census, and trained champions Corregio and Flat Top. Elliot ranks third in career earnings by a steeplechase trainer.

Silverbulletday won 15 of 23 career starts, earned $3,093,207 and was the champion in 1998-99, winning six races as a 2-year-old, including the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Fillies, and another five the following year.

The California-bred Tiznow won eight of 15 starts and earned $6,427,830. He was the 3-year-old male champion and Horse of the Year in 2000 and the older male champion in 2001 while becoming the only two-time winner of the Breeders’ Cup Classic.

Ben Nevis II was bred in Great Britain and was brought to the U.S. by the late Redmond Stewart Jr. The horse won the 1977 and 1978 runnings of the Maryland Hunt Club, a demanding event over four miles and 22 fences. In 1980, he won England’s Grand National, becoming just the third U.S.-based horse to finish first.

The induction ceremonies are Aug. 14.

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