2015 Queen’s Plate winner Shaman Ghost, Sovereign Award winning trainer Reade Baker, and longtime Woodbine track announcer Dan Loiselle have been inducted to the Canadian Horse Racing Hall of Fame in 2018.
Joining Shaman Ghost, Baker, and Loiselle as the 2018 Thoroughbred inductees are 2014 Breeders’ Cup Filly & Mare Sprint winner Judy the Beauty and Hill ‘n’ Dale Farms President John Sikura.
Adena Springs bred and Frank Stronach owned Shaman Ghost won 8 of 17 starts for earnings of $3,859,311 under the training direction trainer Jimmy Jerkins, making him the second-richest Canadian-bred of all time behind his paternal grandsire Awesome Again, also bred by Adena Springs and a Hall of Fame Member. Shaman Ghost was named Canada’s Champion Three-Year-Old Colt in 2015 on the strength of a campaign that included wins in the Queen’s Plate and Grade 3 Marine Stakes at Woodbine and a second-place finish in the Prince of Wales Stakes at Fort Erie. Other victories of note include the Grade 1 Santa Anita Handicap and Woodward Stakes at Saratoga, the Grade 2 Brooklyn Invitational Stakes in New York, and the Grade 3 Pimlico Special Handicap in Maryland. The now 6 year-old son of Ghostzapper out of Getback Time by Gilded Time was recently retired and is beginning his stallion career this year in California.
Baker’s training career has spaned four decades and he has recorded over 1,100 wins. A total of 126 of those wins have come in stakes events, including 30 in graded races. Baker won the 2005 Sovereign Award for Outstanding Trainer, and has trained Horse of the Year champions Fatal Bullet (2008) and Biofuel (2010). To date Baker conditioned horses have won 13 Sovereign Awards including Bear Now, 2008 Sovereign Award for Older Female, and Tu Endie Wei, 2011 Sovereign Award winner as Champion 2-Year-Old Filly. 2015 Prince of Wales Stakes winner, Breaking Lucky, surpassed the million dollar mark in career earnings in 2017 to join Fatal Bullet, Bear Now, and Judith’s Wild Rush as millionaire runners trained by Baker. Prior to embarking on a career as a trainer in 1989, Reade Baker was a top jockey’s agent and later stable manager for Richard Kennedy, who campaigned 1987 Canadian Champion, Afleet. Baker is also a member of the Etobicoke Sports Hall of Fame.
Dan Loiselle’s horse-racing career spans almost five decades, initially as a Standardbred racing official and announcer, and then as Woodbine Thoroughbred announcer, replacing Daryl Wells in 1986. During his tenure at Woodbine, Loiselle called 28 editions of the Queen’s Plate and five Triple Crown champions including With Approval (1989), Izvestia (1990), Dance Smartly (1991), Peteski (1993) and Wando (2003). His signature accuracy and clarity was accompanied by a flair for entertaining his audience both at the track and during national television broadcasts of marquee events inlcuding the Canadian Triple Crown, the Woodbine Mile and the Canadian International. Loiselle has served as Master of Ceremonies at many industry functions and interviewed celebrities from the world of sports and entertainment. In November of 2015, Dan was inducted into the Etobicoke Sports Hall of Fame and was saluted by the Toronto Sports Media with a special award. Most recently he hosted a special exhibition celebrating the 250th Anniversary of Horse Racing in Canada during the 2017 Royal Agricultural Winter Fair.
Ghostzapper daughter, Judy the Beauty, bred by Adena Springs North was a $20,000 yearling purchase by Owner/Trainer Wesley Ward who directed her through a 22 race career spanning five years with earnings surpassing $1.8 million. As a 2-year-old, she found victory on the turf in France before winning the Shady Well Stakes at Woodbine, and finishing second in the Spinaway Stakes (Gr 1) at Saratoga. After three second place finishes at age three, she again visited the winner’s circle at age four, this time as a sprinter, winning the Grade 2 Thoroughbred Club of America Stakes before finishing 2nd to Groupie Doll in the Grade 1 Breeders’ Cup Filly and Mare Sprint. At age five she was named 2014 Eclipse Award Champion Female Sprinter as a result of four graded stakes wins that year, which included the Grade 3 Las Flores Handicap at Santa Anita, the Grade 1 Madison Stakes at Keeneland and the Grade 3 Rancho Bernardo Handicap before culminating with the Grade 1 Breeders’ Cup Filly and Mare Sprint at Santa Anita.
Canadian-born John G. Sikura, Owner and President of Hill ‘n’ Dale Farms (Kentucky), has been a mainstay in the breeding business there since 1994. Since then he has built Hill ‘n’ Dale into a leading stallion farm and sales operation, serving horse people across the continent. To date, his farm has consigned 95 horses selling for $1,000,000 (US) and over. Better Than Honour was the most expensive broodmare sold at public auction ($14M) and five others were sold for world-record sale prices. The 2018 stallion roster at Hill ‘n’ Dale includes two-time Horse of the Year Curlin, as well as influential sires Kitten’s Joy, Stormy Atlantic and Midnight Lute. John’s father, John Sikura, Jr., was inducted into the Canadian Horse Racing Hall of Fame in 2013.
The Standardbred inductees included Builder William Andrew, Communicator Dave Landry and Trainer/Driver Jim Doherty, along with horses Chancey Lady and Blissfull Hall.
The 2018 Canadian Horse Racing Hall of Fame inductees will be honoured at an induction ceremony at the Mississauga Convention Center on August 8.