Three-time Kentucky Derby winner Calvin Borel and Chris Antley, the talented two-time Derby winning rider who died of a drug overdose in 2000, were among the finalists announced Wednesday for election to the National Museum of Racing’s Hall of Fame.
The other finalists are jockeys Garrett Gomez, Craig Perret and Alex Solis, trainer Gary Jones and thoroughbreds Ashado, Housebuster, Invasor and Lure.
Borel is the only jockey to win the Derby three times in a four-year span, standing in the winner’s circle in 2007 with Street Sense, 2009 with Mine That Bird and 2010 with Super Saver. Only three other riders, Eddie Arcaro and Bill Hartack with five and Willie Shoemaker with four, have more Derby wins. All three are in the Hall of Fame.
Borel also was nearly unstoppable in 2009 aboard Horse of the Year Rachel Alexandra, winning the Preakness, Woodward, Haskell, Mother Goose, and Kentucky Oaks. The 46-year-old Borel has earnings of more than $120 million and was one win shy of 5,000 for his career through Tuesday’s races.
Antley won the Derby in 1991 with Strike the Gold and in 1999 with Charismatic, who he also guided to victory in the Preakness. The pair came up short of sweeping the Triple Crown, though, finishing third in the Belmont Stakes. The race was memorable because it was Antley who hopped off the injured Charismatic just past the finish line and kept the horse’s leg still while Charismatic hobbled down the track. Owner Bob Lewis said Antley likely saved Charismatic’s life that day.
Leaving high school to ride, Antley won his first race in 1983 at the age of 16 at Maryland’s Pimlico Race Course. Over the next 17 years, he won 3,480 races, earned more than $92 million in purses and led the nation with 469 wins in 1985. Besides the Derby and Preakness, he won major stakes including the Jockey Club Gold Cup, Woodward and Santa Anita Handicap, among others.
He was the first jockey to win nine races in a single day, accomplishing that on Oct. 31, 1987, with mounts at Aqueduct and the Meadowlands.
Off the track, though, Antley had well-publicized battles with drug abuse, depression and weight gain. His body was found Dec. 2, 2000 at his Pasadena, Calif., home and its battered condition originally led police to classify the death as homicide. Toxicology tests found four drugs in Antley’s system and the coroner decided the cuts and bruises probably came from a fall. His death at the age of 34 was ruled a drug overdose.
Gomez has won 3,713 races and has purse earnings of more than $200 million in a career that began in 1988. Gomez won the Eclipse Award for outstanding jockey in 2007 and 2008 and led all North American riders in earnings each year from 2006 through 2009.
Perret won 4,415 races and had purse earnings of nearly $114 million that spanned from 1967 through 2005. He was the leading apprentice jockey in earnings in 1967 and won an Eclipse Award in 1990. Perret won the Kentucky Derby with Unbridled in 1990 and the Belmont Stakes with Bet Twice in 1987.
Solis, riding since 1982, has won 4,938 races and has purse earnings of nearly $231 million. He won the 1986 Preakness with Snow Chief and has captured the Santa Anita Derby, Florida Derby and Hollywood Derby, among others.
Jones conditioned 104 stakes winners including 1986 champion older male Turkoman and Santa Anita winner Best Pal. He won 1,465 races and earned nearly $53 million during a 21-year career.
Ashado, trained by Todd Pletcher, was champion 3-year-old female in 2004 and champion older female in 2005. She won 12 of 21 starts including the Kentucky Oaks, Breeders’ Cup Distaff and Coaching Club American Oaks.
Housebuster won 15 times in 22 starts and was champion sprinter in 1990 and 1991. At age 3, he was 8 for 10.
Invasor was Horse of the Year and champion older male in 2006 when he won the Pimlico Special, Suburban Handicap, Whitney Handicap, and Breeders’ Cup Classic.
Lure won 14 of 25 starts, including the Breeders’ Cup Mile in 1992 and 1993.
The finalists were selected from among 86 candidates. Results will be announced April 26 and induction is set for Aug. 9 in Saratoga Springs.