all in Legends

John R. Gaines, Ogden Mills “Dinny” Phipps, and Matt Winn, three of the most influential and respected individuals in American Thoroughbred racing history, have been elected to the National Museum of Racing’s Hall of Fame as the 2017 Pillars of the Turf selections, it was announced May 24.

During a Hall of Fame career that lasted for nearly half a century, Charles “Charlie” Whittingham won seemingly every major stakes race in California multiple times, trained a contingent of champions that reads like a roster of all-time greats, and became the oldest trainer ever to win the Kentucky Derby. It’s often said that numbers can’t tell the whole story, and indeed they cannot, but in Whittingham’s case they certainly lay down a strong foundation!

Any discussion of Patricia “P.J.” Cooksey’s trailblazing career as a jockey has to involve her boxing record, unsanctioned as those bouts were.

“I had three fistfights,” she said proudly, “and I’m 3-0.”

Cooksey was born in Youngstown, Ohio, and, with three older brothers to deal with, she learned to assert herself at an early age.

“They didn’t go easy on me or give me any breaks,” she said.

Although many important stakes races are named after horses from the past, only one of the three Triple Crown races is named in honor of a horse. That is the Preakness Stakes, named for a colt called Preakness who played a major role in the early history of Pimlico Race Course.

To understand the brilliance of Point Given, focus on all that he accomplished rather than what he did not do.

He rattled off four consecutive victories in $1 million races in 2001, ruling the Preakness, Belmont Stakes, Haskell Invitational and Travers. “T-Rex,” as trainer Bob Baffert liked to call him for his imposing physique, joined Man o’ War (1920), Whirlaway (1941), Native Dancer (1953) and Damascus (1967) in sweeping the Preakness, Belmont and Travers.

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