Earlier this month, the National Museum of Racing and Hall of Fame announced the 10 finalists for its 2014 class of inductees. From 84 candidates suggested by turf writers, Thoroughbred industry participants, and racing fans, the Hall of Fame’s nominating committee had selected four jockeys, four horses, and two trainers whose names would go to the voters, with the winners announced on April 25.
Already controversial, the nomination of trainer Steve Asmussen became even more contentious when the New York Times last week published the results of an investigation undertaken for four months last year by People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA), alleging abuse of the horses in Asmussen’s care at Churchill Downs and Saratoga Race Course.
Response from the general public and the racing industry was swift. Within hours, writer Bill Finley had posted a column saying that he had asked for and received permission by the Hall of Fame to rescind the votes he had cast for Asmussen and Curlin, the horse that Asmussen had trained to two Horse of the Year titles.
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