Two-time Eclipse Award champion Good Night Shirt and five-time National Steeplechase Association champion trainer Tom Voss took their rightful places in the National Museum of Racing on Friday when they were inducted into Thoroughbred racing’s Hall of Fame.
The ceremony at Fasig-Tipton’s Humphrey Finney Pavilion in Saratoga Springs, N.Y., attracted a sizable group of steeplechase owners and horsemen. Recognized at the beginning of the induction ceremony were current Hall of Fame members Jonathan Sheppard, Janet Elliot, and Jerry Fishback.
Accepting the Hall of Fame plaque for Good Night Shirt was owner Sonny Via Jr., accompanied by trainer Jack Fisher.
Bred in Maryland by Dr. and Mrs. Thomas Bowman, Good Night Shirt (Concern—Hot Story, by Two Punch) joined Fisher’s barn in 2005 after beginning his career as a flat runner for a Sean Clancy partnership. He went on to win 10 graded stakes races, including eight Grade 1s.
In 2007, Good Night Shirt won the Iroquois, Lonesome Glory, and Colonial Cup — all Grade 1 events — to earn the first of his consecutive Eclipse Awards.
As a seven-year-old the following year, Good Night Shirt won all five of his starts, taking in succession the Georgia Cup, Iroquois, Lonesome Glory, Grand National and Colonial Cup, all Grade 1 races. Good Night Shirt’s 2008 earnings of $485,520 set a single-season record, surpassing the previous mark of $314,163, which he set in 2007.
In his 2008 Lonesome Glory victory, Good Night Shirt set a Belmont Park track record of 4:24 for 2½ miles over fences. He received 168 pounds in the National Steeplechase Association Theoretical Handicap in 2008m second only to Lonesome Glory’s 170 in 1995.
Good Night Shirt began his 2009 season with a victory in the Grade 2 Carolina Cup before finishing second in the Iroquois. He was then retired because of an ankle injury with a career record of 14-5-3 from 33 starts and earnings of $1,041,083, joining Lonesome Glory and McDynamo as only the steeplechase horses to surpass $1-million in career earnings.
Good Night Shirt lives in retirement at Fisher’s farm in Monkton, Md.
Tom Voss died unexpectedly in January 2014 at the age of 63, and his plaque was accepted by his son, Sam. The Maryland horseman grew up with jump racing, competed as a timber jockey, and trained both for the flat and over fences. He was the NSA’s champion trainer by wins in 1997, 2000, 2001, 2002, and 2011 and led the sport by earnings in 1997, 2002, and 2009.
Beginning his training career in 1974, he had 706 total wins and purse earnings exceeding $17-million. He won 394 steeplechase races, and his jump earnings of $8,868,201 rank third all time behind Sheppard and Fisher.
He trained Ken and Sarah Ramsey’s Slip Away to the 2010 Eclipse Award with victories in the Temple Gwathmey (Gr. 3) and Colonial Cup.
His best on the flat was the veteran John’s Call, who won the Sword Dancer Handicap (Gr. 1) and Turf Classic (Gr. 1) in 2000 at age nine.
He also served on the National Steeplechase Association’s Board of Directors and was the NSA’s secretary in 2013.