McDynamo and Tuscalee, champions who are the respective steeplechase leaders by U.S. earnings and wins, were inducted into the Racing Hall of Fame on Friday, Aug. 9. The induction ceremony was held at Fasig-Tipton Co.’s Humphrey Finney Sales Pavilion in Saratoga Springs, N.Y.
Owned by Michael Moran and trained by Sanna N. Hendriks, McDynamo won Eclipse Awards as champion steeplechaser in 2003, 2005, and 2006. He tops the list by U.S. steeplechase earnings with $1,310,104.
Purchased as a flat horse, McDynamo was poor in the gate and indifferent on the racetrack. He made a strong shift to racing over fences and won his maiden jump victory at Far Hills in 2001. He never was defeated at the New Jersey meet and won the Grand National there five consecutive times from 2003 through 2007. He also won Far Hills’ Foxbrook Champion Hurdle for novices in 2002.
Moran accepted the Hall of Fame plaque for McDynamo.
Accepting Tuscalee’s plaque was Marilyn Ketts, daughter of Albert H. Smith Sr., Tuscalee’s late owner and breeder. Racing principally in the 1960s, Tuscalee was the Thoroughbred Racing Associations’ champion in 1966, when he won ten steeplechase races from 13 starts. In all, Tuscalee won a record 37 steeplechase races.
His trainer, Joe Aitcheson Sr., limited Tuscalee largely to the Mid-Atlantic region because of his star’s dislike for shipping. The trainer’s son, Racing Hall of Fame member Joe Aitcheson Jr., rode Tuscalee in most of his later races.