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Help get Sonny Hine in the Hall of Fame!

Dateline: 07/13/00
By: Tina Hines

Sonny Hine began training full-time in 1957. He started out a small-time trainer, who conditioned horses for the big time. He made his way to Monmouth Park, and succeeded there as well as at the Meadowlands and Gulfstream Park.

His achievements were never sweeter than when trained 1998 Horse of the Year, Skip Away. This enabled the trainer to move his stable to the prestigious New York, tracks; Belmont Park and Saratoga.

Skip Away
Skip Away won 18 of 38 career races, and was off the board in only 4 attempts. He started his 3-year-old year capturing Keeneland's Blue Grass stakes, and finished second in the Preakness and Belmont Stakes. That fall he took on the older horses in the Jockey Gold Cup beating them all, including Cigar, a two-time Horse of the Year. Skip Away retired with career earnings of $9,616,360, second only to Cigar.

Though known by fans for his expert handling of Skip Away, Hine was a very successful trainer, conditioning 924 winners from 5,593 starters, exceeding a 16.5 win percent throughout his career. His horses earned $28,805,820 in purses.

Hine's other stakes winners included: Amber Pass (Dwyer and Carter Handicap winner); Bet Big (Carter and Patterson Handicaps); Cojak, Guilty Conscience, Norquestor, Royal Hierachy, Skip Trial (sire of Skip Away and winner of back-to-back runnings of the Gulfstream Park Handicap as well as the Haskell Invitational) and Technology.

David Grening, in writing for the Daily Racing Form, quoted one New York trainer : "He should be a guy that should be in the Hall of Fame," trainer Howie Tesher said. "He's been successful wherever he's been. He had a great knack for picking out horses and not paying high prices and winning big races. I don't think many people could have done the job he did with Skip Away."

If you agree Sonny Hine should be nominated for the Hall of Fame, please help in this letter-writing campaign and let the racing industry know that the fans do have something to say. Please send letters of support to the address below, nominations are due November 1st, so please get any letters in right away--better early than too late.

Att: Nominating Committee
Racing Hall of Fame
National Museum of Racing
191 Union Avenue
Saratoga Springs, NY   12866

Article by Tina Hines, photos by Cindy Pierson

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