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HOLY BULL, PASEANA, FIRES AND MANDELLA MAKE HALL OF FAME

The champion runners Holy Bull and Paseana, veteran jockey Earlie Fires, and trainer Richard Mandella have been elected to Throughbred racing's Hall of Fame. They join the Horse of Yesteryear winner, Maskette, as new inductees for 2001, announced John von Stade, president of the National Museum of Racing and Hall of Fame.

Holy Bull was bred by the late Rachel Carpenter's Pelican Stable and was bequeathed to Jimmy Croll, himself a Hall of Fame trainer. Owned and trained by Croll, Holy Bull won 13 of 16 races at two, three, and four, and earned $2,481,760. He was voted Horse of the Year as well as 3-year-old champion in 1994 and was injured in his second start at four in 1995.

Holy Bull was elected in the contemporary male division and was eligible for the first time, five calendar years having elapsed since his last race. He was elected over Precisionist and Manila in that division. Holy Bull stands at Jonabell Farm in Kentucky.

Paseana, elected in the contemporary female category, also was eligible for the first time. She was the Eclipse Award champion of the older female division in both 1992 and 1993 and continued to race through the age of eight in 1995. Imported to race for Sidney Craig, the Argentine-bred mare won 19 of 36 races and earned $3,171,203. She also was trained in this country by a Hall of Famer, Ron McAnally. Paseana was elected over Flawlessly and Sky Beauty.

Paseana foaled a Lode filly in Argentina in September of 2000 and currently is boarded at Lane's End Farm in Kentucky.

Fires has been a prominent rider for 36 years, since topping all apprentices in 1965. He had won 6,136 races and earned more than $77 million as of the end of 2000. A native of Rivervale, Ark., Fires was born into a racing family in 1947. In 1965, he won his first race in March and by year's end had 224 victories as the top apprentice.

Since then he has led numerous meetings in the Midwest -- Arlington, Churchill Downs, and Keeneland -- in addition to Gulfstream and Tropical-at-Calder in Florida. In 1983, Fires set a record for Arlington Park by winning seven races from eight mounts on a single card.

Among Fires' major mounts was In Reality, with whom he won six races, including the Florida Derby and Jersey Derby. In Hall of Fame balloting he was voted in over Craig Perret and the late Jack Westrope.

Mandella had won 1,447 races and earned more than $80 million through last year In graded stakes, since 1976, he has won 137 (15.5%) of 882 starts, including two wins in one race when Beautiful Melody and Reluctant Guest dead-heated in the 1990 Beverly Hills Handicap. In all black type races, since 1976, Mandella has won 296 (18%) from 1,613 starts.

Mandella, a California native who operates a public stable based in that state, has finished as high as second in national earnings and has won meeting titles at Hollywood Park, Del Mar, and Oak Tree. Mandella developed 1993 Horse of the Year Kotashaan, which won the 1993 Breeders' Cup Turf on the same day Mandella sent out Phone Chatter to win the Breeders' Cup Juvenile Filly, also clinching an Eclipse Award.

Mandella saddled Dare and Go to win the 1996 Pacific Classic, ending Cigar's 16-race winning streak. The 106 horses with which he has won stakes also include 2000 Haskell and Malibu winner Dixie Union. Mandella has won grade I races from West to East, including the Metropolitan, Santa Anita Handicap, Hollywood Gold Cup, Pimlico Special, Caesars International, Oak Tree Invitational, and Super Derby.

The other candidates in the trainer category were Mel Stute and the late Sonny Hine.

Maskette, winner in the Horse of Yesteryear category, was a star early in the 20th Century. Although voting on championships was not begun until 1936, she is widely regarded by racing historians as having been the champion 2-year-old filly of 1908 and best 3-year-old filly of 1909. Owned by James R. Keene and trained by Hall of Famer James Rowe, Maskette won 12 of 17 races and earned $77,090. The category is for horses whose last race was more than 25 years ago, and Maskette won in the Yesteryear division over Numbered Account and Swoon's Son.

A panel of 145 writers, broadcasters, etc., vote on the Hall of Fame, after three candidates in each division have been selected by the Hall of Fame Nominating Committee of 14 individuals. Beginning this year, the Nominating Committee was given the additional option of bypassing any category if it reached a consensus that there were not three strong candidates, but the committee found the standard of nominees in every category again justified a Hall of Fame election.

The Hall of Fame induction ceremonies will be held on Aug. 6 in Saratoga Springs, NY., at the Fasig-Tipton sale pavilion. The ceremony, which is free and open to the public, will begin at 10:30 a.m.

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