Hall of Fame changes voting procedures

The National Museum of Racing has changed its voting procedures that determine which horses, jockeys, and trainers are elected into the racing industry's Hall of Fame, according to the organization.

Under the new system, four candidates for the Hall of Fame will be elected each year as in previous years. However, the new system will allow voters to select multiple candidates from a single category, instead of forcing voters to pick one candidate, and only one candidate, from each of the four nominating categories: Contemporary Fillies and Mares, Contemporary Colts and Geldings, Contemporary Jockeys, and Contemporary Trainers.

The four candidates who receive the most votes will go into the Hall, Hall of Fame officials said, even if some categories are not represented on the slate of inductees.

"The main reason we did this was to give voters more flexibility," said Brien Bouyea, the communications coordinator for the Hall of Fame. "There have been a lot of complaints about not being able to get multiple candidates from one category into the Hall, especially among the fillies, and this should be a way to address that."

The Hall of Fame's nominating committee will select eight to 10 candidates from among the four categories to be presented to the voters, the Hall of Fame said. The nominating committee will not be required to select an equal number of candidates from each of the four categories. In some cases, Bouyea said, the nominating committee may not offer a candidate from one of the categories if committee members determine that another category has far more eligible members.

Approximately 200 members of the racing industry, mostly media representatives, vote for the Hall of Fame.

"We have always felt confident that the old system was working well, but believe that this improvement will make the process stronger," Stella Thayer, president of the museum, and Ed Bowen, chairman of the Hall of Fame Nominating Committee, said in a joint statement.

The Hall of Fame's Historic Review Committee will continue to select inductees from horses, jockeys, and trainers whose careers ended more than 25 years ago, the Hall said.