The Canterbury Park Hall of Fame Committee announced the Class of 2019 inductees Monday.
The newest members, who will be honored in an Aug. 31 ceremony at Canterbury, are thoroughbred trainer Francisco Bravo, the late Ralph Strangis who served as Minnesota Racing Commission Chairman, and thoroughbred owners and breeders Joni and Barry Butzow. They will join a group of more than 40 horse owners, trainers, jockeys and horses that comprise the best of Minnesota horse racing, according to a recent press release.
Bravo, who is from Sulphur, Okla., began his training career in 1992 at the former Canterbury Downs. When the track re-opened in 1995 as Canterbury Park, Bravo trained the Minnesota-bred horse Argenti to five consecutive wins. Bravo is in the top ten in all-time wins, starts and earnings in track history, according to the release.
Strangis, who is from Minneapolis, served twice as chairman of the MRC: first from 1989 to 1992, and again from 2013 until his death in 2018. According to the release, he is often credited for saving Minnesota’s live horse racing by presiding over a 1992 vote which prohibited Ladbroke Racing Corporation from operating simulcast racing without a commitment to live racing.
The Butzows, from Eden Prairie, are long-time racehorse owners and breeders whose horses have won stakes around the country, the release says.
The Canterbury Park Hall of Fame was founded in 1995 to recognize people and horses that have made important and lasting contributions to the racing industry within the state, according to the release. The selection committee consists of representatives of local horsemen organizations, local media, and Canterbury Park.