The legendary horse Seabiscuit was among those voted into the New England Racing Hall of Fame last week, just days before the race that made him a star was canceled for this year.

The legendary horse Seabiscuit was among those voted into the New England Racing Hall of Fame last week, just days before the race that made him a star was canceled for this year.

The Massachusetts Handicap, which Seabiscuit won in 1937, will run in 2009, Suffolk Downs racetrack announced Friday. Christian Teja, a Woodstock, Conn., native who is vice president of marketing at the Boston track, cited difficult economic conditions. Known as “The MassCap,” the $500,000 event has been New England’s most recognized horse race, drawing famous trainers and jockeys from all over the country.

“Our partnership does not think we can responsibly incur the expense of the MassCap when we are fighting to save jobs and maintain current purse levels for the horsemen who are here every day,” Richard Fields, Suffolk’s principal owner, said in a statement.

Massachusetts-born jockey John “Chris” McCarron, trainer Edward “Ned” Allard, owner and breeder Gil Campbell, and handicapper Dave Wilson are this year’s other Hall of Fame inductees. They will be honored at the New England Turf Writers Association annual dinner on July 16 in Danvers, Mass. The names of the four will be added to a plaque on exhibit at the TD BankNorth Garden’s Sports Museum. The Hall of Fame  started in 2005.

Seabiscuit rose to stardom on the New England circuit, running 22 times at Suffolk, Rhode Island’s Narragansett Park, and elsewhere. The year after his MassCap victory, he defeated Triple Crown winner War Admiral in a one-on-one contest at Baltimore’s Pimlico Race Course known as “The Race of the Century.”

Other inductees

John “Red” Pollard, who is buried in Pawtucket, R.I., piloted Seabiscuit to victory in the 1937 MassCap. He rode the horse in 30 races, winning 18 of them. Pollard’s daughter, Norah, lives in Stratford, Conn.

McCarron worked as an actor and technical adviser  on the 2003 movie “Seabiscuit.” He won more than 7,000 races, including the Kentucky Derby in 1987 and 1994. Other highlights include five wins in the Breeders’ Cup Classic, America’s richest race, as well as victories in the Preakness Stakes, Belmont Stakes and MassCap.

Allard began his career at Rhode Island’s Lincoln Downs in 1970, becoming one of the region’s dominant trainers over the next two decades. He’s best known for conditioning the 1985 Eclipse Award-winning filly Mom’s Command.

Campbell has bred and owned several successful runners, including multiple Grade I stakes winner Marlin and Grade II winner Ivanavinalot. Campbell currently owns a group of horses trained by Allard.

Wilson, now deceased, was known as “The King” for his ability to predict winners in his Boston Record American newspaper columns.

Norwich Bulletin