Demonstrating remarkable success against the nation’s top horseplayers over many years while earning their respect, the National Thoroughbred Racing Association (NTRA) proudly announced today that Sally Goodall, the 2020 National Horseplayers Championship (NHC) Tour Champion, and Ray Arsenault, the 2017 NHC Champion and Eclipse Award winner as National Horseplayer of the Year, have been inducted into the NHC Hall of Fame.
Goodall of Las Vegas, Nev., and Arsenault, from Thornhill, Ont., outside Toronto, represent the seventh class of NHC Hall of Fame inductees. Goodall and Arsenault will be recognized during the NHC Champions Dinner at the conclusion of the 22nd NTRA National Horseplayers Championship Presented by Racetrack Television Network, Caesars Entertainment and Bally’s, set for Aug. 27-29 at Bally’s Las Vegas. Since its launch in 2014, the NHC Hall of Fame has inducted two impact figures each season, making Goodall and Arsenault the Hall’s 13th and 14th members.
Goodall’s induction is extra special because her husband, Richard Goodall, was inducted into the NHC Hall of Fame in 2020. In addition to the 2020 NHC Tour Champion title, Sally Goodall has qualified a record-tying 18 times for the NHC, which began with her first qualification in 2006.
“I don’t have the words to express how excited and honored I felt when I received the call from the NTRA informing me that my fellow players had inducted me into the Hall of Fame,” said a delighted Goodall. “I have really loved playing in the NHC contests for 20 years and this wonderful honor is simply the cherry on top of my mooncake.”
Arsenault has quite a resume of accomplishments of his own. He is the second all-time NHC money winner. A hallmark of consistency, Arsenault is an 11-time NHC qualifier with four top 30 NHC finishes, and two top 10 finishes at the Championship in Las Vegas. Arsenault is an NHC Mentor, and worked with the NTRA to rename the NHC Rookie of the Year Award in honor of the late Jim Nace, a popular and longtime contest player, fellow mentor to many horseplayers and six-time NHC qualifier.
“It is a great honor to be put in the Hall of Fame and to be alongside the many people who are well respected in the game we love to play,” said Arsenault who became interested in horse racing contests in 2002 when he and a friend were watching his uncle in a Woodbine contest that was offering three seats to the NHC in Las Vegas along with cash prize money. “I knew then I would be going the following year,” Arsenault recalled. “In my second contest in 2004, I finished second, winning cash and a trip to Bally’s for the NHC. It opened up a new world for me. I have met so many great friends and it has allowed me the opportunity to visit most of the beautiful race tracks in North America.”
The NHC Hall of Fame was created to honor and recognize outstanding contributions and achievements of individuals who participate in the NHC and the NHC Tour. Those considered meet one or more of the following criteria:
- Competed in NHC-sanctioned tournaments and played consistently well over an extended period of time.
- Gained the respect and admiration of their peers.
- Contributed to the overall growth and success of the NHC and/or tournament play in general, with indelible positive and lasting results.
Each year, nominees are selected by a panel of former NHC Champions, NHC Tour Champions, Hall of Fame Members, current Players Committee Members, and Tournament Directors. Final Voting was expanded this year to include individuals who have been Tour members for at least 10 years and have qualified at least once for the NHC.
In addition to Goodall and Arsenault, this year’s Hall of Fame ballot included: Stanley Bavlish, Michael Beychok, Dennis Decauwer, Jim Goodman, David Gutfreund, Paul Matties, Jr., Rich Nilsen and William Shurman.
Goodall and Arsenault will be enshrined next to fellow NHC Hall of Fame members Roger Cettina and Richard Goodall (2020), Bryan Wagner and Trey Stiles (2019), Chris Larmey and Steve Wolfson, Jr. (2018), Paul Shurman and Steve Wolfson, Sr. (2017), Steven Crist and Judy Wagner (2016), and Mike Mayo and Ron Rippey (2015).
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