(Edited Emerald Downs release)
Belle of Rainier, the gray filly who won 14 stakes in the 1980s, has been voted into the Washington Thoroughbred Racing Hall of Fame
Jockey Larry Pierce, trainer Glen Williams, and breeder Frank Brewster will join her as members of the Class of 2008. The official induction is Sunday, Sept. 14, during Washington Cup VI at Emerald Downs.
A Washington-bred by Windy Tide foaled in 1979, Belle of Rainier won 17 of 43 starts and $424,526 in a four-year career for owner/breeder Al Benton and trainer William Findlay. She defeated males, including Chinook Pass, in the 1981 Joe Gottstein Futurity, and beat older fillies and mares in the 1982 Belle Roberts Handicap. Belle of Rainier captured nine stakes at Longacres, three at Bay Meadows and two at Exhibition Park, and was voted Longacres Horse of the Meeting in 1982.
Pierce, who rode from 1963-84, won three riding titles and ranked third all-time with 1,039 victories at Longacres. Born Feb. 2, 1945, in Clebit, Okla., Pierce ranked second all-time with 63 stakes wins at the Renton oval including the 1973 Longacres Mile on Silver Mallet. Pierce also rode a state record seven winners on May 20, 1972, and was the regular rider of the great Turbulator, one of the most famous racehorses in state history.
Williams, who trained at Longacres from 1954-74, saddled a record 57 stakes winners at the Renton track including two Longacres Mile victories, with Sparrow Castle in 1961 and Red Wind in 1972. A Renton native, Williams also won three Longacres Derbys, including one by the filly Smogy Dew in 1964.
Brewster is one of the more colorful figures in state racing lore. The proprietor of Clearbrook Stock Farm in Woodinville, Brewster was a three-time leading Washington breeder by money won and on Aug. 27, 1950, his entry of Two and Twenty and Whang Bang—whom he bred, owned, and trained—finished one-two in the Longacres Mile. Whang Bang, a filly, was voted 1950 Washington Horse of the Year.
Founded in 2003, the Washington Thoroughbred Hall of Fame each year honors one horse, one jockey, one trainer and one breeder with induction into the Hall.
The Washington Thoroughbred Racing Hall of Fame Class of 2008 also includes Pete Pedersen, the legendary racing official who received the lifetime achievement award in a special winner’s circle ceremony on Longacres Mile Day, Aug. 17.