Charles Hesse III and his wife Marianne, who have raced as Char-Mari Stable at Monmouth Park for several decades, were named the 2003 recipients of the Virgil (Buddy) Raines Distinguished Achievement Award. Mr. and Mrs. Hesse were honored in winner's circle ceremonies on Aug. 31. The Raines Award, instituted at Monmouth in 1996, honors men and women who have demonstrated a continuing commitment to the sport of Thoroughbred racing as an owner or trainer, and whose conduct has been exemplary for professionalism, integrity and service to the sport. Mr. and Mrs. Hesse are the eighth recipients of the Raines Award, following J. Willard Thompson (1996); Danny Perlsweig (1997); Warren A. (Jimmy) Croll (1998), Joe Pierce Jr. (1999), Peter Shannon (2000), Dennis Drazin (2001) and Sam Fieramosca (2002). The Hesses, who live in Leonardo, New Jersey, have been involved in racing as owners for more than 30 years. Mr. Hesse's father, Charles Jr., built the original Monmouth Park racing strip in 1946. Mrs. Hesse, in addition to being a partner with her husband in Char-Mari Stable, is also a partner in Double H Stable with Mrs. Leon Hess. She is also a former co-chair of the Monmouth Park Charity Ball Committee. Char-Mari was co-owner of Storm Tower, winner of the Salvator Mile at Monmouth in 1994. At 3 in 1993, Storm Tower won the Fountain of Youth Stakes at Gulfstream and the Wood Memorial at Aqueduct, and was second to Kissin Kris in the Haskell Invitational here. Mrs. Hesse's Double H Stable campaigned Unbridled Jet, a stakes winner who was fourth in the 1999 Haskell and second in the Pegasus Stakes at the Meadowlands that year. In 2000, Char-Mari Stable won the Bernie Dowd Handicap for New Jersey-breds with Selective. "Charlie and Marianne Hesse are deserving winners of the Raines Award," said Bob Kulina, vice president of racing and general manager of Monmouth Park. "They are loyal New Jersey racing people and they exemplify what owning racehorses is all about.
"They have been a wonderful part of Monmouth Park racing for a long time, and we appreciate their support and dedication. They thoroughly love the game, they love Monmouth Park, and they're great for racing." The award is named for the late Virgil (Buddy) Raines, one of racing's most venerable figures who was a regular at Monmouth Park before his retirement. Mr. Raines trained horses for 65 years and won the Preakness Stakes in 1962 with Greek Money. Each recipient of the Raines Award receives a special trophy emblematic of the honor. All winners of the award will have their names placed on a special plaque that is displayed in the Monmouth Park clubhouse.