Trainer Bud Klokstad, 79, died the morning of March 28 at his home in Northern California. The Washington Racing Hall of Fame member was found at the family's condominium in Richmond, Calif., not far from Golden Gate Fields where Klokstad maintained a string of runners.
Klokstad had been in poor health for several months and had spent time in the hospital recently for a kidney ailment.
Born March 1, 1933 and raised in North Dakota, Klokstad began his training career in 1955. He ranks second in career stakes wins at both Longacres (54) and Emerald Downs (43). His biggest winner was the brilliant gelding Chinook Pass, a Washington-bred son of Native Born Klokstad conditioned to a world record time of :55 1/5 for five furlongs on Sept. 17, 1982 at Longacres. Chinook Pass then won three stakes in Southern California for trainer Laurie Anderson before returning home to capture the 1983 Longacres Mile in his final race. Chinook Pass later was voted the Eclipse Award as the nation's outstanding sprinter.
Klokstad also trained the state's No. 1 all-time filly or mare earner Peterhof's Patea, a 1988 Peterhof foal voted into the Washington Racing Hall of Fame after winning 16 of 52 starts and earning $623,367.
Klokstad had a reputation for developing 2-year-olds, saddling a record seven winners of the Gottstein Futurity, including 1992 Longacres horse of the meeting Staff Rider who won five stakes and a then single-season earnings record of $280,549.
At Emerald Downs, Klokstad conditioned the filly Ropersandwranglers to a track record seven consecutive stakes victories from 1996-98 and three division championships. Flying Notes, voted 2002 horse of the meeting, turned in one of the most exceptional races in track history for Klokstad while winning the 2002 Emerald Downs Derby in a state record 1:45 2/5 for 1 1/8 miles.
"If you didn't know Bud, he could be a little hard to understand," owner Gordy Jarnig said. "He had that ‘my way or the highway’ thing with the horses, but I loved the guy and always enjoyed talking to him and listening to him. It's really sad."
Klokstad, who last trained regularly at Emerald Downs in 2008, was planning to return to Washington this season and had been granted 19 stalls for the 2012 meeting that begins April 13.