The AQHA office is closed Thursday, December 25, Friday, December 26, and Thursday, January 1.

2012 Oklahoma Racing Hall of Fame Class

Oklahoma Horse Racing Hall of Fame releases nine new members.

January 13, 2012

Remington Park

The Oklahoma Horse Racing Hall of Fame at Remington Park will honor the first of two classes of inductees this year when a group of nine, integral to American Quarter Horse, Paint and Appaloosa competition are acknowledged in April.

Jockey Jacky Martin heads the list of horsemen that will be recognized this year and is the sole rider to be honored in this 2012 grouping. Other horsemen to be inducted include: owners and breeders Dee Raper of Norman, Oklahoma; the You And Me Partners of Lawton, Oklahoma, comprised of long-time associates Terry Bell and Homer Hill; and the late Lewis Wartchow, a dominant trainer-especially in the Paint and Appaloosa racing divisions.

The Heritage Place Sales Company of Oklahoma City will be honored for contributions to the industry as one of the nation’s premier sales venues.

A group of four horses will be inducted in April, including: Stolis Winner, the all-time leading money earner in Quarter Horse racing; Got Country Grip, the all-time leading money earner in Paint racing; First Prize Rose, a foundation broodmare who produced multiple stakes winners, champion First Down Dash and a broodmare line that continues to produce stakes winners into the second decade of the millennium; and Josie’s Bar, the 1954 world champion Quarter Horse, 3-year-old filly and mare.

The induction ceremony for these horses, horsemen and contributors will take place in the Silks Restaurant at Remington Park on Wednesday, April 11, beginning the week of racing that includes the Remington Park Futurity on April 14.

Jacky Martin – Jockey

A seven-time winner of the prestigious All American Futurity, Martin has also been voted the AQHA Champion Jockey twice (2000, 2010). A native of Arkansas, Martin has been the leading rider at Remington Park three times and has won over 2,900 races in his career, victorious aboard more than 20% of his career mounts, while posting earnings above $45 million.

Martin was critically injured in a riding mishap at Ruidoso Downs in 2011, during All American weekend. He was slated to ride Ochoa, the eventual winner of the All American Futurity on Labor Day.

You And Me Partners – Owners/Breeders

The Lawton pairing of Terry Bell and Homer ‘Bud’ Hill, have enjoyed a career’s worth of winning in Oklahoma and beyond. Placing their runners for years into the extremely capable care of the legendary Jack Brooks, the You And Me Partners have visited the Remington Park winner’s circle with stakes winners Crater Lake (2005 Remington Park Futurity) and Mighty B Valiant (2011 Remington Park Futurity) among others.

Bell and Hill also owned 2000 All American Futurity winner Eyesa Special, in partnership with Jim Pitts.

Dee Raper – Owner/Breeder

An established breeder involved in the stallion business for over 30 years, Dee and his wife Betty oversee the daily work of Belle Mere Farm in Norman, Okla., one of the state’s top stallion operations. In business since 1983, Belle Mere has featured many of the best Quarter Horse and Paint stallions in history, including the legendary Easy Jet.

The top athlete campaigned by Dee Raper was Eye Yin You, still the only horse to date to win the Remington Park Futurity and Derby, achieving the illusive double in 2004 and 2005 respectively.

Lewis Wartchow – Trainer

A beloved trainer for decades, known as the ‘King of Paints’ for his years of success with the Paint breed, Lewis Wartchow, of Ada, Okla., passed in 2003. Among his accomplishments at Remington Park was a six-win day in 1998, making him the first trainer to win that many races on one card in Oklahoma City.

Wartchow won 33 stakes races during the Remington Park Quarter Horse Seasons in which he competed. He was also the very first trainer ever inducted into the Appaloosa Horse Club Hall of Fame, in 1988. The Mister Lewie Memorial Stakes for Paints and Appaloosas is run yearly at Remington Park in honor of Wartchow.

Heritage Place Sales Company

A major impact player in the sport of horse racing since its beginning in 1978, the Heritage Place Sales Company of Oklahoma City was founded by 11 prominent horsemen who saw an opportunity for a horse sales venue, centrally located in the United States. The Heritage Place is currently owned by the Robert W. Moore Family of Oklahoma City; the Bruce Gentry Family of Lubbock, Texas; Robert Gentry of Lubbock, Texas; and Dr. Charles Graham, Elgin, Texas.

Heritage Place is the world’s largest venue for Quarter Horse sales and boasts a unique facility consisting of 4-1/2 acres under one roof which includes a 1,000 seat air-conditioned auditorium, club and restaurant, 640 stalls, and arena. Through its history over 70,000 horses have moved through the sales ring, bringing more than a half-billion dollars in sales.

Stolis Winner

Quarter Horse racing’s all-time leading money earner with a bankroll of $2,235,161, the gelding rose to prominence in 2008 with an astounding 2-year-old season. He won the first Heritage Place Futurity to carry a purse of more than a million dollars before dominating the futurity season at Ruidoso Downs that summer where he eventually won the prestigious $1.9 million All American Futurity.

Stolis Winner became the all-time leading money earner in the sport when he surpassed Refrigerator in 2010. Owned by Jerry Windham of College Station, Texas and trained by Heath Taylor, Stolis Winner returned to Remington Park in 2011 to win the Bank of America Oklahoma Challenge Championship. Overall he has won 13 of his 29 races with all but two of them in a stakes event or trial race to qualify for a stakes event.

Got Country Grip

The all-time leader for money earned in Paint racing, Got Country Grip began his career in 2005, breaking his maiden status at first-asking. He would continue to win, beginning his career with 16 consecutive victories. The streak equaled the North American modern day record. He experienced his first defeat attempting to win his 17th straight race when his record-breaking bid came up short with a second-place effort at Remington Park in the Mister Lewie Memorial Stakes.

Got Country Grip would become the first Paint racer to earn more than $300,000, wrapping his career with 21 wins, four seconds and two thirds from 30 starts. Got Country Grip was campaigned by Jimmy Maddux of Weatherford, Texas, and trained by Brandon Parum.

First Prize Rose

Bred in Oklahoma by Gordon Wilson in 1976, First Prize Rose had a three-year racing career where she was stakes-placed while winning 6 races from 34 attempts. While her career on the track was marginal, it was her second career that gained her recognition for this year’s Hall of Fame class.

First Prize Rose developed into a foundation broodmare, producing stakes winners that in turn would then produce even more stakes winners. She had seven foals overall, with all seven starting races with six reaching the winner’s circle. Her offspring included: 1987 AQHA World Champion First Down Dash who would go on to be one of the greatest stallions in history; and prominent broodmare First Prize Dash who would foal a pair of Heritage Place Futurity winners and another pair to win the Remington Park Futurity.

The progeny line of success connected to First Prize Rose continues well into the second decade of the millennium.

Josie’s Bar

A horse from yesteryear, Josie’s Bar was the 1954 AQHA World Champion, champion mare and champion 3-year-old filly. Josie’s Bar won a record 14 consecutive races from August 1953 through September 1954. She was the inaugural winner of the Los Alamitos Super Derby in 1954, then run for a purse of $15,000. The race in southern California is now routinely run for a million dollars.

Josie’s Bar was owned and bred in Oklahoma by Oscar Cox of Lawton, Okla. and trained by Willie Kelley. She finished her racing career in 1954 before moving on to broodmare duty where she produced 1965 World Champion Go Josie Go.

Information on tickets to the induction ceremony on April 11 is forthcoming.

Remington Park will host a second induction ceremony for the Oklahoma Horse Racing Hall of Fame in October, honoring those deserving for Thoroughbred accomplishments.

Live racing is now on hiatus at Remington Park until the beginning of the 2012 American Quarter Horse & Mixed-breed Season on March 2.