Karl Krieg’s homebred Makors Finale ran away with the Horse of the Year title at the 2012 Washington Champions Annual Awards banquet held on Saturday night, Feb. 16, at Emerald Downs.
An enthusiastic crowd of over 200 horsemen and racing fans gathered to pay tribute to not only the horses, but the men and women who contribute so much to the sport of racing in Washington.
The annual celebration got off to an spirited start with not just one, but three silent auctions, and continued throughout the evening with a number of raffles which had a quantum of desirable items gathered by hardworking WTBOA board members Candi Tollett and Rosalia DiPietro, who along with Bryson Cooper and a host of their dedicated friends and other horsemen, procured an amazing array to benefit the WTBOA.
Krieg, who with his wife Darlyne, lives in Oak Harbor, was the big winner of the night. Not only did Markors Finale win the top award of the evening and was named champion three-year-old, the four-time stakes winner’s older half-brother Absolutely Cool earned handicap male honors and their dam, Coup de Foudre, was named broodmare of the year. In addition, the Kriegs were lauded as the leading owners of Washington-breds by money earned in 2012.
Elttaes Stables’ Music of My Soul was rooted on by a large group of supporters, as the full brother to twice Washington Horse of the Year, was named champion two-year-old colt.
Juvenile filly honors were earned by Dan Kenny’s well-traveled Finding More.
Quizzical, whose dam Mahaska was state champion three-year-old filly in 1990, duplicated her mother’s honor 22 years later.
Jody Peetz and trainer Chris Stenslie’s speedy Hollywood Harbor, who had been Washington’s top juvenile male in 2009, earned his second state championship as the premier sprinter.
Older filly and mare honors went to E Z Kitty, who won her first stakes of the year at Emerald Downs for Nancy and Homer Gibson’s Tige Too Racing Stable and finished her year as a stakes winner at Turf Paradise for trainer Mike Chambers, John Xitco and Dan Agnew.
2011’s top sire and breeder both repeated in 2012 with Gibson Thoroughbred Farm’s Parker’s Storm Cat earning the top sire award with over $1.5-million in progeny earnings and Rick and Debbie Pabst and their Buckley nursery – Blue Ribbon Farm – maintaining the breeder’s title with just shy of $400,000, which was led by the earnings of juvenile champion Finding More.
Plater honors were earned by Chukchi Sunrise, in her second claimer title, and Kooki Saluki, who races for KOMO newscaster Dan Lewis’s MOH Stable Inc.
The prestigious Mark Kaufman Media Awards were given to radio hosts Jeff Aaron (KRKO Radio 38) and the recently retired Mike Gastineau.
Horsemen Lindy Aliment, Tom Wenzel and Don and Wanda Munger were lauded with Special Racetrack Achievement Awards. The WHBPA Willing Hearts award was given to successful former jockey and now trainer Roy Lumm.
Also acknowledged for their varied and long-term contributions to the industry were Claudia Atwell Canouse – who received the important S.J. Agnew Lifetime Special Achievement Award – and Bob and Barbara Meeking – who received the third annual WTOBA/WHBPA Special Recognition Award.