here never was a more accomplished,
dominating filly to race in the Pacific northwest than Smogy Dew. Period. Some
will mention the talented runners of years past like Dark Damsel, Whang Bang,
Vunderbar, Savannah Blue Jeans, Silky Steel, Ginger Sauce, Belle of Rainier,
Flamme, Bixs Bet, Mahaska, Firesweeper, Peterhofs Patea, Run Away
Stevie, Happy La, Favored One and even more recently Fleet Pacific and
Youcanttakeme, but while these gallant distaffers stood high above their
peers on the Washington racing scene, they dont compare to the simply,
incomparable Smogy Dew.
Smogy Dew was from
the third crop of Six Fifteen, who entered stud at Les Turners Rural Land
Farm in George in 1958. Bred by Mrs. J. M. (Mason) Peirce, who had purchased
his dam a daughter of Man o War at the 1940 Saratoga
yearling, Six Fifteen was sold for $7,200 to Joe Palmisano at the 1951
Keeneland sales. One of Palmisanos clients was Jack McElroy, in whose
colors Six Fifteen would run. A winner in each of his six seasons racing, Six
Fifteens biggest victory came at age five in the $20,000 Governors
Handicap at Sacramento with Gordon Glisson astride. Six Fifteen ran 125 times
over six seasons, winning 14 races, with 25 seconds, 18 thirds, earnings of
$141,115 and an SSI of 3.76.
Six Fifteen sported a
very interesting pedigree. His sire, the Australian import *Bernborough, was
thought to be the second coming of Phar Lap in his native land. Known for his
Silky Sullivanesqe surges, *Bernborough won 26 (15 stakes) of his
37 starts, 15 of them consecutively. *Bern-boroughs sire, Emborough, a
son of Gainsborough, was leading sire in Australia in 1945/46. *Bernborough,
who stood at Spendthrift Farm in Lexington, KY, sired 21 stakes winners (seven
percent), many of whom held track records, including the speedy Berseem (a
popular sales sire in Washington in the early 1970s) who set or equaled
three California track records Acorn Stakes and Vosburgh Handicap winner
Parading Lady and Bernwood who set a new track record while winning the
mile Sheridan Handicap in 1:33 4/5.
Fifteens dam Maidoduntreath traces to Reine-des-Course Macaroon
(Family 20), a 1907 daughter of MarcoSt. Rosalia, by St. Frusquin. St.
Rosalia was a half-sister to 1901 English St. Leger winner Doricles. Also
stemming from this family were several of the B stakes winners bred
by Col. E.R. Bradley, i.e.; Baba Kenny, Bee Mac, Batter Cake, Betty Beall,
Bless Me, By Jimminy and Better Self. In addition to Six Fifteen,
Maidoduntreath produced 10 other winners from 12 foals, led by Hollywood Oaks
winner Mrs. Fuddy, Golden Gate Futurity victor Scotch and three stakes-placed
runners. One of her daughters, the Count Fleet filly Maid of Flight, will
forever be remembered as the dam of the great Kelso.
Among Six Fifteens 121 winners from 160 starters,
207 foals and 18 crops were 13 stakes winners and 13 stakes-placed runners. All
in all, they won 863 races and earned $1,732,758. Besides Smogy Dew, Six
Fifteen is best remembered as the sire Joe Gottsteins 1969 Washington
horse of the year and champion two-year-old Bouncing Kim, top Oregon-bred
runner Tall Ben who won or placed in 22 stakes in the Pacific northwest
and 37-race winner and track record-setting, multiple stakes winner
Though he never led the state general
sire rankings, often lingering in the shadow of his esteemed stablemate Strong
Ruler, a seven-time Washington leader from 1967-1973, Six Fifteen figured in
the top five on both the Washington general and juvenile lists on many
Smogy Dew was the fifth foal and winner
produced out of unraced No Smog, who would be named Washington broodmare of the
year in 1963. Space Race, her 1957 filly by Hull Down, won eight races, while
her 1958 colt by the same sire, Ketch, won 11. Next came the first of her three
consecutive foals by Six Fifteen. The initial Six Fifteen foal, Splendored
Thing, had already won the Mary Broderick Memorial Stakes and placed in two
other stakes during her 1961 juvenile season before her soon to be famous
sister hit the auction block. (Splendored Thing later produced two
stakes-placed runners and is the third dam of 1997 Pierce County Stakes winner
Sassie Jo Lassie.) In 1960, No Smog foaled Quarter Smog, who would win three
races and finish second in the British Columbia Oaks.
No Smog, who lived to be 30, produced five other foals
after Smogy Dew, of which four entered the winners circle. Her 1965
daughter, Poor Kellys Folly, also by Six Fifteen, won four races and was
stakes-placed in the Mary Broderick Memorial. Among No Smogs other
winners was Our Golden Years, a 1963 daughter of Alate, who produced Tukwila
Handicap winner Knights Finale and stakes-placed fillies Smoggy Down and
Pebbles. Stakes winners Ensign Earnem, Bubba Bay and Fame Ina Minute all trace
in female line to Our Golden Years. No Smog was sired by Cover Up, a son of
*Alibhai who was one of the best runners of his generation at four (1947), when
he won the Hollywood Gold Cup (10 furlongs run in a quick 2:00 flat) and
Sunset, San Francisco and Balboa Handicaps. He was also a stakes winner at six,
the same season he equaled the six furlong mark at Del Mar. Though an earner of
$215,420, Cover Up sired but six stakes winners from his 203 foals.
No Smogs dam, Cominta, while only placed at the
track, produced 10 winners from her 12 foals, though none added any black-type
to the family page. Comintas dam, Mint Olga, by Mint Briar, a half-sister
to stakes-placed Suvir and Reigh Olga, won the Spring Juvenile Stakes. She
produced only two minor winners and was also the third dam of the $146,380
stakes-winning mare Khal Ireland.
Smogy Dew was bred
by wheat farmer Arthur Fiess and his wife Gladys at their farm in Wilson Creek,
a small agricultural community located in Grant County, just off Highway 28
between Soap Lake and Odessa, about 20 miles northeast of Moses Lake and about
a 190 mile trip from Seattle. The small community, with an elevation of 1,275
feet, is probably as obscure today (2000 population 227), as it was 45 years
ago. Fiess had purchased No Smog in California in 1958 at the January CTBA and
Fasig-Tipton Annual Mixed Sale for $1,300. WHBA business manager Ed Heinemann
signed the ticket for him as agent.
No Smog foaled
her chestnut future champion on St. Patricks Day, March 17, 1961, and a
little more than 18 months later the filly was part of the Fiess
two-horse consignment to the seventh WTBA Mixed Sale, held at Spokanes
Of the 75 horses
consigned to the sale, 56 were yearlings. While the average price for each
horse was $1,153, the 22 select yearlings averaged $1,968. Among
them was the $10,000 sale topper (a colt by My Host). The highest priced filly
brought $2,800, with the Fiess Six Fifteen filly bringing $2,100
third highest among the yearling distaffers. Renton general practitioner Dr.
Dan Ranniger signed the sales slip for the newly formed partnership of
Raninger, Irwin and Venema.
A Trio of Doctors
friendship of the three medical men came about through two factors. Two of
their wives, Gail Ranniger and Pat Venema, had been good high school friends.
Philip Irwin and George Venema had become friends and colleagues while
attending veterinary school together at Washington State College.
Venema was the first of the three partners to be bitten
by the race bug. As a youngster, he and friends had watched many a
race through the outside fence at the clubhouse turn at Longacres. He began to
dream of one day working at the track, but had to wait a few years for that to
happen. Between his junior and senior years at college, Venema became a
urine boy at Longacres. I collected samples for the racing
commission in a coffee can, he jovially stated at last years Hall
of Fame inductions.
In 1962, Ranniger was
practicing his chosen profession in Renton (today, the still active doctor has
a clinic in Kent). He believed then, as he does now, that you should be
involved in activities in your community. In his youth, he had ridden horses at
his uncles place in Sunnyside. After being a $2 bettor at Longacres, he
decided that owning a racehorse might be fun. He was responsible for getting
the threesome to Spokane to buy that first horse.
So after doing a bit of research at the WHBA library
then located on Empire Way South (now known as Martin Luther King Way),
it was decided that one of the most important things about the dam of any
yearling they might purchase was that she had to have speed in her pedigree.
The three pooled their money, each contributing $500 to the purchase pot, and
traveled to Spokane for the 1962 WHBA sale. The trio looked at every yearling
in the sale and made a list in order of their preference. Most of the attention
was focused on a handsome son of My Host, which indeed topped the sale, that
the doctors felt he would be out of their reach.
Venema remembered, By the time the horses started
entering the ring, our hopes were centered on the filly by Six Fifteen with
freckles on her nose and a muscular filly by Strong Ruler who would
later become stakes winner Ojosan. We mostly sat on our hands until Smogy
entered the ring and we started bidding and holding our breath, he added.
The rest is history.
It was a masterstroke of luck that we couldnt afford our first,
second, third, and so on picks.
As she went
for a little over their original $1,500 budget, each committed to add $200 to
meet the fillys $2,100 purchase price.
Smogy, One G or Two
Shortly after their monumental purchase, the doctors
were saddled with the pleasant, but sometimes frustrating, task of naming their
Venema related that the
auspicious choice came about because of a habit formed in college, when making
the long drive to and from Pullman to Seattle while in veterinary school, to
sing certain songs of the time to help pass the hours.
One night while Phil and Judy and Pat and I were
driving to Seattle and singing the ditty that contained the phrase in the
foggy, foggy dew [from a folksong popularized by Burl Ives], it suddenly
struck us that here was a name for our horse. Since her dam was No Smog, we
changed foggy to smoggy. At the next meeting of the partnership, the name was
purposed to Dan and he agreed to it. One of the three of us was assigned the
job of filling out the naming application form and later sending it in. That
person simply made a spelling mistake. Later, after the name had been accepted,
we believed it may have been a good omen, as a number of horsemen told us many
good horses had misspelled names.
Henceforth, northwest racing fans would lean toward
spelling smoggy with only one g.
A Trainer Named Williams
asked why Glen Williams was chosen to pilot their first racehorses
career, Ranniger replied simply that, He was the smartest and most
capable trainer at Longacres. He then added, He was the secret to
her [Smogy Dews] success.
a Renton native whose first trips to Longacres came with his father as a small
boy, soon after the track had opened. After his graduation from the University
of Washington with a degree in engineering he worked for The Boeing Company,
but he soon gravitated to the track. He began training Thoroughbreds in 1954,
and in the 20 years that followed, nurtured, besides Ranniger, Irwin and
Venemas trio (see below), the likes of champions Sparrow Castle, Quina
Reigh, Summereigh, Silver Duke, Better Dancer, Tenino Ville and finally Red
Wind in his last year of training in 1972. He trained a record 57 stakes
winners during that two decades and then switched gears and was the director of
racing at Longacres until 1989.
Other R-I-V Champion Fillies
Besides Smogy Dew, Ranniger, Irwin and Venema raced two
other top Washington fillies in Gold Afloat and Miss Redoubt, also products of
the WTBA sales program and also both sired by Rural Land Farm stallions
(Ranniger and Venema would later both develop strong personal friendships with
Rural Lands proprietor Les Turner.).
Afloat, a daughter of AlateFairena, was the most expensive of the trio,
being purchased for $4,100 from the Rural Land Farm consignment in 1963. Two
years later, the partners purchased Miss Redoubt, a daughter of Strong
RulerAldine for only $1,200 from the Clink Livestock Co. consignment. So
for a total price of $7,400, Ranniger, Irwin and Venema purchased three
champions fillies who together earned $127,338 while racing.
Gold Afloat won eight of her 18 starts, including the
Mary Broderick Memorial, Washington Stallion and Seafair Queen Stakes, the
Spokane Futurity and Yakima Derby en route to winnings of $35,225
earning an SSI of 5.84. She was named co-champion two-year-old filly, with
Duchess Joan, in 1964 and champion three-year-old filly of 1965. She only
produced four foals, but all were winners and included 1973 Joshua Green Cup
Handicap runner-up New Purchase.
As with Smogy Dew
and Gold Afloat, Miss Redoubt also ran and beat the boys. She became the third
Spokane Futurity winner for fortunate combo in 1966, the year she was named
state champion two-year-old filly. Miss Redoubt won the Renton Handicap (one of
only two fillies to ever win that stakes in its 53 runnings) two years later.
She was victorious in seven of her 22 starts, had a 5.27 SSI and earnings of
$35,225. Miss Redoubt was the most successful broodmare of the bunch, but not
in Washington. She ended up in Puerto Rico were she produced multiple graded
stakes winner Miss Bell P.R., stakes winner El Principle and three
stakes-placed winners among her eight foals.
First Record Falls
receiving her early training at Williams Pinehurst Farm in Spokane, Smogy
Dew, with her soon to be famous freckles, made her debut on June 21, 1963 at
Longacres in a five furlong maiden race for Washington-breds. It marked an
auspicious beginning. After unseating rider Jimmy Craswell in the paddock and
charging down the track until caught by an outrider in the stretch turn, Smogy
broke rather slowly, but then rushed up to the leaders on the outside
nearing the stretch turn to take command and was an easy winner. The
phrase easy winner would be a phrase repeated by trackmen in their
race notes for the majority of her races. In that first effort, Smogy defeated
second place Lady Le Duc by 3 1/4 lengths in a time of :59 1/2 and earned $700
for her efforts.
Smogys next start, and the
only time in which she was defeated as a juvenile, came in the 5 1/2 furlong
Mary Broderick Memorial for statebred fillies on June 30. Again with Craswell
in the irons, Smogy Dew was a fast closing second, finishing 1 1/2 lengths
behind William Winebergs Cousins Dream.
The Washington Stallion Stakes was split in two
divisions for its 13th running on July 7 and was run over a sloppy track.
Fields of 10 ran in each division for a purse of $9,165 each (making it the
third richest race of the meet, behind only the Longacres Mile and Washington
Futurity). Smogy drew into the first division and was bet down to $2.35-to-one
favoritism. Again with Craswell aboard, Smogy drew out from the early
leaders around the stretch turn and, hugging the rail in the stretch, was an
easy winner over a track that could only be described as goo.
Her margin of victory over This is True was 4 1/2 lengths. She was the only
favorite to win all afternoon. For the record, Mio Count took the second
division in 1:06 3/5, one tick faster than the filly.
Smogy and Craswell next went wire-to-wire in a 5 1/2
furlong allowance race (Futurity Trial #1) on August 11, which proved an able
tightener for her next outing the Drumheller Memorial, run 13 days
later. Again, the race drew 20 entries and had to be split into divisions. This
time, Smogy and Craswell drew into the second division, and at odds of
$1.10-to-one, she rushed to the inside in the first quarter and again was
an easy winner, scoring a 1 3/4 length victory over Our Dream Girl
in a time of 1:11 on a good track. Her time was a full second faster than it
took Thats John to earn his victory in the first division of the six panel
The highpoint of the state juvenile
division each year is the Washington (now Gottstein) Futurity. For the third
time in its 23-year history, the Futurity had to be run in two divisions, with
each race valued at $15,840. Swiftsure Stables Dusky Glitter won the
first half of the 6 1/2 furlong race in 1:17 over This is True and Lady Le Duc,
both whom had tasted defeat at the hands of Ranniger, Irwin and Venemas
Smogy Dew, again with Craswell up,
dominated her division of the Futurity from the get-go. Sprinting to the lead
early, Smogy set fractions of :22, :45. 1:09 3/5 and finished up the race in
1:16. It was a full second faster than it had taken Dusky Glitter a race
earlier. Her final margin was an impressive seven lengths. The Daily Racing
Form chart once again communicated the ease of her win.
With the Longacres meet now over, Smogy and company
headed east to Playfair and a shot at the Spokane Futurity. Though there was a
change of tracks and of riders (Enrique DeAlba rode her in her final two races
of the year), she continued to end her dance in the winners circle. After
winning a six furlong allowance in a romp on September 22, she went into the
18th running of the Spokane Futurity, at the Playfair Course distance of 6 1/2
furlongs minus 100 feet, as the .25-to-one favorite. Starting from post nine,
Smogy Dew (and several others) had to abruptly veer over when Ojosan (who broke
from outside the starting gate in post 11) leaped to a quick start and steered
over to try to reach the rail before the first turn. But that was only a minor
setback, as Smogy soon gained the advantage, demonstrating her
superiority and never relinquished the lead, winning by two lengths in
1:16. Fellow distaffers Me No and Ojosan finished second and third. She earned
$4,425 for the victory.
In winning the Spokane
stakes she answered two of the three questions that had been raised.
Could she carry highweight?
Yes, she toted 123 pounds.
Would she recover if forced to take up?
question remaining, and one that would have to wait until her three-year-old
season, was could she successfully go a distance?
It should be noted that Smogy Dew faced the 1962 WTBA
sale topper, now named Flying Host, in her two allowance races and in the
Washington Futurity, where he ran fourth. Flying Host did manage to win the
Juvenile Mile Stakes and place in two other added money events, earning $6,990
over two seasons. (His younger half-brother, stakes winner Strong Award, by
Strong Ruler, would fare much better, earning $189,361.)
Smogy Dews $27,820 was not only a record for a
Washington juvenile distaffer, but for any statebred two-year-old runner. Her
earnings contributed greatly to her breeder Arthur Fiess eighth place
finish among all breeders in 1963 and propelled her sire Six Fifteen to the top
of the juvenile sire rankings. Six Fifteens only other two-year-old
winner that year won two races and contributed $2,876 to his $30,696 totals.
For her sparkling season, when she
unmercifully crushed her foes with reckless abandon over fast, muddy,
slow and sloppy tracks, Smogy Dew was named Washington horse of the year,
the first juvenile filly ever so honored. The flashy, versatile, fast and
winning filly also was awarded top impost on the Washington Experimental
Free Handicap, being assigned 123 pounds (126, if sex allowance is considered).
A Second Championship
1964 was to prove a fruitful one for the dynamic filly and for horse racing,
both locally and nationally. On the national scene, Smogy Dews sire Six
Fifteens Uncle Kelso would take the lead as the worlds
all time money earner ($1.9 million) and earn his fifth horse of the year
title; future sire great Northern Dancer would win the Kentucky Derby and
Preakness Stakes; and records for a yearling ($170,000) and broodmare
($177,000) would be set at the Keeneland sales. 1964 Washington horse of the
year honors would go to Mustard Plaster, who would win the $100,000
Californian, defeating Kelso, and the name Smogy Dew would grow to become a
household word to racing fans, big and small, in the Evergreen State.
At one point, Joe Gottstein wanted to buy Smogy and
take her to California, but she wasnt for sale, and Gottstein had no
interest in the doctors only other option of just leasing her.
After spending the winter turned out at Williams
Inland Empire farm, Smogy Dew returned to the racing wars and to her myriad of
fans on May 31 in Longacres 5 1/2 furlong Seafair Queen Stakes where she
faced 12 other Washington-bred sophomore fillies. There was no doubt who the
favorite was, as Smogy Dew was bet down to .70-to-one.
A write-up the July 1964 issue of this journal,
questioned Why anyone wanted to tangle with her, in the filly division,
was a mystery, for she is obviously five lengths better than any female of her
After working lightly towards her debut
in 1:01 flat and then with a three-eighths blowout of :36 3/5 the day before
the stakes, Smogy and Craswell were once again ready to roll, even if they had
to break from post 13 in the auxiliary gate. Rated behind the early pace, Smogy
Dew had a one-length lead by the half-mile marker and then drew off by
3 1/2 lengths to yet another redun-dantly easy win.
She was scheduled to meet older fillies and mares the
following week in the Fashion Handicap, but on the Saturday before the race,
she struck her head on a beam in her stall when she reared back to avoid
the animosity of a passing horse. As she was bleeding from her nostrils,
her owners wisely declared her from running.
and partner Craswell next took on the boys again in the June 21, Tacoma
Handicap, which in its 31st running, was the oldest continuously run stakes
event at Longacres. Ten other runners faced the champion filly in the 6 1/2
furlong test, who again started as race favorite, this time at odds of
$1.90-to-one. Nestling behind early leader Mr. Ability, Smogy Dew had her
pretty little nose in front at the half-mile and drew away to another easy win,
2 1/2 lengths the better of her fellow Washington Futurity winner Dusky
Glitter. The second through seven place horses finished in a charge, with only
about a length separating the whole herd.
Unfortunately, the champion filly came out of the race
with an inflamed ankle. X-rays disclosed a bone chip. Concerns were voiced that
this might be the end of her race career, but a few days later the swelling had
receded and the ankle cooled out. Williams kept her on the sidelines for
several weeks before starting her back with a slow gallop and things went well.
There was speculation that the ankle problem was the result of an old injury
and that she might have been running on the chip late in her two-year-old
With that said, Smogy Dews name was
next seen in the entry box just 35 days after her Tacoma victory when she faced
older runners for the first time in the open Speed Handicap, a six furlong test
run on July 26. Smogy, who was to be ridden for the first time by Lennie
Knowles, as Craswell had returned to California to ride, was coupled for the
race with fellow Williams trainee Grey Gale, a stakes-winning son of Oil
Capitol that was owned by Herman Sarkowsky. The duo went off as the
$1.60-to-one favorite. With her sex and age allowance, Smogy Dew was the scale
highweight weight at 114 pounds. Again, after pressing the pace in second early
on, the daughter of Six Fifteen was ahead of the pack at the first half-mile
and had forged ahead by two in the stretch. But she wasnt home free as
usual, as five-year-old Dr. John H., who had won the Washington Futurity and
Longacres Derby and who would later immerge victorious in the 1964
Governors Handicap, was coming on with a rush. But the Swiftsure Stable
runner ran out of ground before the wire and Smogy Dew won her seventh
consecutive stakes race albeit only by a length. Her $2,855 in earnings
propelled her to $38,270 and she was now the third leading money winning
Washington-bred distaffer of all time, only behind Vunderbar and Whang Bang.
So far, Smogy had not been tested further than 6
1/2 furlongs. After taking the first leg of the Longacres Triple
Crown (Tacoma Handicap), she would be facing the second challenge of the
series in the August 9, Spokane Handicap at a mile. Assigned highweight of 122,
her connections thought seriously about skipping the race and taking her to San
Diego for the Del Mar Oaks on August 12, where she would have to carry only 114
But Smogy stayed home, and once again with
Knowles in the saddle, Washingtons equine sweetheart went off the
$1.20-to-one favorite in the field of 12 starting in the Spokane. But it was
not in the cards for the chestnut wonder filly. After moving up close to
the leaders on the backstretch while racing slightly wide, Smogy tired
badly after reaching the stretch to finish ignominiously in ninth place,
7 1/4 lengths behind the come-from-behind winner Dusky Glitter, whose $97.40
mutuel payoff was the largest in Longacres stakes history. It was later rumored
that Smogys first major defeat was the result of her being in heat.
Williams admitted to sending her out short for the test, but later
confessed her defeat was more than likely due to a change in race tactics.
The 1964 Longacres
Derby would go down as the best race of that season, and many of the 8,045 fans
who saw it considered it the best race ever run at the Renton oval. Eleven
sophomores contested the 1 1/8 miles stakes run on August 23. It had everything
going for it: national pride, the boys versus the girls, and an exciting duel
to the wire. For a change, Smogy Dew was not the race betting favorite. The
smart money had been put down on British Columbia-bred and future
Canadian horse of the year George Royal, who had won his previous seven races
and had an overall record of 11 wins in 16 starts, while racing from six
furlongs to 1 5/16 miles. Hundreds of Canadians came south to Renton to root on
their national hero.
After her performance in the
Spokane Handicap, there were doubts as to whether the filly could go a
distance, but Williams had instructed Knowles to take the filly off the pace in
that race, a tactic which turned out not to her liking or style. A week before
the Derby, Williams sent his star filly out for a mile tightener, but that
quick 1:36 3/5 work led to fears among her supporters that she might have
left her race on the track.
Williams gave different instructions to Knowles. I got in the paddock and
told Lennie: Well, we tried rating her [in the Spokane Handicap] and it
didnt work. Let the mare bounce. Open up about a length and sit on the
lead. Then just let her gallop. I said, kind of facetiously, Lennie, when
you get to the 5/16th pole, just throw five at them and break their necks. They
wont be able to catch you.
took the lead from the outset, but was well-rated by Knowles as he followed
Williams instructions to the T. It would later be called an
exceptional ride. Meanwhile, George Royal raced in 11th and last place
through the first half-mile. But Smogy was a girl having her own way, clicking
off fractions of :22 2/5, :46, 1:10 and 1:35 (only 3/5ths second off the track
mark). She was never in danger, that is until the last 50 yards when George
Royal made a strong and determined move, but the gallant Canadian would come up
three-quarters of a length short, as Washingtons darling returned once
more to the winners circle where the applause grew in waves and
literally into a tide wave
Many a sentimental and admiring damp eye
greeted this gallant miss after her phenomenal victory. Her final
time of 1:47 3/5, was only one tick off the mark set by Count Chic in 1956, the
same year he had run fourth in the Kentucky Derby. Her $6,900 share of the
$11,900 purse increased her earnings to $45,170. She was now the leading
Washington distaff earner of all time and quite an advertisement for the
fledgling WHBA sales program. She became the ninth and last member of her sex
to win the coveted Derby, now a $100,000 prize, which will have its 70th
running this season at Emerald Downs.
astounding victory, Bob Schwartzman wrote in his column in the Seattle Times:
The young filly scored an amazing upset last Sunday in the Longacres
Derby. As she trotted back to the winners circle, even hard-nosed
plungers holding losing tickets joined in the vocal welcome.
Veteran officials at the track said it was the first time they had heard such a
response for a horse.
The Rest of 1966
brilliant fillys three-year-old season was far from over, as she had
three more stops to make.
Maybe it was a little
ambitious, but Smogy Dew, with Craswell aboard, next went forward in the
Longacres Mile where they tried to steal the 29th running of what
is still the toughest and most noted race run in Washington. She finished
sixth, eight lengths behind the winning California horse Viking Spirit, in the
field of 11.
Knowles (who was then sitting sixth
by wins in the nation) was back in the saddle when Smogy went forward in the
57th running of the $3,000 Spokane Derby, run October 11 at Playfair where she
was the odds-on choice at .95-to-one. No one ever threatened the filly in the 1
1/16 miles race, as after breaking alertly, she led at every call and won
as much the best by four lengths over a heavy track.
Her final race of the year was in the $4,000 Playfair
Mile on October 18. Even though she was asked to carry a highweight of 126
pounds, from seven to 13 more than the four foes she would face, and not
including the three pound sex allowance, she went off the .35-to-one fan
favorite. Smogy and rider Knowles broke first but were pressed strongly for the
first six furlongs (1:11) by Aryess (the chart says she raced him off his
feet). With that rival done, another, Current Account, took up the
challenge, giving the filly little time to recollect herself and thats
when the weight became her undoing. Three-year-old Current Account, carrying
114, passed the filly in deep stretch, winning by four lengths and setting a
new track record of 1:36 3/5 in the process. With her $800 second place
winnings, Smogy finished her sophomore season with earnings of $20,105 for her
four stakes victories and her $47,925 totals ranked her 24th among all
statebred runners to date.
popular filly made her four-year-old debut far from her Washington roots in the
first division of the $15,000 Santa Monica Handicap at Santa Anita. It was the
first of seven California starts she would make from January 12 through March
20. Nine older fillies and mares answered the starters bell in the seven
furlong stakes. But after setting the early fraction of :22 4/5, Smogy Dew,
with new rider Don Pierce aboard who would ride her in all her Santa
Anita efforts weakened to finish seventh, almost 11 lengths behind
winner Face the Facts.
Sixteen days later she
faced a classy field of California stakes mares in a six furlong allowance race
at the Arcadia track. Smogy was in contention at every call behind frontrunner
Kea and was making a bold bid at the finish, going down by only a
neck to six-year-old mare, a stakes winner of $102,760. Behind her in the field
of 12 was Arlington-Washington and Hollywood Lassie Stakes winner Saris
Song, an eventual earner of $164,435; 1963 Del Mar Oaks winner Savaii, who
earned $175,262; $63,885 stakes winner Jam N Jellie, $74,190 stakes winner
Duchess Khaled; 1964 Honeymoon Stakes and Del Mar Oaks winner Gim Mah; and
stakes-placed runners Countess Candy, Nashville Light and Crystal Classic.
Smogy Dew earned $1,500 for her efforts.
days after that outing, she ran with much the same bunch in another six furlong
allowance, and after breaking fast and taking a short lead at the
half, tired midway in the stretch to finish fifth, although only
two lengths behind winner Saris Song in a tight finish (only a little
more than two lengths separated the top seven finishers). Kea ran ninth.
Williams next tried to stretch his star runner out in a
1 1/16 miles allowance race on February 9, but after setting the quarter
fraction of :22 4/5 and being in contention through the first six furlongs,
Smogy faded to eighth and last.
Her fifth and
final start at Santa Anita marked her first and only attempt on the turf. After
breaking alertly with the leaders, Smogy then gave way steadily and
ended up ninth in the field of older fillies and mares.
Sent north to Golden Gate Fields, she and Craswell
reunited for a 3 3/4 length victory in a six furlong classified allowance on
March 12 over a sloppy track while carrying 118 pounds, three to 10 pounds more
than her rivals.
Eight days later, Smogy faced
seven other foes in the $10,000 Campanile Handicap at the Albany track. But
luck was not with her that day, as Craswell lost his balance when his saddle
slipped after a quarter mile and he was forced to ease his mount.
On Home Ground Once More
Coupled with her champion entrymate Gold Afloat, Smogy
Dew made her return to Longacres in the $5,000 Fashion Handicap on June 6, a
six furlong race in which she would carry 127 pounds. Her loving fans bet her
down to .35-to-one and she didnt disappoint, as she and friend Craswell
finished an easy winner by 1 1/2 lengths.
A week later, she was back in action for the six
furlong Renton Handicap, but after pressing the :22 and :45 pace of Portland
Meadows track record setter Redline, she faded to eighth in the field of 10.
Lak Nak was the narrow winner in a time of 1:09 4/5. Six runners faced Smogy,
under an almost light 115 pound impost, and new rider George Taniguchi in an
open six furlong allowance run on July 5. The duo squeaked by with a nose
victory over speedster Redline.
allotted 126 pounds for the Washington Championship, Smogys connections
decided to instead send her to Exhibition Park (now Hastings Park) for the mile
and 70 yard Stepping Stone Handicap where she would instead have to carry 121
pounds. After Williams worked his star pupil seven furlongs in 1:24 2/5 the
Monday before the outing, Smogy and entourage headed north to Vancouver for the
$5,260-added race. Once again installed as the favorite, Smogy Dew, with
Rogelio Trejos riding, zipped around the Canadian bullring to score a neck
victory over Gladys Ann in a time of 1:42 1/5, only two-fifths off the track
mark. It was her 11th stakes win.
Longacres for her second try at the Mile, Smogy finished last in the field of
eight to Argentine-bred *Siempre. Her entrymate Gold Afloat fared only
marginally better in seventh.
Her final career
outing came in the September 12, $2,000 Governors Speed Handicap at
Playfair, where racing as the 122 pound highweight, she ended her glorious
career with a fourth place finish. She bid a fond adieu to her fans a week
later during a special ceremony held at the Spokane track. Later, Playfair
would name a stakes race in her honor.
recap of her third year of racing it was noted that It was apparent for
some time that Smogy Dew was having leg problems. An ankle [which kept filling]
kept bothering the miss and she also developed a respiratory aliment called
Her $60,248 total
earnings mark was far and above all Washington distaff competitors. Whang Bang
was next in line with $43,935 earned from 69 starts.
At the time of her retirement, the Darling of
Northwest Racing ranked 16th on the leading Washington-bred money winners
of all time.
Williams would remember her as:
Such a competitor. Even with the boys. It didnt matter who you ran
her with. She gave every bit of her effort. Her best race by far, and the race
that stands out in my whole racing career, was the Derby here, the time she
beat George Royal.
Venema would years later
remark, We all agreed that those years, without question, were the most
delightful, exciting and enjoyable years of our lives. We remain ever grateful
to our horses, their breeders and all the people in the industry for allowing
us to partake.
Smogy Dew was then
shipped to Kentucky to be bred to $387,325 stakes winner To Market, the son of
Market Wise who had sired 1963 national two-year-old champion Hurry to Market.
She failed to have a foal by that stallion. Her first foal, a colt by *Young
Emperor, a grandson of *Nasrullah who had been highweight at two in Great
Britain, was named Allied King. Unfortunately, while growing up at Rainier
Stables he ran into a fence, broke his neck and became a wobbler. While the
injury didnt kill him, he was unplaced in his only four starts and earned
a paltry $20.
In 1972, after being barren three
years, Smogy was sold to prominent California horseman Farrell Jones and bore a
filly by Fleet Host at his Westerly Stud. Unfortunately, the foal died.
Sold to Japanese interests in December 1973, she
journeyed to the Land of the Midnight Sun. Not bred in 1974, Smogy
Dew was covered by the stallion Le Val Malard in 1975. She unfortunately died
that September, at age 13, as it turned out she suffered from endometritis.
It was a very sad ending to Washingtons
racing darling. There will never be another Smogy Dew.
for a complete list of all the Washington Hall of Fame inductees.