Washington Racing Hall of Fame Inductee Smogy Dew

The freckled queen

by Susan van Dyke

Smogy Dew's Pedigree and Statistics

There 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, Bix’s Bet, Mahaska, Firesweeper, Peterhof’s Patea, Run Away Stevie, Happy La, Favored One and even more recently Fleet Pacific and Youcan’ttakeme, but while these gallant distaffers stood high above their peers on the Washington racing scene, they don’t compare to the simply, incomparable Smogy Dew.

The Genes
    Smogy Dew was from the third crop of Six Fifteen, who entered stud at Les Turner’s 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 Palmisano’s clients was Jack McElroy, in whose colors Six Fifteen would run. A winner in each of his six seasons racing, Six Fifteen’s biggest victory came at age five in the $20,000 Governor’s 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-borough’s 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.
    Six Fifteen’s dam Maidoduntreath traces to Reine-des-Course Macaroon (Family 20), a 1907 daughter of Marco—St. 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 Fifteen’s 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 Gottstein’s 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 Melmitch.
    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 occasions.
    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 winner’s circle. Her 1965 daughter, Poor Kelly’s Folly, also by Six Fifteen, won four races and was stakes-placed in the Mary Broderick Memorial. Among No Smog’s 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 Smog’s 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. Cominta’s 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.

A Bargain
    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. Patrick’s 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 Spokane’s Interstate Fair-grounds.
    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
    The 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 year’s 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 uncle’s 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.”
    Ranniger added, “It was a masterstroke of luck that we couldn’t 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 filly’s $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 new Thoroughbred.
    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
    When asked why Glen Williams was chosen to pilot their first racehorse’s 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 Dew’s] success.”
    Williams was 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 Venema’s 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 Land’s proprietor Les Turner.).
    Gold Afloat, a daughter of Alate—Fairena, 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 Ruler—Aldine 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
    After 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.
    Smogy’s 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 Wineberg’s Cousin’s 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 stakes.
    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 Stable’s 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 Venema’s great filly.
    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 winner’s 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?
    Yes, again.
    The only 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 Dew’s $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 Fifteen’s 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
    The year 1964 was to prove a fruitful one for the dynamic filly and for horse racing, both locally and nationally. On the national scene, Smogy Dew’s sire Six Fifteen’s “Uncle” Kelso would take the lead as the world’s 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 wasn’t 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 age.”
    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.
    Smogy 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 season.
    With that said, Smogy Dew’s 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 wasn’t 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 Governor’s 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 pounds.
    But Smogy stayed home, and once again with Knowles in the saddle, Washington’s 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 Smogy’s 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.

Derby Daze
    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.”
    Derby day, 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 didn’t 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 won’t be able to catch you.’”
    Smogy 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 Washington’s darling returned once more to the winner’s 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.
    After her 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 winner’s 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
    But the brilliant filly’s 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 that’s 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.

California Dreamin’
    The 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 starter’s 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 Sari’s 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.
    Seven 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 Sari’s 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 didn’t 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.
    After being allotted 126 pounds for the Washington Championship, Smogy’s 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.
    Returning to 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 Governor’s 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.
    In the 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 laryngeal paralysis.”
    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 didn’t 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 didn’t 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 Washington’s racing darling. There will never be another Smogy Dew.

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