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Eddie D. Willis has been training Quarter Horses since 1979. He is the trainer of over $40.4 million, with more than $37.6 million in Quarter Horse earners and over $2.1 million in Paint earners. Willis ranks as the #5 all-time leading Quarter Horse trainer, and he is the #4 all-time leading Paint trainer. Among the top horses he has trained are AQHA World Champion Oak Tree Special, and Champions Apollitical Gold, Feature Hero, Admiral Sting and A Real Man. Among his Paint leaders are World Champions Major Tom and Rio Rojo Jessie, and Champions Rio Rojo Jess and Cutrock.

Willis has been a leading trainer by earnings and wins for decades. Tragedy struck in 2008 when 43 of his charges perished in a barn fire, reducing his multi-million-dollar operation to ashes. But he picked himself up and moved on with help from his family and friends. Since 2001, he has been ranked a leading trainer by wins and/or earnings every year. He has had 11,217 starts with 1,761 wins, 1,654 seconds and 1,465 third place finishes as of the end of 2021.

He is the trainer of two Heritage Place Futurity winners in Ragazzo in 2009 for owner Jorge Haddad, and Southern Takes All in 2007 for owner James Sills. He has won the Remington Park training title an unprecedented 12 times – his latest in 2021. He won the All American Derby-G1 with Feature Hero in 2013, the Golden State Million Futurity-G1 with Apollitical Gold in 2020, and the All American Gold Cup-G1 with Rock You in 2015, along with many other Graded stakes wins.

Few trainers have been as dominant in this region as Eddie D. Willis. His Willis Racing is a family business in Caney, Oklahoma, with son Kasey training the earners of over $7.2 million, Eddie Lee training over $5 million, and Kevin training over $2 million.

“My father always fooled around with horses," Eddie D. Willis said back in 2009. “Looking back, I can’t even remember a time when we didn’t have at least one horse. I learned a lot from him and even galloped and rode in match races back when I was a kid. All three of my boys have followed me into racing. Now I just hope they’ve learned something from me." It appears that they did.


Rex Dean Brooks has trained over $9 million in Quarter Horse money earners and ranks #61 on the all-time leading trainer list. Since 2001, Brooks has been ranked a leading trainer by wins and/or earnings from 2001-2006, in 2008, and in 2020. Brooks has had 12,278 Quarter Horse starts with 1,552 wins, 1,497 seconds, and 1,521 third place finishes.

His top earners include: 2004 Grade 3 Oklahoma Futurity winner First High Royalty, 2005 Grade 3 Oklahoma Futurity winner Heza Fast Willie, 2020 Grade 2 Bob Moore Memorial winner VF Jedi Returns, 2021 Grade 3 Oklahoma Bred Futurity winnerRare Play, and 2002 Adequan Derby Challenge winner Special Task Force. He has won the Black Gold 350 Futurity five times and has many other Graded stakes winners. He has trained horses at Remington Park, Fair Meadows, Will Rogers Downs, Horseshoe Indianapolis, and Lone Star Park.

Brooks is the trainer of two Heritage Place Futurity winners: Barbs Bounce in 1988 for owner Betty Henderson; and Race Car Red in 1989 for owner Jesse Garza. Barbs Bounce went on to win the Heritage Place Derby-G3 the next year in 1989.

Rex Brooks Training Stables is located in Sallisaw, Oklahoma. The longtime trainer was married to Sharon until her passing in 2019. His son Rex Dale is also a Quarter Horse trainer with multiple Graded stakes winners.


Due to the recent achievements of her offspring on the track, we know that broodmare deluxe REMEMBER ME ROSE is someday destined to be honored by the American Quarter Horse Hall of Fame.  

Since all of us here tonight like to finish first in every race, we want this Oklahoma-mare bred to first be inducted into the Oklahoma Quarter Horse Hall of Fame!

Oklahoma residents Max and Linda Alumbaugh of MLA International were responsible for this mare who in 2006, 2007 and 2008 won five stakes races in while earning more than $820,000.    That’s $1.3 Million in 2023 dollars.

The Alumbaughs took an Oklahoma-bred Top Moon mare to Mighty Acres in Pryor in 1985 and bred her to the Thoroughbred stallion Zevi.  The Alumbaughs raced that foal named Im Moonlighting a couple of years and in 2003 they took her to Lazy E where she was bred her to Corona Cartel.    

In 2004, a sorrel filly that they would name Remember Me Rose hit the ground . . . and American Quarter Horse history would never be the same.

The Albumbaughs had Lazy E consign Remember Me Rose to a yearling sale in California where she brought $73,000.  After her career on the tracks Dr. Steve Burns purchased the mare at Heritage Place and put her in his broodmare band in California.

While we could talk for the rest of evening about what Remember Me Rose has done as a broodmare, it all comes to this:

In the last five years, REMEMBER ME ROSE has had 5 Grade I winners on the tracks:



BOMB CYCLONE $1,379,291


CYBER ATTACK $1,151,917

 You may have noticed that three of those runners have each earned more than $1 million   . . . and all three of those millionaires won Grade I Stakes in 2022.

We’re not sure how many mares have ever produced 3 millionaires, but we do feel sure that REMEMBER ME ROSE is the only mare to have 3 millionaires racing in the same year!!!


Foaled in 1994 at Bob Moore Farms in Norman, Oklahoma. By First Down Dash out of Perfect Arrangement, an Easy Jet mare; Dashing Perfection showed early promise but due to a sesmoid fracture his two year old career was put on hold. Trainer Toby Keeton felt that he was too good of a horse to risk serious injury, so he advised Mr. Moore to give the horse a year off to heal. At the beginning of Dashing Perfection’s 3-year-old year he returned to the track in the barn of Jack Brooks. Winning his first out in March at Remington Park. Dashing Perfection would go on to win 10 of the 18 races he started. Eight of those races were in a row. 

Starting with the Ruidoso Downs Rainbow Derby Trials, he won his trial and the final of the Rainbow Derby, All American Derby, Dash for Cash Derby and the Texas Classic Derby. He was named Champion 3 year-old gelding and Overall Champion 3 year-old.  

Upon retirement Dashing Perfection lived out his time in the green pastures of Bob Moore Farms.  

Thanks to Dashing Perfection’s connections; Bob Moore, Phillip Stewart, Jack Brooks, G.R. Carter, Toby Keeton to name a few, this legendary gelding was able to set the world on fire. 


The Debbie Shauf Spirit Award is given to a person in the Oklahoma Quarter Horse Racing industry who loves the sport of racing and has gone above and beyond to help horsemen. Vicky Grothaus is the first recipient of this award. Because of her never-ending support to the Oklahoma Horsemen and her willingness to help anyone who needs it. 

Hailing from Cincinnati, OH, Vicky Grothaus has always enjoyed going to the track. She loved working on the backside cleaning stalls and doing anything she could to be around the horses. For a while she worked for the thoroughbred trainer, Clay Neel, which brought her to Oklahoma in 1988. And in 1994, Vicky began working as a gap attendant, soon she moved to the press room and to clocking.  

Through her years at Remington she has helped the horsemen solve problems, and always with a smile. She is one of the first people at the track in the morning and stays until the job is done. She is our clocker, our transfer queen and the woman that keeps the racing office running. 

We appreciate all that Vicky does and we applaud her longevity in the racing industry. 


The Paul Harber Racing Distinguished Service Award presented by the American Paint Horse Association is bestowed upon a person for their outstanding contributions to the Paint Horse racing industry. Past recipients include legendary Walter Merrick, Paul Harber, Dan & Kaye Jones, Ray Graves, Henry and Linda Bowlan, Karen Utecht to name a few, and this year Shari Burger is receiving the prestigious honor.

Shari grew up in Mustang, OK rodeoing, barrel racing and serving as rodeo queen.  Upon college graduation from Oklahoma State University, her parents gifted her with a crop-out quarter horse mare by Marthas Six Moons.  And Shari’s paint racing career began when she bred this mare to World Champion Texas Hero.  Her mare’s legacy has become one of the best producing families in the paint industry.

She is proud of her horses but a few hold distinction. One is her Champion sire Barracuda by Judys Lineage; and his foal, Turnpikes Judy, who consistently finishes in the top placings. Turnpikes Judy is being honored as the 2022 APHA Champion Regular Registry Three Year Old Filly and Three Year Old of the Year; and the Oklahoma Horse Racing Commission’s Champion Paint Horse of the Year and Three Year Old Paint Horse.  She is also the breeder of multiple stakes winner and Champion Bust N Moves.

Shari has lifetime breeder earnings over $754,000, ranking her among the top 15 in the nation.  As the administrator of the Oklahoma Paint and Appaloosa Futurity, the Paint Stallion Breeders Association (American Paint Classic races) and the Pot O Gold Futurity, she has been integral in the paint racing industry. Helping horsemen and working alongside the APHA Racing Committee and Oklahoma Quarter Horse Racing Association as a Board of Director; to ensure more racing opportunities for Paint Horse owners and trainers. 


Blue Ribbon Downs started when Bill Hedge bought 102 acres just west of Sallisaw in 1960.

The track soon became known as a proving ground and gained recognition from the American Quarter Horse Association in 1963. In the early years It was known as the richest non-parimutuel track in the country In 1984, Blue Ribbon Downs became the first parimutuel track in Oklahoma. It would see crowds of over 20,000 spectators swell it’s stands to watch some of the top quarter horses compete. Home to several of the nation's most prestigious race programs like the Oklahoma Futurity, Blue Ribbon Downs Futurity, Black Gold Futurity and Heritage Place Futurity, Blue Ribbon Downs drew racing enthusiasts from all over the world to Oklahoma.

Many trainers and jockeys proved themselves at Blue Ribbons Downs. Jockeys like Champion G.R. Carter; and trainers such as Rex Brooks, Jack Brooks and Eddie Willis all started their racing careers at Blue Ribbon Downs.

Though the track is now closed it is still home to many Oklahoma trainers,  Now owned by the Cherokee Nation , Blue Ribbon Downs is one of the states great training tracks. The sense of community that continues to reside with the trainers, owners, jockeys and grooms of today is a testament to Blue-Ribbon Downs deep-rooted history in Oklahoma.