03/11/2005 1:00AM

Barbara Shinpoch dies at 72

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Barbara Shinpoch, the former chairwoman of the Washington Horse Racing Commission, died Wednesday after a lengthy illness. She was 72.

Shinpoch led the Washington Thoroughbred industry through its most difficult years, assuming her position shortly after the closing of Longacres in 1992 and serving into 2002. She played a vital role in the passage of 1994 legislation that made a new track possible. That track, Emerald Downs, opened in 1996.

In 2002, Emerald recognized Shinpoch's contributions by renaming its championship race for 2-year-old fillies in her honor.