09/15/2005 11:00PM

From bushes to the state Hall for Klokstad


AUBURN, Wash. - Bud Klokstad will be inducted into the Washington Thoroughbred Hall of Fame in ceremonies on Oct. 1, joining the company of fellow trainers Allen Drumheller, Tom Smith, Jim Penney and Charlie Whittingham.

That is an elite group, to be sure, but there is no question that Klokstad belongs. Klokstad, 74, was the second-leading stakes trainer in the history of Longacres, with 54 stakes wins, and he tops the list at Emerald Downs with 40 stakes wins. Daily Racing Form statistics complete back to Jan. 1, 1976, show that he has 142 stakes wins since that date, including a record seven victories in the Gottstein Futurity and three in the Longacres/Emerald Derby.

Klokstad has won virtually every important stakes in Oregon and Washington at least once, with the notable exception of the Grade 3 Longacres Mile.

"I ran Chinook Pass in the 1982 Mile as a 3-year-old, and he finished second, but when he won it the next year he was in another guy's name," said Klokstad, referring to trainer Laurie Anderson.

The memory of Chinook Pass's career still rankles. Klokstad developed the Eclipse Award-winning sprinter and saddled him for 13 of his 16 wins, but owner Ed Purvis transferred him to Anderson's barn for his final four races.

Anderson, said Klokstad, "got the Eclipse Award and the Mile win, but I feel like I did the work with Chinook Pass."

The trainer doesn't have many bitter memories about his career in racing, which began when he was growing up in Turner, Ore.

"It was Delmer Webb's dad, Tom Webb, who got us interested in racing," recalled Klokstad. "Delmer and I worked for him and I rode in the bushes for another guy, Johnny Baker, when I was about 13 or 14. Then Nub Norton, who was a little older, came back from the war and we got him interested in racing, too. All three of us decided to become trainers."

Klokstad took out his first trainer's license at Longacres in 1955, but he took a detour to become a jockey agent from 1958 through 1968.

"I had a friend who was a jock's agent, but he got sick and wanted me to take his riders," he said. "I only had two horses at the time, and they had both gone bad, so I gave it a try. Before long I had five riders and was making $100 a day back when stewards were making $25 a day. I thought I had it made."

Klokstad always knew he wanted to be a trainer, however, and shortly after he began training again he was winning races in bunches. Among the best horses he developed were Staff Rider, who earned a record $280,549 in a single season at Longacres; Peterhof's Patea, the top Washington-bred money-winning mare with $623,367 in earnings; Ropersandwranglers, who won nine stakes at Emerald Downs; and Flying Notes, who ran the fastest nine furlongs in the country in 2002 when he won the Emerald Derby in 1:45.40.

"The thing I'm most proud of is that I bought almost all of the good horses I have trained at the local sale, and I developed them myself," he said. "I never had an owner with deep pockets, either, and I never had more than a 30-horse stable. I've owned a piece of most of them, too, so the owners couldn't take them away from me. I think I was one of the first guys around here to do that."

Klokstad bought several yearlings at the most recent Washington Thoroughbred Breeders Association summer sale on Sept. 6, which suggests he isn't planning on retiring to rest on his laurels any time soon.

"Maybe I should be quitting, but I can't," he said. "What would I do? My whole life has been racing. When I take a couple days off, I don't know what to do with myself. I can't stop thinking about the horses."

One more for The Great Face in '05

Lance Williams, the stable manager for Ron Crockett, said The Great Face will be pointed toward the one-mile Trooper Seven Stakes on Washington Cup Day, Oct. 2, after passing his initial two-turn test last Saturday.

The Great Face, a 3-year-old son of Cahill Road who has now won 3 of his 5 starts, defeated allowance company at by four lengths after a mile in 1:37.40.

"Now that we know he'll get a mile, we'll go ahead and keep him routing," said Williams. "The Trooper Seven will be his last race of the year, though. We'll turn him out until next spring, and we'll have a lot of options for him as a 4-year-old."

Aussie headed home on high note

Australian native Chris Symons left Emerald Downs on a winning note on Monday, riding Gold Rush Banker to an easy score in the $30,000 claiming feature.

Symons, 24, won with 32 of 339 mounts at Emerald and will return to Australia with a host of good memories and some newly polished skills.

"I have learned quite a bit since coming here," he said. "A lot has to do with pace, using the stick, and switching leads.

"I don't think they realize what sort of difference it can make in a horse's performance in Australia. It will be interesting to see how it works when I get home."

Symons said he hopes to return to Emerald for the 2006 season.