04/26/2004 11:00PM

Game's greatest trainer tops inductees


Blane Schvaneveldt, the 12-time national champion Quarter Horse trainer, heads the 2004 class announced for induction into the Racehorse Hall of Fame and the Hubbard Museum of the American West at Ruidoso Downs, N.M.

Also to be inducted during the June 12 ceremony will be the Schvaneveldt-trained Town Policy, legendary owner and breeder Spencer Childers, the Childers-owned Bunny's Bar Maid, and top stakes jockey Jerry Nicodemus.

Schvaneveldt won the national champion trainer award each of the first 12 years it was given out, from 1985 to 1996. He dominated the trainer standings at Los Alamitos with 40 trainer titles in the 89 Quarter Horse meets held over the 53 years of the track's existence, through 2003.

Through 2003, Schvaneveldt is ranked first all-time in earnings (over $50 million) and races won (over 5,000) since the American Quarter Horse Association started keeping records in 1970. He trained world champions Refrigerator, First Down Dash, Dash for Speed, and Cash Rate, and numerous divisional champions.

A charismatic horse always associated with Schvaneveldt is Town Policy, whom Schvaneveldt trained to four championship titles.

After winning the 1977 Fresno Futurity, Town Policy was stolen from the Schvaneveldt stable in Stanton, Calif., a few miles away from Los Alamitos Race Course. After six months of searching and police work, Town Policy was discovered in Mexico in poor condition. The gelding miraculously won the Los Alamitos Derby just a few months after returning from Mexico.

Town Policy, a champion as a 2-, 3- and 5-year-old, raced for eight years and won 22 of 64 career starts.

He is buried in the Los Alamitos infield.

Childers, 92, of Fresno, Calif., has been a dominant owner in Quarter Horse racing since the sport's organized beginning in California during the 1950's.

Since then he has bred or raced a champion in each decade.

Childers's success continues with Be a Bono, the undefeated winner of the 2003 Grade 1 Golden State Futurity and the 2004 Grade 1 Los Alamitos Winter Derby.

Bunny's Mar Maid started her career with six straight wins for Childers, including the Los Alamitos Juvenile Championship and the Kansas Futurity at Ruidoso Downs.

Her winning streak ended when she finished second, as the 2-5 favorite, in the All American Futurity.

Nicodemus has three wins in the All American Futurity and four wins in the Champion of Champions. He won the 1970 All American Futurity with Rocket Wrangler and back-to-back (1976-77) runnings of the Champion of Champions with Rocket Wrangler's son Dash for Cash.

Thoroughbred heads Gold Rush Derby

The undefeated Thoroughbred Rockin the Ship will be challenged by seven Quarter Horses in the Grade 3, $60,650 Gold Rush Derby on Friday night at Los Alamitos.

Rockin the Ship comes into the derby off a one-length win in the first of two trials on April 15 with the fastest qualifying time of 46.050 seconds for 870 yards. It was his third win from three starts this year, including the Grade 3, $57,800 Catalina Derby.

Last year he made one start, a two-furlong maiden victory at Santa Anita.

Rockin the Ship won the strongest trial - the six fastest qualifiers come out of that heat - but the other trial winner, Hateful Hannibal, has promise as a son of champion distance horse Hateful Hanna. Hateful Hannibal made his 870-yard debut in the Gold Rush trials and won by a length while making his first start since Sept. 27.

Treece gets 1,000th Los Al win

Charles Treece became the fifth trainer in the 54-year history of Los Alamitos to win 1,000 Quarter Horse races there, when Kash to Splash won last Friday.

Treece joins Hall of Famer Blane Schvaneveldt, Paul Jones, John Cooper, and Rodney Hart in the 1,000-win club.