01/16/2002 12:00AM

Tailor Fit top Quarter Horse


Tailor Fit, owned by Betty Jane Burlin and trained by Janet VanBebber, has been named the 2001 World Champion Quarter Running Horse, the Quarter Horse version of Horse of the Year. He was also the 1999 world champion.

The results of the voting of the 92-member American Quarter Horse Association racing committee and seven selected media members were announced Wednesday night.

Tailor Fit earned his second title on the strength of four Grade 1 wins, capped by a victory in the $500,000 Champion of Champions at Los Alamitos on Dec. 16. He also won two Grade 1 stakes at Remington Park - the Remington Park Championship and the Oklahoma Challenge Championship - and the Grade 1 MBNA America Challenge Championship at Los Alamitos.

This is the sixth straight year that the Champion of Champions winner has been honored as world champion. It is also the first time since Kaweah Bar was named world champion in 1968 and 1970 that a horse has won the award twice in non-consecutive years.

Tailor Fit received 67 votes for world champion. A Ransom was the runner-up with 23 votes. A Ransom, winner of three Grade 1 stakes in 2001, was third to Tailor Fit in the Champion of Champions and then won the initial running of The Championship at Sunland Park.

Tailor Fit was also named champion aged horse and champion aged gelding.

In other voting:

* Los Alamitos Championship winner Corona Kool was an overwhelming choice as champion aged mare.

* Go Man Go Handicap winner Hawkinson was the near-unanimous selection as champion aged stallion.

* All American Derby winner Stoli, owned by R.D. Hubbard, won a close (44-42) runoff vote over Pivotal Decision as champion 3-year-old. A runoff is held when no horse gets more than 50 percent of the original vote. Stoli was also named champion 3-year-old colt.

* Los Alamitos Winter Derby winner Whosleaving was named champion 3-year-old gelding by a 50-40 margin in a runoff over Pivotal Decision.

Pivotal Decision came up empty despite going undefeated in 2001, with two Grade 1 wins. If two voters had voted for Pivotal Decision instead of Stoli for champion 3-year-old, Pivotal Decision could have been the champion 3-year-old and not the champion 3-year-old gelding.

* Southern California Derby winner Tiny First Effort was named champion 3-year-old filly.

* Your First Moon, owned by the Vessels Stallion Farm, was named the champion 2-year-old and champion 2-year-old filly. She won the Grade 1 Governor's Cup Futurity and the Grade 1 Los Alamitos Million.

* Golden State Futurity winner Tres Seis was named champion 2-year-old colt even though he was defeated by stablemate Ausual Suspect in the $2.2 million All American Futurity, the sport's showcase 2-year-old race. It was the first time since 1998 and the fourth time since 1987 that the All American Futurity winner did not earn a championship award. Both Tres Seis and Ausual Suspect are trained by John Bassett, who was named champion trainer in a runoff over VanBebber.

* Two-time Grade 1 futurity winner Shining Sky was named champion 2-year-old gelding.

* Sign of Lanty, winner of two Grade 1 races at 870 yards in 2001, was the overwhelming choice for his second straight champion distance horse title.

* In other horsemen awards, Joe Badilla Jr. was named champion jockey; Dr. Ed Allred champion breeder; and Dutch Masters III, a partnership of Dr. James Streelman, Denny Boer, and Doug Benson, was named champion owner.