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Top trainers make tracks to Ferndale

August 7, 2010     E-mail this page to a friend!

William E. Morey, perennially one of the Bay Area's top trainers and also among the nation's elite young conditioners, heads up a stellar list of trainers who will run their horses at the 114th Humboldt County Fair race meeting.

Morey, who achieved a career high in wins (153) and earnings ($2,458,628) in 2008 when he tied for 16th nationally in races won and 61st in purse money earned, plans to have a barn full of speedsters on hand for the eight-day Humboldt meet that opens Friday, August 13th, and runs through Sunday, August 22nd.

Jim Haverty, who has made the Humboldt winner's circle his "home away from home" in recent years, is Morey's chief assistant and will supervise the barn during the Ferndale session.

The 36-year-old Morey, in search of his initial Humboldt training title, claimed the 2008 Golden Gate Fields' spring meet crown by saddling 25 winners in the 30-day session and unseating Jerry Hollendorfer, who had captured 32 straight training crowns at Golden Gate. Morey is the son of highly-respected Northern California trainer William J. Morey, Jr., who has campaigned numerous stakes stars including millionaire Bold Chieftan.

The impressive roster of trainers expected to be on hand for the Humboldt meet also includes: Rene Amescua; 84-year-old Elmer January, runner-up in the 2009 Humboldt trainer's race; veteran Clifford DeLima, fresh from claiming the San Joaquin County Fair title in Stockton; Fred Costa, who has saddled numberous Ferndale stakes winners including a trio of Humboldt County Marathon Handicap heroes; Robert Beckner, the leading trainer at Grants Pass Downs three of the previous four seasons; Phil Oviedo; Wilton Whitehouse; Harley Kowalsky; and mixed breed standouts Ray and Ruby Thomas, Sandy Torok and Diana Skinner.

Racing secretary Tom Doutrich also hopes to accept entries from standout NoCal trainers John F. Martin and Steve Miyadi, among the leading conditioners in recent years at Golden Gate Fields.

Ray Thomas, who has saddled more than 1,000 winners on the NoCal summer fair circuit during his legendary career, currently campaigns the nation's premier mule Bar JF Hot Ticket, who is 7 and won 37 of 44 lifetime starts.

Ruby Thomas, his wife, has tied or won outright the Humboldt mixed breed training title three of the last four years. The star of her barn is mule Bar JF Red Ticket, who is 5 and won 16 of 24 career starts.

The ageless January sent out five winners here last summer to finish just one victory behind Dennis Ward for the Humboldt thoroughbred training title. Ward, however, is not expected to return to defend his Humboldt crown.

Amescua captured the Big Fresno Fair training title in 2008, and dead-heated with Morey and Martin for top honors in Fresno in 2009.

Costa's training resume includes Marathon victories with Derby Rider (2006), Ironman Dehere (2001) and Cajun Asset (1997). Kowalsky tied for second place thoroughbred honors locally in 2007.

Martin, who has been amazingly consistent with a 23 win percentage or higher the past eight years, sent out Parko to capture the 2009 Humboldt Marathon. Miyadi boasted a win percentage above 30 in 2003 through 2006, including a career high 145 victories in 2006 where he ranked 15th nationally in wins.