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New World Record posted at Yellowstone Downs

October 19, 2005     E-mail this page to a friend!

Although the full stakes schedule and final two race days were canceled due to inclement weather at Yellowstone Downs in Billings on closing weekend of the live race meet (stakes purses were divided up among finalists), the track recorded a new track and new World record at the MetraPark oval during the 2005 season.

Eyes Of Dawn set a new track record on Sunday, September 4, when the three-year-old sorrel daughter of Mr Eye Opener out of Ronas Dawn, by Ronas Ryon, charged down the lane in a 300-yard allowance contest and crossed the wire in :14.922 with jockey Bobby Webb on board.

The previous track record for 300 yards was set on September 21, 2003 by Okey Dokey Partner at :15.07.

Then on Saturday, September 17, the same filly bested her new record while setting a new World record when she covered the 300-yard distance of the Quarter Horse Derby trials in the second race of the day in a time of :14.909, posting a speed index of 107. Bobby Webb was again in the saddle.

The previous World record for 300 yards was set at :14.910 by Taking Risks as a 4-year-old in 1998 at Sunland Park. Taking Risks is a Runaway Winner-Deceptive Diane (Timetothinkrich) mare bred in Texas by Bobby Cox and owned by Enrique Carrion of Mexico.

The American Quarter Horse Association analyzed race data to determine if Eyes Of Dawn did indeed post a new World record before making the mark official. The official decision was confirmed on October 19.

Eyes of Dawn is owned by Ray and Wendy Norgaard, Jr. of Arlee, Montana and was bred by Ray Norgaard, Jr. and Robert Grove of Oklahoma City. She was trained by Mike Taylor. Her current record is 4-0-1 in seven starts with a best speed index of 107 and total earnings of $9,801.

Norgaard was ecstatic about the confirmation of the World record and said of the official report, “We’ve been waiting with baited breath!”

“There’s a number of people responsible for this filly getting there. Mark Sellers is our trainer in Oklahoma who got the foundation under her, and then Mike Taylor took over up here, and between the two of them, they did a great job with her,” Norgaard said.

He was quick to also note that his two friends and partners in the breeding business, Robert Grove and Leo Winters, were responsible for years of building the family line of Eyes of Dawn. Both gentlemen passed away this summer within two days of each other. Both were in their 80s.

“I wish they’d been around to see this,” Norgaard said. “I’m really thankful to have had those two people as partners. They were great men, and I know wherever they are, they’re really excited about breaking a world record.”

“She’s a good filly,” said a delighted trainer Mike Taylor when he heard the news of the official record. “She’ll be reckoned with before it’s over! She’s been a pleasure.”

“Ray and Wendy are really good owners,” he added. “They try really hard at breeding right. They're just great people."