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Washington Thoroughbred Racing Hall of Fame 2006 Inductees Announced

August 24, 2006     E-mail this page to a friend!

AUBURN, Wash. (August 23, 2006) - Inducted to the National Racing Hall
of Fame in 1971, jockey Albert Johnson is among the 2006 inductees to
the Washington Thoroughbred Racing Hall of Fame. Enshrined alongside
Johnson this year is the horse Sir William, trainer Francis Keller, and
breeder C J Sebastian.

Born in Milan, Wash., Johnson began his riding career at Playfair
Racecourse in Spokane. Johnson rode from 1917 through 1929 winning 503
races. He was the nation's leading money-winning rider in 1922, the
same year he rode Exterminator to victories in the Saratoga Cup, the
Brooklyn Handicap, the Kentucky Handicap, and the Toronto Autumn Cup.
Johnson won the Kentucky Derby twice, prevailing with Morvich (1922) and
Bubbling Over (1926) and captured consecutive Belmont Stakes on American
Flag (1925) and Crusader (1926).

Sir William, a 1954 foal bred in Washington by Herb Armstrong,
prevailed in the 1957 Santa Anita Derby when defeating the champion
runner Round Table, who ended that season with 12 stakes victories and
over $600,000 in earnings. Although graded stakes were not introduced
until 1973, under the current grading system Sir William would be
recognized as the first Grade 1 Washington-bred winner with his Santa
Anita Derby victory. Trained by Cecil Jolly for owners Mr. and Mrs. Herb
Armstrong, Sir William would also win the Los Feliz Stakes in 1957.

Francis Keller is the only female trainer in history with two victories
in the Longacres Mile, winning the most prestigious race in the
Northwest with Pala Squaw in 1940 and Amble In in 1946. Keller won
training titles at Longacres in 1940 and 1946 and was the first female
trainer to win the Gottstein Futurity after saddling Happy Valley to
victory in the 1947 edition of the race. Keller also won the 1942
Independence Day Handicap with Campus Fusser and the 1944 Spokane
Handicap with Prince Ernest, two of the state's all-time great

Sebastian Farm, located in Kirkland, Wash., was the leading Washington
breeder by earnings in 1961, 1962 and 1963, and was also the top breeder
by wins in 1963. C J Sebastian bred 1962 Washington Horse of the Year
Dusky Damion, who became the state's all-time leading money earner in
1964 with $138,295 banked, and whose half-brother Dr. John H. was a
champion 3-year-old colt. Sebastian entered racing on a large scale in
1945 when he purchased 14 yearlings which was considered the first
important group of outside acquisitions purchased by a Washington owner,
and included eventual 1963 Washington Broodmare of the Year Dusky

The Washington Thoroughbred Racing Hall of Fame Class of 2006 will be
inducted during a banquet held at Emerald Downs on Saturday, September
16th. This historic event is open to the public and tickets can be
purchased for $30.00 per person. For additional information on the
banquet, or to make reservations, contact Emerald Downs at (253)