Russell Harris will be the trainer inducted into the Ruidoso Downs Racehorse Hall of Fame in 2015.
The induction ceremony will held in June at Ruidoso Downs.
Each year the Ruidoso Downs Racehorse Hall of Fame inducts one owner/breeder, one trainer, one jockey and one horse. Owner/breeder Jerry Windham has been announced as the owner/breeder inductee. The jockey and horse will be announced in the near future.
Harris has been an influential trainer in quarter horse racing since the 1970s and has won at least one Grade 1 race in each of the latest four decades.
The Alabama native started his training career at Los Alamitos Race Course and now is based out of Bandera, Texas.
While at Los Alamitos, Harris trained the remarkable mare Florentine to championships at three and four for White Oaks Ranch. The Dash For Cash daughter earned $1,123,102 and won seven Grade 1 stakes over various tracks and any track condition. As a three year-old, she won the Grade 1 La Primera Del Ano Derby at Los Alamitos, the Grade 1 Golden State Derby at Bay Meadows and then the Grade 1 Rainbow Derby over a very muddy track at Ruidoso Downs in July. She then beat older horses in the Grade 1 World’s Championship Classic at Ruidoso Downs.
Florentine, her jockey Kenny Hart and Harris will now all be members of the Ruidoso Downs Racehorse Hall of Fame.
“I think it’s just great that Russell is going in the Hall of Fame and the three of us are all in the Hall of Fame,” said Hart. “Russell is just a class act and a real good horseman. He has always been my friend and will always be my friend.”
Hart was the first-call jockey for Harris back in 1976 when Hart was the leading rider at Los Alamitos.
Harris also trained Florentine’s brother Calyx to multiple wins in 870-yard stakes.
Among the other Grade 1 winners trained by Harris were Rainbow Futurity winner Big Time Hero, Dash For Cash Futurity winner Special Shake, Ruidoso Futurity winner Fightin Jane, Texas Classic Derby winner Willie Wanta Dash, La Primera Del Ano Derby winner Artesia, El Primero Del Ano Derby winner Hold All Tickets, Remington Park Championship winner Deposit Cash, Remington Park Championship winner Easily A Rogue and Los Alamitos Derby winner Prissy Fein.
Harris has also given back to quarter horse racing by serving four terms on the AQHA Racing Council, has been an AQHA director from California and Texas, and has served on numerous AQHA committees.
For further information about the Ruidoso Downs Racehorse Hall of Fame, go to www.raceruidoso.com, click on the racing pull-down menu and click on Racehorse Hall of Fame.