Year Inducted: 2011
A new racetrack could not have had a better ambassador than Clever Trevor. In Remington Park’s infancy, Don McNeill’s Oklahoma-bred made a name for himself and for the state’s racing industry and its premier track.
The first winner of the Oklahoma Derby (known then as the Remington Park Derby) in 1989, the Donnie Von Hemel trainee earned his way to the Kentucky Derby where he finished 13th, well back of winner and eventual Horse of the Year Sunday Silence. He would rebound to win the St. Paul Derby at Canterbury Downs and the Grade 1 Arlington Classic before running second to the great Easy Goer in the Travers Stakes at Saratoga. The ‘Mid-Summer Derby’ was perhaps his best race, even in defeat. Easy Goer had dominated a field in the Belmont Stakes earlier in the year by eight lengths in the second-fastest time ever in that Triple Crown race.
A gelded son of Slewacide, Clever Trevor earned more than $1 million dollars before his 3-year-old campaign was over, becoming the first officially accredited Oklahoma-bred to achieve the seven-digit mark and the first state-bred that actually raced in Oklahoma to reach that plateau.
Clever Trevor had brilliant tactical speed and versatility, allowing Von Hemel to enter him in major sprints as well as route races. Clever Trevor finished sixth in the 1991 Breeders’ Cup Sprint in his last Grade 1 attempt. Ridden in all of his victories by Don Pettinger, Clever Trevor won 15 of his 30 lifetime starts with nine stakes scores. A McNeill homebred, by Slewacide from the Twice Bold mare Little Mary Beans, Clever Trevor retired to Von Hemel’s Robin’s Nest farm in Piedmont, Okla. after his final start in 1992. Clever Trevor amassed nearly $1.4 million over his five-year career.
Clever Trevor lived the remainder of his life in peaceful happiness under the watchful care of Von Hemel’s wife and daughter, Robin and Tess, eventually passing on July 22, 2016 at the age of 30. What he did for Oklahoma horse racing and Remington Park was priceless. The Clever Trevor Stakes, for 2-year-olds is now contested annually at Remington Park and a bronze statue has been erected in the paddock in his honor.