Year Inducted: 2012
Jerry Windham is one of the most respected breeders of racing American Quarter Horses of all time. A former president of the American Quarter Horse Association, Windham had the most remarkable year of his long and distinguished career in 2008 when his homebred gelding Stolis Winner scored an upset victory in the Grade 1, $1,140,000 Heritage Place Futurity under Rodrigo Vallejo at Remington Park, Windham’s second victory in the race.
The talented two-year-old then moved on to Ruidoso Downs where he scored another triumph in the rich Rainbow Futurity. Finally, in the most important race of his career, Stolis Winner scored a narrow victory in Quarter Horse racing’s ultimate prize, the All American Futurity. The 2008 All American win was the first for Windham and for trainer Heath Taylor and the second for jockey G.R. Carter.
Remarkably, Windham was the breeder of three of the race’s 10 qualifiers, two of them finishing first and third. However, the dream-come-true soon became a nightmare for all the connections of Stolis Winner. In an unprecedented move, New Mexico regulators called for additional analysis of the urine samples weeks after the original tests had cleared and purse monies had been paid. In the second round of tests, a trace of caffeine was allegedly found in Stolis Winner’s sample. Despite the allegations, the electorate that determines the American Quarter Horse Association Champions still voted Stolis Winner the World Champion of 2008, one of only a few two-year-olds so honored. Stolis Winner became Quarter Horse racing’s all-time richest two-year-old for his 2008 efforts with earnings of $1,820,437.
The legal process in his case lasted nearly two years. Finally, on August 16, 2010, Stolis Winner and his connections were cleared of the allegations in the 2008 All American Futurity case and he was officially confirmed as the winner of the prestigious event.
Stolis Winner suffered a slight injury at the end of his first year of racing and took nine months off from competition. Upon his return, he qualified for the $625,000 All American Derby at Ruidoso Downs in 2009, finishing a disappointing eighth in the final. A poor start most likely cost him victory in his next start, the $202,000 Dash For Cash Derby at Lone Star Park. He lost his footing out of the gate, yet still managed a second-place effort. Fortunes changed in November’s $342,000 Texas Classic Derby at Lone Star Park where Stolis Winner led throughout the 440 yards to win by a half-length.
Stolis Winner had a light racing campaign in 2010. However, his achievements had already put him within reach of becoming the sport’s all-time leading money earner. On November 19, 2010 at the Fair Grounds in New Orleans, Stolis Winner finished third in the $350,000 Bank of America Challenge Championship. The effort was enough to send him past the great Refrigerator and to the top of Quarter Horse racing’s earnings list. Stolis Winner would hold the title as the all-time leader in money earned until he was surpassed by Ochoa in 2012.
In 2011, Stolis Winner returned to Remington Park for the first time since his two-year-old year. He qualified for the $107,000 Bank of America Oklahoma Championship and won the final on May 8, under the legendary Jacky Martin. That victory would be his last as he was retired after three more starts, concluding his career in 2011 with total earnings of $2,235,161.
Stolis Winner started 29 times, winning 13 with six second-place runs and a pair of third-place finishes. At Remington Park, he won three of five attempts with one second-place finish, earning $526,359 in Oklahoma City. He was certified as an AQHA Supreme Racehorse in 2009 and honored with full induction into the Oklahoma Horse Racing Hall of Fame at Remington Park in 2012.