Year Inducted: 2018
Highly regarded before ever competing in a race, Tailor Fit proved his supporters correct once he did reach the race track.
Purchased by trainer Janet Van Bebber at the 1996 Pacific Coast Quarter Horse yearling sale for $24,000, the California-bred campaigned originally for Tom Ward. After winning nine races in his first two years. Among the scores, the $125,000 American Quarter Horse Association Derby Challenge in 1998 at Lone Star Park in Grand Prairie, Texas. After his 3-year-old year, Tailor Fit was purchased by Betty Jane Burlin of Navasota, Texas for $130,000.
Tailor Fit compiled a stellar career, providing a full return and more, for Burlin’s investment. As a 4-year-old in 1999, Tailor Fit competed for the first time at Remington Park, running second in the Oklahoma Challenge Championship to champion mare Kool Kue Baby. Trained by Steve Van Bebber, Tailor Fit avenged that loss a month later, winning the first of his three consecutive Remington Park Championships, defeating Kool Kue Baby (second) and two-time defending American Quarter Horse Association World Champion SLM Big Daddy (third). As the year unfolded, a world championship torch was being passed from SLM Big Daddy to Tailor Fit.
Tailor Fit would go on to score three more stakes events that year, including his first Champion of Champions at Los Alamitos in southern California, wrapping up his first World Champion title.
Winning both the Oklahoma Challenge and a second straight Remington Park Championship in 2000, Tailor Fit fell off a bit after his Oklahoma City season, earning a brief freshening.
Time off served Tailor Fit well as he came back ready to roll in 2001, winning a second straight Oklahoma Challenge and then his third consecutive Remington Park Championship. Now trained by Janet Van Bebber, Tailor Fit was poised for another fall run at Los Alamitos. He won his second AQHA Challenge Championship and then his second Champion of Champions, securing a second World Champion title while going over $1 Million in career earnings.
The 2001 Champion of Champions would be the final career victory for Tailor Fit. He had eight more races in 2002 and 2003, including another attempt in the Remington Park Championship. Tailor Fit was denied a fourth straight score in the race, beaten just a neck by Bugs By Yawl in the 2002 edition. It was his final start in Oklahoma City.
Betty Jane Burlin retired her superstar but proceeded to share him with racing fans as he took up residence in 2004 at the Kentucky Horse Park in Lexington, Ky. Tailor Fit became the American Quarter Horse representative in the Horse Park’s Hall of Champions.
Tailor Fit won 20 of his 40 career races, finishing second 11 times and third in one race. He retired with total earnings of $1,299,010. At Remington Park, Tailor Fit won five of 10 races from 1999-2002, while finishing second four other times. He earned $311,450 of his career bankroll in Oklahoma City.