Year Inducted: 2017
A solid business model has led to great success in horse racing for C.R. Trout. The small-town businessman from Hammon, Okla., made his move into horse racing in the early years of Remington Park and has run a high-level operation ever since.
Trout, along with his brother Roy, owned a grocery store and dairy in Hammon along with an oil-field service business. The various ventures allowed Trout to become a racehorse owner in the late 1970s, competing at La Mesa Park in Raton, N.M. in the years prior to Oklahoma allowing pari-mutuel racing.
When Remington Park arrived in 1988, Trout turned his racing passion to Oklahoma and began training horses in 1990. Applying the business principals he had used previously, Trout went all-in and moved to Edmond, Okla. in 1998, starting a breeding farm where he could have complete control of his racing assets. The goal, a high-quality operation with a limited number of horses.
Trout would keep the successful female runners he had as broodmares. Over the years, the band of mares evolved to a manageable total of 12. Utilizing the Oklahoma Breeding Program to its best benefit, Trout breeds half of his broodmares in state every year, sending the other half to national stallions, usually in Kentucky. The next year, the two sets of broodmares switch their assignments.
The Trout plan has resulted in a high number of stakes wins, mostly at Remington Park but also at Oaklawn Park, Keeneland and Lone Star Park among other tracks. Maysville Slew was Trout’s first millionaire. A Graded stakes winner, he was always race ready, competing for seven years (1998-2004) and starting 69 times, winning 17 races and retiring with earnings of $1,046,409.
Shotgun Gulch was Trout’s first Grade 1 winner, as the Oklahoma-bred filly won the Vinery Madison Stakes at Keeneland in Lexington, Ky. in 2011. Prior to such national acclaim she won the Oklahoma Classics Lassie (2009) and Oklahoma Classics Distaff Sprint (2010).
The Oklahoma Classics at Remington Park is a showcase for Trout. Shotgun Gulch, Imahit and Shotgun Kowboy are multiple Classics stakes winners with the latter making history at Remington Park.
Shotgun Kowboy became the first Oklahoma-bred to win the Grade 3, Oklahoma Derby (2015) and an Oklahoma Classics Cup, the top event of the state-bred series. A two-time Classics Cup winner (2015 & 2017), Shotgun Kowboy also finished second in the top 2-year-old stakes at Remington Park, the Springboard Mile (2014).
Trout also bred Hollywood Hit, a speedy Oklahoma-bred gelding he campaigned into his 3-year-old season before selling him. Hollywood Hit went to Woodbine in Ontario, becoming a Sovereign Award Winner as a champion sprinter in Canada.
Trout led the Remington Park owner standings in 2002 and has been recognized for his excellence as a leading Oklahoma-bred breeder and owner. Trout is always quick to point out that his assistants and staff, both at the race track and the Edmond farm, play a large part in the overall success of his program.