Year Inducted: 2009
Throughout most of the history of Remington Park Quarter Horse racing, trainer Rodney Reed had a second residence aside from his place in Wapanucka, Oklahoma. His second home was the Remington Park winner’s circle.
Rodney Reed won 10 Remington Park training titles between 1990 and 2003 with an amazing nine titles in a row between 1995 and 2003. He won more than 40 races in four of those years with his top mark of 47 wins taking place in 2001, a Remington Park record at the time.
An Oklahoman, born in Durant, Reed began training horses at age 19. A factor in Oklahoma racing for years at all recognized tracks in the state, the Reed operation was prominent from the start at Remington Park. In 1990, Reed played a major part in the early career of the horse that would become the richest quarter horse in history for nearly two decades.
Longtime Reed owner Delton Dean originally campaigned the great Refrigerator, with Reed saddling the 2-year-old gelding to victory at first-asking at Ross Meadows in Ada, Oklahoma. Reed’s association with Refrigerator would not last long as the horse’s talent was overwhelmingly obvious and big-money was soon offered up…with Refrigerator changing ownership and training stables.
Even without the future All American Futurity winner, the Reed Training Stables continued to excel, especially at Remington Park and in Oklahoma. Reed would saddle winners in three Heritage Place Futurities between 1996 and 2004 with Rakin In The Cash (1996) providing his first score in the prestigious event, followed by Fast First Prize (2002) and Phoebes Otoole (2004).
Reed won the Remington Park Futurity three times, with Chicks Call Me giving him his first triumph in the race in 1999. Chicks Call Me would go on to be Reed’s highest finishing runner of three he started throughout his career in the All American Futurity, finishing 2nd in 1999, beaten only a head by A Delightful Dasher.
Other notable stakes victories for Reed came in the 2000 Rainbow Futurity at Ruidoso Downs with Feature Mr Jess and the 2002 Oklahoma Futurity at Blue Ribbon Downs in Sallisaw with Fast Del Rey.
After many years of dominating the local racing scene, Reed’s visits to the winner’s circle began to dwindle in 2007 and 2008. Soon he wasn’t racing horses, he was racing to stay alive.
Originally diagnosed with cancer, illness took over. His wife Sheila, a major part of his winning racing operation, was now making numerous appointments for Reed in a quest for survival. What was originally thought to be cancer, instead was a mass tumor in Reed’s chest that was lying against his heart. Doctors performed an open-heart-like surgery, removing an 8-pound tumor.
Those that supported Rodney Reed racing for years were soon ready to help him rebuild his once-powerful operation. Longtime Reed owner Fred Stanley of Madill, Oklahoma, persuaded him to help break some yearlings, from a distance, while still on a heart monitor. Shortly after receiving his healthy release by his doctors, Reed was putting his barn back together in 2009. In 2012, Reed won the $720,000 Remington Park Futurity, for Oklahoma-breds, with Lota PYC. It would be his last major stakes victory.
Reed continued training and winning through 2017 but health issues resurfaced and proved too much to overcome. Rodney Reed passed away on April 23, 2018.
Reed won 1,764 quarter horse races with stable earnings exceeding $17.8 million according to the American Quarter Horse Association. He won 80 stakes events with 17 Grade 1 triumphs. At Remington Park, Reed won 575 races with earnings of more than $7.4 million.