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Boekenoogen headlines Sun Downs opener

The 10-day horse racing meet gets going today at Sun Downs with a first post of 1:30 p.m. and a nine-race card featuring the $3,000 Boekenoogen Memorial.

This will be the 21st running of this race, started in the late 1980s by the Tri-City Horse Racing Association.

The story goes that a young Sis Boekenoogen and her close friend, Abigail Kawananakoa -- who grew up together in the same village in Hawaii -- were on a ship heading to the U.S. mainland when the Japanese attacked Pearl Harbor in 1941.

Sis married a California rancher named Bob Boekenoogen, and they eventually made their way up to the Northwest. Sis decided to get involved in quarterhorse racing and had Kennewick's Lin Melton train her horses.

Abigail, ever the competitive sort, decided to get into quarterhorse racing too. She purchased a ranch in the Mid-Columbia while living on her estate in Hawaii.

In the 1980s, Bob Boekenoogen passed away.

"That's when they decided to put on the race," said Cliff Schellinger of the Tri-City Horse Racing Association. "Their estate has a memorial every year. They put up half the prize money, we do the other half, and we send them a picture of the winner every year."

Sis Boeknoogen passed away about five years ago, Schellinger said.

"Now their nephew, who inherited their estate, wants to keep the race going," he added.

Boekenoogen's close friend, Kawananakoa, developed a love of horses because of her competitive nature with her friend. She has raced and bred many successful horses over the years, and is still a TCHRA board member.

In November of 2007, Kawananakoa donated $3 million to Colorado State University for equine research.

With that history in mind, today's Boekenoogen Memorial -- a 400-yard quarterhorse handicap -- will feature six contestants, including last year's Boekenoogen winner, Hannibal Lector.

Two other entries, Awezoomin and Yin Your Eyes, are owned and trained by Kennewick trainer Bill Hoburg, and Awezoomin won two races last fall in Walla Walla.

Royal Star Max is a Don Young-trained horse that finished second in its last race in Portland last month; and See The Feature is one of 17 horses that New Mexico trainer Buckey Stockwell brought up to help with the meet.

Jockey David Brown, who grew up in Kennewick, will ride See The Feature.

Trey Fecta

The Herald has decided to place some wagers over this 10-day meet -- with imaginary money, of course.

Let's start with a $500 bankroll, and we'll bring in our good friend, Trey Fecta, to make the picks.

Here we go:

In the first race, we're going $5 across the board (win, place and show) on Kash in My Wranglers, and we'll place $2 on it for the first half of the Daily Double.

Then we'll take the second half of the DD on Dr. Tornado in the second, plus we'll box a trifecta of Dr. Tornado, Indys Wild Child and De Heatison.

We'll play a $4 quinella on Lookin For Cash and Two Lic Tryn in the third; in the fourth, we're going $2 across the board on Trieste'd N True, and a trifecta box of Trieste'd N True, Indy n'Slew and Stylish Miss.

In the fifth, we want to do an exacta box for $4 total on Mayday Malone and Joy Be Fast. For the sixth, we're boxing a trifecta of Smart Olivia, Flexible Loyalties and Perfect Cast.

For the seventh, we can't resist the name At the Bada Bing (Trey likes The Sopranos). So we're betting a $5 quinella on At the Bada Bing and Dutch Apple.

In the eighth, we'll go $5 to win for Relieve, then box a trifecta of Relieve, Freedee and Here Comes Lucky. Also put $2 down on the first half of the Late Double on Relieve.

And for the ninth-race Boekenoogen Memorial, we're going with See the Feature on the second half of the Late Double, plus a trifecta box with it and Awezoomin and Yin Your Eyes.

That's $73 in wagers.