17-year-old Washington-bred horse (born in 1997)
by Son of Briartic-Windsong Maria
Career (1999-2003): 29-11-0-3, $430,753
Makors Mark was one of Emerald Downs best all-time runners. A Washington-bred by Son of Briartic, he remains high on lists of the track's all time earners and stakes winners. His speed and stamina took him to victories from five furlongs to a mile and one-eighth. Today, he's still "working," showing his friendly personality to race fans and horse lovers in Kentucky.
He was bred by Nina Egbert and raced by syndicate managers Packy and Julie McMurry, who stood Son of Briartic at their Royal Match Stud in Enumclaw.
British Columbia Hall of Fame trainer Dave Forster thought enough of Makors Mark to start his career in a stakes race. The colt did win as a juvenile in 1999, but it was his six wins in 2000 and his Emerald Downs Horse of the Meeting season of 2001 that he made his "mark."
Grant Forster, son of trainer Dave, left the Emerald Downs Media Relations department in 2000 to groom for his father and "Marky" was his to take care of.
He was just a great horse to be around," said Grant Forster. "We were always confident he was going to be a good horse. Around the barn, he was one of us, almost human-like."
As a three-year-old, Makors Mark won five races here, including the Seattle Slew Handicap and Washington Owners Breeders' Cup. A wide trip cost him his best chance in the Emerald Downs Derby but his season wasn't done. He won western Canada's top race, the B.C. Derby, with Gary Baze up for the first time.
"He was beating me all summer at Emerald Downs but the B.C. Derby was the first time I ever sat on his back," said Baze. "During that race, things didn't go perfectly from my standpoint but he still drew off to win easily. I knew he was something special."
In 2001, Makors Mark's won three stakes here and was third in the Mile. His earnings of $170,250 is still the highest single-season total for a horse who didn't win The Mile.
Next, a new career as a stallion at Leckbee Thoroughbred Farm in Onalaska. He sired many talented runners from his matings, most noteworthy Makors Finale, Washington Horse of the Year of 2012.
Now, at age 17, he's now a popular resident of Old Friends Equine Retirement center in Georgetown, Kentucky. The public is welcome to visit and feed a carrot or two. Michael Blowen is founder and President of Old Friends.
"He's a marvelous, marvelous horse," said Blowen. "He's got a great personality and it didn't take him long to realize we're the waiters. All he has to do is act nice and he'll get attention and carrots. All these retirees enjoy seeing the people they spent time with during their racing careers."
After careers in racing and breeding, Makors Mark is still pleasing his many fans.