Washington-bred gelding (b. 1994)
By Country Light-Stroke of Justice
Career (1997-2005): 69-13-13-5 $72,209
Taz's Treasure was one of the prolific early winners at Emerald Downs. A Washington-bred by Country Light, he broke his maiden in his first career start and though he raced at seven other tracks, all 13 of his victories were in Auburn. From 1997 through 2004 he won at Emerald Downs, eight consecutive seasons, the first horse to achieve that.
Kris Breckinridge trained him for most of his career and owned him along with Emerald Downs late Simulcasting Coordinator, Chuck Potter.
"He was one of the coolest horses," said Breckenridge. "Easy going, easy to be around. On top of that he was fun to gallop and loved to compete. He'd tell you when he was ready to run, he'd be tearing down the hot walker."
"Chuck (Potter) really liked him, too. How could you not? He did so well at Emerald Downs."
At retirement from racing in 2005, Taz was near the top in total wins at EmD. Those 13 wins were just three behind then-track leaders Bob Stories and Market Master.
Born in '94, he's now nearly 20 years old, but he doesn't act his age according to current owner Lisa Hoonan-Trujillo.
"I'm not that experienced on horses so I was pretty scared of him at first," said Hoonan-Trujillo, who trail rides Taz's Treasure. "He's kind, knows his job, loves his job, whatever he's doing. He takes care of me.
He's 19 years old but you'd never know that looking at him. I think 19 is the new 8!"
Speaking of 19 . 19 different jockeys rode him. Debbie Hoonan was the last ride him and last to win aboard "Taz."
"He's a super, super-smart horse," said Hoonan. "He'd run his race and there was nothing you could do about it. First time I rode him he took himself way back. I gave him a couple light taps and nothing happened. As soon as I put the stick away he took off and won!"
Taz's Treasure has a friend at Hoonan-Trujillo's Puyallup home, fellow EmD winner Free Cocktails. Together, they get all the care, exercise and love anybody or any horse could ask for.
"I ride him every morning," says Hoonan-Trujillo. "He gets up first and rips and runs, bucks and plays - he gets a lot of exercise on his own. By the time I get to him he's got plenty left to go!"