Washington-bred mare (B: 2007)
By Tribunal-Knight Weave
Career (2009-2010): 12-4-1-1, $97,399
With no shortage of storylines in the stakes divisions during the 2009 season at Emerald Downs, it would take a special 2-year-old to steal away the attention of even the most avid race fans.
Up to the challenge, Washington-bred filly Knight Raider entered the juvenile circuit powerfully, putting on some of the greatest performances in track history. By meet’s end, the dark bay daughter of Tribunal had run away with the season’s Top 2-Year-Old Filly honors, like she had in most of her races. After winning a maiden race by 10 lengths, Knight Raider kicked off her stakes career with a 13-length romp in the Knights Choice Stakes. She went on win two more stakes races to complete a four-race winning streak by a combined 34 ¼ lengths.
Bred by Ron and Nina Hagen and owned by Fab Five Farm (Nina Hagen, Doris Harwood, Hollis Sturgeon, Delores Christianson & Colleen Caufield), Knight Raider’s brilliant campaign also bolstered the credentials of her trainer Doris Harwood. Led by Knight Raider, Harwood’s stable tied its previous track record of 12 stakes wins in a season and dominated the juvenile ranks with 21 two-year-old wins en route to the meet’s Top Training Achievement. Remembering the season well, Nina Hagen, one-fifth of the Fab Five Farm, still gets a bit overwhelmed by Knight Raider’s stellar year.
“Her two-year-old season was just a dream come true,” she said. “I was on Cloud Nine. I was like, did it really happen? Yes it did.”
While unable to repeat her success during her sophomore season, Knight Raider concluded her career at the end of 2010 with a superlative 12-4-1-1 record and $97,399 in purse earnings. And, like most stakes-winning mares, Knight Raider retired to the breeding shed, where she hopes to transfer her racing talents into a successful broodmare career.
Knight Raider's first foal(left): Chestnut filly by Yes It's True & her second foal (right): Bay colt by Dixie Chatter
Last year, she had her first foal, a chestnut filly by Yes It’s True, and then, on April 5, she had a bay colt by Dixie Chatter. She’ll look to add a third member to the family this season after shipping to California this week to be bred to one of the state’s top sires, Tribal Rule. Nina Hagen, who also heads a large breeding operation at El Dorado Farms in Enumclaw, said Knight Raider’s quality pedigree and laid-back personality makes her the complete broodmare.
“She’s just perfect,” she said. “She’s good with us at the farm. She’s great with her babies. You couldn’t ask for a better mom.”