Home Hall of Fame Horses – Female Belle of Rainier

Belle of Rainier

(1979-1989, Inducted 2008)

Trainer: William Findlay
Breeder and Owner: Al Benton
Record: 43-17-6-4
Earnings: $424,526

Foaled in 1979, the striking gray Belle of Rainier captured hearts with her impressive on-track accomplishments and regal presence.

The “Belle” was owned and bred by West Seattle businessman Al Benton and trained throughout her four-year career by William Findlay.

Belle of Rainier was named to honor Dewaine Moore’s Enumclaw-based Rainier Stables, which had Mt. Rainier as a picturesque backdrop and was among the state’s top farms for many years. The talented filly was conceived, foaled and raised at the South King County farm.

Belle of Rainier was sired by Bay Meadows stakes winner Windy Tide, who had run third to champion Silver Screen in the 1969 Arlington-Washington Futurity. The son of Windy Sands earned $108,593 before retiring to stud at Rainier Stables in 1974.

Lap Wing, Belle of Rainier’s dam, had been claimed by Benton for $8,000. The daughter of Donut King won her first time out for Benton, taking a six furlong allowance race at Longacres. Lap Wing, also a gray filly, continued to perform well throughout her five-year-old season and retired to the breeding shed with earnings of $57,764.

Belle of Rainier was the fourth foal and first stakes winner out of Lap Wing, who would later produce stakes winner Lady of Rainier, and was the fourth of 15 stakes winners sired by Windy Tide.

Belle of Rainier made her debut at Longacres and swept the Gottstein Futurity (over Chinook Pass), Mercer Girls and Green River Handicaps before finishing the year with a win in the Burlingame Stakes at Bay Meadows. At three, she won seven stakes: the Belle Roberts Handicap (against older fillies and mares) and the Mike Donohoe Memorial, Ingenue, Betsy Ross and Sacajawea Handicaps at Longacres and the Ballerina and Senorita Stakes at Exhibition Park. She was voted Washington’s champion three-year-old filly. She won three more stakes and placed in seven others among her 43 starts and retired with a record of 17-6-4. Her lifetime earnings of $424,526 were second only to Chinook Pass.

Belle of Rainier produced only three foals, the best among them being multiple stakes-placed Sky White, by Relaunch, who went on to become a successful sire in British Columbia. Her final foal, Pancho’s Girl, a 1988 daughter of Pancho Villa, has produced two stakes winners and one stakes-placed foal among her five winners. Tops among them is the now nine-year-old West Seattle Boy, who won his 16th race on September 12 at Emerald Downs.

Belle of Rainier died in 1989 at age 10.

Read the expanded profile in the WASHINGTON THOROUGHBRED MAGAZINE, Winter 2015, page 220.