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by Jennifer K. Hancock
The racing world lost a legend on July 13 when Quarter Horse breeder/owner Fredda Draper of Ru- idoso Downs, New Mexico, died after a short battle with lung cancer. She was 77.
Fredda and All American Futurity-winning trainer Carl Draper were married for 53 years.
In partnership with Don Moler, the Drapers campaigned 2005 World Champion DM Shicago. After winning the 2004 All American Futurity at Ruidoso Downs, the gray gelding returned the fol- lowing summer to become the third and latest horse to sweep the derby triple crown at Ruidoso Downs consisting of the Grade 1 Ruidoso, Rainbow and All American derbies. He concluded his career with earnings of $1,873,730.
Following Carl’s death in December 2015, Fredda said she was reluctant to go back to her regular spot in the Ruidoso Downs grandstands. But at the conclusion of the 2016 meet, she was glad she did as she watched Imperial Eagle, a horse she bred, win the All American Futurity. Fredda also bred and owned Imperial Eagle’s dam, stakes winner Jenuine Joy; bred Champion PJ Chick In Black; briefly co-owned All American Derby winner Genuine Strawfly; and bred and raced stakes winner Hidden Dragon.
In her own name, without partners, she bred 61 foals with 42 starters who earned $3,898,566.
Fredda was honored with the 2016 Racing Breeder Special Recognition Award from the American Quarter Horse Association.
Chris Kotulak, chief operating officer at Fonner Park, affectionately nicknamed Fredda, “Mountain Momma.” He described Fredda as “A genuine gem and a throwback to the ‘Good Old Days’ – not just of horseracing, the ‘Good Old Days’ in general. She was pure class, and you were lucky if you got to know her.”
I was one of the lucky ones.
A longtime employee of the Inn of the Mountain Gods, Fredda understood customer service. She hated being the center of attention, but thrived on taking care of others and making people feel special.
She strongly disliked being interviewed, but I was fortunate enough to get her to talk with me following DM Shicago’s All American Futurity win. Our friendship grew from there. And Fredda never ceased to amaze me.
Fredda was always looking for ways to bless oth- ers and bring smiles to those she loved.
Shortly after their 2004 All American Futurity victory, I received an unexpected gift in the mail – a beautiful purple turquoise pendant. In true Fredda
fashion, she sent a memento and reminder of the day the little guys with the yellow and purple silks ascended Quarter Horse racing’s highest mountain and entered the All American Futurity winner’s circle. Once again, sharing her blessings with others and drawing people into her horse racing family.
The only thing she loved more than her horses was her family. She couldn’t help but smile when she talked about her kids, grandchildren, great- grandchildren or horses.
Rest easy, Miss Fredda. Ruidoso Downs will never be the same without you, but may we carry on your legacy of kindness.
On July 12, Mine That Bird, Harriett Peckham, Leo Wood and Johnny Cox officially joined the Ru- idoso Downs Racehorse Hall of Fame.
Each year, one horse, one breeder/owner, one trainer and one jockey are inducted into the Hall of Fame.
Mine That Bird won the 2009 Kentucky Derby for owners Dr. Leonard Blach and Mark Allen of Roswell, New Mexico. The gelding raced in New Mexico before winning the Kentucky Derby, finishing
SPEEDHORS, August 2019
Jennifer K. Hancock

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