Best Thoroughbred

Lady Riss

This year four-year-old Lady Riss became the first horse in Fairmount Park's 80-year history to exceed $100,000 in earnings in a single season, garnering $105,540 in winning six of seven starts at the metro east's little track that could. Given that Lady Riss is, well, a lady (filly, in Thoroughbred parlance), such a feat would figure to come with an asterisk attached. As in most sports this side of gymnastics and synchronized swimming, males are typically regarded as superior to their female counterparts when it comes to zipping around dirt ovals. Not so Lady Riss, who on July 23 topped the best boys Fairmount could muster in the $40,000 Pete Condellone Memorial Handicap. Riss has classy connections, too: Her trainer, Leroy Hellman -- the self-proclaimed "only white Leroy in East St. Louis" -- sports the track's best earnings-per-entry percentage among trainers with more than 100 starts; and if we were to give an award for "Best Owner," DuQuoin native Dana Waier would win by a dozen lengths.
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