EDWARD AND THERESA DENIKE
-Won the 2006 La Primera Del Ano Derby with Kaniska
-Won the PCQHRA Breeder's Futurity with Ancient Ruler in 2007
It would be a lot easier for Edward and Theresa Denike to race Thoroughbreds in Washington. The owners operate a majestic ranch in the middle of the Evergreen State's beautiful Thoroughbred country, which rests just 15 minutes away from Emerald Downs. But there's one fundamental factor that has kept the owners coming back to visit Los Alamitos Race Course several times a month. "We love Quarter Horses and we want to be part of this sport," said Edward Denike. "We love the athleticism and beauty of Quarter Horses and that's why we've remained involved in the sport."
Denike is a California native who relocated to Washington following a job promotion in 1984. His family now lives in the middle of a breeding area in Washington and their ranch is the only Quarter Horse operation of the bunch. "The fact that we breed Quarter Horses makes us pretty unique in that area," Denike added. "There's Quarter Horse racing up there, but it is not of the quality of Los Alamitos."
With the help of the late Hans Visscher and now that of his wife, Patricia Visscher, the Denikes have had their share of top caliber horses over the years. The partners have bee represented by the likes of Her First Cin, who was a multiple stakes finalist, and El Primero Del Ano Derby runner-up Ancient Mariner. Her First Cin was perhaps their best runner as she just missed winning futurities against the likes of Jumping Tac Flash and Totally Illegal in 1993. She also finished second to Vessels Stallion Farm's Pretty Sensation in a derby in 1994.
The owners also campaigned The Stevedore, a hard-knocking distance runner bearing a name close to the Denikes' heart. "Ships on the waterfront need longshoremen to load and unload cargo," Denike explained. "That's called stevedoring. I'm the chief operating officer of a stevedoring company, so that's where The Stevedore name came from."
Denike's work does comes with one important perk. "We do a lot business in southern California, so I have to travel here several times a month. I try to schedule my trips on days that my horses are running and that way I'm able to see them run."
"We've been fortunate," Denike added. "We've had some nice horses and done well working with (the Visschers). I first met Hans about 10 years ago at Bay Meadows and I think we've made a good team."