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The Spokesman-Review Newspaper The Spokesman-Review

Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883
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Jim Price: Looking at the great ‘what if’ had Turbulator raced at Santa Anita

On a crisp Sunday evening, almost half a century ago, nearly 6,000 people crowded into an aging structure just off Spokane’s East Sprague Avenue. Moments before 6 o’clock, they let out a full-throated roar. Turbulator, a dark bay gelding with a knobby right knee, punctuated his charge toward history with a dramatic victory in the Playfair Mile, the championship event for annual horse-racing seasons at Playfair Race Course.

Owner of Turbulator, Marguerite Crawford, dies

Years ago, when there was a Playfair Race Course, the press box gang and maybe a few others often referred to Marguerite Crawford as Turbulator’s mother. She wasn’t, of course. Marguerite Crawford was very much a lady. And it’s tempting to say Turbulator was only a horse, except that he wasn’t. He was the greatest racehorse in this city’s history. And Mrs. Crawford, alternately his den mother, stable attendant, nursemaid and leader of his rooting section, did all of that and more without raising her voice.

Turbulator was superstar in local racing’s heyday

Spokane native Jon White is part of a thirsty generation that remembers when the elusive Triple Crown was won in the high-stakes Sport of Kings. But today, if only for one day, horse racing – regarded as a dying sport by many – was on track with a new set of keyed-up followers.