Zeren, who raised legendary Trooper Seven, dies at age 83

For the Reporter

Eugene Zeren, who raised Trooper Seven on his small farm near Gig Harbor, died Tuesday of heart failure, his daughter said.

Mr. Zeren, who was 83 years old, had been in poor health for some time.

Born May 19, 1930 in Marshall, Minn., Zeren studied engineering at UCLA and for many years doubled as a Boeing engineer and small-time breeder, owner and trainer of Thoroughbreds, which he bred and raised on a 62-acre farm in Wauna.

One of those horses, Trooper Seven, would become one of the fastest and most popular runners in state history. By Table Run-Miss Holanda, Trooper Seven was born April 8, 1976, and would go on to win 13-of-28 starts and earn $371,435. More importantly, Trooper Seven was five-for-five at the one-mile distance, including back-to-back runnings of the Longacres Mile in 1980-81.

The 1981 Mile, in which Trooper Seven defeated a star-studded field before a record 25,031 fans, is considered one of the greatest moments in state racing history.

Trooper Seven, who entered stud after his retirement in 1981, was inducted into the Washington Racing Hall of Fame with the inaugural class of 2003.

Wife Jean, who passed away in 2009, preceded Zeren in death. A daughter, Kimberly, of Scottsdale, Ariz., survives him.

Mr. Zeren, per his request, will be cremated, and his ashes spread in the pasture where Trooper Seven is buried. A wake in celebration of his life will be held on the farm at a later date.

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