03/04/2013 9:33AM

Joe Cain, Kentucky trainer, dies after battle with ALS


Joe Cain, a longtime Kentucky-based trainer whose career highlight came at Saratoga in 2003 when he sent out Private Horde to a five-length victory in the Grade 2 Alfred G. Vanderbilt Stakes, died Saturday night at his home in Russell Springs, Ky., after suffering for 2 1/2 years from amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, also known as Lou Gehrig’s disease.

Cain, 57, logged many miles racing at Kentucky tracks while operating primarily off his Russell Springs farm in the southeast region of the state. He began his training career in 1991 and had 495 wins for $6.7 million in stable earnings. Private Horde, a foal of 1999, was easily his best horse, winning 13 of 47 starts for Cain while earning more than $700,000. After his Vanderbilt triumph, in which he earned a 117 Beyer Speed Figure, Private Horde won the Marfa Stakes at Turfway Park as an odds-on favorite before finishing ninth in the Breeders’ Cup Sprint at Santa Anita.

Cain continued to train until dispersing his stable in October after the effects of his disease became too overwhelming, said Peggy Cain, his wife of 34 years.

Besides his wife, Cain is survived by his daughter, Alison, and two grandchildren.

Visitation was scheduled for Tuesday at 4 p.m. Central at Wilson Funeral Home in his hometown, with burial scheduled for 1 p.m. Wednesday. The family requests that memorial contributions go to Bethlehem Separate Baptist Church in Russell Springs.