03/21/2006 12:00AM

John Sullivan, trainer, dies at 77


Longtime horseman John Sullivan, trainer of Metropolitan Handicap winner Forzando II and inaugural Arlington Million runner-up The Bart, died Tuesday night in Arcadia, Calif., from cancer. He was 77.

The Bart's legendary stretch battle with John Henry in the 1981 Arlington Million is memorialized in a statue at Arlington Park that depicts the two horses battling to the wire. John Henry defeated The Bart by a nose.

Sullivan also won stakes with Yashgan and Shamgo.

Sullivan was born in Ireland on Sept. 7, 1928, and moved to Chicago to train in 1956. He relocated to Southern California in 1970. His horsemanship, sense of humor, and caring for backstretch workers made him one of the most well-liked trainers on the circuit.

Sullivan is survived by his wife, Mary; three daughters, Sharon Sullivan, Noreen Sullivan, and Mary Ann Peters; and four grandchildren. Services are scheduled for 11 a.m. Monday at Holy Angels Catholic Church in Arcadia. In lieu of flowers, donations can be made to the Edwin J. Gregson Foundation.