08/06/2004 11:00PM

Name these training legends from the past


Forty-nine years ago, Walter M. Jeffords, president of the National Museum of Racing in Saratoga Springs, N.Y., announced the names of the first inductees - horses, trainers, and jockeys - to be enshrined in the newly formed Hall of Fame.

Thoroughbred racing finally joined other major sports in formally recognizing its immortals.

Twelve jockeys, six trainers, and 10 Thoroughbreds were inducted in 1955. New names have been added every year since, and the number of horses now totals more than 160; the number of jockeys total more than 80.

When this year's inductees are formally enshrined in ceremonies Monday at the Humphrey S. Finney Pavilion, across the street from Saratoga Racecourse, Claude "Shug" McGaughey will become the 78th trainer to have his plaque hanging in the museum's Hall of Fame room.

Test your knowledge of five Hall of Fame trainers of yesteryear.

1. When he died April 28, 1905, his horses entered at Pimlico that day were scratched and the jockeys he had engaged declined to accept other mounts. It was their tribute to a man whom the New York Herald called "the most successful trainer of Thoroughbreds in America."

He was one of the first trainers to use interval training techniques - long gallops, alternated with walks and breezes - to prepare his horses.

He trained seven winners of the Preakness Stakes, a record that still stands more than a century after he established it.

Name him.

2. Noted Daily Racing Form writer and turf historian John Hervey called this conditioner "the dean of American trainers."

At age 17 in 1878, this future Hall of Famer was working in a post office in Weldon, N.C., where he caught the eye of famed trainer William Preston Burch, who promptly hired the young man as a stablehand.

The man became a trainer on his own in 1884, and for the next 60 years, he worked for some of the biggest names in racing - August Belmont II, Harry Payne Whitney, James Ben Ali Haggin, and George D. Widener, among others.

Name the trainer.

3. On April 2, 1960, future national grass champion and leading sire T.V. Lark won the $20,000-added Tropicana Hotel of Las Vegas Stakes at Bay Meadows in San Mateo, Calif. The night before, T.V. Lark's 50-year-old trainer suffered a heart attack. He hung on to the next day and died just hours before T.V. Lark's race.

In the 1940's, this man was four times the nation's leading trainer in number of winners. In the 1950's, he was leading money-winning trainer four seasons.

Name him.

4. Unlike many trainers who grew up around racetracks, this man graduated from Princeton in 1924 and taught prep school before he found the classroom too confining. A fellow college classmate introduced him to James Rowe Jr., trainer for the Whitney Stables, and a love affair with racing began.

In 1939, this man became head trainer for Greentree Stable and had complete charge of that operation's massive breeding program.

Name him.

5. Scan the list of the top owners in number of winners in each year from 1960 to 1970 and the same name is repeated every time. And for many of those years, this man also trained all his horses, most of them acquired by the claiming route.

Campaigning primarily in the Midwest from the late 1930's until his death in 1971, this man had his picture taken in the winner's circle as an owner and/or trainer nearly 4,700 times.

Name him.


1. On May 26, 1875, a bay colt named Tom Ochiltree won his first career start, a $300 maiden race at six furlongs. Two days later trainer Robert Wyndham Walden had Tom Ochiltree entered in the third running of the Preakness Stakes, which Tom Ochiltree promptly won by two lengths as a rank outsider.

It was the first of Walden's record seven winners of the Preakness, which has become the second jewel of America's Triple Crown. He also won the Belmont Stakes four times.

Walden, a native of Middleburg, Md., trained horses for 30 years. He saddled the winners of more than 100 stakes races, many in the early years for prominent owner George L. Lorillard.

Walden's specialty was training 2-year-olds, and he frequently finished one-two-three in the country's top juvenile stakes races.

Two years after Tom Ochiltree won the Preakness, he participated in one of the most famous races of the 19th century - a three-horse race at Pimlico that included Parole and Ten Broeck. The three horses are today featured on the large gold-leaf frieze on the outer wall of Pimlico's clubhouse.

Walden was elected to the Hall of Fame in 1970.

2. The name of trainer Andrew Jackson Joyner was a prominent one in Thoroughbred racing from the 1880's to the 1940's. He trained five national champions and in 1908 was the nation's leading trainer in number of winners.

When most racing in this country was grinding to a halt, Joyner went to England in 1909 to train for Harry Payne Whitney. Joyner returned in 1915, when the sport was being revived, and began training for George D. Widener, for whom Joyner worked until his death in 1943.

Joyner was elected to the Hall of Fame with the first group of inductees in 1955.

3. Like many trainers of the era, William Molter began his career as a jockey riding in the bush leagues of his native Texas. He started training horses in 1936, and at the time of his premature death in 1960, Molter had trained the winners of 2,160 races. Fifty-one of his horses were stakes winners.

Based primarily in California, Molter won the Kentucky Derby in 1954 with the little gray Determine.

But his best horse, by far, was Round Table, probably the greatest grass horse in American racing history. Round Table was grass champion in 1957, 1958, and 1959 and was Horse of the Year in 1958. Round Table retired as the world's leading money-winning horse.

Molter was elected to the Hall of Fame in 1960.

4. John M. Gaver's long association with Greentree Stable produced some of the top horses of the 20th century, including champions Devil Diver, Capot, and Stage Door Johnny. Capot was a dual-classic winner in 1949 (Preakness and Belmont Stakes), as was another Gaver-trained horse, Shut Out, in 1942 (Kentucky Derby and Belmont).

Gaver's best horse was one of racing's immortals, Tom Fool, champion juvenile colt of 1951 and Horse of the Year in 1953, when he went 10 for 10 in the biggest handicaps in the country.

Gaver was elected to the Hall of Fame in 1966.

5. Marion H. Van Berg, called "Mr. Van" by his friends, was born in Aurora, Neb., in 1896. The son of a jockey, Van Berg also rode for a time before becoming a livestock trader in 1917.

Van Berg began campaigning racehorses in 1937 and became his own trainer in 1945 * a dual role he maintained until the late 1960's, when he turned training over to his son, Jack, and his longtime assistant, Bob Irwin.

Van Berg owned horses who earned nearly $14 million, remarkable considering he had no champions, campaigned mostly claimers, and raced primarily in Nebraska, Michigan, and Illinois.

Van Berg was inducted into the Hall of Fame in 1970. His son, Jack, was elected to the Hall of Fame in 1985.