10/23/2001 11:00PM

Paul Adwell, trainer, dead at 86

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Paul T. Adwell, who trained Elocutionist to a memorable upset in the 1976 Preakness, died Monday in a nursing home in Hot Springs, Ark., after a lengthy illness. He was 86.

Adwell was a mainstay on the Chicago circuit and at his home track of Oaklawn Park in Hot Springs, training more than 40 horses during his prime in the 1950's and 1960's. Born in Mason City, Iowa, he was a trainer for over 50 years before retiring in the early 1990's.

Although Adwell trained such stakes winners as Romeo, Go to the Bank, and Eustace, he was best known for his work with Elocutionist, who was owned by his longtime main client, Eugene Cashman of Chicago.

After winning the Arkansas Derby, Elocutionist finished third behind Bold Forbes and heavily favored Honest Pleasure in the Kentucky Derby. Then, overlooked at 10-1 in the 101st Preakness on May 15, 1976, Elocutionist capitalized on a wicked speed duel between Bold Forbes and Honest Pleasure by rallying for a 3 1/2-length victory under John Lively.

Adwell was widowed in 1994 when his wife, Golden, died. The couple had no children. Adwell's closest surviving relative is his nephew, David Adwell, a trainer in Chicago.

Funeral services were scheduled for Thursday at St. John's Catholic Church in Hot Springs.