10/05/2011 2:54PM

Sid Martin, trainer, dies at 82


VANCOUVER, British Columbia – Trainer Sid Martin died at the palliative care center at Lions Gate Hospital in North Vancouver Monday evening. He was 82 and had been diagnosed with cancer in August.

Martin moved to Vancouver from New Brunswick when he was 4 years old and gravitated to the track in 1943 where he started as a hotwalker. He spent most of his 67 years at the track training horses, but he also had a short stint as a jockey. He was the leading rider in Playfair in 1947 and finished second at Longacres the same year.

Weight forced him to change his career path, and after four years as a valet at Hastings, he started training horses for Vancouver businessman Chuck Charles.

Martin had success in British Columbia, winning the 1964 Futurity with Clockless, and in 1965 he saddled the first two finishers in the Premier’s, Costa Rica and Fleet Runner.

He moved to Southern California and his reputation was quickly established when Everything Lovely won four stakes races for him. The best horse he trained was Diabolo, who won the Del Mar Futurity and the California Derby before finishing third in the 1975 Kentucky Derby and Preakness. Diabolo also finished fourth in the Belmont.

In California, Martin established a relationship with Marshall Naify of 505 Farms. One of his proudest accomplishments was winning the Jack and Sadie Diamond Futurities on the same weekend with horses owned by Naify.

Martin will be remembered not only for his training feats but his sharp wit, style, and passion for racing.

He is survived by his wife, Dawne Bradley, sons Brad and Greg, and daughters Shannon and Tanya.

A memorial service has tentatively been scheduled at Hastings in the George Royal room Saturday, Oct. 23.