09/02/2010 2:55PM

Thomas Tomillo, trainer, dies

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ARLINGTON HEIGHTS, Ill. – Thomas Tomillo, a veteran Chicago trainer, died Wednesday night at Alexian Brothers Hospital in Elk Grove Village, Illinois. Tomillo, 66, was suffering from pancreatic cancer, according to jockey agent Kenny Danna, a longtime Tomillo associate.

Tomillo was born the son of a jockey in Chicago. He owned horses in the mid-1960s, and scored his first win as a trainer in 1971. Working almost exclusively in the claiming business, Tomillo, a winner of 1,731 races during his career, managed to capture three training titles at Hawthorne Race Course. In the early 2000s, Tomillo had great success with a claim named Talknow, but his best horse was Lord of the Game, whom he and owner Bill Slevin claimed for $10,000 out of Lord of the Game’s career debut. Lord of the Game went on to win multiple graded stakes, and nearly ran in the Breeders’ Cup Classic in 2005.

Both a wake on Friday between 3-9 p.m. and a visitation, on Saturday between 8 and 9:30 a.m. are to be held at Galewood Chapel, 1857 N. Harlem Avenue in Chicago. Tomillo’s funeral is 9:30 Saturday morning at Saint William Church, 2600 N. Sayre Ave. Chicago.