Updated on 03/21/2014 10:57AM

Trainer Dominic Galluscio dead at age 55

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Barbara D. Livingston
New York trainer Dominic Galluscio won over 1,000 races in a career that spanned more than three decades.

Dominic Galluscio, who won more than 1,000 races during a training career that spanned more than three decades, died Monday after a brief battle with pancreatic cancer. He was 55.

Often seen with a smile on his face, and frequently with a cigar between his lips, Galluscio was well-liked and well-respected among his peers on the Belmont Park backstretch.

“I know him for over 30 years, great competitor, he was always a happy-go-lucky guy, always upbeat and laughing,” said trainer Bruce Levine. “And a good horseman; he did good with the babies, good with the claiming horses, whatever he had he did good with. Last year, he won his 1,000th race and I’d bet you 900-and-something are at NYRA and that’s a feat.”

Galluscio, who won his first race at Aqueduct in 1981, won 1,047 races from 7,217 starters and his horses earned $31,291,203 in purse money. His greatest success came with New York-breds, winning the Empire Classic in back-to-back years with full-brothers Organizer (2006) and Dr. V’s Magic (2007), bred and owned by Majesty Stud. Galluscio also won stakes with half-siblings Wildcat’s Smile and Johannesburg Smile for owner/breeder Francis Paolangeli. Stormy’s Majesty, also bred by Majesty Stud, won four stakes including the Grade 3 Discovery in 2010.

Other stakes winners Galluscio trained included Double Mint, Hanselina, Le Grande Danseur, Lord of the Night, Placid Fund, Raffie’s Treasure, Roana Gale, Shane Roars, and Trinity Magic. Among his current success stories was Marriedtothemusic, who most recently finished second in the Hollie Hughes Stakes.

Beyond his successes as a horseman, Galluscio’s personality - as well as his colorful sport jackets - resonated with his peers.

“He always had a smile, and had something good to say, he was a very likeable guy,” trainer Gary Contessa said. “He was a colorful guy with a great heart; I’ll miss him for sure.”

Gary Gullo was one of Galluscio’s closest friends and was by Galluscio’s side when he passed.

“As a person, he was very giving, very caring,” Gullo said. “He loved his daughter [Dominique]. His daughter was his whole life. He enjoyed life.”

In addition to his daughter, Galluscio is survived by four brothers and two sisters.

Visitation will be held Friday from 5-9 p.m. at Park Funeral Chapels, 2175 Jericho Turnpike, Garden City Park, N.Y.; (516) 747-4300. A funeral service will be held Saturday, 11 a.m., also at Park Funeral Chapels. Burial will be at noon Sunday at the Reformed Church of Germantown Cemetery, County Rte. 8, Germantown, N.Y.

In lieu of flowers, donations can made in Galluscio’s name to the Backstretch Employee Service Team (BEST), Belmont Park, Gate 6, 2150 Hempstead Turnpike, Cottage 2B, Elmont, NY 11003.

Robert More than 1 year ago
I recently lost my partner, Digby Barrios. Dom trained horses for us for over 15 years. We raced under the stable names of Majesty Stud and Wellspring Stables. When Dom won his 1000th race we were proud to have been over 10 % of those wins. We go back a long way. Now Dom has left us and we grieve his passing. We might have had our differences from time to time, but who doesn't. We had success together. We had fun and excitement. We had a great friendship. With Dom we won our first graded stakes race together. Unforgettable. He played the game fairly and always raced to win. It has taken a couple of days for me to digest the news of Dom's passing. In the last couple of years we lost two good horsemen, Digby Barrios and Dom Galluscio. I mourn them both. We were great friends and their like will never be seen again. Now Dom joins Digby at the rail arguing and laughing as usual, always trying to improve our game. God bless you Dom. You will be sorely missed. Bob Vukovich Wellspring Stables/Majesty Stud
PHILD333 More than 1 year ago
Terrible news, my condolences to the family of Galluscio, it must be heartbreaking to lose a family member way to soon. I didn't know the man personally but reading some of the posts he must have been kind and good person all around for the people who knew him on a personal level.Once again sorry for the loss.
Patricia Doyle More than 1 year ago
Very sad news. RIP Mr. G. My condolences to his family. Mr. G was one of the good ones.
Jacqueline Nickel More than 1 year ago
All the outpouring from all your friends and fans are more than well deserved.For those of us that were close to you we knew the kind of person you where.Always with a smile and a kind word,in English or Spanish your second language which you spoke well and learned out of necessity.Gone way to soon love ya GM
Mauricio Samuel Farias Gomez More than 1 year ago
Lenzini Marty and now Domenic GM thre is not manny of us left Take care
Hail No More than 1 year ago
Could I ask which Lenzini you're referring, too?
Mauricio Samuel Farias Gomez More than 1 year ago
Butch or JJLenzini Jr.
Eric Komar More than 1 year ago
My dad died of pancreatic cancer at 52. It's quick and there's nothing you can do once you have it. RIP DG.
Sarah MacIntosh More than 1 year ago
Thanks for giving us Great years and Many years of Great Service! You will be missed and hope to see you at the finish line one day..
Charles Pitale More than 1 year ago
RIP DG. I will miss you.
denali1 More than 1 year ago
My condolences to the Galluscio family ......may Dom r.i.p. God Bless!
Rick Shildrick More than 1 year ago
He gave his all to the Horses; The Horses responded with there all!
Kathleen Specchio More than 1 year ago
We are saddened by the news of Dominic's passing . May he rest in peace . To his daughter and family, please accept our condolences Kathy and Angelo Specchio