11/10/2010 1:30PM

Trainer Hardin dies at 62

Dan Dry/CDI
Trainer Jerry Hardin, 62, died of a heart attack Wednesday at his Benton, La., home.

Trainer Jerry Hardin died of a heart attack Wednesday morning at his Benton, La., home, according to a number of friends and racing officials in Louisiana. He was 62.

Hardin, an Arkansas native who raced throughout the Southwest, trained for more than 30 years. He raced this past summer at Louisiana Downs and was currently based at Delta Downs.

“He was a super person,” said jockey Don Simington, who often teamed with Hardin. “He was one of the first guys I rode for when I came to Shreveport 25 years ago.”

Hardin was known for developing young horses, among them Ahead of Her Time, who won four stakes in her first five starts and was later sold privately. He also trained Injustice, a stakes winner for him in 2004 who he then sold on behalf of a client. One start later, Injustice won the Grade 3 Azeri at Oaklawn.

This past fall, Hardin was named “Man of the Year” by the Louisiana Downs chapter of the racetrack chaplaincy program. He was honored during a banquet held the week of the Super Derby.

“He was always willing to do anything for you,” said Jim Hudson, a longtime friend and trainer. “He was a good person and a lot of fun to be around. He was never in a bad mood.”

Funeral arrangements are pending, Louisiana Downs chaplain Jimmy Sistrunk said Wednesday.

Hardin is survived by his wife, Jill.