02/17/2016 12:26PM

Trombetta pays tribute to Meyerhoff

Jim McCue/Maryland Jockey Club
Trainer Mike Trombetta says Marengo Road is under consideration for the Private Terms on March 12.

Mike Trombetta’s stable has been on a roll at Laurel Park and since Jan. 29 has won with 10 of 28 starters. Trombetta is tied for third in the trainers’ standings and, as often is the case, leads in purse earnings.

On Monday, Trombetta won the Miracle Wood Stakes with the 3-year-old Marengo Road. On Jan. 30, he won the Conniver Stakes with Candida H. Marengo Road raced for Harry C. Meyerhoff, who had died four days earlier, and his son, Tom. Candida H. races for the Fitzhugh LLC of Harry’s brother, Robert E. Meyerhoff.

The news of Harry Meyerhoff’s death had not widely circulated until Trombetta spoke of him following the Miracle Wood.

“Racing really lost a hero,” Trombetta said. “He was a wonderful man.”

Meyerhoff, who was 86, campaigned many good horses but will always be remembered for Spectacular Bid, whom he bought for $37,000 at Keeneland in 1977. Spectacular Bid won 26 of 30 starts under the care of trainer Bud Delp and was named the champion 2-year-old of 1978, the champion 3-year-old of 1979, and the Horse of the Year and champion older male of 1980.

Spectacular Bid won the Kentucky Derby and Preakness and concluded his career with a perfect 9-for-9 season that ended with a walkover in the Woodward Stakes.

Trombetta began training for Meyerhoff after Delp died in December 2006.

“Bud and I were neighbors. We were stabled right across from each other, and I knew Tom,” Trombetta said. “When Bud passed away, I reached out to them and said, ‘Let me know if there is anything I can do,’ and they hired me.”

Trombetta has trained seven stakes winners for Harry and Tom Meyerhoff, with Eternal Star possibly the best. Eternal Star made his first four starts for Delp and won the Par Four Stakes at Delaware Park. He was 8 for 17 for Trombetta while winning five stakes, including the Grade 2 Commonwealth at Keeneland and the James Marvin at Saratoga.

“Harry and Tom go to the Keeneland September sale every year, and all they buy are colts,” Trombetta said. “They buy one time a year. We’ve been pretty fortunate and had some luck together.”

Marengo Road looks to have a bright future. In the one-mile Miracle Wood, he put away Never Gone South on the lead and then held off the late-running Charmed Victory by three-quarters of a length. A $120,000 Keeneland yearling by Quality Road, he is now 3 for 8 with victories on turf and dirt.

“I was debating on whether to send him to Florida, and if he needed the turf,” Trombetta said. “But we kept him up here, and he’s done well.”

Trombetta said Marengo Road will be considered for the $75,000 Private Terms Stakes at 1 1/16 miles on March 12 and the $100,000 Federico Tesio at 1 1/8 miles on April 9.