06/01/2016 11:10AM

Vienna retires from training to concentrate on law


ARCADIA, Calif. – Darrell Vienna, who trained 1992 juvenile champion Gilded Time and won more than 1,200 races, retired from training earlier this spring to devote more time to his equine legal practice.

Vienna, 69, had a small stable based at Santa Anita that was disbanded in mid-April, shortly after the conclusion of the track’s winter-spring meeting. One of his former runners, Si Sage, won Sunday’s Grade 2 Charles Whittingham Stakes for trainer Jim Cassidy.

Vienna said last weekend that he had contemplated retirement in recent years.

“I think I’ve been retired for a couple of years and didn’t know it,” Vienna said with a laugh. “I feel great. I thought it was about time.”

Vienna had his first winner in 1976 and his last at Golden Gate Fields last November. He won 1,232 races, and his horses earned more than $50.6 million. By his calculation, Vienna won 79 graded stakes. His final Grade 1 winner was Star Parade in the 2006 Santa Maria Stakes at Santa Anita.

Vienna has had a legal practice since 1994 and for years trained horses and practiced law simultaneously. He has focused on cases related to racing, often arguing on behalf of owners, trainers, and jockeys in front of stewards or the California Horse Racing Board.

Vienna said he has several active cases. He did not rule out a comeback to training but said it was doubtful.

“You never know,” he said. “I’m enjoying what I’m doing. With the legal work, you can put your deadlines in the future, and with horse racing, it’s 365 days a year. It stays with you.

“It’s been a good, long run for me, and I’m pleased with what racing did for me. I’m trying to do something for racing.”

Gilded Time won the 1992 Breeders’ Cup Juvenile at Gulfstream Park. Vienna also trained the Grade 1 winners Fly Till Dawn, Janet, Joey Franco, Mountain Bear, and Short Sleeves.