J. Elliot Burch followed in the footsteps of his grandfather, William P. Burch, and his father, Preston M. Burch, into the Hall of Fame. He began as an assistant to his father at Isabel Dodge Sloane’s Brookmeade Stable and went on to a remarkable career during which he trained six champions and four Hall of Famers.
Burch made his mark with Sword Dancer, winner of the 1959 Horse of the Year and Belmont Stakes winner. Burch also won the Belmont with Quadrangle in 1964 and Arts and Letters in 1969. Another Brookmeade success for Burch was Bowl of Flowers, the 1960 Champion 2-Year-Old Filly and 1961 Champion 3-Year-Old Filly with wins in the Acorn Stakes and Coaching Club American Oaks.
From 1966-1977, Burch trained for Paul Mellon’s Rokeby Stable. He prepped Arts and Letters to a Horse of the Year campaign in 1969 and led the nation in purse earnings that year. Burch went on to train for C.V. Whitney after his stint with Rokeby. For Whitney, he won the 1982 Suburban Stakes and Whitney Handicap with Silver Buck. In the Suburban, Silver Buck set a Belmont record for 1¼ miles with a time of 1:59.60.
Along with his three Belmont victories, Burch also won the Whitney Handicap (4), Saranac Stakes (3), Acorn Stakes (2), Jockey Club Gold Cup (2), Metropolitan Handicap (3), Travers Stakes (4), Woodward Stakes (4), Suburban Handicap (4),
Coaching Club American Oaks (2), Blue Grass Stakes, Alabama Stakes, Brooklyn Handicap, and Test Stakes.
J. Elliot Burch was inducted into the National Museum of Racing’s Hall of Fame in 1980.
Burch escorts Arts and Letters to a morning workout