Twitter icon
Facebook icon

Angel Penna

Angel Penna
Induction Year: 

Tab Wrapper


   Angel Penna was born Sept. 30, 1923 in Buenos Aires, Argentina. His father, father-in-law and an uncle were all trainers. Penna got his start as an assistant to his father before going out on his own and becoming Argentina’s leading trainer in 1952.

   Penna was the top trainer in Venezuela in 1954 before he began competing in the United States. He moved to the U.S. in 1961 and raced at tracks throughout the country. He achieved plenty of success with Harry F. Guggenheim’s colt, Bold Reason.

   Success followed Penna wherever he went. In 1972 and 1974, he won the Prix de l’Arc Triomphe with the fillies San San and future French Hall of Famer Allez France, respectively. Allez France became the first filly to earn $1 million. Penna was the leading trainer in France in 1974 and also found success in England, where he won the Epsom Oaks, St. Leger Stakes, and 1,000 Guineas.

   Penna returned to the U.S. in 1978 with Daniel Wildenstein horses, including Waya, with whom he won the Turf Classic and Man o’ War Stakes. He was soon hired by Ogden Phipps, for whom he trained Relaxing, the 1981 Champion Older Female. For Phipps, Penna also conditioned Private Account, Dance Number, and Time for a Change.

   In his 42 years as a head trainer, Penna conditioned the winners of more than 250 stakes races. Some other notable races won by Penna-trained Thoroughbreds include the Travers Stakes, Hollywood Derby, Massachusetts Handicap, Prix de Diane, Widener Handicap, Gulfstream Park Handicap, United Nations Stakes (2), Fort Marcy Handicap (2), Beldame Stakes, and the Prix Ganay (2).

   Angel Penna was inducted into the National Museum of Racing’s Hall of Fame in1988. He died four years later.