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Ron McAnally

Ron McAnally
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   A native of Covington, Ky., Ron McAnally began his career in thoroughbred racing at Rockingham Park in New Hampshire working for his uncle, trainer Reggie Cornell. He earned his first victory as a trainer in 1958 at Hollywood Park and collected his first stakes victory two years later at Santa Anita.

   In the early 1980s, McAnally gained considerable national recognition as the trainer of John Henry, the two-time Horse of the Year and the first of his three Hall of Fame horses. John Henry came under McAnally’s care at age 4 having earned $239,613. For McAnally, he won 27 of his 45 races and earned $6,358,334.

   Under McAnally’s guidance John Henry won two Arlington Millions and two Santa Anita Handicaps, among other significant stakes. He also won seven Eclipse Awards: two as Horse of the Year (1981 and 1984), four as Grass Champion and one as Champion Older Male.

   Other Hall of Fame horses McAnally trained were Bayakoa, who won back-to-back Breeders’ Cup Distaffs in 1989 and 1990 and was voted Champion Older Female both years. Two years later, he conditioned his third Hall of Famer, another filly named Paseana, who also won the Breeders’ Cup Distaff in 1992 and won the Eclipse Award for Champion Older Female two years running.

   Notable races won by McAnally include the Hollywood Gold Cup, Santa Anita Derby, Clement L. Hirsch Memorial Turf Championship (5), Arlington Million (3), Jockey Club Gold Cup (2), Santa Anita Handicap (3), Eddie Read Handicap (3), Spinster Stakes (4), Vanity Handicap (4), Arkansas Derby (2), Hollywood Derby (2) and the Pacific Classic. He has won four Breeders’ Cup races.

   McAnally has spent most of his career racing horses on the Southern California circuit, where he has won 10 training titles. He received the Eclipse Award for Outstanding Trainer in 1981, 1991 and 1992. Through 2012, he ranks second all time at Del Mar with 438 wins and 75 stakes wins. Through August 2013, McAnally has won 2,569 races and purses totaling $124,484,886.

   Ron McAnally was inducted into the National Museum of Racing’s Hall of Fame in 1990.