Bay Area Trainer Delia Passes Away

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Bill Delia

Longtime west coast trainer and former jockey William 'Bill' Delia died Thursday due to the complications of COVID-19. He was 75 years old.

Born Dec. 5, 1946, he began his apprenticeship as a jockey in 1966. After a race-riding career in which he piloted 304 winners, Delia switched to training. Beginning in 1985, his career spanned over four decades, winning 975 races from 7,952 starters, with his runners amassing purse earnings of $16,735,424.

The Bay area native was honored with the California Thoroughbred Breeders Association (CTBA) Trainer of the Year award in 2019.

Delia's last winner came at Golden Gate Fields Dec. 10 with Hands Off. His final two starters raced this past Friday, Jan. 21.

“As you can imagine, our racing family here at Golden Gate is deeply saddened,” said Golden Gate Fields General Manager David Duggan. “He was one guy you looked forward to seeing every morning. He was a hard worker that loved horses and racing. He had fantastic stories to share and a great sense of humor. With the news of Bill's passing comes a dark shadow that has been cast on our backstretch this morning.”

Jockey William Antongeorgi III, who rode for Delia in recent years, posted on social media Thursday evening.

“Not only was he great to ride for…but he was also just a great guy to be around,” said Antongeorgi. “[Delia was] always laughing and having a good time. This one hurts. I'll miss you.”

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