Recently retired trainer John Hertler will present the trophy for Saturday’s GI Cigar Mile H. at Aqueduct. Hertler served 13 years as assistant to trainer P.G. Johnson before going out on his own in 1978. In 1984, Hertler trained Hall of Famer Slew o’ Gold through a remarkable season that included Grade I wins in the Whitney H. at Saratoga and the Woodward, Marlboro Cup Invitational and Jockey Club Gold Cup at Belmont en route to Eclipse Award honors as champion older horse. Slew o’ Gold completed his 1984 campaign with a strong second in the inaugural GI Breeders’ Cup Classic following a dramatic stretch duel with the victorious Wild Again.
Hertler, 69, announced his retirement in October following over four decades of conditioning thoroughbreds.
“We are delighted to have Mr. Hertler make the trophy presentation for the Cigar Mile,” said Martin Panza, NYRA’s Senior Vice President of Racing Operations. “John’s hard work and dedication to the New York racing circuit over the past four decades is greatly appreciated. All of us at NYRA will miss seeing him on the backstretch, but wish him the best in his well-earned retirement.”