By Bill Finley
Retired trainer Ralph Biszantz passed away Tuesday in Ocala, Florida after a brief battle with melanoma. Biszantz was 78.
His death was confirmed by his brother, owner and breeder Gary Biszantz.
“He was living in Ocala and he had a couple of ex-race horses that he took care of,” Gary Biszantz said.
“The cancer came on him pretty quickly. It only took about three months and the melanoma spread through his lungs. It was a sad way to go, but he wasn’t in a lot of pain. It was a quiet ending.”
According to Equibase records, Biszantz started his training career in 1978 and competed in both Northern and Southern California and in Florida. His last starters came at Tampa Bay Downs in 2012.
“He retired when he did because he got discouraged because he could never get the kind of horses that he wanted,” Biszantz said. “He never got that quality horse. He trained a little bit for me and we had a good run together. He was good at what he did.”
Biszantz said his brother made many a friend at the racetrack.
“He had a lot of friends and a lot of guys knew him,” Biszantz said. “He was around a long time. He got his license that same day that Richard Mandella got his license. They walked out of the office at Santa Anita on the same day with their trainer’s licenses. The guys all know him. Any trainer in America who has been around will say, ‘Oh, I knew Ralph Biszantz.’ He was a character. He loved the game. He loved the sport. It was his whole life.”