Retired Trainer Thomas Root, Jr. Dies at 87

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Root finished second in the 1977 Preakness | MJC Photo

Retired trainer Thomas Root, Jr. passed away Friday in Ocala. Root, 87, trained in New York and Florida and had his greatest success in the 1970s. Best known as the conditioner of MGSW Redundancy (Creme dela Creme), he also trained 1977 GII Withers S. winner Iron Constitution (Iron Ruler) to a second-place finish in the GI Preakness behind Seattle Slew (Bold Reasoning).

Root was 17 when he saddled his first horse in 1951. In addition to winning 199 races during his training career, he also worked alongside his father, Root, Sr., and his brother, Richard, for Harry Mangurian, Jr.'s Mockingbird Farm in Ocala for more than two decades.

According to his son, Tom, Root retired 25 years ago and moved to Ocala 15 years ago. Services are pending.

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