Veteran Trainer Eddie Truman Retires

Eddie Truman | Zoe Metz

A former assistant to Bobby Frankel and a licensed trainer for more than 50 years, Eddie Truman announced on Monday that he had sent his final horse to the track on New Year's Eve morning at Santa Anita—ending a racetrack run that dates back to the early 1960s.

A winner of 763 races from 5,334 starters, with purse earnings of $15.7 million, Truman said that with his 77th birthday fast approaching Jan. 23, the time was right for him and his wife Elizabeth to step away from a way of life that dates back to his teenage years, when, as an apprentice jockey in 1963 at Sportsman's Park in Chicago, he led all riders.

“I've been blessed to have a great group of owners, some of them for 40 years,” Truman said. “I believe the great horses, the great jockeys, here in a great setting is something we could never replace and that Santa Anita will continue forever.”

Truman, who following an initial run as a licensed trainer for one year in Detroit, MI and a subsequent trip to Europe, came to Southern California in 1972. His first stop was the backstretch at Hollywood Park, where he introduced himself to Frankel, in the hopes of securing a job as an exercise rider, assistant, or whatever might be available.

“When I came back from Europe, I decided I wanted to be a trainer and that I wanted to go with the best…Forget everything I thought I knew and try to learn from the best. And so, it was Charlie Whittingham or Bobby Frankel,” said Truman. “I happened to walk into Bobby's barn first and I asked him if I could get on some horses or if there were any jobs available. He said 'Who are you?' And I said 'Eddie Truman.' And he said 'Oh my God, you were riding when I was walking hots at Tropical Park in 1963!' So then, he told me to go get on a horse and I was in.”

He continued, “I've just been associated with such great people and they were not only clients, but really nice friends. All these people and of course, the horses, have made it spectacular, a dream come true for me.”

Truman's top horses include Go West Marie ($452,600); Irish-bred Casino King ($328,689); Moonless Sky ($269,120) and With Iris ($251,740).

courtesy Mike Willman, Santa Anita Stable Notes

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