Veteran Trainer Howard Zucker Passes At 74

Howard Zucker | Benoit Photo

Veteran trainer Howard Zucker, a well-respected Southern California horseman, passed away Thursday at USC Keck Hospital in Los Angeles at age 74.

Based in New York prior to coming to Southern California in 1980, Zucker trained for a brief time for NBA Lakers owner Jerry Buss. Born May 20, 1948, Zucker saddled his last winner July 24, as his 3-year-old filly Gracelund Gray (Goldencents) won at Del Mar.

Affable and a dedicated Yankees fan, Zucker was also a staunch advocate for the horse, evidenced by his multiple leadership roles with the California Retirement Management Account (CARMA). Zucker joined the board of directors of CARMA in May 2009 and served in many leadership positions including as CARMA President from 2016-2019.

“I am devastated by the news of Howard's passing yesterday,” Lucinda Lovitt, CARMA Executive Director. “He was a tireless champion for the horses and believed so strongly in CARMA's mission, I just can't imagine our board without him. I know I speak for the entire CARMA Board of Directors when I say he will be greatly, greatly missed.”

Zucker's top horse was Crafty C.T. (Crafty Prospector), who won the 2001 GII San Rafael S. with Eddie Delahoussaye aboard and was subsequently second to Point Given in the GI Santa Anita Derby. Zucker had 2,223 career starts as a trainer and 246 wins. He is survived by his wife Lorraine. Memorial services are undetermined at this time.

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