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Mar 20, 2015

Hall of Fame trainer H. Allen Jerkens passes


Hallandale Beach, FL ( - Hall of Fame trainer H. Allen Jerkens died Wednesday in a South Florida hospital at the age of 85.

Jerkens, known as "The Chief," died after a brief illness. He was predeceased by his wife, Elisabeth, and is survived by three sons, Allen, Steven and Jimmy, daughter Julie, and several grandchildren.

Based primarily in New York, Jerkens was elected into the Racing Hall of Fame in 1975 at the age of 45. He trained 3,859 winners for nearly $104 million in earnings.

"The men and women of the New York Racing Association mourn the passing of Hall of Fame trainer H. Allen Jerkens, not only one of the most revered horsemen of our time, but one of the finest people our industry has ever known," said Christopher Kay, CEO and President of the New York Racing Association. "'The Chief' leaves behind a lasting legacy both on and off the track. We were humbled and proud to have honored him at Saratoga Race Course last summer in our second annual Red Jacket ceremony for achievement and excellence inn our sport. Our deepest sympathies go out to his children and grandchildren."

In 1973, he posted a pair of victories over Triple Crown champ Secretariat, with Onion in the Whitney Handicap and with Prove Out in the Woodward Stakes. One of the best thoroughbreds Jerkens trained was Devil His Due, who won the Gotham and Wood in 1992 and in 1993 captured the Pimlico Special, Suburban, and Excelsior.

Jerkens' first champion came in 1994, when Sky Beauty won the Eclipse Award for Champion Older Female. Sky Beauty won the New York Triple Tiara for fillies in 1993.

The octogenarian was still an active trainer in South Florida.

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