Trainer Profile : Charlie Whittingham

charlie whittingham Few men have had more influence on the careers of racehorse trainers than the legendary Charlie Whittingham. As you read through the horse trainer profiles on EZ Horse Betting you will note that many present-day trainers began their careers under the tutelage of Whittingham or cite him as a strong influence. Considered one of the true legends of horseracing, Charlie Whittingham won 252 stakes races as the trainer of race horses such as Ack Ack, Ferdinand, and Sunday Silence.


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Whittingham was born in 1913 in Chula Vista, California. As a young man he learned the art of training racehorses by working as an assistant for Horatio Luro. After World War II, where he served as a member of the USMC, Whittingham returned home to start his own racing stable. His big break came in 1953 when the colt Porterhouse, trained by Whittingham for the Llangollen Farm, was named Best Two Year-Old in the United States.

For 49 years, until his death in 1999, Whittingham dominated the thoroughbred racing scene with an amazing number of victories. He became the all-time leading trainer at Hollywood Park and Santa Anita. He was the top US trainer by earnings seven times: 1970-1973, 1975, 1981 and 1982. Whittingham was honored with an Eclipse Award three times for Outstanding Trainer.

Sunday Silence may well be the most famous horse Whittingham ever trained. Purchased for $50,000, Sunday Silence went on to amass more than $4 million dollars in career earnings with wins in the Kentucky Derby, Preakness, Breeders Cup Classic, Santa Anita Derby, San Felipe Stakes, Super Derby, and California Stakes. Sunday Silence’s rivalry with Easy Goer could very well be the most famous rivalry in all of horseracing. The two colts dueled in each of the Triple Crown races and Breeders Cup Classic. While Sunday Silence prevailed in three of the races, Easy Goer denied him the Triple Crown by winning the Belmont Stakes.

Charlie Whittingham was inducted into the National Museum of Racing and Hall of Fame in 1974. A handicap race was named in his honor and ran for many years at Hollywood Park in California. There is also a bust of Whittingham and his dog Toby in the paddock at Santa Anita Park. He remained active in the sport of horseracing right up until the time of his death in 1999 at the age of 86. His legacy lives on today in the lives of young horsemen who were influenced by his training style.

Be sure to check out Diamond Sportsbook International where you can watch and wager on some of the stakes races that Charlie Whittingham won during his legendary career. The Kentucky Derby, Preakness Stakes, and all of the California tracks that were dominated by the Whittingham stable are available for betting at DSI. Also take a minute to also check our Bovada racebook review, Twinspires review or even our Betamerica review as they are all great choice if you are in the United States. 5Dimes review for folks anywhere!


One comment for “Trainer Profile : Charlie Whittingham

  • Dennis Hampt

    I met Charlie Whittingham on a sales trip to Santa Anita in 1980. After meeting and selling many of the top guys (Lucas, Berrara, etc.) I approached Charlie’s barn. As I came within about 40 yards of him, I began to “feel” his personality. I knew I was in the presence of greatness. It’s only happened to me a few times in my life. I can remember the moment like it was yesterday. Thanks Charlie!


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