NEW YORK — Hall of Fame trainer John Nerud, who oversaw champions Dr. Fager, Gallant Man and Ta Wee, turns 100 on Saturday.
He plans to mark the occasion the following day at Sands Point Golf Club near his home in Old Brookville, N.Y.
Nerud trained 27 stakes winners and had more than 1,000 wins in a training career that began in 1935 and continued through 1978. He developed the Tartan Farms breeding program and was instrumental in transforming Ocala, Fla., into a major thoroughbred center. He helped found the Breeders' Cup and was inducted into racing's Hall of Fame in 1972. He is its oldest living member.
Born in Minatare, Neb., on Feb. 9, 1913, Nerud developed his first champion, the sprinter Delegate, in 1949. Nerud's best horse was Hall of Famer Dr. Fager, the 1968 Horse of the Year. Other champions trained by Nerud include Hall of Famer Ta Wee, Dr. Patches, and Intentionally.
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"Mr. Nerud enjoyed one of the greatest careers of any trainer in the 20th century and we wish him a happy 100th birthday and continued good health," said Christopher Dragone, director of the National Museum of Racing and Hall of Fame. "Mr. Nerud built a reputation that has stood the test of time and he has been a tremendous ambassador for the sport of thoroughbred racing."
Nerud still owns a few active Thoroughbreds.