Local Obituaries

Hall of Fame trainer dies

OCEANPORT, N.J. — Jimmy Croll, the Hall of Famer who trained 1994 Horse of the Year Holy Bull and won the 1987 Belmont Stakes with Bet Twice, has died. He was 88.

Based at Monmouth Park throughout his career, Croll died Friday night at Monmouth Medical Center, track officials said Saturday.

Warren A. ”Jimmy“ Croll also trained the influential sire Mr. Prospector, as well as champions Parka, Forward Gal and Housebuster.

Bet Twice was among Mr. Croll's top horses, finishing second to Alysheba in the 1987 Kentucky Derby and Preakness before spoiling the colt's Triple Crown bid with a 14-length win in the Belmont.

Holy Bull, a big gray horse, was the favorite for the 1994 Derby but finished 12th, and Mr. Croll decided to keep his colt out of the final two legs of the Triple Crown.

Holy Bull came back strong and won the Metropolitan Handicap, the Haskell, the Travers and the Jockey Club Gold Cup before entering his stud career.

Mr. Croll attended the University of Pennsylvania for two years before leaving school to work at the racetrack. He moved to New Jersey in 1946 for the opening of Monmouth Park and returned every summer.

Mr. Croll was inducted into the National Museum of Racing and Hall of Fame in 1994.

He is survived by his wife, Roberta ”Bobbi,“ a son, William, and a daughter, Nancy.