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Gerald Hollendorfer

This native born Akronite, the seventh leading all-time trainer of thoroughbred racehorses in the country, is nearing 3600 winners. These days Jerry Hollendorfer splits his time between northern California and Arlington Park near Chicago. Hollendorfer has a stable of 140 horses, three-fourths in which he has a share, but some he owns outright. "I like to build partnerships," he says. If you wagered on Hollendorfer entries, odds are you would get a return 54 percent of the time, according to the National Thoroughbred Racing Association. In 1997 his horses won $5,208,149, in '98 $6.4 million and in '99 $5.3 million. Last year he had 263 winners with earnings of $5,497,046. In 2001, Hollendorfer won his 23rd consecutive Bay Meadows (CA) trainers title with 35 winners. He also won the Arlington Park title with 41 winners. However, racing luck is fickle as Hollendorfer can attest. In 1998 he had a Kentucky Derby entry in Event of the Year, which had to be scratched because of injury. Event of the Year had won four starts, including the $600,000 Jim Beam Stakes. Two years later, Globalize had to be scratched after being kicked by a stable pony. "Every trainer would like to win that race," he says. Hollendorfer visited California after graduating from the University of Akron and decided to stay. He started in racing as a hot walker and groom, took his first trainer’s license in 1979. Five years later, he and two partners claimed a three-year-old filly named Novel Sprite for $15,000. She ended up winning $467,586 and was sold for $100,000 as a broodmare. It was the turning point in his career. Named the California Thoroughbred Breeders Association Trainer of the Year in 1995, Hollendorfer has won 13 straight training titles at Golden Gate Fields and 15 straight training titles at Bay Meadows. Hollendorfer came back to Ohio in 1989 to win the $300,000 Ohio Derby at Thistledown with King Glorious and in 1995 when he won the training title at Thistledown. King Glorious won eight of nine races before being sold in 1989 to Japanese breeders.

Inducted 2002 | Horse Racing