Horse Racing

Bruce Headley, California thoroughbred coach, dies at 86

ARCADIA, Calif. — Bruce Headley, the thoroughbred coach who developed dash champion Kona Gold and lots of different stakes winners throughout a 61-year profession based mostly in California, died Friday. He was 86.

Santa Anita officers stated Headley died at an Arcadia hospital from the consequences of a stroke. He had been slowed in recent times by cardiac points.

Headley was first launched to racing at Santa Anita by an aunt at age 6. At 14, he was mucking stalls and cooling out horses at a neighborhood ranch alongside 16-year-old Invoice Shoemaker, who went on to turn out to be a Corridor of Fame jockey.

Headley took out his coach’s license at 25. He saddled his first winner along with his very first horse, a $500 buy who received on the Los Angeles County Truthful on Sept. 29, 1959.

He had 902 victories from 6,121 profession starters, who totaled earnings of $38,682,030. Headley had 123 profession stakes victories. He bred and owned many of the horses he educated.

The spotlight of Headley’s profession got here when Kona Gold received the 2000 Breeders’ Cup Dash. The horse had 14 wins in 30 profession begins and earnings of $2,293,384. Kona Gold ran in a file 5 BC Sprints and received a Grade three stakes race at age 9. He received the 2001 Eclipse Award because the nation’s high sprinter.

Headley additionally had two seconds and 5 thirds in Breeders’ Cup races.

Retired Corridor of Fame jockey Chris McCarron, who loved success with Headley for over 20 years, tweeted, “He is a throwback to the previous days, a pure horseman by way of and thru. A wonderful caretaker, an important household man, and a heck of a human being.”

He’s survived by his spouse of 59 years, Aase, daughter, Karen, and son, Gus. His youngsters are trainers, too.

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