John A. Shirreffs

A fond fixture of now closed Hollywood Park, trainer John Shirreffs can currently be found splitting time between Del Mar Thoroughbred Club and Santa Anita Park. Based on the west coast, John lives with his wife Dottie Ingordo-Shirreffs and both are active in the racing community. John is known for his attention to detail and care while training. This attention to detail may stem from his time of service in the Marine Corps during the Vietnam War. Shirreffs obtained his first trainer license in 1978, but did not enter private training until 1994. During his first year in private training, John led his string to 66 total starts, of which 29 finished in the money. 1994 earnings have scaled to a current total exceeding $43 million. John Shirreffs will most notably be associated with the training of Champion mare and 2010 Horse of the Year, Zenyatta. Zenyatta set a 19-race record in undefeated efforts, which included victories in the Breeders’ Cup Ladies’ Classic (now Distaff) and the Breeders’ Cup Classic. She would be the first female to win the Classic and would lead John to become the first trainer to win both the Classic, with Zenyatta, and the Ladies’ Classic, with Life is Sweet in a single meet. Sitting among the other 2500 lifetime starts for Shirreffs’ trainees are Giacomo and Tiago. Giacomo set an upset record in the 2005 Kentucky Derby, winning at odds of 50-1. Tiago would run third in the 2007 Belmont Stakes and third in the 2008 Breeders’ Cup Classic, among his wins in multiple graded stakes.

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