CA Trainer Directory
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John A. Shirreffs
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Made the giant leap from virtual unknown to a major player on the national stage in 2005 through the Triple Crown exploits of Mr. and Mrs. Jerry Moss’ 3-year-old Giacomo. Overlooked in the betting at 50-1 in the Kentucky Derby, the son of Holy Bull ridden by Mike Smith shocked the racing world by winning the “Run for the Roses” over 70-1 outsider Closing Argument and Afleet Alex. Giacomo then was third to Afleet Alex in the Preakness and seventh to the same rival in the Belmont after taking the lead at the top of the stretch … Following post-Triple Crown surgery to remove bone chips from his left front ankle and right knee, Giacomo ran six more times, all in ’06, winning the San Diego Handicap before finishing fifth to Lava Man in the Pacific Classic. He completed his career with a game fourth to eventual Horse of the Year Invasor in the Breeders’ Cup Classic … Conditioner also enjoyed notable success in 2005 with Tarlow, victress in the Grade I Santa Margarita Handicap and Grade II La Canada Stakes at Santa Anita … Was represented in 2006 Kentucky Derby by A.P. Warrior, who won the San Felipe Handicap in his debut for Shirreffs prior to running 18th to Barbaro … Tried to catch lightning in a bottle again during ’07 with Giacomo’s talented half-brother Tiago, upset winner of the Santa Anita Derby before finishing seventh to Street Sense in the Kentucky Derby and then third behind Rags to Riches and Curlin in the Belmont Stakes … While in New York to saddle Tiago, After Market, owned by Del Mar Thoroughbred Club director Marty Wygod and his wife, Pam, won the Grade I Whittingham Handicap at Hollywood Park, upsetting odds-on favored Lava Man … Trained privately for the 505 Farms of Marshall Naify, until Naify’s death early in 2000 … Shirreffs is an ex-Marine who served in Vietnam … Took out his trainer’s license in 1978 and opened a small stable in Northern California; later worked as an assistant to Brian Mayberry and Bill Spawr in Southern California … Has six stakes victories at Del Mar … His Hollywood Story finished second in the 2003 Del Mar Debutante. Later won Hollywood Starlet after finishing fourth to Halfbridled in Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Fillies … In 2004, Hollywood Story prevailed in Hollywood’s Bayakoa Handicap; she also won the Hawthorne Handicap at Hollywood Park on the same day Giacomo won the 2005 Kentucky Derby, and in ’06 won the Grade I Vanity Handicap. Also won stakes last year with Proposed and A.P. Warrior … Took over training of Bertrando following his two-length loss to Arcangues in the 1993 Breeders’ Cup Classic, and saddled him to win the Wickerr and the Goodwood Handicap prior to a sixth-place finish in the ’94 B.C. Classic … One of his earliest developments for 505 Farms was Borodislew, who won four stakes in Shirreffs’ care … Had good luck with the huge filly Manistique, a multiple-graded stakes winner, including tallies in the Grade I Vanity and the Grade I Santa Margarita … Has also won stakes with Lacquaria, Cliquot, Swept Overboard, David Copperfield, Starrer, Makeup Artist, Private Chef and Stanley Park … Shirreffs has been around horses most of his life; his father bred horses with Peter Fuller, of Dancer’s Image fame … Family owned a farm near Neufields, N.H … Walked hots for trainer Gene Cleveland in the early 1970s and later broke yearlings for Ed Nahem, co-owner of Bertrando, at Lakeview Thoroughbred Farm … Family: wife, Dottie.
Statistical data provided by Equibase.