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Hubert "Sonny" Hine

Hubert "Sonny" Hine
Induction Year: 
Jan. 9, 1931, New York City
March 17, 2000, Miami
Career Years: 
Number of Starters: 
Number of Winners: 
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New York City native Sonny Hine became a full-time trainer on the Maryland circuit in 1957. He trained his first stakes winner, Softly, in 1972, and was best known as the conditioner of Hall of Famer Skip Away, the 1988 Horse of the Year.


Before becoming a trainer, Hine joined the United States Air Force and attended Yale University for a year. While enrolled in a pre-veterinary course at Pennsylvania State University, Hine was contacted by the United States Department of State to become a special investigator in Hong Kong, allowing him to become fluent in Mandarin Chinese.


Skip Away became Hine’s signature horse. He defeated Cigar in the 1996 Jockey Club Gold Cup to secure the Eclipse Award for 3-Year-Old Colt that year. Skip Away subsequently won the Breeders’ Cup Classic, Woodward, Suburban, Pimlico Special, Hollywood Gold Cup, and a second Jockey Club Gold Cup. He won or placed in 34 of 38 starts and earned more than $9.6 million.


Other top horses trained by Hine included Amber Pass, Bet Big, Norquestor, Technology, and Guilty Conscience, the 1981 Eclipse Award winner for Champion Sprint Horse.


Hine also won the Massachusetts Handicap and the Gulfstream Handicap three times each, as well as two editions of the Haskell Invitational, Carter Handicap, Ohio Derby, and Pegasus Handicap. His victories also included the Vosburgh Stakes, Arlington Classic, Florida Derby, Suburban Handicap, Donn Handicap, and Pennsylvania Derby.


Overall, Hine won 1,314 races, including 126 stakes (54 graded).