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John E. Madden

John E. Madden
Induction Year: 
1983

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Bio

   John Edward Madden was born on Dec. 28, 1856 in Bethlehem, Pa. He began his career as an owner, trainer and driver of Standardbreds. In fact, Madden is the only person to be enshrined in both the Thoroughbred Hall of Fame and the Harness Hall of Fame.

   Madden made a fortune buying inexpensive horses, training them, and then selling them for a handsome profit. He said his motto was “Better sell and repent than keep and resent.” One example was Hall of Famer Hamburg. Madden selected him as a $1,200 weanling, trained him to be the Champion 2-Year-Old of 1897 with 12 victories from 16 starts, and then sold him for $40,001 to Marcus Daly. Madden used the profits to purchase land in Lexington, Ky., and finance his successful breeding operation, which he named Hamburg Place.

   Madden trained seven other champions: Nasturtium (1901 Champion 2-Year-Old Male); Blue Girl (1902 Champion 3-Year-old Female); Irish Lad (1902 Champion 3-Year-Old Male); Salvidere (1906 Champion 2-Year-Old Male); Tangle (1906 Champion 3-Year-Old Female); Sir Martin (1908 Champion 2-Year-Old Male); and King James (1909 Champion Handicap Male). He was America’s leading trainer from 1901-1903.

   When he reached middle age, Madden shifted his focus from training to breeding. He was America’s leading breeder for 11 years and produced 182 stakes winners, five winners of the Kentucky Derby, four Belmont Stakes winners, and five members of the Hall of Fame, including Sir Barton, America’s first Triple Crown winner.

   John Madden was inducted into the National Museum of Racing’s Hall of Fame in 1983.

Trainer