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John W. Rogers

John W. Rogers
Induction Year: 
1955
Career Years: 
1880-1907

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Bio

   A native of Louisiana, John W. Rogers trained trotters before getting his start with thoroughbreds around 1880 in the Midwest with the extensive stable of Ed Corrigan.

   The first major racing success for Rogers was with the Corrigan-owned Modesty, who won the inaugural American Derby in 1884. For Corrigan, Rogers also trained Freeland, the best handicapper of 1885. Rogers and Corrigan, however, had a falling out and parted ways in 1886.

  With a new prominent client in Capt. S. S. Brown, Rogers continued to thrive. In 1886, Rogers conditioned the Brown-owned Troubadour to victory in the Suburban Handicap and saddled Buddhist, also owned by Brown, to win the 1889 Preakness Stakes.

In 1901, Rogers succeeded Sam Hildreth as the head trainer for William Collins Whitney and conditioned top stars for the stable such as Nasturtium, Blue Girl and Gunfire. Whitney died in 1904, but Rogers remained with the family, training for Harry Payne Whitney.

   For H. P. Whitney, Rogers trained the two best fillies of the 1902 crop, Artful and Tanya. Artful was the only horse to defeat the great Sysonby, earning that famous victory in the 1904 Futurity at Sheepshead Bay. In 1905, Artful defeated Beldame and Delhi, the winner of the 1904 Belmont Stakes, in the Brighton Handicap. Tanya, meanwhile, became only the second filly to win the Belmont when she achieved the feat in 1905. A filly did not win the Belmont again until Rags to Riches more than 100 years later in 2007. As a juvenile, Tanya added wins in the Hopeful, Spinaway and National Stallion stakes. Rogers won the Belmont for H. P. Whitney again in 1906 with Burgomaster.

    Rogers also played a major role in the success of Clifford, one of the top horses of the 1890s. Rogers became Clifford’s trainer during the horse’s 4-year-old season in 1894. Throughout the next four years, Clifford won 23 of 37 starts for Rogers and finished out of the top three only once. During his time with Rogers, Clifford defeated Henry of Navarre in the Second Special at Gravesend in 1894 and Ben Brush in the 1897 Long Island Handicap. 

Trainer