Thomas J. Healey

The son of a dairy farmer, Thomas J. Healey was born just south of the old Jerome Park racetrack in New York City. At the age of 15, Healey got his starrt with horses in the stable of E. A. Clabaugh. He worked in various barns throughout the next few years before becoming a head trainer.

Tom Healey and R. T. Wilson in 1905 (C. C. Cook/Museum Collection)
Inducted

1955

Born

July 16, 1866, New York City, New York

Died

Oct. 7, 1944, Holmdel, New Jersey

Career

1888-1941

Biography

The son of a dairy farmer, Thomas J. Healey was born just south of the old Jerome Park racetrack in New York City. At the age of 15, Healey got his starrt with horses in the stable of E. A. Clabaugh. He worked in various barns throughout the next few years before becoming a head trainer.

Healey saddled his first winner, Pocatello, May 28, 1888, at Gravesend. He quickly developed one of the largest and most successful stables in the country, training for some of the top owners in the sport, including August Belmont II, Richard T. Wilson, Andrew Miller, and Walter J. Salmon. Healey trained exclusively for Wilson, the president of the Saratoga Association, from about the turn of the century until 1921, when, late in the year, he also took over the conditioning of Salmon’s horses.

Healey saddled The Parader to victory in the 1901 Preakness Stakes for Wilson. He also won the Preakness for Wilson in 1922 with Pillory and for Salmon in 1923 (Vigil), 1926 (Display), and 1929 (Dr. Freeland). Healey also added the 1922 Belmont with Pillory.

In 1929, Harry Payne Whitney engaged Healey to train for him after Whitney’s longtime trainer, James Rowe, Sr., died. Whitney died the following year, but Healey continued to train for the Whotney family, overseeing the conditioning of C. V. Whitney’s horses. For C. V. Whitney, Healey developed Hall of Fame filly Top Flight and assumed the training of Hall of Famer Equipoise, who was a 5-year-old at time. Top Flight was the best in her division at ages 2 and 3, winning races such as the Saratoga Special, Spinaway, Matron, Belmont Futurity, Pimlico Futurity, Acorn, Coaching Club American Oaks, Arlington Oaks, and Alabama.

For Healey, Equipoise won seven races as a 5-year-old in 1933, including the Metropolitan, Arlington, and Suburban handicaps, as well as the Hawthorne Gold Cup and Saratoga Cup. He gave 26 pounds to the runner-up in the Metropolitan and four days later carried 132 pounds in his Suburban victory.

Following his retirement as a trainer in 1941, Healey served as a racing official in Maryland, New Jersey, and Louisiana.

Achievements

Triple Crown Highlights 

Won the 1901 Preakness Stakes — The Parader
Won the 1922 Preakness Stakes — Pillory
Won the 1923 Preakness Stakes — Vigil
Won the 1926  Preakness Stakes — Display
Won the 1929 Preakness Stakes — Dr. Freeland
Won the 1922 Belmont Stakes — Pillory

Other Highlights 

Won the Withers Stakes — 1901, 1930, 1933
Won the Suburban Handicap — 1910, 1919, 1933
Won theGreat American Stakes — 1915, 1916, 1930
Won the Futurity Stakes — 1916, 1929, 1931
Won the Toboggan Handicap — 1917, 1920, 1932
Won the Metropolitan Handicap — 1917, 1932, 1933
Won the Demoiselle Stakes — 1925, 1932, 1937
Won the Saratoga Handicap — 1908, 1910
Won the Brooklyn Handicap — 1915, 1928
Won the Sanford Stakes — 1916, 1926
Won the Saratoga Special — 1916, 1931
Won the Hopeful Stakes — 1916, 1935
Won the Travers Stakes — 1919, 1925


 

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