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William J. Hirsch

William J. Hirsch
Induction Year: 
1982
Career Years: 
1932-1982

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Bio

   William “Buddy” Hirsch followed in the footsteps of his father, Hall of Famer Max Hirsch, even though the elder Hirsch was against his son entering the training business. Buddy Hirsch found plenty of success, conditioning 56 stakes winners, including Hall of Famer Gallant Bloom.

   Hirsch’s first stakes winner was Gold Basis, who won the 1933 Latonia Derby. After World War II, Hirsch sent his runners throughout the country, but his greatest success came in California. He handled King Ranch’s western string until his father died. Buddy Hirsch then took over as head trainer for King Ranch.

   Gallant Bloom was Hirsch’s best horse. She was the 1969 Champion 3-Year-Old Filly and won 16 of her 22 career starts. Hirsch also nursed Canonero II back to health after a series of setbacks in his 3-year-old season. Canonero II ran his finest race when he defeated Hall of Famer Riva Ridge in the 1972 Stymie Handicap.

   Hirsch was especially adept at distance training. The best of his distance runners included Intent, winner of the 1¾-mile San Juan Capistrano; Rejected, winner of the Hollywood Gold Cup; and To Market, winner of the Hawthorne Gold Cup.

   In 1977, Hirsch turned over the training of King Ranch runners to his son, Bill.

   William “Buddy” Hirsch was inducted into the National Museum of Racing’s Hall of Fame in 1982

Trainer