Saturday, September 5, 2020
OCALA – Tommy Root Jr., who trained in New York and Florida and was the conditioner of multiple graded-stakes winner Redundancy and 1977 Preakness runner-up Iron Constitution, passed away here Friday. He was 87.
A graduate of Ohio State, Root, along with his father, Thomas Sr., and brother, Richard, worked for Harry T. Mangurian Jr. and his Mockingbird Farm for more than 20 years.
Root saddled his first horse, Admiral Cherry, for his father in 1951 at the age of 17. Along with Redundancy, winner of the 1976 Gallorette and Columbiana, Root saddled Iron Constitution to victory in the 1977 Withers and to a second-place finish behind Triple Crown winner Seattle Slew in the ’77 Preakness, and also trained multiple graded stakes-placed Proud and Valid.
Root also trained for Nelson Bunker Hunt and worked with his father, who trained two-time Eclipse Award-winning filly Desert Vixen, inducted into the Hall of Fame in 1979.
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Root’s son, Tom, said he retired in 1995 and moved to Ocala in 2005. He won 199 races during his training career.
Services are pending.