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Hall of Fame: Trainers

Hubert (Sonny) Hine
Training Career:1957 - 2000
Stakes winners:46

Sonny Hine was best known for training Skip Away, Horse of the Year in 1998, but his career began decades earlier. He began running horses late in the 1940s and turned to full time training on the Maryland circuit in 1957. Hine trained his first stakes winner, Softly, in 1972. Winner of the Tri-State Futurity, Softly was the first of many stakes winners. Other great horses included Amber Pass, winner of the Monmouth Park Handicap; Bet Big, winner of the Patterson and the Carter; Norquestor, winner of the Pegasus, Technology, winner of the Florida Derby, Tropical Park Derby and the Haskell; and Guilty Conscience, sprint champion in 1981.

Hine with Skip Away 1998. Credit: Barbar D. Livingston

Hine’s best horse was clearly Skip Away, owned by his wife Carolyn. Skip Away’s defeat of champion Cigar in the Jockey Club Gold Cup led to the Eclipse Award for three-year-old honors in 1996. He subsequently went on to win the Breeders’ Cup Classic, another Jockey Club Gold Cup, plus the Woodward, Suburban, Pimlico Special, and Hollywood Gold Cup, among other races.

Prior to 1976 Hine had 408 verified wins. Afterward his record was 5,467 starts with 897 victories and a winning percentage of 16%. During those years he won 126 stakes, 54 of them graded. Sonny Hine was inducted into the Hall of Fame in 2003.

Swaps and Shoemaker in the San Vincente © 1955 Santa Anita Photo; Sonny Hine 1992. Credit: Barbara D. Livingston

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