In 1913, racing returned to New York State after a nearly three-year absence. In 1913, Rock View won the Travers, Whisk Broom II won the Met Mile, and Prince Eugene won the Belmont. And in 1913, John Nerud was born.
A Hall of Fame trainer, Nerud worked for most of his 44-year career for Tartan Farms. He trained Gallant Man, who famously lost the Kentucky Derby by a nose in 1956 when Bill Shoemaker aboard Gallant Man misjudged the finish line.
He is perhaps best-known for training Dr. Fager, who in 1968 won four championships: sprinter, turf horse, handicap horse, and horse of the year.
A founding member of the Breeders’ Cup, Nerud won the 1985 Breeders’ Cup Mile with Cozzene, a horse he bred and that his son trained, and who was the 1985 Eclipse winner for Outstanding Male Turf Horse. Nerud won many of this country’s most prestigious races, including the Jockey Club Gold Cup, the Met Mile, the Travers, the Arlington Classic, the Hollywood Gold Cup, and the Whitney Handicap. He was inducted into the Hall of Fame in 1972.
A long-time supporter of the Belmont Child Care Association, Nerud visited Anna House in 2011, when he was 98 years old. He told the children that his first job at the racetrack, as a stable hand, paid $1 a day.
He brought with him that day a check for $50,000, saying that he was proud to give back to the children of the people who today work as he did many years ago. He told Donna Chenkin, the executive director of the Belmont Child Care Association, “I have more money than days left, so it makes me happy to give to such a worthy cause. This wonderful place should be visited by everyone in our industry to see what can be done by a group of dedicated people.”
This Saturday, Nerud will turn 100 years old, and Anna House is celebrating. The children are signing a big card for him, and for a donation in the amount of your choice, they’ll sign your name to the card, too.
We are humbled by and grateful for Mr. Nerud’s support of Anna House. We thank all of you, too, who have supported Anna House over the years; please visit the BCCA website if you’d like to show your support for the children and wish Mr. Nerud a very happy 100th birthday.