Jump to: navigation, search

Charles E. Whittingham

Charlie Whittingham
Biography cover
Occupation Trainer
Birthplace Chula Vista, California,
United States
Birth date April 13, 1913
Death date April 22, 1999
Career wins 252 stakes
Major racing wins, honours & awards
Major racing wins

Santa Anita Handicap
(1957, 1967, 1971, 1973, 1975, 1985, 1986, 1993)
Hollywood Gold Cup
(1971, 1972, 1973, 1974, 1978, 1982, 1985, 1987)
Arlington Million
(1982, 1986, 1990)
Washington, D.C. International Stakes (1981)
Santa Anita Derby (1987, 1989)
Japan Cup (1991)

American Classics / Breeders' Cup wins:
Kentucky Derby (1986, 1989)
Preakness Stakes (1989)
Breeders' Cup Classic (1987, 1989)
Racing awards
Eclipse Award for Outstanding Trainer
(1971, 1982, 1989)
U.S. Champion Trainer by earnings
(1970, 1971, 1972, 1973, 1975, 1981, 1982)
United States Racing Hall of Fame (1974)
San Diego Hall of Champions (1993)
Charles Whittingham bust at Santa Anita Park
Whittingham Memorial Handicap at Hollywood Park
Significant horses
Ack Ack, Cougar II, Dahlia, Estrapade, Exceller, Ferdinand, Flawlessly, Golden Pheasant, Greinton, Kennedy Road, Perrault, Porterhouse, Providential, Quack, Runaway Groom, Strawberry Road,
Sunday Silence, Turkish Trousers

Charles Edward Whittingham (April 13, 1913 - April 22, 1999) was an American thoroughbred race horse trainer who is one of the most acclaimed trainers in U.S. racing history. [1]

Born in Chula Vista, California, Whittingham began working around race horses at a young age and was eventually taken on as an assistant by Hall of Fame trainer Horatio Luro. During World War II, his career was interrupted by service with the United States Marine Corps. At war's end, he returned as an assistant trainer until 1950 when he set up his own stable to take on the training of horses for various owners. He got his big break when Liz Whitney Tippett hired him to condition her Llangollen Farm racing stable. In 1953, Whittingham trained his first Champion when Llangollen's Porterhouse earned U.S. Two-Year-Old colt honors.

Over his forty-nine years as a head trainer, Whittingham had 252 stakes wins and became the all-time leading trainer at both Hollywood Park Racetrack and Santa Anita Park. He won the Eclipse Award for Outstanding Trainer in the U.S. in 1971, 1982 and 1989 and U.S. Champion Trainer by earnings seven times: 1970 to 1973, 1975, 1981, and 1982.

Whittingham trained several champions including American Horse of the Year honorees Ack Ack, Ferdinand and Sunday Silence. Amongst others, he trained Cougar II, the 1972 U.S. Champion Turf Horse, Kennedy Road, the 1983 Canadian Horse of the Year and for a time, Exceller. He also trained the champion daughter of Affirmed, Flawlessly. His horses were named Champion Female Turf Horse on four occasions. In 1986, at the age of seventy-three, he became the oldest trainer to win the Kentucky Derby then won the prestigious race again three years later. Both Derby-winning horses went on to win the Breeders' Cup Classic.

In 1974, Charlie Whittingham was inducted into the National Museum of Racing and Hall of Fame. In 1993, he was also inducted into the Breitbard Hall of Fame in the San Diego Hall of Champions. He continued to train horses right up to the time of his passing at age eighty-six.

Named in his honor is the Charles Whittingham Memorial Handicap, a Grade 1 stakes race held annually at Hollywood Park. There is a bust of Whittingham and his dog Toby at the paddock at Santa Anita Park.

Selected other race wins

  • Sunset Handicap (1973, 1974, 1976, 1978, 1979, 1980, 1981, 1982, 1983, 1987, 1992)


  • Hovdey, Jay. Whittingham: The Story of a Thoroughbred Racing Legend. (1993) Blood-Horse Publications ISBN 0-939049-61-9


Premier Equine Classifieds


Subscribe to our newsletter and keep abreast of the latest news, articles and information delivered directly to your inbox.

Did You Know?

Modern horse breeds developed in response to a need for "form to function", the necessity to develop certain physical characteristics in order to perform a certain type of work... More...

The Gypsy Cob was originally bred to be a wagon horse and pulled wagons or caravans known as Vardos; a type of covered wagon that people lived in... More...

Archaeological evidence indicates that the Arabian horse bloodline dates back 4,500 years. Throughout history, Arabian horses spread around the world by both war and trade.... More...

That the term "Sporthorse" is a term used to describe a type of horse rather than any particular breed... More...