Jump to: navigation, search

John J. Tammaro, Jr.

John J. Tammaro, Jr.
Occupation Jockey & Trainer
Birthplace Baltimore, Maryland, United States
Birth date September 22, 1925
Death date February 25, 2001
Career wins Not found
Major racing wins, honours & awards
Major racing wins
As a trainer:
Oceanport Handicap (1972)
Autumn Stakes (1977)
Jockey Club Cup Handicap (1978)
Queen's Plate (1979)
Grey Stakes (1980)
Coronation Futurity Stakes (1980)
Nandi Stakes (1982, 1984)
Summer Stakes (1982)
Breeders' Stakes (1983)
Prince of Wales Stakes (1983)
Shady Well Stakes (1982, 1983, 1984)
Shepperton Stakes (1984)
Racing awards
Leading trainer at Calder Race Course
(1986, 1987, 1988)
Leading trainer at Tropical Park
(1986/87, 1988, 1988/89)
Calder Race Course Hall of Fame (1999)
Significant horses
Steady Growth, Bayford, Deputy Minister
Aly's Alley, Alannan

John J. Tammaro, Jr. (September 22, 1925 - February 25, 2001) was an American Thoroughbred racehorse trainer.

Born in Baltimore, Maryland into a horse racing family, John Tammaro was still a young boy when his father died from injuries suffered in a racing accident at Belmont Park. His grandfather trained horses in Maryland, and as a teenager John Tammaro embarked on a career as a jockey. Between 1942 and 1956, he rode more than 1,000 winners at tracks in Maryland, West Virginia, and New Jersey but constant weight problems eventually forced him to give up riding and turn to training.

John Tammaro along with King T. Leatherbury, Richard E. Dutrow, Sr. and Hall of Fame inductee Bud Delp became known as Maryland racing's "Big Four". They dominated racing in that state during the 1960s and '70s and helped modernize flat racing training. Tammaro also became one of the leading trainers at tracks elsewhere in the United States and Canada including Pimlico Race Course, Delaware Park, Monmouth Park, Calder Race Course, Gulfstream Park and Woodbine Racetrack.

In 1976 John Tammaro became the head trainer for Kinghaven Farms in King City, Ontario. He trained five Canadian Champions for Kinghaven, including the 1979 Queen's Plate winner Steady Growth and Deputy Minister, who was the 1981 U.S. Champion 2-Yr-Old Colt and Canadian Horse of the Year. As a result of his success with their horses, Kinghaven Farms was No.1 on the 1982 Canadian owners' list and earned that year's Sovereign Award for Outstanding Owner.

Kinghaven Farms had winter facilities in Ocala, Florida and when Tammaro left their employ in 1985, the then sixty-year-old went to live and work in the Miami area. Immediately successful, through nine straight race meets he finished either first or second in the training standings at the three area racetracks. In his career, Tammaro won more than 40 stakes races and in 1998 trained Aly's Alley to a second place finish in the 1998 Breeders' Cup Juvenile. His success in Florida led to his induction into the Calder Race Course Hall of Fame in 1999.


On February 25, 2001, John Tammaro followed his usual routine. Early in the morning he left his residence in Pembroke Pines, Florida and drove the ten miles (16 km) to Gulfstream Park in Hallandale Beach to oversee his horses' morning workouts. After leaving the stable area around 10 a.m. he went missing and a search by police and family found no trace him. More than two months later on April 9th, underwater divers doing maintenance for the South Florida Water Management District found Tammaro inside his Mercedes-Benz 420 at the bottom of the C-9 canal in Miramar, Florida, a waterway that runs from the Atlantic Ocean into the Everglades. The Broward County, Florida Medical Examiner's Office ruled his death was an accident.

Two of John Tammaro, Jr.'s sons have followed in his footsteps. Son, Michael Tammaro also trained at Woodbine Racetrack where he won the 1986 Queen's Plate with Golden Choice. Son, John J. Tammaro III is also a successful trainer and nephew, Dean Sarvis is a jockey.


Note: - the United States Social Security Death Index records his death date as April 9th, the date his body was discovered.


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...