William B. Finnegan
A native of New York City, Finnegan spent more than fifty years as a trainer primarily on the West Coast of the United States.  During his career he conditioned horses for major stable owners such as Vera S. Bragg,  movie mogul Louis B. Mayer, Walter P. Chrysler, Jr.,  Edward S. Moore's Circle M Ranch stable,  George A. Pope, Jr.'s El Peco Ranch,  and Neil S. McCarthy who would name one of his horses in his honor. 
Following its opening in December of 1929, Finnegan was racing at Agua Caliente Racetrack in Tijuana, Mexico.  Racing in California, where he would make his home in Arcadia near Santa Anita Park, Finnegan won the 1939 Hollywood Derby with Shining One who equalled the Hollywood Park track record.  In 1940, he took over as the trainer of Big Pebble after the four-year-old was purchased by client, Edward S. Moore. Raced by his former owner at age two and three, Big Pebble showed little and had even been used as a lead pony. Under Finnegan in 1941, Big Pebble blossomed into the best older horse in the United States. Enroute to being named American Champion Older Male Horse, Big Pebble's wins included the most important and richest race in Florida, the Widener Challenge Cup at Hialeah Park Race Track  and the prestigious Hollywood Gold Cup at California's Hollywood Park Racetrack. 
In October of 1951, that year's Kentucky Derby winner Count Turf was sent to Bill Finnegan to race in California but met with little success.  Thirteen years late, Finnegan would have the betting favorite going into the 1964 U.S. Triple Crown series with George A. Pope, Jr.'s colt, Hill Rise. The winner of eight straight races,  including the Santa Anita Derby by six lengths in record time  and the Derby Trial by more than two lengths,  Hill Rise ran second to Northern Dancer in the Kentucky Derby  and third to him in the Preakness Stakes.  The following year Hill Rise won several important races for Finnegan including the Man o' War Stakes, San Fernando Stakes and Santa Anita Handicap and at age five in 1966, the San Antonio Handicap.
William Finnegan continued to train horses until his death in 1970 at age eighty. He is buried in the Live Oak Memorial Park Cemetery in Monrovia, California. 
- ↑ Los Angeles Times - October 19, 1970
- ↑ Los Angeles Times - December 26, 1936
- ↑ Chicago Tribune - May 9, 1943
- ↑ Los Angeles Times - July 14, 1939
- ↑ Lawrence Journal-World (Kansas) - April 17, 1964
- ↑ New York Times - May 22, 1960
- ↑ New York Times - March 12, 1931
- ↑ The Sunday Morning Star (Wilmingtpon, Delaware) - July 9, 1939
- ↑ New York Times - March 2, 1941
- ↑ St. Petersburg Times - July 20, 1941
- ↑ Los Angeles Times - October 19, 1951 article titled "Bill Finnegan Named Trainer of Count Turf"
- ↑ Sarasota Herald-Tribune - April 29, 1964
- ↑ The Modesto Bee - March 1, 1964
- ↑ The Spokesman-Review - April 29, 1964
- ↑ The Miami News - May 3, 1964 article titled "Dancer Wins Fastest Derby Hill Rise Finishes 2nd"
- ↑ The Deseret News - May 19, 1964
- ↑ The Miami News - October 19, 1970 obituary