John Forbes, horse trainer and racing advocate, dies at 73

OCEANPORT, N.J. (AP) — John Forbes, a horse racing advocate and thoroughbred trainer who won more than 2,100 races, has died. He was 73.

Forbes, the president of the New Jersey Thoroughbred Horsemen’s Association, died Sunday, Monmouth Park said Monday. No cause of death was given.

Born in Maryland, Forbes spent his entire career in the racing industry, following his parents into the profession. He moved his operations to New Jersey in the late 1970s and remained a Garden State mainstay.

“John was New Jersey racing,” said Dennis Drazin, chairman and CEO of Darby Development LLC, operators of Monmouth Park Racetrack. “He was a tireless advocate for the industry, for the horsemen and for Monmouth Park.”

Among Forbes’ long list of accomplished runners were graded stakes winners Peanut Butter Onit, Pukka Princess, Jess C’s Whirl, Boyce, Amarillo, Get Serious and Tale of the Cat, who went on to be a leading sire.

Forbes gave up training on a daily basis in 2012. His assistant, Pat McBurney, took over his horses.

“John and I spent decades together experiencing all the highs and lows that this business has to offer,” McBurney said. “It was always a team effort with John.

“Even after he stopped training on a day-to-day basis he was equally involved as an owner, adviser and most importantly a friend. It’s hard to imagine Monmouth Park without John, but Monmouth Park will forever be better because of John.”

Forbes is survived by his wife, Vicki; son John T. Forbes, operations director at Monmouth Park; and daughters Anne and Carrie.

Services will not be held because of the pandemic.

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