Bobby Zen

Rob O’Connor II, for nearly four decades a fixture on the Kentucky racing circuit, has announced his retirement from training, he told the Churchill Downs media office.

“There are so many people in this game that are unable to retire on their own terms and I’m very fortunate to say I’m able to do so,” O’Connor said. “This sport is so special to me and I’m so proud to have built a life in it. I’ve had a great career and was around so many dedicated owners throughout my time as a trainer. I just can’t say enough how lucky I was.”

Having taken out his license in 1985, O’Connor saddled his first winner in January 1986 with Lady Rolls at Latonia Race Track in Northern Kentucky. Over the course of his career, O’Connor recorded 477 wins from 3,696 starters for earnings of $7.4 million. His final starter was Pat’schromecompass, who finished seventh at Tampa Bay Downs. O’Connor has since transferred much of his stable to trainer Greg Foley, a longtime friend. O’Connor was in attendance at Churchill Downs Thursday night when his former trainee Cox Canyon won a $10,000 claiming event.

“I’m just so thankful and thrilled for everyone involved especially his owner Bruce McCrea,” O’Connor said after the race. “Having my family here with me, along with the entire Foley family here, that’s what life is all about.”

O’Connor also trained privately for Louisville businessman James Bohanon. The duo was represented by American Dynasty, a stakes winner at Ellis Park and Turfway Park.

“I trained for Mr. Bohanon for nearly two decades,” O’Connor said. “It was a true blessing because when I had horses for him, it was when my kids were growing up. I was able to be around my family which was very important.”

In his retirement, O’Connor said he looks forward to spending more time with his family including his two young grandchildren Robert O’Connor IV and Parker O’Connor.

The post Kentucky Trainer O’Connor Retiring appeared first on TDN | Thoroughbred Daily News | Horse Racing News, Results and Video | Thoroughbred Breeding and Auctions.

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