H. Allen Jerkens and Elisabeth Jerkens were a horse training duo that made a name for themselves and reached levels only a few people could achieve.
The legendary couple has won numerous titles, and their children are also continuing their legacy. So let’s get to know the pair a bit more.
What Made H. Allen Jerkens Legendary?
- H. Allen Jerkens’ father maintained a riding facility, which sparked his interest in horse racing, and he acquired a trainer’s license in the spring of 1950.
- On July 4, 1950, he put out his first winner, Populace, at Aqueduct.
- In 1957, 1962, 1973, 1992, and 1994, the New York Turf Writers’ Association named him ‘Outstanding Trainer.’
- Jerkens, often known as “The Chief,” earned the Eclipse Award for Outstanding Trainer in 1973.
- In 2001, he was awarded the Mr. Fitz Award, named after famed trainer “Sunny Jim” Fitzsimmons, presented to the individual who “typifies the spirit of racing.”
- Jerkens won 14 training titles in New York, four of them at Saratoga, where the New York Racing Association dedicated its annual training title after him in 2010.
- He won the most races on the New York circuit in 1957, 1962, 1966, and 1969.
H. Allen Jerkens’ Life and Death
Over a tremendous career spanning 1950 to 2015, H. Allen Jerkens won 3,859 races and earned respect and devotion of his peers as well as several generations of racing fans.
Jerkens was ranked 11th all-time with just shy of 4,000 victories at his death and was inducted into the Hall of Fame.
He rose to prominence as the only trainer to defeat 1973 Triple Crown victor Secretariat twice in the same year, on two different mounts — Onion and Prove Out.
These victories and three upset victories by his Beau Purple against the superhorse Kelso in the 1960s earned Allen the label “Giant Killer,” which he detested.
In 1975, at the age of 46, he became the youngest trainer ever to be inducted into the Thoroughbred Racing Hall of Fame. He was the most successful in New York, having won almost 175 graded stakes races.
H. Allen Jerkens, a horseman considered one of the greatest thoroughbred trainers of all time, died on March 18 in Aventura, Florida. He was 85.
According to H. Allen Jerkens’ son, trainer Jimmy Jerkens, the cause was complications from an illness.
Who is Elizabeth Jerkens?
While H. Allen Jerkens’ spouse, Elizabeth Jerkens, was not as famous or accomplished as him, she was no pushover in the industry.
H. Allen Jerkens’ spouse ran her horses under the name Hardwicke Stables. Among her homebred were stakes winner Becky’s Flute and multiple stakes winner Spite the Devil, a son of Devil His Due who was trained by her husband and won over $4 million.
Horsens, her most recent victory in 2014, won a maiden race at Gulfstream Park on May 24.
Elisabeth Jerkens, the 86-year-old thoroughbred owner and breeder who had been married to Hall of Fame trainer H. Allen Jerkens since 1987, died on the morning of August 3, 2014, in South Florida.
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Family of H. Allen Jerkens and Elisabeth Jerkens
Before marrying her, Elisabeth Jerkens’ husband was married to Ann. H. Allen Jerkens’ ex-wife, Ann passed away in 1986.
Allen was a proud four children; two of them, Steven Jerkens and Jimmy Jerkens, followed in his footsteps as renowned horse trainers.
H. Allen Jerkens and Elisabeth Jerkens raised the children with immense love and care. They all might have had great times together.
Jimmy accomplished what his father could not: he won a Breeders’ Cup race. Jimmy accomplished this feat twice, once with Artie Schiller in the Breeders’ Cup Mile in 2005 and again with Corinthian in the Breeders’ Cup Dirt Mile in 2007.
Hard to believe it’s been 6 years. We miss you . #TheChief pic.twitter.com/bnD1aPZkkU
— J Jerkens Racing (@J_JerkensRacing) March 19, 2021
Allen Jerkens Jr. and Julie Schneider are his other children. All of his children were present and teary-eyed during his burial.
Having such legendary parents must have put a lot of pressure on the kids, especially Jimmy and Steven, who entered the same profession.
But we must say that they have done well for themselves and are successful in their own rights.
We hope the Jerkens family legacy continues to grow and reach new heights.