Best HorseTrainer (2007)

Ronnie Gurfein

Being a good horse trainer requires a "gift from God," says Ronnie Gurfein, a recent inductee into the Harness Racing Museum & Hall of Fame. Horse trainers use similar techniques, Gurfein declares in a booming New York accent, but the drafting of young horses — much like the drafting of NBA or NFL talent — is the most important factor. Gurfein, who has approximately 750 career wins and total earnings of around $25 million, gets a certain feeling about certain horses. That's how he ended up with Possess the Magic, a brown trotting filly who now holds the record for the fastest 2-year-old trotter ever. Last year, she ran a 1:54.2 mile — for laymen, that means she ran a mile in a minute and 54.2 seconds — and won $700,000. Gurfein trains Possess the Magic and 32 other horses at his Delray Beach stables, where he's spent his winters since 1965. Over the summer, he heads back north to New York, along with more than 100 other transient trainers hoping for a gift from God.


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