Virgil Morgan, Jr., arguably the greatest trainer in Ohio history, has been elected as the 47th member of the Ohio Harness Racing Hall of Fame by a vote of the members of the Ohio Chapter of the United States Harness Writers Association.
Morgan, 55, was the first conditioner to win 5,000 races and has now won more than 6,700 races and $60 million in earnings. He has career Universal Training Rating of .350 and has won the training title at Eldorado Scioto Downs for an astonishing 26 straight years.
He was introduced to the sport of harness racing through his uncle, Emory Lewis, and his father, Virgil Morgan, Sr. He bought his first horse at the age of 17 and later started working for trainer Randy Owens before striking out on his own in the late 1980s.
He has trained some tremendous performers including Mister Big, Pet Rock, Allamerican Captor, Action Broadway and this year’s Ohio divisional champion’s Street Gossip and Action Uncle.
He has won six Jerry Kaltenbach Memorial Trophies. This award is given annually to the trainer who has earned the most dollars competing in Ohio Sires Stakes. He trained 22 Ohio Sire Stakes champions.
Despite his past success, Morgan also has his eye on the future of the sport. His daughter, Kiara, is an aspiring driver and his son, Tre, is an owner. In the spring of 2018, Morgan opened the Winner Circle Training Center, the state’s premier harness facility.
Morgan will be honoured at the Ohio Harness Horsemen’s Association’s virtual banquet on Saturday, January 16. A more formal ceremony will occur during Scioto Downs’ 2021 meet.
(Little Brown Jug)