Jerry Silverman Passes; Arrangements Set

In loving memory of Jerry Silverman
Published: February 6, 2024 10:35 am EST

U.S. Hall of Fame trainer Jerry Silverman, who at the age of 31 won the 1966 Pacing Triple Crown with Romeo Hanover and remained a success on the Grand Circuit for five decades, has passed away. Mr. Silverman’s son Richie announced the news Monday evening, Feb. 5 on his Facebook page. Mr. Silverman was 88.

“It is with great sadness and a heavy heart that we share the passing of our Dad, Jerry Silverman,” Richie Silverman posted. “It’s beyond words how much he was loved and will be missed.”

Mr. Silverman, a kid from the Bronx who spent time in his younger days trying to find ways to sneak into Yonkers Raceway, was working for his cousin’s real estate agency when he decided to change careers. Mr. Silverman was driving through Maryland to check on a property when he came across the farm of well-known horseman Alan Myer. He stopped, introduced himself, and told Myer of his interest in horses.

“That was the start of the thrills in my life,” Mr. Silverman said in a 2019 story in Hoof Beats. He began working for Myer, ignoring advice from his cousin that he should stick to real estate.

Mr. Silverman burst on the scene with Romeo Hanover, an $8,500 yearling purchase who was hailed by writers of the day as the sport’s grandest star next to three-time U.S. Horse of the Year Award winner Bret Hanover. Romeo Hanover won 13 of 16 races at age two and 18 of 19 at three, taking U.S. divisional honours both years.

Over the ensuing years, Mr. Silverman’s stable produced numerous top performers. He won the 1982 Meadowlands Pace with Hilarion and Breeders Crown trophies with three-year-old colt pacer Masquerade (1986) and four-year-old mare pacer Glowing Report (2005). Die Laughing was a $2-million earner, as was Glowing Report, making him the first trainer with male and female pacers to reach that level in purses.

Other stakes winners for Mr. Silverman included Fame, Hit Parade, Must See, Peachbottom, Perfect Union, Rodine Hanover, Saccharum, Summer Child and Vintner.

Mr. Silverman retired from training his own stable in 2014.

In 2018, Mr. Silverman was elected to the U.S. Harness Racing Hall of Fame. He was inducted the following year.

“I just got lucky, that’s all,” Mr. Silverman said in 2019. “All I can say is that I tried my best, did what I could. I was a little Bronx boy that had no experience, and luckily, I had the right people with me. That’s basically it in a nutshell.”

Mr. Silverman is survived by his sons, Richie (Beth) and Brian; daughters, Brittany and Melissa (Mark) Beckwith; grandchildren, Cori, Sara, Carly, Brett, Jaiden, Rylee, Brielle, Emery, and Karmelo; and brother, Ron.

Services will be held Thursday, Feb. 8 at 10:45 a.m. at Eternal Light Memorial Gardens, 11520 State Road 7, Boynton Beach, FL 33473.

Memorial contributions can be made to the Standardbred Retirement Foundation.

Please join Standardbred Canada in offering condolences to the family and friends of Jerry Silverman.

(With files from USTA)