Canadian trainer Sid Martin, who started his career in the racing industry as a hot walker at $5 a week in 1943 and later trained a Kentucky Derby (gr. I) contender, died Oct. 3 following a lengthy illness.
In his 82nd year, Martin was still a constant visitor to Hasting Racecourse, particularly during the early morning hours.
Martin wandered into Hastings Park in 1943. By 1947 he was the second-leading rider at Longacres and rode in Vancouver in 1948 before a weight problem forced him from the saddle. After four years working as a valet in the jock’s room, he began training for local businessman Chuck Charles.
Martin’s training career skyrocketed in the early 1960s, winning the 1964 British Columbia Futurity Stakes with Clockless and finishing one-two in the 1965 Premier’s British Columbia Championship Handicap with Costa Rica and Fleet Runner. But nothing in Martin's racing career compared to having owner Frank McMahon’s grade I-winning colt Diabolo run third in both the Kentucky Derby and the Preakness Stakes (gr. I). Diabolo also was a three-time grade II winner in California.
Martin, who was inducted into the British Columbia Horse Racing Hall of Fame in 1990, trained 35 stakes winners during his career.
There will be a service in the George Royal Room at Hastings at at a date to be announced on www.hastingsracecourse.com.