From Calder Race Course
South Florida training stalwart Frank Gomez died Dec. 23 at his home in Pembroke Pines, Fla. He was 78.
Because his health had been in decline, Gomez retired in November after a training career that spanned four decades. Gomez had trained at Calder Race Course since the track’s first meet in 1971.
Gomez grew up with horses in his native Ireland, where his father was a trainer. He served a five-year apprenticeship as a teenager and rode jumpers for 12 years in England, Ireland, and Scotland.
He began his training career in 1967 in New York and first appeared on the Florida scene when Calder opened in 1971. He was the leading trainer at Calder several times--1980-81, 1982-83, and 1992 (spring) Tropical meets, and the 1982 season at both Calder and neighboring Gulfstream Park.
Gomez trained juveniles to sweep Calder’s Florida Stallion Stakes series twice: Smile (1984) and Naked Greed (1991), and his In Summation was within a nose of a sweep in 2005.
Gomez started the careers of national champions Princess Rooney, Smile, and Cherokee Run. He won more than 100 stakes at Calder and Tropical throughout the years and is a Calder Hall of Fame charter inductee (1995).
He is survived by daughters Lisa Barnet of Weston, Fla., and Beth Gomez of Atlanta, Ga.; a son, Christopher Gomez of Miami; and three grandchildren. Three sisters also survive Gomez.
A viewing will be held Dec. 28 from 6-8 p.m. at the Fred Hunter Funeral Home, 6301 Taft Street in Hollywood, Fla. A memorial service will be held at the same location Dec. 29 at 11 a.m.
In lieu of flowers, the family asks that donations be made to the Peter Gomez Memorial Fund of the National Speleological Society, 2813 Cave Ave., Huntsville, Ala., 35810.