Retired conditioner Vance Longden, who used his Hall of Fame father, Johnny Longden, to ride in some of the nation's biggest races, died Jan. 6 of cancer in Solana Beach, Calif. Longden was 72.
Longden sent out his first stakes winner in 1953 and conditioned 25 of them through 1972. Among his best were champion St. Vincent, Four-and-Twenty, and Triple Bend, the first two of whom his father rode on occasion. The elder Longden was aboard St. Vincent in such wins as the 1955 San Juan Capistrano and Washington's Birthday Handicaps the year the horse was champion turf male. Vance Longden was a member of the partnership that owned St. Vincent.
Johnny Longden won the 1961 Hollywood and Santa Anita Derbys and also rode the colt for his son in that year's Kentucky Derby. He ran seventh. The younger Longden also sent out Flutterby in that year's Run for the Roses, but finished eighth.
Triple Bend raced following the elder Longden's retirement. He won the 1972 Santa Anita Handicap among several stakes wins and set a world record of 1:19 4/5 for seven furlongs at Hollywood Park that year.
In addition to his father, Longden's survivors include three children, plus a half-brother, Eric, who also trained horses, and a half-sister, Andrea.