John M. Gaver Jr. who succeeded his father as trainer of the Greentree Stable horses belonging to John Hay Whitney and Joan Payson, died Jan. 15 in Hollywood, Fla. Gaver, who served as a Hialeah steward the last several years, suffered from cancer. He was 61.
Gaver, who began as an assistant to his Hall of Fame father in 1963, trained 10 stakes winners, all of them for Greentree. They included champions Late Bloomer and Bowl Game, plus other good ones such as Hatchet Man, Buckaroo, San Juan Hill, and Open Call. Buckaroo later achieved fame as a stallion by siring 1985 Horse of the Year and Kentucky Derby (gr. I) winner Spend a Buck.
Gaver retired from Greentree in 1981. His survivors included son John M. Gaver III.