John Forbes, a trainer at Monmouth Park for more than three decades, has been named the 2006 recipient of the Virgil (Buddy) Raines Distinguished Achievement Award.
Forbes will be honored in winner's circle ceremonies at the Oceanport, N.J., track on Monday.
The Raines Award, instituted at Monmouth in 1996, honors men and women who have demonstrated a continuing commitment to the sport of Thoroughbred racing as an owner or trainer, and whose conduct has been exemplary for professionalism, integrity, and service to the sport.
Forbes is the 11th recipient of the Raines Award, following J. Willard Thompson (1996), Danny Perlsweig (1997), Warren A. "Jimmy" Croll (1998), Joe Pierce Jr. (1999), Peter Shannon (2000), Dennis Drazin (2001), Sam Fieramosca (2002), Charles and Marianne Hesse (2003), Janet Laszlo (2004), and Richard Malouf (2005).
"John Forbes is what this award is all about," said Robert Kulina, vice president and general manager of Monmouth Park. "John's loyalty and unending advocacy for the horsemen and racing in the state of New Jersey is nearly unequaled. His personal commitment to Monmouth Park and its successes is something that not only am I grateful for, but so to are his colleagues and the entire Monmouth Park family."
Forbes hails from a racing family. Both his parent were trainers. At the age of 24, Forbes went to work for John Tammaro Sr. in Maryland. Three years later, he captured his first race with Town House, a 5-year-old maiden, at Lincoln Downs.
In the mid-1970s, Forbes moved to New Jersey and was a quick success in the Garden State. He captured training titles at Monmouth in 1979, 1981, 1989, and 1991. His five Monmouth titles tie him for the most held by a trainer.
In addition to his successes at Monmouth, Forbes is the all-time leading trainer at Meadowlands, winning a record seven titles there (1978, 1979, 1982, 1984, 1989, 1990, and 1993).
His biggest success came in 1995, when he was instrumental in forming a limited partnership that raised nearly $2 million to purchase yearlings and carry them through 1998. Among those purchased was graded stakes winner and Haskell starter Tale of the Cat, who later sold for $11.7 million.
Born in Baltimore, Md., Forbes lives in Holmdel with his wife, Vicki. They have three children.