John Morgan, a retired horseman who trained Thoroughbreds for approximately 35 years, died Dec. 16 at St. Joseph's Mercy Health Center in Hot Springs, Ark., according to a release from Oaklawn Park. The 76-year-old trainer succumbed to cancer.
Born in Hulbert, Okla., Morgan got his start on the racetrack as a youth and worked as a pony boy before becoming a trainer. Among the horses he campaigned were Carnation Kid, Quiet Welcome, and Lucky LaRee. Carnation Kid was the first career winner for jockey Earlie Fires, who went on to become a Hall of Fame member.
Morgan is survived by several nieces and nephews and by his wife of 50 years, Winnie Morgan, who is employed by the Arkansas Horsemen's Benevolent and Protective Association.
A celebration of life service will be held Dec. 20 at 10:30 a.m. at the Chaplain's building on the Oaklawn backstretch. Chaplains Les Riggs and T.C. Megahan will officiate. In lieu of flowers, the family has requested that donations be made to the Arkansas Chaplaincy, c/o Oaklawn Park, P.O. Box 699, Hot Springs, Ark., 71902.