Former trainer Bill Marko, who won the Sovereign Award as Canada’s champion trainer in 1982 and 1983, died on the afternoon of April 23 at Woodbine.
He was the trainer and part owner of Frost King, Canada’s immensely popular Horse of the Year in 1982, and also developed 1981 Horse of the Year Deputy Minister before the colt was sold privately to John Tammaro to race in the United States. Deputy Minister was champion 2-year-old male in both Canada and North America in 1981.
Daily Racing Form reported that the 73-year-old Marko was stricken at the backstretch kitchen of the Ontario track. He was believed to have died of a heart attack.
Marko, who led Woodbine trainers with 11 stakes wins in 1981 and eight stakes wins in 1982, had more than 500 career victories, including 48 stakes scores.
Both Frost King and Deputy Minister are in the Canadian Horse Racing Hall of Fame.
Other notable Marko trainees included 1983 Sovereign Award winners Fraud Squad and Prince Avatar, as well as Fighting Champ and Sir Khaled.
Marko, who took out his trainer’s licence in 1976, was born Sept. 28, 1937.