Trainer Scotty Schulhofer, pictured here with his champion Lemon Drop Kid, has passed away at age 80.

Trainer Scotty Schulhofer, pictured here with his champion Lemon Drop Kid, has passed away at age 80.

Barbara D. Livingston

Hall of Fame Trainer Scotty Schulhofer Dead at 80

Retired Hall of Fame trainer Flint "Scotty" Schulhofer died Dec. 14 at Aventura Hospital in South Florida. He was 80.

According to his son and retired second-generation trainer, Randy Schulhofer, his father had been in the South Florida hospital since Dec. 5.

"He went peacefully," Schulhofer said. "He had a lot of friends and followers. He was just a great man, and he will be missed."

The younger Schulhofer said his father would be buried in his hometown of Aiken, S.C., Dec. 19.

"I worked for Scotty for 17 years," said Sal Russo. "He was a special man; a first-class kind of person. Not that he wasn't tough, because he was. I learned a lot from him, but I just wish I had the horses he did. He's always telling me to hang in there, because it took him a long time.

"He was a very good caretaker. If he could have taken them home with him at night, he would have. He always preached: if you treat them right, they'll treat you right."

Scotty Schulhofer, who was inducted into the Racing Hall of Fame in 1992, saddled five Eclipse Award winners: Mac Diarmida, 1978 turf male; Smile, 1986 sprinter; Fly So Free, 1990 2-year-old male; Rubiano, 1992 sprinter; and Lemon Drop Kid , 2000 older male.

Smile won the 1986 Breeders' Cup Sprint (gr. I) and Fly So Free notched a win in the 1990 Breeders' Cup Juvenile (gr. I).

He saddled Lemon Drop Kid to wins in the 1999 Belmont Stakes (gr. I) and Travers (gr. I).

Jockey Jose Santos, who rode Lemon Drop Kid in the Belmont and Travers among other Schulhofer horses, said, "We definitely have great memories together. He was a pretty quiet person and always knew what he was doing with horses. I was only 25-years-old when I came under his wing and I couldn't even speak English that well, but he gave me a great chance.

"He put me on my first Kentucky Derby horse, Cryptoclearance. I also rode Rubiano, Fly So Free, and Colonial Affair. He treated me like a son. He is definitely going to be missed. He was one of the good ones."

Scotty Schulhofer saddled his first winner in 1962 at Aqueduct.

He retired from training in 2002.