David Whiteley, who moved out of the shadow of his legendary father, Frank Whiteley, to become a top trainer in his own right, died at his home in Camden, S.C., Aug. 12. He was 73, and had been retired from training Thoroughbreds since 1995.
After serving as an assistant to his father, David Whiteley went out on his own in 1970 and is best known for training Coastal to win the 1979 Belmont Stakes (G1), denying Spectacular Bid the Triple Crown. Whiteley also conditioned three champions: Revidere, 3-year-old filly champion in 1976; Waya, 1979’s champion older female; and 1980 champion turf female Just A Game.
He also trained major stakes winners Highland Blade, Tiller, Astray, and Instrument Landing. Whiteley trained for top owners such as William Haggin Perry, Peter Brant, George Strawbridge Jr., Joe Allen, and the Janney family.
Whiteley is survived by his daughter Kyle.
"He was an excellent horseman who learned from his father, and had tremendous success in New York," said Hall of Fame trainer John Veitch, who trained beside Whiteley for years and was a close friend. "Many people, such as Shug McGaughey, have gone on to have great success after working for David. He had great owners and had a great career, although it was relatively short."
Whiteley has been nominated to the Hall of Fame on multiple occasions.