Maryland’s Oscar White Inducted into Racing Hall of Fame Friday

August 5, 2022

LAUREL, Md. – Oscar White, a Pittsville, Md. native that trained exclusively for the prominent Jeffords family from 1940-78, was inducted posthumously into the National of Museum of Racing and Hall of Fame Friday in Saratoga Springs, N.Y.

White, who passed away in 1983 at the age of 74, was selected for induction by the Museum’s Historic Review Committee, along with racehorses Hillsdale and Royal Heroine. Other members of the Class of 2022 were modern racehorses Beholder and Tepin and Pillars of the Turf James Cox Brady, Marshall Cassidy and James Ben Ali Haggin.

Sally Jeffords, granddaughter of Walter Jeffords Sr., one of only five people to be named Exemplars of Racing by the Hall of Fame, accepted the honor for White.

“I am so grateful to the Hall of Fame for this opportunity to thank Oscar White for all the joy he gave my family through his amazing talent, his horsemanship and hard work,” Jeffords said during her speech at the Fasig-Tipton sales pavilion.

White’s association with the Jeffords family began as a teenager in 1927 when he started working as a groom and exercise rider at Glen Riddle Farm in Berlin, Md. He steadily rose through the ranks and later learned under future Hall of Fame trainers Preston Burch and Buddy Hirsch, among others, before being offered the job by Jeffords Sr.

White won with five of his first seven starters for Jeffords at old Bowie Race Track. In 1944, he trained Pavot to an undefeated 2-year-old championship season and the following year Pavot won the Belmont Stakes, Wilson and Jockey Club Gold Cup. White won the Belmont again in 1952 with One Count, who also captured the Travers and would be named champion 3-year-old male and Horse of the Year.

In 1951, White trained Kiss Me Kate to the 3-year-old filly championship. Overall he won 706 races, 104 stakes races and trained 35 stakes-winning horses, all homebreds.

“He was always right there, doing whatever it took to win,” Jeffords said. “This is a well-deserved honor for Oscar White, and I am so happy to have had the opportunity to share a few words and memories of Oscar with you.”

David Joseph/Maryland Jockey Club
Photo courtesy of Keeneland Library

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  1. THOMAS Cullen O'Rourke Aug 6, 2022 at 5:19 am

    Thank you for the history lesson.

    1. Mary Kalinich Aug 6, 2022 at 5:55 pm

      Thank you for enjoying the read.

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