Bobby Donato, Former Trainer Of Champion John Henry, Dies At 79

by | 07.04.2017 | 1:44pm
John Henry

Trainer Bobby Donato is best know as the first man to race future seven-time champion John Henry on the turf, and was also the first to win a stakes race with the popular gelding. Donato passed away on Saturday at age 79, due to complications from back surgery, according to

John Henry won six of his 13 starts under Donato's care, including a 12-length romp in Arlington's 1978 Round Table Stakes.

Donato traveled the racetrack circuit across the Eastern United States for most of his life, recently settling in to follow the Kentucky crowd. Though he never won more than 10 races in a year after 1984, Donato “loved the racetrack” and was well-known across the racing community, said his godson Matt Mungiole.


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