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Miguel Hernandez

January 19, 1923 ~ November 6, 2022 (age 99) 99 Years Old
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Obituary

It’s with a heavy heart to share that our beloved Ramon Miguel "Mike Hernandez” passed away Sunday, November 6th, at 1:50 pm.

Mike Hernandez was New York’s oldest active trainer on the New York Racing Association circuit before retiring at age 87 in November of 2011

Born in Union de San Antonio Jalisco, Mexico, on January 19th, 1923, Mike started working from the time he could move, he said. He first got into racing in 1944 when the Hipodromo de las Americas opened in Mexico City. He took out his trainer’s license in 1951 and after a prominent career in Mexico, including becoming the president of the Hipodromo, he moved permanently to the United States. With the help of mentors and friends like Cecil Locklear, Laz Barrera, Pancho Martin, Mike got his start managing Clermont Farms in Germantown, N.Y before opening a public stable of his own in 1976.

Dr. Dominick DeLuke, owner of Assunta Louis Farms, with the help of Hernandez, brought New York breds to the forefront of racing. Mike trained a plethora of New York bred stakes winners including Fratello Ed, Sir Prove It and Vandy Sue, who gave him his lone graded stakes victory in the 1978 Distaff at Aqueduct and won the New York Breeders' Futurity and Finger Lakes Futurity in 1976, Hernandez’s first full year of training in the U.S. 

Let us not forget Luck, who was given to him by his good friend Mr. Joe Gerrity. After being told that Luck should not race, Mike brought Luck to the winner’s circle at his beloved Saratoga Racetrack in 2008 against all odds. 

In his last year of training, Mike left Saratoga on closing day with a winner, Tug of War, co-owned with his close friend Jeffery Raine and trained by his mentee and longtime friend, the late Domonic Galluscio. Tug of War went on to win at Aqueduct later that fall. “New York breds were his specialty. I was lucky to just be around the guy for the last fifteen years of his life,” Raine said.

Other stakes winners trained by Mike include Classic Pack, Adirondack Holme, Artistic Express, Beautiful America and so many more. “It was the horses, always the horses,” Mike said while reflecting upon his career. “I always loved them and loved the farm. My life has been with animals. It hasn’t been easy but thank God we’ve been lucky to do the best we can.”  

According to Daily Racing Form statistics, he won 603 races from 5,419 starters, and his horses earned $18.8 million in purse money in the U.S. alone. 

He left this world peacefully, surrounded by his family and his favorite music. “We played Call to Post, we told him it was ‘riders up’ while singing his favorite songs,” his family said. They brought Mike’s body on Sunday afternoon to Saratoga and barn 76 where Mike had been stabled for years. He gave us a beautiful sunset for his last “race” on the Oklahoma training track. 

If there's one word to describe, Mike, it's magical. For anyone lucky enough to have met him, they would tell you how special he was. He had a kind heart and made everyone feel like the most important person in the room. He made friends wherever he went. Everyone knew Mike. 

“Whenever we’d take Dad to the track, we’d need to reserve a whole day. We heard endless stories about him starting careers and helping so many families without asking for anything in return. He was selfless and found happiness in other peoples’ achievements,” said his daughters. His heart was made of gold.

He worked hard, he was honest and authentic. He served as a moral compass for his family and friends. His tenacity, strength, heart, and humor will transcend through those he leaves behind. He was our angel here on earth.

Mike is survived by his wife of seventy-one years, Mary; his three daughters, Teresa (Charles) Schirmer, Cathalene Hagney and Mary (George) Segarra; his son Michael Bowles; his four sisters Lupe, Amparo, Carmen and Matilde; his brother Carlos; 11grandchildren, 6 great grandchildren and over one hundred nieces and nephews, his cat Happy and squirrels Ramon and Suzie.

Family and friends are invited to the funeral mass service on Wednesday, November 09, at 10AM, at St. Mary of the Snow, Saugerties, New York. A Celebration of life to follow at Saratoga
Racetrack, summer of 2023. Further obituary information and expressions of condolence or photographs may be shared with the family on his Tribute Wall at SeamonWilseyFuneralHome.com

A memorial bench will be made in his honor.  Here is the link to a memorial contribution https://gofund.me/5266dfed

 

What a beautiful race, Mike. We'll see you at the winner’s circle. 

 

To send flowers to the family or plant a tree in memory of Miguel Hernandez, please visit our floral store.


Services

Mass of Christian Burial
Wednesday
November 9, 2022

10:00 AM
St. Mary of the Snow RC Church (Lafayette Sts, Saugerties)

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In Loving Memory Of

Miguel Hernandez

January 19, 1923-November 6, 2022




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