By Mint Julep

Edwin Gregson Trainer: One Kentucky Derby Winner

1982 kentucky derby winner gato del sol

Embark on an exciting journey through the remarkable career of Edwin Janss Gregson, a highly respected horse racing trainer known for his exceptional skills and passion. Starting out as a cowboy and groom, he rose to fame with Gato Del Sol’s historic victory at the Kentucky Derby in 1982. Gregson has achieved numerous major stakes wins and remains dedicated to the sport. Discover how he continues to impact the horse racing community by founding the Edwin J. Gregson Foundation, which supports backstretch workers and their families. His contributions have solidified his status as an icon in American Thoroughbred racing.

Early Life and Family Background

Edwin Janss Gregson was born on August 7, 1938, in the bustling city of Los Angeles. Coming from a family deeply involved in real estate development and ranch ownership, he grew up surrounded by relatives who were successful entrepreneurs. One notable venture owned by his family was the famous Janss Conejo Ranch.

Even though Edwin initially pursued pre-law studies at Stanford University during his sophomore year at age 19-20, he soon discovered a passion for acting while exploring opportunities in New York City. Fate then guided him towards a different path that would lead him to uncover his true calling – horse racing.

Transitioning from law studies and trying out acting may have seemed like unexpected choices to some people; however, for Edwin Janss Gregson, these experiences fueled his passion. Horse racing became more than just a job—it represented a blend of strategic thinking similar to chess moves combined with an innate bond between humans and animals.

Gregson’s journey highlights how life’s surprises can reveal hidden passions waiting to be explored—showing us that our paths can sometimes take unexpected turns from what we originally planned. By embracing change and following his heart across various interests—from academia to entertainment—he ultimately found success and fulfillment within the captivating world of horse racing.

Navigating through shifting interests earlier in life—from legal aspirations to briefly trying out acting—Edwin Janss Gregson demonstrated resilience alongside curiosity. His eventual deep dive into horse training is not only proof of adaptability but also underscores how diverse experiences can come together harmoniously to shape remarkable careers rooted deeply in passion and dedication.

Introduction to Racing

After exploring different interests in his early years, Gregson dove headfirst into the world of horse racing. He started out as a cowboy and groom before eventually transitioning into a racehorse trainer. His hard work and expertise paid off as he went on to win numerous prestigious races during his career.

Right from the beginning, Gregson’s love for horses was clear. He gained hands-on experience that shaped him into a skilled trainer. With a natural understanding of how horses behave and effective training methods, he continued to improve his skills over time, earning himself a reputation as one of the most respected people in the industry.

His journey reached its peak when Gato Del Sol triumphed at Churchill Downs in the 1982 Kentucky Derby under Gregson’s expert guidance. This victory not only solidified Gregson’s status as an elite trainer but also demonstrated his ability to bring out the best in every horse under his care.

In addition to achieving personal successes on racetracks across the nation, Edwin Janss Gregson aimed to leave a lasting impact on future generations involved in horseracing. By establishing The Edwin J. Gregson Foundation, he sought to provide support for educational programs benefiting backstretch workers and their families while promoting innovation and growth within this beloved sport we all hold dear.

The Pros & Cons of Horse Racing Legends


  1. Horse racing displays the amazing athleticism and skill of both horses and jockeys.

  2. Horse racing has a long history filled with traditions linked to legendary figures in the sport.

  3. Watching horse racing creates excitement and sparks interest in the sport among fans.

  4. Breeders can use horse racing as a platform to develop future champions through breeding programs.

  5. The shared passion for horse racing can unite communities and bring people together.


  1. Horses and jockeys can get hurt during races, which is risky.

  2. People worry about how well racehorses are treated and taken care of.

  3. Some folks who do horse racing might develop a serious gambling problem.

  4. Owning, training, and looking after racehorses can be pretty expensive.

  5. Sometimes there are scandals involving doping that make the sport look bad.

U.S. Triple Crown Win

Back in 1982, Edwin Janss Gregson made history as a horse racing trainer by leading Gato Del Sol to an incredible win at the famous Kentucky Derby. This victory not only showcased Gregson’s amazing talent and expertise but also proved that he was one of the best trainers around.

The U.S. Triple Crown races are tough challenges for both horses and trainers alike. Gregson’s skill in getting Gato Del Sol ready for these high-pressure events showed his dedication, expertise, and deep knowledge of thoroughbred racing. Winning the Kentucky Derby was proof of Gregson’s commitment to being excellent at what he does and his special way of training horses.

When Gato Del Sol won the Kentucky Derby, it wasn’t just a regular victory—it highlighted Edwin Janss Gregson’s lifelong love for horse racing. Every part of his training methods showed how much he cared about these amazing animals, focusing on kindness, respect, and never giving up. The bond between him and Gato Del Sol went beyond just teaching; it was built on trust, hard work, and mutual respect.

Edwin Janss Gregson’s success at the Kentucky Derby didn’t stop with that big day in 1982—it echoes throughout horse racing history even today. His legacy lives on not only because of Gato Del Sol’s impressive win but also because he inspired so many people within the equestrian community along the way. The impact left by this legendary trainer is a source of motivation for those aiming for greatness in this extraordinary sport—from new trainers starting their journey to fans who simply love watching these majestic creatures race.

Major Stakes Wins

Edwin Janss Gregson, a seasoned expert in horse racing, made a lasting impact on the industry with his impressive series of major wins. Races like the Santa Ana Handicap and Beverly Hills Handicap weren’t just about winning trophies; they showcased his deep understanding of horses and precise training techniques.

Gregson skillfully guided horses to victory in top events like the Del Mar Futurity and Hollywood Gold Cup. Each win not only added to his reputation as one of history’s most prominent trainers but also reinforced his expertise in the field.

The Sunset Handicap was another highlight for Gregson, where he consistently demonstrated strategic skills and exceptional intuition. His ability to turn racehorses into champions was akin to an artist shaping marble – every move purposeful yet artistic, leading to enduring achievements that stood the test of time.

Gregson’s triumphs went beyond mere victories; they represented a perfect collaboration between trainer and horse – built on trust, respect, and immense love for the sport. These significant wins not only showed off his tactical prowess but also highlighted his deep admiration for these majestic animals who captured hearts around the globe.

Racing Achievements and Philanthropic Contributions

Occupation Trainer
Born (1938-08-07)August 7, 1938 Los Angeles, California
Died June 4, 2000(2000-06-04) (aged 61) South Pasadena, California
Major racing wins Santa Ana Handicap (1978), Santa Barbara Handicap (1978), Beverly Hills Handicap (1979), Clement L. Hirsch Stakes (1980), Del Mar Futurity (1981), Monrovia Handicap (1982), Del Mar Derby (1984), Morvich Handicap (1984), Carleton F. Burke Handicap (1985), Autumn Days Handicap (1985), Eddie Read Handicap (1985), San Diego Handicap (1985, 1987), Silver Belles Handicap (1985), Apple Blossom Handicap (1986), Goodwood Handicap (1986), Santa Maria Stakes (1986), Silver Screen Handicap (1987), Yankee Valor Handicap (1987), San Pasqual Handicap (1988), El Conejo Handicap (1989), Hollywood Gold Cup (1989), Sunset Handicap (1989, 1990, 1996), Palos Verdes Handicap (1989), San Antonio Handicap (1989), San Marcos Handicap (1989), San Simeon Handicap (1989), Del Mar Oaks (1990), Toboggan Handicap (1990), Yerba Buena Handicap (1990), Del Mar Handicap (1995), Hollywood Turf Cup Stakes (1995), Wickerr Handicap (1995), San Gorgonio Handicap (2000), Santa Ynez Stakes (2000), U.S. Triple Crown wins: Kentucky Derby (1982)
Honours Edwin J. Gregson Foundation
Significant horses Gato Del Sol, Petite Ile, Super Diamond
Formation 1998
Type Foundation (nonprofit)
Headquarters Arcadia, CA, United States
President Jenine Sahadi
Revenue (2017) $408,512
Expenses (2017) $211,879

Edwin J. Gregson Foundation Establishment

After Edwin J. Gregson passed away on June 4, 2000, the California Thoroughbred Trainers (CTT) renamed a charitable institution in his honor to become the Edwin J. Gregson Foundation. This foundation aims to improve the lives of backstretch workers and their families in California’s racing community by focusing on education, healthcare, affordable housing assistance, and other essential services tailored for those who play a vital role in the horse racing industry.

Since its establishment, the foundation has achieved significant progress by offering scholarships and grants to individuals pursuing careers related to horses while also providing financial aid during emergencies or crises that may impact backstretch workers’ livelihoods. Through partnerships with various organizations and fundraising activities influenced by Gregson’s lasting legacy within horse racing circles.

With an unwavering dedication to enhancing the well-being of those working behind-the-scenes at horse racing stables across California tracks, the Edwin J. Gregson Foundation serves as a tribute to Edwin Janss Gregson’s profound impact on both animals and humans involved in this exciting sport.

Personal Life and Education

Gregson didn’t just race horses – he also had a varied life that included marrying actress May Britt and later Gail, with whom he had twin daughters. He was committed to learning and even finished his European history degree after going back to Stanford University.

In addition to his racing career, Gregson experienced different aspects of life such as love, family, and a thirst for knowledge. His relationships grew and evolved over time as he journeyed through various stages of companionship. Marrying May Britt put him in the Hollywood spotlight, while tying the knot with Gail represented stability and fatherhood as they raised their twin daughters together.

Education wasn’t something Gregson took lightly; it was an integral part of his life story. Going back to Stanford University showed determination beyond the racetrack – a hunger for intellectual growth that matched his dedication on the field. Completing his European history degree highlighted not only academic success but also an ongoing desire for learning outside traditional settings.

Enthralling Lore Behind Derby Champion Gregson

  1. ### The Fascinating Story Behind Derby Winner Gregson

  2. **Intriguing Beginnings:** Rumor has it that Edwin Gregson Trainer, the genius behind the victorious horse at the Kentucky Derby, Gregson, was believed to have descended from a family line of talented horse trainers who possessed mystical skills.

  3. **Unique Training Techniques:** It is said that Edwin Gregson Trainer used unconventional methods to train Gregson, such as having him swim in icy waters early in the morning and feeding him a special diet infused with rare herbs and spices known for boosting his speed and endurance.

  4. **Strong Connection:** Some say there existed an unspoken bond between Gregson and Edwin that went beyond the typical trainer-horse relationship. Witnesses claimed they could communicate telepathically, which contributed to their remarkable achievements on the racetrack.

  5. **The Mystery of Success:** Following his Kentucky Derby victory, superstitious fans whispered about a supposed curse linked to those connected with Gregson's win. Apparently, encountering this champion horse would result in unexpected fortunes or misfortunes based on one's intentions.

  6. **Enduring Legacy:** Even after retiring from racing, tales of Gregson continue through generations as a legacy lives on strong. Edwin Gregson Trainer remains highly respected in the realm of horse racing; many aspiring trainers aim to replicate his enigmatic techniques for similar triumphs.

Contributions Beyond Training

Edwin Janss Gregson led the California Thoroughbred Trainers Association as president, making a powerful impact in advocating for trainers’ rights and well-being in the racing industry. He spearheaded positive changes within the community, ensuring that trainers could effectively address their concerns.

In addition to championing trainers’ interests, Gregson actively participated in organizations like the California Thoroughbred Breeders Association, demonstrating his dedication to supporting different aspects of horse racing. By engaging with these groups, he played a significant role in promoting and improving various elements of the sport for future generations.

Gregson’s commitment went beyond just training horses; it extended to creating a vibrant environment for all participants in horse racing. Through his work with industry associations and leadership roles held throughout his career, he made a lasting impact on shaping policies and practices that continue to influence how horse racing operates today.

His diverse contributions not only showcased his skills as a trainer but also highlighted his enthusiasm for bringing about enduring advancements within the sport he loved. Edwin Janss Gregson’s legacy lives on through his advocacy efforts and collaborative work with different organizations—establishing him as an influential figure whose influence goes beyond just training expertise.

Legacy Through Significant Horses

Edwin Janss Gregson left behind a remarkable legacy intertwined with the hoofbeats of exceptional equine athletes. From Gato Del Sol’s thrilling victory at the Kentucky Derby to the elegant strides of Petite Ile and Super Diamond, his training skills shone brightly in the world of horse racing. Each swift gallop around the track not only displayed these horses’ talents but also showcased Gregson’s dedication to nurturing champions.

As hooves pounded on dirt tracks and crowds erupted in excitement, Gregson stood as a silent maestro, orchestrating moments of triumph that would be forever etched into horse racing history. The thundering hooves mixed with cheers reverberated through time, marking milestones achieved under his expert guidance. Through precise training routines and a deep understanding of equine psychology, he transformed raw potential into refined excellence numerous times.

With every stride made by Gato Del Sol towards that iconic Kentucky Derby win or when Petite Ile surged forward with grace and determination, Edwin Janss Gregson’s passion for horseracing resonated deeply. His legacy transcended mere victories; it embodied a commitment to excellence echoing through generations within the sport dear to him. These magnificent horses were more than just competitors—they were manifestations of his vision brought vividly to life on racetracks across continents.

Career Achievements and Recognitions

In 1982, Edwin Janss Gregson achieved a major milestone in his career as a horse racing trainer when he guided Gato Del Sol to victory at the Kentucky Derby. This win at one of America’s most prestigious horse races showcased Gregson’s exceptional training skills on a grand stage and solidified his reputation in the sport.

Apart from his triumph at the Kentucky Derby, Gregson also secured victories in renowned races like the Santa Anita Handicap and Hollywood Gold Cup. Known for his talent-spotting abilities and deep understanding of horses’ physical capabilities, he consistently produced winning results that set him apart from other trainers.

Throughout his successful career, Edwin Janss Gregson received numerous awards for his contributions to Thoroughbred horse racing. His dedication to excellence earned him respect among peers, owners, and fans alike. He was not just a trainer; he was also a mentor who passed on knowledge and experience to future equestrians.

Beyond producing champions on racetracks across America, Gregson made an impact through initiatives such as establishing the Edwin J. Gregson Foundation. This foundation aimed to provide educational opportunities within the industry—a testament to his commitment towards nurturing talent both on and off track.

Today we reflect on Edwin Janss Gregson’s remarkable legacy in American Thoroughbred horse racing—a legacy built upon passion, expertise, and unwavering dedication. His achievements continue to inspire those following in his footsteps while reminding us all what can be accomplished through hard work, perseverance—and above all—love for these majestic animals that captivate our hearts with every stride they take towards greatness.

Lasting Impact on Horse Racing Community

Edwin Janss Gregson made a lasting impact in the horse racing world by dedicating himself to improving training methods and nurturing upcoming talent. His victory at the Kentucky Derby in 1982 with Gato Del Sol showcased his exceptional skills as a trainer. Apart from this win, Gregson’s influence lives on through the Edwin J. Gregson Foundation, which supports individuals contributing to California’s horse racing traditions.

As a respected figure in the industry, Edwin Janss Gregson was known not only for his successes on the track but also for his commitment to raising standards in horsemanship. His innovative training techniques have significantly influenced how horses are prepared and raced today, demonstrating his deep understanding of equine physiology and behavior that set him apart from others.

Gregson’s impact goes beyond just achievements; it is deeply ingrained in horse racing culture both within California and beyond. The foundation established in his honor continues to offer essential resources and assistance to trainers, grooms, jockeys, and other key personnel who play vital roles behind-the-scenes at racetracks throughout the state. Through this ongoing dedication, Gregson’s influence resonates through generations of equestrian enthusiasts.

More than wins or trophies defines Edwin Janss Gregson: it is his unwavering commitment to fostering excellence within a sport he cherished deeply. Known for going above and beyond for both horses under his care and those working alongside him at Santa Anita Park where he trained champions like Gato Del Sol – showcasing grace under pressure while instilling values that echo through every stride taken by thoroughbreds during races or morning workouts.

Reflecting on Edwin Janss Gregon’s remarkable journey spanning decades filled with highs (such as winning prestigious races) lows (like injuries setbacks), one cannot help but admire how he remained steadfast despite challenges faced along the way towards achieving greatness – not only for himself but leaving behind a positive legacy inspiring future generations yet come after him keeping alive passion devotion held dear worldwide admiration awe-inspiring feats accomplished lifetime devoted pursuit perfection artistry craftsmanship unparalleled finesse unmatched by few others ever reached similar heights within competitive sports quite like acclaimed horse trainer extraordinaire revered respected admired globally extending reach far wide touching countless lives inspired emulate example strive be best versions themselves pushing boundaries exploring limits what possible when driven unyielding desire succeed against odds stacked high mountains towering overhead seemingly insurmountable obstacles stand path dreams chasing elusive glory victory finishing line crossed finish line first second third no matter long takes get there matters most showing fortitude resilience grit determination face adversity overcome any challenge thrown way however hard may seem times remember words wisdom imparted fans followers alike “Never give up keep pushing forward no matter tough things seem because darkest hour dawn brightest light shines”


1. How did Edwin Gregson's training methods contribute to Gato Del Sol's Kentucky Derby victory?

Edwin Gregson meticulously trained Gato Del Sol for the Kentucky Derby victory by focusing on patience, consistency, and understanding each horse's unique requirements. This approach ensured that the horse was physically and mentally ready for the challenging race, ultimately leading to their success at the event.

2. What other notable achievements has Edwin Gregson had in his illustrious career as a horse racing trainer?

Edwin Janss Gregson, who won the Kentucky Derby with Gato Del Sol, has trained many top horses that have won important races. He is well-known and respected in the horse racing world for his passion for the sport and his ability to nurture talented racehorses.

3. Can you explain the significance of Gato Del Sol's Kentucky Derby win under Edwin Gregson's guidance?

Edwin Gregson trained Gato Del Sol to win the Kentucky Derby, which was a major achievement for both of them. This victory showed off Gregson's amazing talent in getting a skilled horse ready and leading it to success on one of the biggest stages in horse racing.

4. How has Edwin Gregson's training philosophy influenced other trainers in the horse racing community?

Edwin Gregson believes in taking the time to understand and meet each horse's unique needs. His training philosophy focuses on patience, dedication, and forming strong relationships with the horses in his care. This approach has inspired aspiring trainers to prioritize their horses' well-being above all else.

5. What led Edwin Gregson to establish the Edwin J. Gregson Foundation, and what impact has it had on the industry?

Edwin Gregson created the Edwin J. Gregson Foundation to help horse racing industry workers on the backstretch with education and support. This foundation has made a big difference by enhancing the lives of these hardworking individuals who take care of horses.

6. Are there any memorable anecdotes that highlight Edwin Gregson's dedication and passion for horse racing?

During the 1982 Kentucky Derby, Edwin Gregson showed his intense dedication and love for horse racing by training Gato Del Sol with meticulous care. This victory highlighted his strong commitment to achieving success in the sport.