Hal King, 75, a trainer in California for 37 years until his retirement in 1990, died early Sunday morning at Scripps Hospital in La Jolla after a lengthy illness.
A bloodstock agent and consultant to Sid and Jenny Craig, the owners of Paseana, Exchange, Tossofthecoin and Fumo Di Londa, among other thoroughbreds, since his retirement, King entered racing as an owner in 1947 before turning to training in 1953.
“I don’t think he had an enemy,” said trainer Ron McAnally, one of King’s longtime friends. “He was a very kind and loyal man. He gave (the late) Laz Barrera his first horse to train when he came to this country.”
The co-leading trainer at the 1987 Oak Tree meeting with nine winners from 20 starts, King won two stakes with Kicapu Kid, a horse he bought for $2,900.
He also trained Pro Or Con, who won the CTBA Stakes and the Linda Vista Handicap in 1980, and Johnlee N’Harold, who won the 1980 California Breeders’ Champion Stakes and the 1981 San Rafael Stakes.
Services for King will be Thursday at 11 a.m. at Temple Beth David in Temple City. His ashes will then be scattered at Santa Anita.
Survivors include sons Don, 33, and Jon, 34, and two grandchildren.