John Shirreffs

John A. Shirreffs (born June 1, 1945 in Fort Leavenworth, Kansas) is an American Thoroughbred racehorse trainer.

John Shirreffs
John Shirreffs 2009.JPG
John Shirreffs in December 2009
BornJune 1, 1945
Fort Leavenworth, Kansas, United States
Career wins453+ (ongoing)
Major racing wins
Goodwood Handicap (1994, 2007)
Bayakoa Handicap
(1998, 1999, 2002, 2004, 2009)
Hollywood Oaks (1998)
El Encino Stakes
(1999, 2006, 2008, 2009)
La Canada Stakes (1999, 2005, 2009)
Santa Margarita Handicap
(1999, 2003, 2005, 2009, 2010)
Santa Maria Handicap (2000, 2003)
San Luis Rey Handicap (2005)
San Diego Handicap (2006)
San Felipe Stakes (2006)
Milady Handicap
(2006, 2008, 2009)
Vanity Handicap (2006, 2008, 2009, 2010)
Santa Anita Derby (2007)
Inglewood Handicap (2007, 2009)
Charles Whittingham Memorial Handicap (2007)
Eddie Read Handicap (2007)
Del Mar Handicap (2007)
Oaklawn Handicap (2008)
Apple Blossom Handicap (2008, 2010)
Lady's Secret Stakes (2008, 2009, 2010)
San Pasqual Handicap (2010)
New Orleans Ladies Stakes (2010)
American Oaks (2010, 2011)
Matriarch Stakes (2011)
Arcadia Handicap (2012)

American Classics wins:
Kentucky Derby (2005)

Breeders' Cup wins:
Breeders' Cup Ladies' Classic (2008, 2009)
Breeders' Cup Classic (2009)
Racing awards
Big Sport of Turfdom (2009)
Significant horses
A.P. Warrior, Bertrando, Giacomo, Life Is Sweet, Manistique, Scenic Blast, Tiago, Zardana, Zenyatta, Nereid (horse)

Based in California, Vietnam War veteran John Shirreffs began training Thoroughbreds in 1978. He has won a number of stakes races with his most important coming in the 2005 Kentucky Derby when Giacomo scored a major upset. In 2007, another Shirreffs-trained horse scored a major upset when Tiago, a half-brother to Giacomo (both out of the mare Set Them Free) won the Santa Anita Derby. He is also the trainer of champion Zenyatta, beaten only once in twenty career starts, and winner of the Breeders' Cup Ladies' Classic in 2008 and Breeders' Cup Classic in 2009.

In November 2009, Shirreffs became the first trainer to conquer both the Ladies' Classic and Classic in the same year, as Life Is Sweet romped home in the former and Zenyatta defeated males in the latter.

Shirreffs grew up around horses at his family's farm. He served in the Marine Corps in Vietnam during the Vietnam War.[1]Later he broke yearlings for Ed Nahem at Lakeview thoroughbred farm. After that Shirreffs got his training license in 1978 and operated a small stable in Northern California. He is married to Dottie Ingordo.


  1. ^ Drape, Joe. "Postcards from Saratoga: A Meet With No Victories, but a Career With No Regrets", The New York Times website, 15 August 2013. Accessed 16 December 2018.