Prominent Maryland horse trainer Eddie Gaudet, 87, died Jan. 4 peacefully at home in the Upper Marlboro section in Prince George's County. Mr. Gaudet brought home more than 1,700 winners during a career that spanned from 1959 to his retirement in 2011. He was also the patriarch of a horse racing family whose name is well-known throughout the industry.
Mr. Gaudet's wife, Linda Gaudet, who survives him, is a noted owner and trainer. And his two daughters, Lacey Gaudet and Gabrielle "Gabby" Gaudet, are also familiar names at tracks around the country.
Lacey Gaudet works with her mother as a multiple stakes-winning trainer based at Laurel Park.
Gabby Gaudet was a racing analyst for the Maryland Jockey Club and currently covers Gulfstream Park's Championship Meet for the TVG Network.
Services for Mr. Gaudet will be private, and a celebration of his life and legacy is being planned for a later date. Late in life, Mr. Gaudet suffered from Alzheimer's disease.
In a column several months ago, Lacey Gaudet wrote of her father while he was being cared for at home: "He has given us a name that rings proud from coast to coast and I never get tired of people asking, when they truly care, 'How's Eddie?' I always say, 'Thanks for asking,' because it's comforting to know that no one has forgotten him. But how could they?"
Eddie Gaudet grew up in Massachusetts in Leominster and rode his first horse at 11 at a county fair. He arrived in Maryland in the 1950s and never left, competing in and winning some of the state's biggest races.
Among Mr. Gaudet's more famous horses was Maryland-bred filly At Arms Length, which won the Black-Eyed Susan at Pimlico Race Course in 1971, two years before it was first graded.
Mr. Gaudet's Star Touch won the 7-furlong General George by a nose at Laurel Park in 1991, the first year it was graded. Other graded stakes winners for Mr. Gaudet, according to Equibase, came in the 1985 Anne Arundel Handicap at Laurel Park with Classy Cut and the 1994 Garden State Stakes with Alleged Impression.
Perhaps Mr. Gaudet's best-known horse was Concealed Identity, a Maryland-bred son of Kentucky Derby and Preakness winner Smarty Jones. Concealed Identity won the 2010 Maryland Juvenile Championship and the 2011 Federico Tesio to earn his way to the Preakness Stakes, the trainer's lone starter.
Based at old Bowie Race Track, Mr. Gaudet won 1,735 races and $23,495,278 in purse earnings from 1959 through 2011, when he turned the stable over to his wife Linda and daughter Lacey.
He won his last two races Dec. 16, 2011 at Laurel and sent out his final starter three days later at Parx.
The brutally cold weather has taken a toll on live racing at Laurel Park, where live race dates have been canceled during the deep-freeze of early January.
Live racing is scheduled to resume Jan. 7.
While the cold that's been fit for neither man nor beast has kept the horses and riders off the track, Laurel remains open for simulcasting wagering throughout the week. Laurel will show a full card from Maronas in Latin America Jan. 6.
With Laurel scheduled to run its first live meet of the new year Sunday, the mandatory payouts of the Rainbow 6 and Super Hi 5 will be in play. The Rainbow 6 carryover is $3,998, while the Super Hi 5 carryover is $2,341. First race post is 12:30 p.m.