Trainer Profile: Danny Gargan Could Have His Best Year Ever

Profile Picture: D.S. Williamson

D.S. Williamson

February 8th, 2019

Danny Gargan first saddled a horse in 1997. That year, he only saddled 5 runners. Of the 5 horses, he got a second place and 3 third place finishers. Gargan didn't resume training until 2013. From 2013 on, he's been one of the more understated but highly successful trainers in the U.S.

Gargan doesn't enter a ton of horses in races. He only had 234 runners in 2018, winning with 24%. Those equines pocketed an awesome $2,693,330 after 56 won, 49 placed second, and 33 placed third. Gargan's runners finished in the money 59% of the time last year.

As great as last year was, Danny Gargan's 2019 could be his best ever. Check out how well he's doing along with the 3 graded stakes winners he's saddled so far in his career.

Gargan Rocking It in 2019

Danny Gargan 2019 Current Stats

Gargan's saddled 19 starters in 2019. That's not a lot of starters. Of the 19 starters, he's done awesome with 3 winners, 2 seconds and a third. One of his winners, Tax, earned $137,500 for winning the Withers Stakes. Tax's victory makes up the bulk of the $213,536 that his horses have earned this year.

Not that it matters. Gargan's more of a claiming trainer than anything else, which means his horses will start to pick up paychecks on a weekly basis while some of his more quality horses take down the bigger scores. That should lead to a massive 2019 for his stable.

R Free Roll - 2014 Honorable Miss

Gargan saddled his first graded stakes winner with this Rockport Harbor sired daughter from an Acceptable broodmare, Jewels N Gems. She broke her maiden in her second lifetime race and finished her career with 9 wins, 7 seconds, and 2 thirds from 25 races.

R Free Roll's the perfect example of Gargan's incredible placement skills. Successful trainers understand where their horses fit best. They don't enter horses into races those horses can't win. Danny entered R Free Roll into the races she should win, or at least grab the place or show money. That's why she earned $617,208 during her career.

Divine Miss Grey

As of right now, Divine Miss Grey is the best horse Danny Gargan's ever trained. She's finished first in the Dr. James Penny Memorial, second in the Grade 1 Beldame, first in the Grade 2 Chilukki and second in the Grade 2 Fall City Handicap in her last 4 races.

The 5-year-old mare remains active and should hit the racetrack soon. She figures to spearhead Danny's barn this year. Divine Miss Grey will be one of the top distaff runners in the nation.

Tax - 2019 Withers Stakes

Gargan claimed Tax for owner Hugh Lynch for $50,000 in a maiden claimer at Keeneland back in October. Tax won that race. Gargan wasted no time with the gelded son of Arch. Instead of putting Tax into another claiming race, or even an allowance, he entered Tax right into the Grade 3 Remsen at Aqueduct.

Tax won that race. You can say whatever you want about his win in the Withers Stakes. One thing you can't say is that he didn't show any heart. He ran up the rail and had to wait for a moment before finding any room. Tax might not be up to the level of some others on the Derby trail, but the horse has guts.

Gargan's pointing him towards the Grade 3 Jeff Ruby Stakes and then possibly the Wood Memorial. That's the great thing about Danny. He'll run Tax wherever he believes the horse has a shot to win.