Famous horse wins at Aqueduct on the eve of his trainer's death
On this day in 1969, Heartland, the last horse trained by Texas trainer Maximilian Justice Hirsch, won at Aqueduct. Hirsch died the next day. The Fredericksburg native had run away from home at age twelve to become a jockey. After riding 123 winners in 1,117 races, he trained horses from 1902 until his death, working with such famous racers as Grey Lag, Sarazen, Dawn Play, and High Gun. At the King Ranch stables he trained three Kentucky Derby winners, Bold Venture, Assault, and Middleground. Assault went on to capture the Triple Crown. Hirsch was elected to the Texas Sports Hall of Fame in 1970.