Phil Marino with John Henry
Photo courtesy of Tammy Siters
Word came the other day of the passing of Phil Marino on Feb. 26. He was 59. Many people don’t know who Phil Marino is, and that is a shame. The native of New Orleans was the legendary John Henry’s first trainer, and saddled the gelding to his first career victory and first stakes victory.
But there is much more to the story. Marino’s life changed dramatically because of John, and not for the better. What happened to him after reluctantly giving the horse up far transcended the typical racetrack tale of a trainer and his horse. Rather than tell the story in a sketchy manner, it’s best to just link to my chapter on Marino in the Legends series book on John Henry (see link below).
Marino, passed away at his home in Maryland following a lengthy illness. Among his survivors are his mother, Nancy Edgecombe; his aunt, Nina Mae Chachere; his brother, Joseph Marino III; his sister, Aaron Sealy; and his grandson, Chase Michael Marino.
Read more about Phil Marino's connection with John Henry here.