Pimlico-based trainer David Howard passes at 45

Monday, May 13, 2024

David C. Howard, who began training Thoroughbreds in 2021 and was stabled at Pimlico Race Course, passed away the evening of March 15 after suffering a heart attack. He was 45.

Howard was introduced to the racing industry by Pimlico-based trainer Kieron Magee, and then worked with horses in the barn of Amanda Rawlings before he obtained his trainer’s license.

“I brought him around, and he first worked for me,” Magee said. “He was a dear friend of mine. I woke up that morning at 4 and saw the text (that he had died). It’s just so said. He was just getting going in the business.”

The afternoon of March 15 at Laurel Park, Howard saddled Thencomemorning to victory in the fourth race for owner Roger Sterling. It was the Maryland-bred Friesan Fire filly’s third win.

Howard began 2024 on a solid note, with three wins, three seconds and three thirds in 20 starts for earnings of more than $86,000. He was closing in on the $1 million mark in career earnings with a record of 28 wins, 29 seconds and 42 thirds in 250 starts.

The Maryland native won his first race with Hot Choice in late February 2022.

In August 2023, Howard claimed the Maryland-bred gelding Ace Nine Nine for $8,000 for owner Robert Beck. Ace Nine Nine went on to win four races with three third-place finishes and had been entered in the March 16 Not For Love Stakes. He was scratched that morning.

“He truly will be missed,” said trainer Antonio Machado, who has horses stabled at Pimlico.

Arrangements were handled by Eackles-Spencer and Norton Funeral Home in Harpers Ferry, W. Va. In lieu of flowers, memorial donations may be made to Beyond The Wire, Maryland's Thoroughbred aftercare program (www.beyondthewire.org/donate).

A celebration of life will be held Sunday, March 25, beginning at 12:30 p.m. in the Terrace Dining Room at Laurel Park.

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