JOHN CARDELLA saw more than 50 opening days of Thoroughbred racing meets in Ontario. Born in Toronto, John was at the racetrack as a young man, attending races at Dufferin Park with his father. He began training horses when Woodbine, the ‘new’ Woodbine, opened in 1956 and then worked as an assistant to leading trainer Frank Merrill.
When John opened up his own public stable again in the late 1970s it was not long before he led all trainers at Woodbine in a season (1980) and then in 1983, his $40,000 claim, Bompago, won the Queen’s Plate for himself and a group of family and friends. He trained eight other stakes winners, including Lil Personalitee (Gr. 3 Eclipse Stakes), Olympian (Gr. 3 Play the King Stakes), and San Nicola Thunder (Bunty Lawless and Sir Barton Stakes).
John trained horses at Woodbine into his 80s; won 896 races from 7,592 starters with earnings over $18 million, mostly at the Toronto oval. It was reported by Daily Racing Form that John passed away Dec. 25, 2021, at the age of 90.
JOHN ‘JP’ MACKENZIE not only trained hundreds of winners and numerous stakes winners (including Bold Ruckus Stakes winner Mitchellville in 1997, and multiple graded stakes winner Crown Attorney who had earnings of nearly $1 million), but he was also an accomplished rodeo rider, blacksmith, and respected horseman who played mentor to many successful horsepeople on their way into the sport. Condolences from friends and family poured in when John passed away at the age of 83 on March 27th.