Richard Mandella | Trainer Profile

Trainer Richard Mandella

Richard Mandella was born November 5, 1950 in Altadena, CA. Mandella was introduced to horses by his father at an early age, and while still in high school he began starting and training horses at nearby Three Rings Ranch. He spent a year in New York as assistant to Lefty Nickerson and then took a job with Texas horseman Roger Braugh in 1974.Two years later, Richard Mandella returned to California and opened his own stable. 

In the past 40 years as a trainer, Mandella has won 18 races with a purse value of $1-million or more. That includes 3 Breeders’ Cup races with the fine filly Beholder, who won the 2016 Breeders’ Cup Distaff by a nose following a stirring stretch battle with previously undefeated Songbird.  

Mandella was inducted in the U.S. National Museum of Racing’s Hall of Fame in 2001 and in 2003 he had four winners in the Breeders’ Cup including the Breeders’ Cup Classic with Pleasantly Perfect; producing one of the sport’s greatest single-day achievements for a trainer that included more than $4.5 million in earnings. Mandella’s horse earnings totaled a career-best $9.8 million in 2003.

Known for his dry wit and self-deprecating sense of humor, Mandella’s success is more than just his achievements, which also included serving on many industry organizations and committees. Mandella has a willingness to meticulously learn his craft by studying others that he deemed worthy of his attention. His humility, honesty and tireless energy is what has allowed him to succeed the way he is most comfortable. And in racing, he always tells his jockey’s to get the horse to relax and be comfortable.

Mandella currently resides in Pasadena and his home track is Santa Anita Park.