Michael Trombetta is a Maryland trainer with a national profile. He trained the favorite in the 2006 Kentucky Derby, and now he trains about 100 horses at Fair Hill, Laurel Park and Gulfstream Park in South Florida.
He grew up around the racetrack, as his father owned horses. He started working at the track when he was 15, as a hotwalker and then a groom at Pimlico and Timonium. He got his trainer’s license when he was 18 and trained a few horses at Pimlico.
While building a stable he worked with his brother in construction. He started training full-time in 2005. He also owns horses with his father and brother as R.D.M. Racing Stable.
The next year his Sweetnorthernsaint, after winning the Illinois Derby, was the favorite in the Kentucky Derby. He finished seventh; Barbaro won. Two weeks later Sweetnorthernsaint finished second in the Preakness behind Bernardini.
Trombetta also trained Next Question, who won the Grade 1 Nearctic Stakes at Woodbine in 2012. His owners include Larry Johnson, Live Oak Plantation, Harry and Tom Meyerhoff, and Robert Meyerhoff.
Trombetta has spent more than 30 years in the racing industry. He said he’d like to put that experience to use in helping Maryland racing, which is on the upswing, continue to improve and do right by horsemen, track management and everyone involved. For instance, he said, “regulating the best racing schedule we can have and utilizing the days in the most effective way possible.”