Merrill Scherer Surprised With Family, Friends For Early 80th Birthday Celebration

When trainer Merrill Scherer attended Friday’s races at Churchill Downs, one of the biggest surprises met him when family and friends from across the country surprised the veteran conditioner for an advance celebration of his 80th birthday.

“I can’t believe I was swindled in to coming over for this,” Merrill joked. “This is unbelievable. I can’t believe everyone around the racetrack was able to keep their mouths shut and not tell me. This is a moment I will never forget.”

Five of Scherer’s sons attended Friday, including fellow trainer Gary Scherer, who flew in from Minnesota where he currently is stabled at Canterbury Park.

“The Scherers typically don’t see each other more than once a year,” said Clay Scherer, Merrill’s son and Kentucky-based bloodstock agent. “To get everyone together, including a lot of his owners, is very special.”

Scherer began his training career in 1962 and has been at it ever since. Scherer has spent the majority of his career based in the Midwest with stints in Illinois, Kentucky and Louisiana. It wasn’t until 1993 when he won his first graded stakes race with Little Bro Lantis in the Stars and Stripes Handicap (GIII) at Arlington. Since statistics started being regularly kept for horse racing in 1976, Scherer has won 1,410 races with earnings of more than $24.6 million.

Scherer’s sixth son, Richie, passed away from kidney cancer in 2017 at age 53. Richie helped his father during the summers as a teenager and was a trainer from 1985 until he passed away.

“We’re all missing Richie today,” Scherer said. “I know he’s up there looking down on us and would have loved to be here for it.”

Scherer, born in New Orleans, will celebrate his 80th birthday on July 21.

The post Merrill Scherer Surprised With Family, Friends For Early 80th Birthday Celebration appeared first on Horse Racing News | Paulick Report.

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