Birthdate: March 10, 1960.
Birthplace: Glendale, Cal.
Residence: Arcadia, Cal.
Family: wife, Amy; daughters Elizabeth, Laura, Christine.
Trainer Ron Ellis, always known as a high-percentage trainer, began reeling off a string of Grade 1 winners during the 1990s with female stars Exotic Wood and Twice the Vice. In 2004, he trained Eclipse Award winner Declan Moon, unbeaten champion 2-year-old male. Ellis counts the 2009 Hollywood Gold Cup victory with Rail Trip as one of his biggest and most satisfying wins.
Ellis remembered his first visit to the races when he was a 15-year-old student at Monroe High School in the San Fernando Valley near Los Angeles. “I had a neighbor who asked me if I’d like to go,” Ellis said. “He showed me how to read the [Daily Racing Form] the night before. I picked a couple of winners and I was hooked.”
He began his career as a hotwalker at Del Mar and then worked for trainer Larry Sterling when he had handicap star Vigors. Ellis became an instant sensation at age 20 with sprint star To B. Or Not, who went on to win seven stakes.
Ellis, who runs a public stable in Southern California, has also served as a racing analyst on television for Fox Network and TVG.