Jeff Radosevich earned his way into the Greater Cleveland Sports Hall of Fame by making thoroughbred racing history at Thistledown.
Some of the greatest jockeys in North American have won titles at Thistledown; among them Kentucky Derby champions Bill Hartack, Bobby Ussery and Mike Manganello, as well as 2011 Hall inductee, Tony Rini.
The same holds true for trainers. Loyd Gentry, who saddled 1967 Kentucky Derby winner Proud Clarion, was a champion in Cleveland.
But none of these men have accomplished what Radosevich has at Thistledown. Not only is he a champion jockey (1988), Radosevich has gone on to be a champion trainer (eight times, the first in 2005), making him the first and only horseman in Greater Cleveland racing history to prevail on a thoroughbred as well as at one’s side.
Radosevich retired from riding in 1993 after suffering a broken leg, the result of a race spill. As a jockey he had rebounded from five broken arms, four broken collarbones and a broken foot.
He immediately began training horses, and 20 years later continues to be Thistledown’s top trainer. Radosevich has ranked in the Top 10 winningest horsemen in North America in three of the last 12 years.
Jeff is from a large racing family. His father, Joe, as well as brothers, Joey and Jake, are horse trainers.
Radosevich won his first race as a jockey at Thistledown on November 9, 1980. He was 19. He also won his first race as a trainer at the North Randall track on December 10, 1993.
Radosevich hit a training milestone last year. On December 12 he saddled his 2,000th career winner at Mahoning Valley Race Course in suburban Youngstown.
A native of Joliet, Illinois, Radosevich has a farm in Geauga County where he lives with his wife Yvonne and their children.