Bill Spawr has been known throughout his career as a keen-eyed claiming trainer who has been successful moving horses up the ranks and developing some into stakes winners. Chief among those were the eventual million-dollar earner Exchange, claimed for $50,000, who went on to win three Grade 1 stakes; and Sensational Star, who won multiple graded stakes sprinting after Spawr claimed him for $32,000. The trainer also supported jockey Laffit Pincay Jr. in both his successful and lean years as he became racing’s all-time leading winner with 9,530 wins at retirement.
Spawr began working on the racetrack while still in high school and eventually became an assistant blacksmith at age 19. He helped open and manage the successful Chino Veterinary Hospital before joining trainer Joe Manzi as an assistant. As a licensed trainer, Spawr won his first race with Cuda May at Bay Meadows Race Course in 1977. He has been very successful with sprinters over the years, especially Enjoy the Moment, Bordonaro and the 2011 Breeders’ Cup Sprint winner and Eclipse Award champion sprinter Amazombie.