LEXINGTON, Ky. - Jesse Norman (Sonny) Wigginton passed away July 31 in Lexington. A Thoroughbred racehorse trainer, he was well known throughout Ky as well as on a racing circuit that included Oaklawn Park in Hot Springs, Ark. His home base was Keeneland.
Mr. Wigginton was born in Lexington December 11, 1934, son of J. N. Wigginton Jr. and mother, Jane Olan Walker Wigginton. He graduated from Henry Clay High School in 1952 and attended University of Ky. He served in Korea for the U. S. Army beginning in 1957, following the Korean War. Returning to Lexington with an honorable discharge in 1958, he worked for seven years for Sistrunk and Co. He joined on with the Hal W. Steele racing stable to learn the training of horses and also worked in the racing office at Mile Park. Mr. Wigginton began training racehorses full-time in 1968.
Mr. Wigginton raced at Arlington Park, Saratoga, and Belmont Park in addition to numerous Midwestern tracks. Among the better-known horses in his stable were Gold Spring, Flying Continental, Bidis, Witchy Woman, Paranoide, Pancho Press, My Sweet Lass, Russian Emperor, Jake The Flake, Dr. Right, Martyr’s Glory, Panama Riddle, Wickedly Wild, Fight For Three, Hold The Truth, Bat-Que, Powder, and Frisky Kitten. He named Gold Spring as the best horse he trained and Flying Continental as his favorite. He was also especially fond of Native of Ky for winning 13 races.
Survivors include his wife, Lydia Wigginton; daughter, Leah (Michael) Yagodich; two sisters, Scharme and Alice Wigginton; two grandchildren, Will and Izzy; and several nieces and nephews. The family wishes to express heartfelt thanks to the staff of the VA Hospice Unit. Visitation will be Saturday, 5-8 PM, Milward-Broadway. Services will be private. Memorials may be made to the Dept. of Veterans Affairs, Hospice Unit 27-2, 1101 Veterans Dr., Lexington, KY 40502 or Keeneland Association Chaplaincy Michael Powers, P.O. Box 1690, Lexington, KY 40510.
Services will be private.
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