Rusty Arnold
Trainer Bios

G. R. "Rusty" Arnold II

Born: March 26, 1955 in Paris, Kentucky

Record at Keeneland

Total Wins: 274

Stakes Wins: 19

Career Firsts

First Grade 1 Win: 1982 Haskell Invitational Handicap at Monmouth Park with Wavering Monarch

First Stakes Win: 1976 Neptune at River Downs with Fleeting North

First Graded Stakes Win: 1982 Barbara Fritchie (G3) at Bowie with The Wheel Turns

First Career Win: July 25, 1975, at Delaware Park with La Yo Quiero

Starters in the Toyota Blue Grass




2017 Wild Shot 7th
2016 Star Hill 5th


Colony Light



Tricky Creek



Feather Ridge



The Flats



Wavering Monarch


At Keeneland

Third-leading all-time trainer by wins (274) behind D. Wayne Lukas (294) and Bill Mott (275).

Won the 2019 Giant's Causeway (L) during the Spring Meet with Morticia.

Won the 2018 JPMorgan Chase Jessamine (G2) during the Fall Meet with Concrete Rose.

Won the 2017 Bewitch (G3) with Quiet Business during the Spring Meet and Juddmonte Spinster (G1) with Romantic Vision during the Fall Meet.

Won the 2016 Central Bank Ashland (G1) during the Spring Meet with 30-1 longshot Weep No More.

First Keeneland win came during the 1977 Spring Meet.

First Keeneland stakes win was the 1986 Keeneland Breeders’ Cup with Leprechauns Wish.

Other stakes victories include Grade 1 wins with Clear Mandate (1997 Three Chimneys Spinster), Wicked Style (2007 Lane’s End Breeders’ Futurity), Karelian (2010 Maker’s Mark Mile), Karlovy Vary (2012 Central Bank Ashland), Centre Court (2013 Jenny Wiley) and Weep No More (2016 Central Bank Ashland)

Leading trainer at Keeneland three times: Spring 1985, Spring 1986 and Fall 1987.

His 13 wins during the 1986 Spring Meet set a record for the season that lasted until Frank Brothers saddled 14 winners during the 1999 Spring Meet.

Trained Divine Warning, who won seven races from 13 starts on Keeneland’s turf course, with two seconds, two thirds and two fourths. Divine Warning won at least one race during five consecutive Keeneland meets, from the spring of 1991 through the spring of 1993.


North American career earnings near $68 million with 1,774 wins through June 17, 2019.

Click here for his Equibase career record.


Rusty represents the third generation of his family in the Central Kentucky Thoroughbred industry. His grandfather James Russell was the broodmare foreman at Elmendorf Farm. His father, the late George R. Arnold Sr., co-owned Fair Acres Farm; bred horses to race or sell; and trained at Keeneland. Rusty’s brother, Terry, manages Dixiana Farm.

While growing up, Rusty worked on the family farm on weekends and during summers. He began breaking yearlings and went to work for trainer Eugene Euster. While attending the University of Kentucky, he took pre-veterinary classes but the race track held more appeal for him. He galloped horses for Euster and became his assistant trainer. By 1975, he had gone out on his own.

Rusty went to New York in 1980 and received a break in 1985 when he was named to train a division of John Ed Anthony’s Loblolly Farm after Shug McGaughey left to train for the Phipps family. More recently, he has enjoyed success while training for G. Watts Humphrey Jr.

His wife, Sarah, a former exercise rider, works with him in their training operation. Her role includes escorting the horses to the track while riding the stable pony. They were married in 1996.