Born October 10, 1935, Jerry Silverman was one of the leading Grand Circuit trainers for five decades, from the 1960s through the 2000s. He made a big impact in 1966 at the age of 31 with Triple Crown winner Romeo Hanover p,3,1:56.1f ($658,505), a yearling he had picked out for $8,500 at Harrisburg. Subsequent years saw the large stable that Silverman ran with intelligence and endurance produce a stream of champions such as Die Laughing p,3,1:51.1f ($2,164,386), Glowing Report p,5,1:49.2 ($2,095,144), Hit Parade p,2,1:53.4 ($806,303), Saccharum p,4,1:53.3 ($805,295), Masquerade p,3,T1:53 ($598,542) and Fame p,2,1:55.3 ($502,942).
Among five yearling pacing fillies Silverman purchased at Harrisburg in 1981 and 1982 was eventual stakes winner Rodine Hanover p,2,1:54 ($231,630), who took her mark of 1:54 at two under Silverman’s handling. That record was enough to make her an ideal broodmare, with great success reaching into the current decade. Rodine Hanover is the third dam of 2019 Living Horse Hall of Fame inductee Captaintreacherous, two-time Pacer of the Year as a two-year-old in 2012 and a three-year-old in 2013. Captaintreacherous is the sire of Captain Crunch, 2018 Dan Patch Two-Year-Old Pacing Colt of the Year. Rodine Hanover was also the second dam of two-time Dan Patch Award winner and two-time world champion Worldly Beauty.
In 1986 the Silverman stable sent out quality performers. Masquerade, a three-year-old pacing colt, won over $500,000 in 1986 and was a winner in the 1987 Breeders Crown. Nukem p,3,1:54.4 ($360,287), a two-year-old pacing colt, earned over $250,000 in 1986, posting victories in the Goshen Cup and the Garden State Pace. That year Silverman took over the training of Saccharum, who beat the boys many times.
The 1990 season saw Silverman campaign the top two-year-old pacing colt Die Laughing. The No Nukes-Makin Smiles freshman won 8 of 12 starts in 1990, banking over $1.1 million. He won the $1,943,500 Woodrow Wilson Final, the $365,600 Niatross Final and the $298,345 Presidential Final. In 1991 Die Laughing and the super freshman pacing filly Summer Child p,2,1:54.2 ($493,609) opened up the season in Silverman’s care. Die Laughing went on to win seven times as a sophomore, while earning more than $1 million for the second straight year. Summer Child was the richest two-year-old filly in 1991, banking $464,125.
Jerry Silverman was the first trainer in history to develop two $2 million pacers. One was Die Laughing. The other was the filly Glowing Report, a stakes winner 40 years after Romeo Hanover. Silverman also trained pacing filly Must See p,2,1:52 ($487,122), another successful broodmare as the dam of 2009 Pacer of the Year Well Said.
While his focus was on the pacing side and highly regarded fillies, Silverman conditioned some trotters that performed well. His standout was Rule The Wind 3,Q1:55.3 ($180,016), who made it to the 1998 Hambletonian and finished second in the first heat to the eventual winner, Armbro Goal.
The U.S. Trotting Association did not begin keeping records for trainers until 1991, but in the ensuing 23 years that Silverman was active, he had 2,148 starts, with 280 winners, 289 seconds and 247 thirds, with purse earnings of $8,698,451. His best single year in purse winnings was 2006 with $1.4 million.
Jerry Silverman retired in 2014, but continues assisting his son Richie. Silverman’s daughter Melissa Silverman Beckwith is also a trainer.