Horse trainer from Little Ferry is first in NJ to die of coronavirus

North Jersey

A Bergen County horse trainer with several underlying medical conditions was New Jersey’s first coronavirus death, state officials said Tuesday.

The 69-year-old man was identified as Little Ferry resident John Brennan, a horse trainer and mainstay in the paddock of Yonkers Raceway, according to several horse racing publications.

He was hospitalized at Hackensack University Medical Center last Friday, and had conditions that included emphysema, diabetes and hypertension, said state Health Commissioner Judith Persichilli. He suffered a heart attack Monday night and was revived, but died Tuesday morning after a second heart attack, Persichilli said. Brennan had not recently traveled outside the United States, she said.

The racetrack was closed Tuesday, according to Thoroughbred Daily News and Harness Racing Update, which identified Brennan as the New Jersey coronavirus victim.

Officials also announced three other presumed cases of coronavirus Tuesday — a Teaneck man and two Burlington County residents — bringing the state total to 15 just a day after Gov. Phil Murphy declared a public health emergency to set efforts in motion to keep the virus from spreading.

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13 thoughts on “Horse trainer from Little Ferry is first in NJ to die of coronavirus

  1. So all of those diseases the guy had and they blame it on the Coronavirus. Typical.

    My father in law just passed away in Wuhan last night. He had diabetes and bad kidneys. Although he was in Coronavirus central, he did not have the virus, but I’m sure if he was in the US, the media would have loved to label him as such, God rest his soul.

        1. You’re welcome, NC. I am still looking for my expiration date stamped on me somewhere. Hope I never find it. The wife needs a hug. Give it to her, man.

    1. You are right, NC.
      I am so very sorry for your loss. My thoughts and prayers are with you, your lovely wife and family. Blessings. <3

    2. Our condolences to you and especially your wife for the loss of your loved one.
      We are thinking about you.

  2. So he works at a place with at least a bit of horse poop and pee and whatever and has emphysema and diabetes both and hypertension (which is often a prelude to a heart attack or stroke)…bad heart and high blood pressure, and bad kidney and bad lungs…and he dies of corona virus…who woulda thunk it?

    And if there is an animal heaven, maybe he can get with Secretariat one o’ these days…

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