Illinois racing lost one of its most ardent supporters when longtime trainer Tom Tomillo passed away Wednesday evening at Alexian Brothers Medical Center in Elk Grove Village, Illinois. He was 66 years old.
A fixture in Chicago racing for more than more than five decades, first as an owner and later as a trainer, Tomillo won his first race as a trainer at Arlington Park in 1971. Tomillo's barn won at least one race at the Arlington track every year from 1971 through 2009 and his 376 wins at Arlington Park rank him 16th on Arlington's all-time list of leading trainers. He also was the leading trainer at Hawthorne in 1988 and 1990.
Known primarily as a claiming trainer, Tomillo enjoyed considerable success with Lord of the Game, a $10,000 claim that went on to win two graded stakes - the Grade III Hanshin Cup here and the Grade II Cornhusker at Prairie Meadows.
Tomillo is survived by his brother Patrick; sons Thomas Jr. and Anthony; daughter Lynda Hakala; seven grandchildren; and companion Lynda Farinella.
Visitation will be Friday, Sept. 3 from 3 p.m. until 9 p.m. and Saturday, Sept. 4 from 8:30 a.m. until 9 a.m. at Salerno's Galewood Chapels, 1857 N. Harlem Ave., Chicago. Funeral mass will be Saturday, Sept. 4 at 9:30 a.m. at St. William Church, 2600 N. Sayre Ave., Chicago.