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NY horseman Angelo Mario LaBella, 95, dies

June 23, 2020
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New York horseman Angelo Mario LaBella, 95, well known at Vernon Downs, died June 6.

He was born in Alatri, Italy, and lived most of his life in Syracuse, N.Y., until recently when he moved to Milton, Ga.

He was a World War II veteran, proudly serving from 1943-45 in Battery 252nd Field Artillery Battalion in Normandy, Northern France, Belgium and Central Europe. He received a European African Middle Eastern Service Medal, a Good Conduct Medal and a New York State Medal for Merit.

He was a member of the USTA and a trainer for 50 years, not officially retiring until he was 90 years old. At the young age of 80, he had one of his greatest successes with Hands To Yourself who had more than $150,000 in winnings under his training and took third in the New York Sire Stakes final in 2007.

Mr. LaBella was loved by everyone in the horse business and especially will be missed by everyone at Vernon Downs and the Syracuse Mile. He was a kind, humble and gentle soul who loved life, his family and friends, horses, gardening and a good Bloody Mary.

He was preceded in death by his brothers, Americo and Joseph; and his sister, Fatima Mirra. He was loved and adored by his nieces and nephews and is survived by his nieces, Dr. Lori Mosca, Diane Maloney, Mary Badger, Christine Sherwood and Pauline Shanley; and his nephews, Joseph A., Dr. John and Mario Mirra. He also enjoyed spending time with his 12 great- and his three great-great nieces and nephews.

A private funeral service with a military salute and taps is planned for June 27 at Assumption Cemetery in Syracuse. He will be laid to rest next to his brothers, Joseph, who served in the Army and Americo, who was killed in action during the Korean War.

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