Al Stall Sr. Dies at 85

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Fair Grounds Race Course, with its Stall-Wilson Turf Course | Hodges photo

Albert M. Stall Sr., chairman of the Louisiana Racing Commission for 28 years and a member of the Fair Grounds Hall of Fame, died Sunday in New Orleans at the age of 85, according to reports first published in the Daily Racing Form. Stall Sr., who had been battling Alzheimer’s for over a decade, is survived by four children, including prominent trainer Al Stall Jr.

Born in Cairo, Illinois, Albert M. Stall Sr. (AKA ‘Big Al’) hailed from a prominent family of Louisiana horsemen, headed by his own father Albert H. Stall. The two elder Stalls enjoyed plenty of success as owners, chief among them was a score in the 1970

GI Kentucky Oaks with Lady Vi-E followed by 1973 GIII New Orleans H. winner Combat Ready. The turf course at the Fair Grounds was named the Stall-Wilson Turf Course, the first turf course in the state, in honor of Albert H. Stall and his business partner Roger Wilson. An equally influential figure in the state, Albert M. Sr. earned distinction as a longtime racing official and is attributed with having introduced both Sunday racing and exotic wagering in the state. Both Albert H. and Albert Sr. were established oilmen, the former being one of three founders of J. Ray McDermott, now known as McDermott International. Following in the footsteps of both elder Stalls, Al Jr. pursued his love of horses and oil exploration by spending holidays during the later years of highschool working on the racetrack with Jack Van Berg’s Louisiana assistant Frank Brothers. Al Jr., who later gained a Bachelor of Science, majoring in Geology, worked for an oil company out of college before turning to the race track, always with the support of his father.

Details regarding services are pending as of time of publication.

 

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