California Chrome Co-Owner Passes Away

Perry and Denise Martin in 2020 | Courtesy of Perry Martin, Jr.

Denise Martin, the co-owner of California Chrome (Lucky Pulpit), passed away June 14 at the age of 61. Martin and partners found the heights of success with the two-time Horse of the Year. The popular seven-time Grade I winner, whose victories included the Kentucky Derby, Preakness, and Dubai World Cup, currently stands in Japan.

Martin was the wife of Perry Martin, who also co-bred California Chrome. The couple split from their partners in the horse and founded Martin Racing in 2016, the same year California Chrome won his second Horse of the Year title. They have remained active in the horse business and recently won the GIII Steve Sexton Mile S. with homebred Mo Mosa (Uncle Mo).

“Denise greatly enjoyed interacting with racing fans, whether she communicated with them in person or through California Chrome's official social media channels,” said Perry Martin. “She also was solely responsible for all of Martin Racing's charitable giving endeavors.”

Martin was a chemist. She served as CEO of Martin Testing Labs in Sacramento from 2000 to 2020. She previously worked for the United States Air Force as a civilian employee at McClellan Air Force Base. The Martins were living in Wyoming at the time of her death.

Survived by her husband of 35 years, Martin also leaves behind her daughter, Kelly; her son, Perry, Jr.; and her brothers Andrew and Richard Brudniak.

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