By Justina Severni
Bloodstock agent and consignor Mike Recio passed away Sept. 16, at the age of 46 after battling sepsis. The son of respected Ocala horseman Bill Recio, he had been involved in the Thoroughbred racing and breeding industry for the majority of his life. After graduating from the University of Louisville Horse Racing Industry Program in 2002, Recio worked in client services for Taylor Made Farm, Adena Springs, Mill Ridge and Hidden Brook, where he cultivated his business acumen and his legendary gift of gab.
In the fall of 2014, Recio launched South Point Sales. South Point became a prominent consignor at the breeding stock and yearling sales in Kentucky and Saratoga. At the same time, he began Rockbridge Bloodstock, a full-service bloodstock agency that quickly proved successful with matings, racing and broodmare purchases and stallion placement.
Recio was involved in the private purchase of multiple graded stakes winner Tonalist's Shape and had an especially strong record at the 2-year-old sales–13% of his juvenile purchases earned black-type, including 2021 GI Breeders' Cup Turf Sprint contender The Critical Way. Also adept at purchasing broodmare prospects, he secured a quartet of mares under his Rockbridge Bloodstock banner have produced stakes winners in 2021, in addition to securing sisters to recent Grade I winners Swiss Skydiver and Super Stock.
South Point sold several more good ones, including record-setting Grade II winner Stubbins, who was also mated on Recio's advice, graded stakes winner Proud Emma, GSW and GISP Fear the Cowboy and multiple stakes winner and Sovereign Award finalist She's the Berries.
Although Recio was a tremendous businessman in his own right, he will be remembered for his outgoing personality, the connections he made within the industry, and the people he brought together. Never one to turn down a drink at the Keeneland bar or a dinner at Jeff Ruby's, Recio had an astounding number of friends within the industry. The La Croix-filled South Point water cooler became the best spot on the sales ground for gossip, which he was more than happy to supply. He never knew a stranger, and spoke with an ease that truly was a gift.
While Recio loved the horse industry and his work, he took the greatest joy in spending time with his family and friends, whom he loved fiercely. He leaves behind his wife Nancy, his twins Wesley and Addison, whom he adored, his mother Lynn and father Bill, as well as his brother Gene, sister Katie Cauthen, brother-in-law Doug Cauthen, and niece Campbell Cauthen. A celebration of life will be held at a later date.
TRIBUTES FROM THE INDUSTRY…
Mike was one of a kind, an irreplaceable fixture in this business and in Lexington. He treated everyone equally from employees to competitors to owners, and you always knew where you stood. This community is full of people from all walks of life that would tell you Mike Recio was their friend. He had a big heart and cared for his loved ones immensely. I can confidently say he lived his 46 years to the fullest. He loved this business, loved everything about trading horses, but the real joys of his life were his twins Wesley and Addison and wife Nancy. The void his loss has created cannot be filled. He will be missed and he is loved. – John David Christman
Soup was 31-lengths the best storyteller I've ever known. There have been so many tears shed over these last several weeks, but so many of them have come from the laughter of remembering those incredible nights when he'd take over the dinner table with his most legendary tales. His best ones always came at his own expense and often with one of us secretly recording them so we could laugh just as hard about them later. He had the biggest heart of anyone I know, and it was filled to the brim with his love for Nancy and his two children. There's never been a prouder father than Soup, and it's the picture of him beaming with those squinty eyes and impossibly big Soup grin while holding Addison and Wesley that will always be with me. He will be missed every day by those of us who loved him, but I can promise you that his stories will be told wherever horses run and beer is served for as long as any of us are around. We'll try our best to tell them as well as you did, Soupy. – Bret Jones
We are heartbroken
Rest in Peace, Mike https://t.co/cNS6LMAYMp
— South Point Sales (@SouthPointSales) September 16, 2021
We are saddened by the loss of Mike Recio of @SouthPointSales. It was truly an honor to work with him. We send our deepest condolences to his family, friends and everyone in the thoroughbred industry.
— The Green Group (@TheGreenGroupCo) September 17, 2021
Our thoughts and prayers are with the family and many friends of Mike Recio. Mike was more than just a client of Fasig-Tipton, he was a great friend to many of us. Nobody enjoyed traveling to our various sales more than Mike, and we will dearly miss him and his infectious smile. pic.twitter.com/y3WjJBAf32
— Fasig-Tipton (@FasigTiptonCo) September 17, 2021
Mike Recio was a great horseman and most importantly, a great friend to so many. We will remember Mike's energy, enthusiasm and love of life. Our thoughts and prayers are with the Recio family and all of those who were fortunate to call him their friend. pic.twitter.com/FzF7GHsrJs
— Keeneland Sales (@keenelandsales) September 16, 2021
Our industry lost one of its sharpest minds and biggest personalities today, I've lost one of my best friends. First guy I met when I moved to KY 20 years ago, Soup has become family to me as he is to so many of us. Please share your stories and celebrate his life. Love you Mikey pic.twitter.com/2EaKdvuSe3
— Joe Miller (@MillerJoe7) September 17, 2021
Today has been tremendously hard, seeing so many friends of Mike's and knowing how dearly he was loved by his family and friends. I will treasure every beer I had with him. He was a total legend
— Tom Morley (@morley_racing) September 16, 2021
Mike could always put a smile on your face. Will miss him dearly, but my heart goes out to his family and young children 😔 https://t.co/8oPeA67zV5
— Maggie Wolfendale (@MaggieWolfndale) September 16, 2021
Brother we had so many laughs together, conversations, took many a 🏇🏼 trip, & even sold some horses in between. You & Jake were my first 2 friends in Kentucky, Thank you Mike. My 🙏🏼 to Nancy, Wes, Addi, Bill, Ella, Gene, & Katie. Till we meet again, gone too soon my boy❤️ pic.twitter.com/9iFKHT0444
— Ramiro A. Restrepo (@RamiroRestrepo) September 16, 2021
Mike Recio, what a legend. Thank you for all you have done, I will miss seeing your smiling face and energy around the sales. Was always a pleasure to see you. We will hold a glass up to you, cheers 🍻dear friend. #gonetoosoon @SouthPointSales #MikeRecio https://t.co/hAlYgqbRFN
— AtlasBloodstock (@AtlasBloodstock) September 16, 2021
The horse business lost a great ambassador today. Mike Recio was a good man: He will forever be remembered as a hardworking, fun loving character who was good for his word. There's not a sales complex in North America that won't miss his endless enthusiasm and welcoming smile.
— Tom Ryan (@TomRyanKY) September 17, 2021
I have cried a million tears over the past few weeks . Mike @SouthPointSales was an incredible friend and his death has hit me like a ton of bricks. So hard to say goodbye to someone that loved life so much ❤️ God bless his family. I am going to miss you so so so much https://t.co/88mC8bgQOk
— Carrie Brogden (@MachmerHall) September 17, 2021