Stonereath Farm's Darrell Brown Passes Away

Darrell Brown, who owned and operated Stonereath Farm in Bourbon County, Kentucky, for four decades, has passed away. He was to turn 88 years old next month. Born Dec. 14, 1934, to Joseph and Ona Brown in Oklahoma City, Brown grew up during the Oklahoma dust bowl and attended school in a one-room schoolhouse in Mustang, Oklahoma, before proceeding to public school and the University of Oklahoma. He flew in the Air Force during the Vietnam War, delivering helicopter blades to Da Nang and also transporting caskets back to the...

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Herb Moelis of Delaware's CandyLand Farm Dies at 91

Funeral services were held Sunday for Herb Moelis, who bred, raced and sold horses for parts of five decades at the CandyLand Farm he founded in Middletown, Delaware. He was 91 and had recently suffered a bout of pneumonia as a complication from a years-long battle against Parkinson's disease. Known for his passion for the sport, an even-keeled nature, and quiet, steadfast generosity, Moelis helped to create the Thoroughbred Charities of America (TCA), which since 1990 has distributed over $26 million to over 200 approved organizations. Mike Palmer, who over...

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Owner of Champions Willis Horton Dies

Willis Horton, an owner and breeder in Thoroughbred racing for decades whose Willis Horton Racing campaigned champions Will Take Charge (Unbridled's Song) and Take Charge Brandi (Giant's Causeway), passed away Friday at the age of 82 after a bout with COVID-induced pneumonia. The news was first reported by Daily Racing Form. Originally from Zach, Ark., Horton grew up on a farm and competed in rodeos. His wife of 64 years, Glenda, had a similar upbringing, and the two owned quarter horses before branching out into the world of Thoroughbreds. Horton's...

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Longtime Horseman Jack Willis Dies

Clarence H. Willis III, better known as Jack, a longtime horseman and assistant in racing on the East Coast, died Monday at the age of 81. Willis worked for the prominent Bostwick family in Aiken, SC before going on to work for the Phipps family under trainer Angel Penna, Sr. in the 1980s. He oversaw all of the powerhouse stable's yearlings and some layups in Aiken before moving north to help manage the Phippses' racing stable on the New York circuit of Belmont and Saratoga. Some of the more well-known...

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Longtime Mid-Atlantic Sale Vet Randall Brandon Dies

Randall Gatlin Brandon, 80, passed away Aug. 15, 2022 in his hometown of Camden, South Carolina. He was the son of the late Gatlin Randall and Frances Johns Brandon. Randy  is survived by his wife Kirsty May Brandon, daughters Julie Carter (Andrew) and Lisa Boyle, both of Portland, Oregon, grandchildren Katie and Emma Carter, brothers Dr. Jeff Brandon (Nancy) of Palm Coast, Florida and Kyle Brandon of El Paso, Texas. He graduated from Washington State University and followed with an internship at Auburn University. After completing his internship, he was...

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Taking Stock: Hickey's One-Man Show Produced Buck's Boy, Lady Shirl

The news last week of P. Noel Hickey's death Aug. 8 at 94 was a reminder of how much racing has changed over the years. Hickey owned a stud farm in Ocala, Irish Acres; stood his own stallions that he patronized; bred the runners he raised and raced; and trained them, including one Eclipse Award winner and another near champion, both foaled in Illinois and from stock far off the perimeter of prevailing fashion. Who does that these days? Back in the day, it wasn't unusual to see regional areas...

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Breeders' Cup Winning Trainer Noel Hickey Dies

Trainer, owner and breeder Noel Hickey, who was the first trainer to breed a Breeders' Cup winner when Buck's Boy captured the GI Breeders' Cup Turf in 1998, died Monday at the age of 94. Blood-Horse first reported the story. The Irish-born Hickey, who raced under the name of Irish Acres Farm, his Ocala breeding operation, trained for over four decades and had his best success at Arlington Park. He won the 1990 training title at the Chicago-area track with 49 winners, all of whom were homebreds. He trained his...

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Ellis Director of Racing Jeff Hall Dies

Jeff Hall--Ellis Park's popular director of racing operations who began his more than 50 years at the track by parking cars as a teenager--passed away Saturday morning at University of Louisville Health-Jewish Hospital. He was 75. A lifelong resident of Henderson, Hall was known for his strong local connections in the Tri-State region, his deep love of horse racing and his knowledge of how the different components of a track worked and were interrelated. "When we lost Jeff Hall, we lost on both sides of the river," said Ellis Park-based...

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Longtime NYRA Employee Eddie Brown Dies

Eddie Brown, who worked for many years at Aqueduct Racetrack, Belmont Park and Saratoga Race Course, most recently as the New York Racing Association's assistant clerk of scales, has passed away, NYRA announced Sunday. Brown, who was 85, retired in 2019 and lived in Seaford, NY. A racetrack to the core, Brown turned a childhood love of horse racing into a career on the track that lasted more than 65 years. He was a throwback, a colleague with great reverence for the sport, an encyclopedic knowledge of its history and...

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Acclaimed Florida Horseman Luke McKathan Passes Away

James Bryan "Luke" McKathan, Sr., the patriarch of one of Florida's most successful racing families and an accomplished horseman and pinhooker, died Feb. 14 at the age of 89. According to a lengthy profile on the McKathan family in a 2004 edition of the Florida Horse magazine, Luke McKathan was born and raised on a family farm in Alabama, where he picked cotton, and left home at 13 in search of a better life. He began his career in racing with Standardbreds and found a job with legendary harness racing...

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Prominent NY Horsewoman O'Cain Passes Away

Suzie O'Cain, one of the most well-known and unique personalities in the Thoroughbred industry in New York and who managed the late Carl Lizza's Highcliff Farm in Delanson for 23 years alongside her husband Dr. C. Lynwood 'Doc' O'Cain, passed away Jan. 4 in Saratoga Springs following a battle with breast cancer. Born in Madison, Wisconsin and raised in Mississippi, Suzie O'Cain attended the state university in Oxford and later graduated with a Bachelor's degree in education from The Ohio State University. "We met in Louisiana and were married in...

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Trainer Morris Nicks Dies at 74

Morris G. Nicks, who trained for parts of six decades, primarily in Arkansas, Louisiana and Kentucky, died Nov. 25 at his home in Waskom, Texas. He had been fighting cancer and was 74 years old. His passing was confirmed by his wife Ellen in a Daily Racing Form story that broke the news Sunday. His son, the trainer Ralph Nicks, told DRF that his father had requested no funeral services to be held. According to DRF, Nicks grew up on a farm in Texas and galloped horses and rode in...

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