Retired trainer James P. Simpson III, who trained grade I winner Cormorant and sold the dam of Preakness Stakes (gr. I) winner Magic Weisner to Nancy Alberts for $1, died Sept. 16 at his Winchester, Va., home. He was 82.
Cormorant was one of 17 stakes winners trained by Simpson. Cormorant scored his major win in the 1977 Jersey Derby (gr. I) and finished fourth to Seattle Slew in that year's Preakness. Alberts worked for Simpson at the time, and Cormorant was one of the horses she groomed. Simpson also bred, owned, and trained graded stakes winner Toes Knows.
The deal in which Alberts bought Magic Weisner's crooked-legged dam, Jazema, for a $1 seems like something from a bygone era. Following her retirement from racing, Jazema became a broodmare for Alberts, and Magic Weisner was her second foal. Magic Weisner not only finished a close second in the Preakness, but later won the Ohio Derby (gr. II). He has earned $888,110.
Simpson, a veteran of the Army and Air Force, is survived by his wife, Nancy, plus sons James IV and Peter.