Charles J. Hesse III, a successful New Jersey breeder/owner, died Nov. 13 in New York after a short illness. A New Jersey resident, Hesse raced in partnership with his wife, Marianne, in the name Char-Mari Stable.
"He was a great friend and good for racing," said New Jersey bloodstock agent Buzz Chace. "I knew him for 35 years, and he really loved the business and loved to bet. He was a big supporter of New Jersey racing."
One of Chari-Mari's best runners, Park Avenue Ball, won three stakes at Monmouth Park this year. Bred by Hesse, Park Avenue Ball captured the 2006 Philip H. Iselin Breeders' Cup Handicap (gr. III) and the Frisk Me Now and Skip Away Stakes. His previous stakes wins included victories in the Futurity Stakes (gr. II) at Belmont Park and the Long Branch Breeders' Cup Stakes (gr. III) at Monmouth.
Hesse, who also campaigned runners in the name Beacon Stable and Double H Stable, bred nine stakes winners and raced 15 added-money winners. Storm Tower, Feasibility Study, and Twilight Time were three of his big winners.
Storm Tower raced for a time for Char-Mari and Hesse's friend and business partner, Anthony Tornetta, who at the time was dying of cancer. Hesse had sold a half-interest in Storm Tower to Tornetta at the start of the colt's 3-year-old season.
"The main reason I sold half the horse is because he was dying, and it really gave him a boost those final months," Hesse told The Blood-Horse
Placed on the Triple Crown trail in Florida, Storm Tower won a division of the Fountain of Youth Stakes (gr. II) and after a runner-up finish in the Florida Derby (gr. I), captured the Wood Memorial Stakes (gr. I) at Aqueduct. The plans were to skip the Kentucky Derby (gr. I) and run Storm Tower instead in the Preakness Stakes (gr. I), but Tornetta died the week before the Run for the Roses, and it was decided to run Storm Tower in the Derby in memory of Tornetta. He finished unplaced.
The following year, Storm Tower won the Salvator Mile Handicap (gr. III).
Feasibility Study was a multiple graded stakes winner who earned $869,233. She scored her major wins in 1997 in the Churchill Downs Distaff (gr. II) and Falls City (gr. III) Handicaps and the Turfway Breeders' Cup Stakes (gr. II). Twilight Time, a homebred, scored his big win in the 1999 Cowdin Stakes (gr. II) at Belmont.
Hesse, who was in the construction and sand and gravel business, is survived by his wife, a son, Larry, and a daughter, Laura.