Retired trainer Kay Erik Jensen, who is believed to be the only rider to win a steeplechase and flat race on a single card, died May 13 at his Warrenton, Va., home. He was 86.
Jensen was the leading flat rider in his native Denmark and in Sweden. He rode and trained for Sweden's King Gustav, and won the 1945 Swedish Derby on Fatima. Jensen came to the United States in 1948.
At old Belmont Park, he rode winners on both the steeplechase course and the flat track on a single card. In 1949, Jensen gave up riding because Marshall Cassidy, then executive secretary of The Jockey Club, informed him that he could not hold both a trainer's and jockey's license.
Jensen, who saddled his first stakes winner in 1950 and his last in 1997, conditioned more than 25 stakes winners, including Golden Don. As a 4-year-old in 1974, Golden Don won the Manhattan (gr. IIT) and Bernard Baruch (gr. IIIT) Handicaps, plus a division of the Brighton Beach Handicap (gr. IIIT). Jensen's other stakes winners included Eternal Will, Greek Lady, High Hat, Heron Cove, and Quiet Step.
High Hat, whose big wins came in the 1968 Bowling Green and Dixie Handicaps on grass, was the second-highest-weighted turf runner that year on the Daily Racing Form free handicap, trailing only the great Dr. Fager. Quiet Step beat one of the greats, Tom Fool, in winning the 1952 Roamer Handicap at Jamaica and captured the important Butler Handicap at that track the following year. In 1984, Jensen sent out Heron Cove to win the Long Island Handicap (gr. IIT) at Aqueduct.
Jensen's survivors include his wife of 41 years, Bland, who doubled as his assistant.