Cecilia Straub-Rubens, who was at Churchill Downs for Saturday's victory by Tiznow in the Breeders' Cup Classic, died Tuesday night at Hoag Hospital in Newport Beach, Calif. Straub-Rubens, who owned Tiznow with Michael Cooper, would have been 84 years old next month. According to the Los Angeles Times,
she suffered from cancer.
Cooper, the chief financial officer at the Orange County, Calif., beer distribution company owned by Straub-Rubens, said his partner in Tiznow was hospitalized Monday, one day after returning home from Louisville, Ky. Cooper told the Times
that she died of a heart attack at about 6:15 p.m. (Pacific) while undergoing surgery.
"Those two minutes it took Tiznow to run that race were the best she had felt in a long time," Cooper said. "I think it was Tiznow that kept her going. She went out in style, a true winner."
Trained by Jay Robbins, Tiznow was unraced as a 2-year-old due to an injury and did not win his first career race until May 31 of this year in his third start. Tiznow's victory in the Classic was historic, as he became the first California-bred from 48 such starters to win a Breeders' Cup race. The partners paid $360,000 to supplement Tiznow to the Classic, for which he earned the winner's purse of $2,438,800.
"I'm so happy for Cecilia Straub-Rubens," Cooper told The Blood-Horse after the Classic about the woman who liked to be called Cee. "We've been doing this for 20 years."
Tiznow, whose sire and dam, Cee's Tizzy's and Cee's Song, were bought by Straub-Rubens as yearlings, bred Tiznow's full brother, Budroyale, in a trust. Claimed in his first start, Budroyale finished second in the 1999 Classic, and has career earnings of $2.8 million. Straub-Rubens was voted California Breeder of the Year for 1999.
Straub-Rubens preferred to be called Cee, the name given to many of her horses. For example, the sire of Tiznow is Cee's Tizzy and his dam is Cee's Song.
Straub-Rubens first husband, Orange County beer distributor Arthur (Bud) Straub, was a relative of the Busch beer family of St. Louis. Straub began his horse stable in the early 1960s after cashing a $10,000 daily-double ticket at Del Mar, according to the Times
. Straub-Rubens' second husband, Roy Rubens, whom she married in 1985, accompanied his wife to the Breeders' Cup.