Mary Lou Wootton, who bred Kentucky Derby (gr. I) winner and champion Silver Charm, died in her sleep Feb. 3 at her Long Island, N.Y., home from pancreatic cancer. She was 69.
In addition to breeding Silver Charm, Wootton campaigned graded stakes winner Firey Challenge. The latter scored her big win in the 1987 Prioress Stakes (gr. III) over grade I winner Up the Apalachee at Belmont Park.
Silver Charm came close to winning the Triple Crown. Following his Derby win, he captured the Preakness Stakes (gr. I), then finished second in the Belmont Stakes (gr. I). His big triumph as a 4-year-old came in the Dubai World Cup (UAE-I). He was an Eclipse Award winner both years.
Wootton served 10 years as a director of the New York Horsemen's Benevolent and Protective Association. She also served as treasurer of the New York State Jockey Injury Compensation Fund. She chaired the HBPA scholarship fund that awards scholarships to backstretch employees and was a director of an alcohol abuse program for backstretch workers at the New York Racing Association tracks.
Wootton's survivors include her husband of 46 years, Gordon, and a son, Michael, and a daughter, Jennifer.
A memorial service is planned Feb. 26 at Bridgehampton Presbyterian Church, Bridgehampton, N.Y. Contributions may be made to Johns Hopkins University, Attn: Dr. Ralph H. Hruban, JHMI Weinberg 2242, 401 North Broadway, Baltimore, Md., 21231-2410.