French Breeder/Owner Daniel Wildenstein Dead at 84

French Breeder/Owner Daniel Wildenstein Dead at 84
Photo: Skip Dickstein
Daniel Wildenstein (right), shown here accepting the Breeders' Cup Classic trophy in 1993 after his horse Arcangues posted an upset win.
Daniel Wildenstein, who won Breeders' Cup (gr. I) races with homebreds Steinlen and Arcangues and raced 1983 Horse of the Year All Along, has died, the Wildenstein Institute said Thursday. Wildenstein, who was one of the world's leading art dealers and collectors, was 84.

French-bred All Along was the first foreign-bred horse to earn Horse of the Year honors in North America. After winning the 1983 Prix de l'Arc de Triomphe (Fr-I), the homebred filly came to this continent and won the Washington, D.C., International (gr. IT), Rothmans International (gr. IT), and Turf Classic (gr. IT) to clinch top North American honors. The following year, she missed by a neck in winning the inaugural Breeders' Cup Turf (gr. IT).

Steinlen was Wildenstein's first Breeders' Cup winner. He took the 1989 Mile (gr. IT) and earned an Eclipse Award as top grass male.

Arcangues came along four years later in the Classic (gr. I). Making his first start on dirt, Arcangues provided his backers with a Breeders'Cup record payoff of $269.20 with his two-length win.

Wildenstein, who bred some of his runners in the name of Allez France Stables, raced the Sea-Bird filly Allez France in the first part of the 1970s. She provided Wildenstein with many great triumphs, including a score in the 1974 Arc. Wildenstein later won the Arc with Sagace in 1984 and with Peintre Celebre in 1997, and his other top performers included Pawneese, Madelia, and Flying Water.

Born on Sept. 11, 1917, in Verrieres-le-Buisson near Paris, Wildenstein was the third in a family dynasty of art dealers who at one point had a network of galleries in Paris, New York, London, Buenos Aires, and Tokyo. Today, the family notably maintains both the Wildenstein Gallery and the Pace Wildenstein Gallery, both in Manhattan in New York City.

Daniel's grandfather, Nathan, born in the Alsace region of eastern France, led the family into the art world, followed by Wildenstein's father, Georges.

Wildenstein, who authored numerous works on artists, including Claude Monet, Edouard Manet and, most recently, Gauguin, is survived by sons Alec and Guy and six grandchildren.

Private funeral services are planned for next week in Paris.

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