Seymour Cohn, who was a huge part of the New York Thoroughbred Breeding and Racing program for more than half a century, died Thursday morning in New York at the age of 92.
Cohn, the retired chairman of the board of the real estate investment company Sylvan Lawrence Co., owned horses for more than 50 years; at one time, he owned more than 200 racehorses and broodmares. Among his stars were Kashatreya, Cannon Shell, Chasin' Wimmin, Flying Skipper, Light Up New York, Pentelis, Putting Green, and Stolen Zeal.
Kashatreya, a Hindu word meaning "upper class," was by far his best horse. He counted among his victories the 2000 Fall Highweight Handicap (gr. II) at Aqueduct and Belmont Park's 1999 True North Handicap (gr. II).
"Ive been in this business since 1931 and it's always exciting," Cohn said after Kashatreya won the True North at 26-1. "We breed 'em, we raise 'em, and we race 'em."
Kashatreya was a special horse in that he won stakes races after he survived a bout with equine protozoal encephatomyelitis (EPM), a disease that causes damages to a horse's brain, brain stem, and spinal cord.
In later years, Cohn cut back on his stable and contented himself to helping his daughter, Penny Hallman, owner of Merrylegs Farm in Upper Brookville, N.Y.
"He was a wonderful client and kept me supplied with horses," said trainer John Hertler. "He was a very generous man, and we were very lucky together."
Mr. Cohn stood three stallions--Daygata, Mesopotamia, and Hidden Vice--at Highcliff Farm in Delanson, N.Y., where they remain.
"Seymour was with us since 1989, and 'Doc' and I always felt he was our mentor," said Suzie O'Cain, Highcliff's stallion manager. O'Cain, whose husband, Dr. Lynwood O'Cain is the farm's manager and resident veterinarian, also said, "We couldn't have had the success we've had with out him. He was one of the most gracious people I've ever met."
Funeral services for Cohn will be Sunday, Nov. 16, at 9 a.m. at Schwartz Brothers/Jeffers Funeral Home, 11403 Queens Blvd. (corner of 76th Road), Forest Hills, N.Y. Telephone: (718) 776-8100.