Breeder/owner Arthur A. Seeligson Jr., whose homebred colt Avatar won the 1975 Belmont Stakes (gr. I), died April 17 in a Houston hospital following a massive stroke. He was 80.
Avatar, who finished second behind Foolish Pleasure in the Kentucky Derby (gr. I), defeated that rival and Preakness (gr. I) winner Master Derby in the Belmont. Avatar had scored a major win earlier in the year in the Santa Anita Derby (gr. I), and as 4-year-old took the San Luis Rey Stakes (gr. IT).
Avatar's half-brother, Unconscious, also was a major winner and ran fifth in the 1971 Kentucky Derby. His big win came in the Charles H. Strub Stakes as a 4-year-old.
A Texas oilman, Seeligson bought the half-brothers' dam, Brown Berry, when she was carrying Unconscious. Brown Berry also produced French group winner Monsiegneur for Seeligson, who raced the colt. Seeligson also owned a part of Hialeah.