Kentucky Breeder/Owner Robert Congleton Dead
Updated: Thursday, March 31, 2005 12:27 PM
Posted: Thursday, March 31, 2005 12:27 PM
Robert Congleton, whose Hasty Queen II was 1984 Kentucky Broodmare of the Year, died March 29 of heart failure. He was 80.
Congleton owned Hasty Queen II with longtime friend and partner
Robert Courtney Sr., owner of Crestfield Farm near Lexington. Purchased by the two men for $11,000 at the 1972 Keeneland January horses of all ages sale while in foal to Misty Flight, Hasty Queen II produced stakes winners Fit to Fight, Hasty Tam, Michael Navonod, and Playful Queen for them. Hasty Queen II produced two earlier stakes winners for another owner.
Fit to Fight was the best of the group. Campaigned by Paul Mellon, Fit to Fight became only the fourth horse in history to win the New York Handicap Triple, capturing the 1984 Metropolitan (gr. I), Brooklyn (gr. I), and Suburban (gr. I) Handicaps. The earlier winners were Whisk Broom II (in 1913), Tom Fool (1953), and Kelso (1961), all Hall of Famers. Retired with millionaire status, Fit to Fight stands at stud at William S. Farish's Lane's End Farm near Versailles, Ky.
Congleton and Courtney retained Playful Queen, who won the Blue Delight Stakes at Churchill Downs. She later became a broodmare for them.
A Kentucky native who was in the lumber business, Congleton and Courtney bred nine stakes winners. In addition to Playful Queen, they raced additional homebred stakes winner Fearless Dame.
Congleton at one time owned Oakland Farm near Versailles, Ky. His son, John, managed the farm, which was sold about five years ago.
In addition to John, Congleton is survived by his wife of 57 years, Marian, and a daughter Barbara Thornbury, whose husband, Tom, also managed Oakland for a time and currently is associate sales director at Keeneland.
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