William Boniface, Patriarch of Bonita Farm, Dead

William Boniface, a retired racing editor for the Baltimore Sun and patriarch of one of Maryland's most prominent racing families, died Sept. 1 after a short illness. He was 89.

Boniface reported on more than 40 runnings of the Preakness Stakes (gr. I) for the Sun but the one that he and his family experienced shortly after his retirement in the early 1980s was the fulfillment of one of his dreams. The 1983 running was won by Deputed Testamony, who was a product of the family's Bonita Farm, being bred in the farm name and foaled at that Maryland property. Raised at Bonita near Bel Air, Deputed Testamony raced for owner Francis P. Sears and was trained by Boniface's son, J. William Boniface, who goes by Billy. William Boniface went by Big Bill.

Deputed Testamony resides at Bonita, now located near Darlington, Md., where he holds the title of oldest living Preakness winner.

The Bonifaces came close to winning another Preakness two decades later. Oliver's Twist, who was bred by Bonita and raced for Charles Oliver, ran a fine second in the 1995 running to Timber Country.

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