James T. Hines Jr., who was looking forward to the spring classics with his homebred colt Lawyer Ron, was found dead Feb. 21 in the indoor swimming pool at his home near Owensboro, Ky. He was 69. Foul play is not suspected, according to the Daviess County coroner.
Lawyer Ron is riding a three-race win streak for trainer Robert Holthus. After winning an optional claiming race by 10 3/4 lengths, he won the Peninsula Gaming's Diamond Jo Stakes at Evangeline Downs in December and the Risen Star Stakes (gr. III) Jan. 14 at the Fair Grounds meeting at Louisiana Downs, both by more than eight lengths.
Raised in Daviess County, Hines founded Premium Allied Tool 40 years ago and later founded several other firms, including Owensboro Manufacturing and MidAmerica Jet, a charter business at the Owensboro airport.
Hines, who started in racing in the mid-1990s, owned about 60 horses, including broodmares boarded at his farm south of Owensboro near Utica. Hines raced four earlier stakes winners, including grade II winner Ruby Surprise and homebred Elusive Chris.
Lawyer Ron was named after Owensboro attorney Ron Bamberger, who is scheduled to meet Feb. 22 with the family to discuss bloodstock matters. If Lawyer Ron runs in the Feb. 25 Southwest Stakes at Oaklawn Park, it will be for the estate.
An autopsy will be conducted Feb. 22.