Dr. Ronald Chak, breeder of the popular grade I winner Mister Frisky, died Jan. 19 at age 70. An Ocala, Fla., resident, he had experienced poor health for some time, according to Daily Racing Form.
Chak, who graduated from Auburn University's College of Veterinary Medicine, owned Newchance Farm near Ocala, and bred all 24 of his stakes winners in the farm name, some in partnership. Mister Frisky proved the most intriguing.
Mister Frisky, who was sired by Newchance stallion Marsayas, was sent to Puerto Rico to race and won all 12 of his races at 2 in 1989. He was voted Horse of the Year and champion imported juvenile male.
After winning his 3-year-old debut, Mister Frisky was returned to the U.S. and pointed toward the Kentucky Derby (gr. I). Placed with Southern California trainer Laz Barrera, he quickly became a fan favorite by winning three Santa Anita stakes, two of which were graded, to run his record to 16 straight, tying Citation's modern day mark. The story-book drama ended with an unplaced effort in the Churchill classic as the favorite. Mister Frisky rebounded to run third in the Preakness Stakes (gr. I).
Chak's other stakes winners as breeder included graded winners Firey Challenge, Peace Rules, and Run Turn. Peace Rules turned out to be one of the best runners from his crop, scoring important wins in the 2003 Haskell Invitational Handicap (gr. I) and Toyota Blue Grass Stakes (gr. I) and the 2004 Suburban Handicap (gr. I). Peace Rules stands at Vinery near Summerfield, Fla.
Firey Challenge was one of eight stakes winner bred by Chak that were sired by Newchance stallion Fire Dancer. Run Turn was a two-time graded stakes winner at Calder Race Course.
Chak interned at Dr. E.W. Thomas' Matron Farm near Lexington following vet school. He went to Florida to work at Joe O'Farrell's Ocala Stud in the mid-1960s and later started Newchance.
Chak served as a board member of the Ocala Breeders' Sales Co. and the Florida Thoroughbred Breeders' Association. He also was president of the Ocala Veterinarian Association.
Chak is survived by two sons, Mark and Roger; two daughters, Paula and Tamara; and his mother, Blanche.