Tom Roach, who operated his family’s Parrish Hill Farm near Midway, Ky., died Sept. 3 after a long illness. The 63-year-old horseman co-bred 1999 Horse of the Year and champion 3-year-old male Charismatic.
Thompson Marcus Roach II was born May 26, 1948 and lived in his hometown of Midway, Ky. for most of his life. A graduate of Duke University, he attended the University of Kentucky’s law school when he left to run the family’s Parrish Hill Farm in 1974.
The farm, originally called Village View, was established in 1908 by Roach’s great, great uncle James Ware Parrish.
Roach and his father, the late Dr. Ben F. Roach, were co-breeders along with William S. Farrish of 1999 Horse of the Year and Kentucky Derby (gr. I) and Preakness Stakes (gr. I) winner Charismatic. Charismatic was out of Roach’s mare, Bali Babe. Roach also bred inaugural Breeders’ Cup Distaff (gr. I) winner and 1984 champion older female Princess Rooney.
Other graded stakes winners include Millennium Wind, Storm Tower, Tossofthecoin, Cormorant, Lawyer Talk, Inca King, and Queen of Song. The breeding of current millionaire and multiple grade I turf runner Get Stormy was planned by Roach for his longtime client and dear friend, Mary Sullivan. Get Stormy was born and raised at Roach’s Parrish Hill Farm until he left to be broken for racing. Volponi, the winner of the 2002 Breeders’ Cup Classic (gr. I) was also foaled at Parrish Hill Farm.
After the sale of the original Parrish Hill Farm in 2008 to Mike Moreno of Southern Equine Stables, Roach and his wife, Robyn, continued their breeding, sales, and racing operation on their farm near Versailles, Ky., also called Parrish Hill, where Roach resided at the time of his passing.
Roach is survived by his wife, Robyn Pulley Roach; two daughters, Amanda Roach and Hallie Lewis; a son-in-law, Drew Lewis; grandson, Parrish Lewis; sisters, Julia Roach and Helen Rentch; and a brother, James Roach; along with many nieces, nephews, brothers-in-law and sisters-in-law.