Ed Wachtel, a successful New York owner/breeder, died Monday, Dec. 31, from stomach cancer. He was 81.
Wachtel raced numerous stakes winners alone and in partnership including such graded winners as Barbara O'Brien, Dashboard Drummer, Penny's Reshoot, Stalwart Member, and Claramount, who was the 1988 New York-bred Horse of the Year. Claramount developed into a successful stallion in New York.
Stalwart Member, a homebred and a multiple graded stakes winner, was one of Wachtel's favorite horses. Campaigned for a time with Sidney Port, Stalwart Member was beaten a neck by Canadian champion sprinter Langfuhr in the 1997 Carter Handicap (gr. I).
Wachtel's first stakes winner, Hinterland in 1975, raced in the name Exeter Stable. "Exeter was the name of the first horse my dad bet on while growing up," said his son, Adam, a successful owner himself who races in the name Wachtel Stable and won the 2012 Santa Anita Handicap (gr. I) with Ron the Greek as a member of a partnership. "After Exeter, my dad raced for a time in the name E. W. Racing."
Edwin Wachtel, who was the founder, CEO, and president of Members Only, an apparel firm, was a close friend of Hollywood actor Telly Savalas.
"The first horse race I ever won betting, I was a kid and was with my dad, Telly, and (actor) Jack Klugman (who died Dec. 24)," Adam Wachtel said. "The horse was named Shady Character. Wanting to emulate my dad later on, I thought about using the name Shady Character as a name for my racing stable. But I realized a name like that wouldn't go over too well."
Wachtel is survived by three other children, 10 grandchildren, and four great grandchildren.