Prominent Owner Borislow Dies at Age 52

Prominent Owner Borislow Dies at Age 52
Photo: Benoit Photography
Daniel Borislow

Prominent horse owner Daniel Borislow, who recently won a record $6.6 million in Gulfstream Park's Rainbow 6, died July 21 in West Palm Beach, Fla., at age 52.

According to Bloomberg News, Borislow died of a heart attack after playing in a soccer game.

Borislow founded and was former chief executive officer of MagicJack Vocaltec, which was among the pioneers in free phone calls using the Internet, a service that was widely promoted using television infomercials.

Among the horses campaigned individually by Borislow were multiple grade I winner Toccet   and multiple stakes winners Champagne Royal and Dinner in Rio. He also raced stakes winners Talk Is Money, Ultraverse, The Deputy Is Home, and Jimlew.

In partnerships, Borislow raced grade I winners Killer Graces and Kip Deville and Queen's Plate winner Wild Desert.

Borislow, whose handicapping and betting acumen was well-known, collected a payoff of $6,678,939.12 on a $7,603.20 multi-combination wager in the Rainbow 6 wager May 25.

Toccet, the best horse raced by Borislow, was an early 2003 Triple Crown contender on the basis of winning the Hollywood Futurity and Champagne Stakes, both grade I, the previous year, but never made it any of the three classics due to an injury. He was eventually retired to stud at Castleton Lyons and now stands at Mighty Acres in Pryor, Okla.

In order to settle a dispute with the IRS, Borislow dispersed most of his horses in 2004, but emerged the following year to purchase Wild Desert with partners with the goal of winning the Queen's Plate.

The colt's Queen's Plate win ensnared Borislow in a controversy that also involved Rick Dutrow Jr., who trained the son of Wild Rush but was suspended at the time of Canada's most prestigious race. During the term of his suspension, Dutrow's horses were in the care of his assistant, Rudy Rodriguez.

Wild Desert, who ran in the Queen's Plate with the late Hall of Famer Bobby Frankel listed as trainer, showed only two published works between his unplaced finish in the April 16 Arkansas Derby (gr. II) and the Queen's Plate. Wild Desert won at 3-1 odds, down from the 6-1 morning line and Borislow later said he had won $100,000 in wagers on the race.

An investigation revealed that Wild Desert had been secretly working toward the race and Dutrow was eventually suspended 14 days and handed a $25,000 fine by the New York State Racing and Wagering Board for having contact with his assistants while serving that suspension.

In response to the incident and others involving Standardbred horses, the Woodbine Entertainment Group imposed rules providing that horses shipping to the Canadian track for major races be on the grounds 48 hours before entries close for the respective race.

"I wouldn't suggest that there was any wrongdoing with prohibited drugs or non-therapeutic substances (in Wild Desert's case)," WEG president and CEO David Willmot told the Globe and Mail. "What bothered me was the appearance that they had some hidden workouts. And our Queen's Plate looked to the public as if it was just a betting coup for the connections of the horse...We're not pleased with it."

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