Owner-breeder John C. Mabee suffered his second stroke in two years Sunday and was listed in critical condition Friday while breathing with the aid of a respirator. According to an Associated Press report, Mabee suffered the stroke Sunday while showering at his Golden Eagle Farm in Ramona, Calif. He was discovered by his wife, Betty.Mabee, the Del Mar Thoroughbred Club's former president and chairman, had another stroke two years ago. Mabee, a founding member of the Del Mar Thoroughbred Club, stepped down from his role as chairman last year. Mabee, 80, was in the original group of California owners and breeders who founded Del Mar Thoroughbred Club in 1970 to take over the operation of Del Mar racetrack and its summer race meet. He assumed the role of DMTC's president in 1978, then in 1990 became the group's chairman to help lead an $80-million rebuilding of the track's facilities. He is currently holds the title Director Emeritus at Del Mar. He was joined on the DMTC board earlier this year by Betty, his wife of 60 years.Through the years, the Mabees have campaigned such celebrated graded stakes winners as General Challenge, Dramatic Gold, Excellent Meeting, Event of the Year, Souvenir Copy, and Worldly Manner.
Their success on the track has earned the Mabees three Eclipse Awards in the 1990s as the nation's outstanding breeders; six Thoroughbred Owners and Breeders' Association awards in the 1990s as California's leading breeders, and were the leading North American owners in 1992.