At a mile and a half, the Belmont Stakes (gr. I) has always been considered the true test of stamina and ability among Thoroughbreds, according to leading horsemen from the 1960s.
Ralph G. Kercheval, who managed Alfred G. Vanderbilt's Sagamore Farm in Maryland during the days of Native Dancer, died Oct. 6 in Lexington after a long illness.
John T. von Stade, the longest-tenured president in the history of the National Museum of Racing and Hall of Fame in Saratoga Springs, N.Y., completed 16 years of service Aug. 11 and was named chairman of the museum's Board of Trustees.
Ivor G. Balding, who trained for prominent breeder/owner C.V. Whitney, died Jan. 21 at his Camden, S.C., home.
Arkansas-based stallion State Dinner, sire of champion and millionaire Family Style, died Sunday of a heart attack at Frazier's Farm near Bonnerdale. "He was watching the mares and babies go by when he collapsed," said Patsy Frazier, who owns the farm with her husband, Dude. "He was 26 years old, but looked like a 10-year-old."
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