George Steinbrenner III, a major breeder/owner and principal owner of the New York Yankees, died the morning of July 13 in Tampa of a heart attack. He had turned 80 July 4.
Steinbrenner owned Kinsman Stud Farm near Ocala, Fla., and raced in the name Kinsman Stable. He raced numerous major winners and started several horses in the Kentucky Derby (gr. I).
His first Derby starter, Steve's Friend, prepped for the 1977 Run for the Roses with a triumph in the Hollywood Derby (gr. I) but proved no match in the Churchill classic against Seattle Slew, the eventual Triple Crown winner.
Steinbrenner’s best chance to win the Kentucky Derby came with Bellamy Road in 2005. The 5-2 favorite by virtue of a commanding score in the Wood Memorial Stakes (gr. I) in New York, Bellamy Road trailed by a head after a mile in the Derby, but gradually weakened and finished seventh.
In the Kinsman name, Steinbrenner bred and/or raced alone or in partnership additional grade I winners Buy the Firm, Dream Supreme, Eternal Prince, Majestic Warrior, Spinning Round, and Sweet Symphony, plus such other graded winners as Acceptable, Concerto, Diligence, Ebony Breeze, Illusioned, Pure Precision, and Sweet Fervor.
Steinbrenner owned Florida Downs, which later became Tampa Bay Downs, and as well as an interest in Balmoral near Chicago. He played a large role in the Florida breeding and racing industry. He served as president of the Florida Thoroughbred Breeders’ Association and was a member of the board of directors of the Florida Thoroughbred Breeders’ and Owners’ Association.
Steinbrenner, who was nicknamed “The Boss” because of his dominating manner during his time with the Yankees, oversaw the team win 11 American League championships and seven World Series titles.
Steinbrenner’s survivors include his wife, Joan; sons Harold and Hank; and daughters Jennifer and Jessica.