Thistledown Steward Clark Dead at 78

Thistledown steward Bob Clark has died at the age of 78.

Edited release

Veteran racing official Robert “Bob” Clark, a steward at Thistledown since 2006, died early Aug. 7 at the Cleveland VA Medical Center. Clark had been operated on in late July for neck injuries and was reportedly on the road to recovery.

“We spoke to him a week ago, and he sounded great,” said Dick Kinsey, like Clark, an associate steward at Thistledown.

Clark, 78, listed Fairview Park, Ohio, and Largo, Fla., as addresses.

“Bob was a super guy,” said Philip “Butch” Gore Jr., the state steward at Thistledown. “I worked with him for many years. He was a true professional.”

Prior to his arrival at Thistledown, Clark had a long and distinguished career at Tampa Bay Downs and at Detroit Race Course, as both a racing secretary and a steward. Clark retired at Tampa Bay Downs in 2008 following a 30-year career at the Florida track.

“(Clark) began as the claims clerk at Tampa Bay Downs, and served the majority of his career here as a racing secretary,” Tampa Bay Downs vice president and general manager Peter Berube said in a 2008 release. “In his tenure, he guided the track through many improvements, including the installation of our turf course as well as the grading of the Tampa Bay Derby and the Hillsborough Stakes.

“His knowledge of the racing industry was an invaluable contribution to all horsemen racing here in that time period.”

In addition to serving in the stewards’ stand at Tampa and Thistledown, Clark worked from 1978-1998 as a steward in Detroit, and also a year (2008) in the stand at Arapahoe Park in Colorado.

Funeral arrangements for Clark are pending.