Retired NYRA Chairman Allan R. Dragone Dead

Allan R. Dragone, former chairman of the New York Racing Association, died Aug. 20 after a lengthy illness. He was 80.

"I knew Allan very well and his strong leadership was an important asset during very important times in Thoroughbred racing in this country, and particularly in New York," said NYRA chairman C. Steven Duncker. "We won't forget his contribution."

A Massachuetts native, Dragone received an MBA from Harvard. He eventually served as chairman of Arcadian Corp., Fiber Industries Inc., and president of Akzo. He also was a former vice-chairman of Burlington Industries and president of Celanese Corporation.

"Allan and (NYRA trustee) John Hettinger interviewed me for the NYRA board, and he was chairman when I first came on the board," said NYRA president and chief executive officer Charles E. Hayward. "Allan Dragone was a strong leader with a great passion for Thoroughbred racing. Allan made many contributions to racing in New York. He will be missed but never forgotten."

A member of The Jockey Club, Dragone was a lifelong racing fan who became involved in owning racehorses when he moved to Kentucky in 1965. His December Hill Farm campaigned grade I winner Vergennes and such other graded winners as Ascutney, Changing Ways, Diggins, Delafield, and Pennine Ridge. Other graded winners Added Gold and Old Chapel were raced in partnership.

"I was very fond of him, and he helped me get started," said his former trainer, David Donk. "He was very good to me, but he was good to a lot of people."

Dragone is survived by his wife, Jane, and sons Allan Jr., Peter, and Christopher, and daughters Jennifer and Alyssa.

A funeral Mass will be held Wednesday at 10 a.m. at St. John Roman Catholic Church, 1986 Post Road, Darien, Conn.

In lieu of flowers, the family has asked that donations be made to: Richard L. Rosenthal Hospice Residence, c/o Visiting Nurses and Hospice Care, 1029 E. Main Street, Stamford, Ct. 06905.