Owner/Trainer Robert Levine Dies

Robert Levine, who saddled Jill Robin L to win the March 5 Bonnie Miss Stakes (gr. II) at Gulfstream Park, died March 17 at the age of 86.

Levine took up training in the mid-1980s to combat boredom following his retirement from the textile business. He had raced horses for nearly 20 years before then and employed his son, Bruce, as trainer.

"The son taught the father," Robert Levine once recalled. "He had some of the horses I owned. He didn't push me into the business, but I was encouraged by what he had done. And I couldn't let him outdo me."

Levine raced Jill Robin L--named for his two daughters--with Robert Braunsdorf. The two men raced in the name of Brandy Hills Farm, and Levine also was a partner in Lightning Stable.

Levine's best horse over the years was Koluctoo's Jill, who won five stakes as a 3-year-old in 1985 while trained by the younger Levine. Owned with Braunsford, Koluctoo's Jill won such added-money races as the Ashland (gr. II) and Black-Eyed Susan (gr. II) Stakes and the Cotillion Handicap (gr. III). Overall, Levine raced more than 10 stakes winners, including homebred Rob's Lady, and trained several of them.

Levine's survivors include Bruce, Jill, and Robin.