Track Photographer Jerry Frutkoff Dies

Longtime Maryland track photographer Jerry Frutkoff died Friday from complications of kidney disease and cancer. He was 81.

One of the most popular figures in Maryland horseracing, Frutkoff continued to work at Pimlico and Laurel Park up until the time he was admitted to the hospital in June.

"I know I speak for our entire team at the Maryland Jockey Club when I say how deeply saddened we are to hear of Jerry's passing," said Joe De Francis, President and Chief Executive Officer of the Maryland Jockey Club. "He was truly an institution in Maryland racing and more importantly a wonderful person and a good friend."

He is survived by a son, three daughters and six grandchildren.

His longtime business partner Jim McCue will continue in his stead at the Maryland Jockey Club.

Frutkoff covered 55 Preakness Stakes in his career, from 1948 to 2003, missing only the 1973 middle jewel, and all 43 runnings of the Washington D.C. International (1952-1994).

His most famous photograph happened in 1968 at Laurel Park, when Frutkoff snapped a shot of future stakes winner Irish Course sitting in the starters gate. The picture won a TRA award and graced the back cover of Life Magazine.