Robert Naify

Robert Naify

Benoit Photo

California Owner and Breeder Naify Dies

Naify was a partner in multiple graded stakes winner Cambiocorsa.

Robert Naify, who with his wife, Jan Van de Bos Naify, races in the name of Ran Jan Racing, died April 7 at his home in San Francisco. He was 94.

Ran Jan Racing was a partner in multiple graded stakes winner Cambiocorsa and has continued to breed horses from the mare and her daughters. Homebred Moulin de Mougin, by Curlin  out of Cambiocorsa, won the 2014 John C. Mabee Stakes (gr. IIT); while homebred Schiaparelli, by Ghostzapper  out of Cambiocorsa, captured the 2013 Royal Heroine Mile (gr. IIT).

Robert and his brother, Marshall, grew up in the San Francisco area after their parents emigrated from Syria and Lebanon. The brothers founded the United Artists Theater Chain of movie theaters in the 1920s and later expanded into cable television.

Before his death in 2000, Marshall raced such runners as champion Bertrando, and Robert and Jan entered the racing business when they decided to buy a few horses from Marshall's estate. Those horses included Mackelwane, a son of Bertrando who today is one of several retirees that Jan cares for and rides at their Springtime Farm in Santa Ynez, Calif. The Naifys work with New Vocations in Lexington as part of their commitment to providing homes for all of their racehorses.

Robert and Jan married in 1998 and split their time between Springtime and the San Francisco house Robert grew up in.

"Bob was very proud of the fact that he fought for our country for three years in the European theatre during World War II," Jan said. "He was a Morse Code operator, as well as later being in military government, helping the displaced in Landsburg, Germany."

Robert and Jan have supported the University of California, San Francisco, to help build the Robert Naify Center for Atrial Fibrillation Research.

"Bob's greatest joy, however, was racing and raising his beloved Thoroughbred horses," Jan said. "We were thrilled to be involved as racing (and) breeding partners in California Chrome LLC. Bob and I watched in awe as Chrome showed he was the best in the world (when he won the 2016 Dubai World Cup, UAE-I)."

In addition to his wife, Naify is survived by three children, numerous grandchildren, and two great-grandchildren. His son Robert Naify Jr. died five years ago. Memorial donations may be made to New Vocations.