Bertram Klein, who had much success as a breeder and owner—along with his late wife, Elaine, and son, Richard—died March 24. He was 86.
"He died of a broken heart," Richard Klein said, referencing his late mother, who died in 2013.
"The three of us never had a cross word (about the racing business)," he added. "It gave us such joy and pleasure. Everybody seemed to know those lime green silks with the black stripes. Everywhere you go, everybody knows the 'Bertie' horses—that was something my father came up with.
"It could not have been a better partnership in a business like this. I know my father's wish is that I continue to race and carry on the Klein tradition. I will definitely continue in some phase of it."
From their Louisville base, the Kleins campaigned a number of graded stakes winners in their familiar lime green and black diamond silks, including grade 1 winner Outofthebox and multiple graded stakes winners Allamerican Bertie, Hurricane Bertie, De Bertie, Swept Away, Miz Ida, and Cash Control. The family also raced stakes winner Due Date, who stands at Peach Lane Farm in Louisiana.
Richard and Elaine put together their own racing stable in 1987, which Richard has been running since his parents' retirement. Bertram, who ran his own outfit of mostly claiming horses, combined forces with his son and wife in 1998.
Bertram scored his first stakes win in 1993, when Obeida won the Ta Da Stakes at River Downs with trainer Bernie Flint.
"Bernie said I grabbed that trophy and ran with it like it was a football in my arms," Bertram Klein told BloodHorse in 2012.
Since then, the family has visited the winner's circle many more times, going on to race more than 80 stakes winners. Most recently, Richard and Bertram's homebred Believe in Bertie won two stakes this year at Fair Grounds Race Course & Slots.
Funeral arragements are scheduled for March 28 at The Temple Adath Israel Brith Sholom in Louisville. In leiu of flowers, the family asks that donations be made to the Grayson-Jockey Club Foundation for the Elaine Klein Career Development Award.