Lone Star Sky was one of several graded stakes winner raced by Keefer

Lone Star Sky was one of several graded stakes winner raced by Keefer

Anne M. Eberhardt

Texas Horseman Ted Keefer Dies at 83

Operated Shady Oak Farm training center near Magnolia, Texas.

Texas horseman Raymond "Ted" Keefer, who operated the breaking and training outfit Shady Oak Farm near Magnolia, Texas, died March 15. He was 83.

Keefer grew up near San Antonio and after a term of duty with the armed services, returned to Texas in 1961 and got his trainer license. Early successes allowed him to buy Shady Oak Farm in 1971, according to Daily Racing Form.

Some of the top horses broken and trained by Keefer included 1986 Breeders' Cup Classic (G1) winner Skywalker. He continued training some and won the $100,000 Governor's Day Handicap with Prize Fight during the inaugural opening day at Sam Houston Race Park in 1994.

Keefer also raced as an owner and found the winner's circle often with partners Bill Heiligbrodt and Walter "Buddy" New. Racing as Heiligbrodt & Keefer & New, they campaigned graded stakes winners Appealing Breeze, Lone Star Sky, Prize Fight, Richman, and Southern Rhythm along with black-type winners Lady Di's Princess, Patriotic Prince, and Tempered Halo. Lone Star Sky placed in both the Risen Star Stakes (G3) and the Louisiana Derby (G2) before finishing unplaced in the 2003 Kentucky Derby (G1). The partners raced horses primarily with Keefer's brother Jim, and Lynn Whiting. 

Keefer was preceded in death by his parents; Buck Keefer Sr., and Ruby Lee Nixon Keefer; and his wife Jeananne Keefer.

He is survived by his daughter, Kim Keefer and wife Tina; son, Johnny Keefer and wife Heather; granddaughter, Karla Burton; grandson, Cody Keefer; and great-granddaughter, Kloie Burton.

Graveside services will be held at 10 a.m. March 20 at the Magnolia Cemetery.