Owner and breeder Edward P. Evans, who campaigned dozens of stakes winners in New York through the years, including 2010 Grade 1 Metropolitan Handicap and Grade 1 Woodward winner Quality Road, died Dec.31 at Mount Sinai Hospital in New York. He was 68.
“Edward Evans was one of the most prominent horsemen on the New York circuit and you would be hard pressed to find someone more passionate about horses and horse racing,” said NYRA President and CEO Charles Hayward. “Among many graded winners in New York over the years, I particularly enjoyed watching Quality Road compete, setting a new track record at Saratoga and winning prestigious races such as the Met Mile and Woodward. It is not going to be the same without his presence at the NYRA tracks, and he will be sorely missed throughout the industry.”
The son of thoroughbred owner Thomas Mellon Evans, Evans had his first major New York stakes winner in 1980, when Misty Galore won the Berlo, the Distaff, the Bed o’Roses and the Hempstead (later renamed the Ogden Phipps). Other outstanding horses who carried Evans’ distinctive yellow-and-black colors include Dismasted, winner of the 1986 Flower Bowl and Long Island; Raging Fever, who won eight stakes from 2000-2002 including the Ogden Phipps, the Distaff, the Frizette and the Matron; Summer Colony, winner of the 2002 Personal Ensign, and Gygistar, victorious in the 2002 Riva Ridge, Dwyer and King’s Bishop.
More recently, Evans was the leading owner in earnings in 2010 at Saratoga Race Course with seven winners of more than $1.2 million, including Malibu Prayer, who took the Grade 1 Ruffian, and A Little Warm, winner of the Grade 2 Jim Dandy, as well as Quality Road. For the year, he ranked seventh among North American owners with earnings of $3,617,508.
“He was a terrific owner for us and our stable and he cared greatly about his horses,” said Todd Pletcher, who trained the recently retired Quality Road and Malibu Prayer for Evans. “He was a tremendous person for the sport and loved the game, and took great pride and pleasure in breeding, raising, and racing his horses.”
The former chairman and CEO of Macmillian publishing group, Evans bought the core of his 3,000-acre Spring Hill Farm in Casanova, VA., in 1969, and went on to become Breeder of the Year in that state nine times. In 2002, he shared the Ogden Phipps Award for Outstanding Breeder from the New York Turf Writers Association with the Phipps family, and in 2009 was chosen as Breeder of the Year by the Thoroughbred Owners and Breeders Association. He bred more than 100 stakes winners, including 2005 Horse of the year Saint Liam.
A member of the Jockey Club, Evans was the leading owner on The New York Racing Association, Inc. (NYRA) circuit at the 2000 Belmont Park spring/summer meet and the 2000 Saratoga meet, as well as taking the 2001, 2002 and 2004 Aqueduct spring meets.
Evans, who received his MBA from Harvard University, was a 1964 graduate of Yale University, to which he donated $50 million last week.
Funeral services will be private.