LOS ANGELES — B. Wayne Hughes, the founder and chairman of Public Storage whose ardour for horse racing culminated with a victory by Genuine within the 2020 Kentucky Derby and Breeders’ Cup Basic, died Wednesday. He was 87.
Hughes died at house at Spendthrift Farm in Lexington, Kentucky, in accordance with an announcement posted on the farm’s web site. No explanation for dying was offered.
He bought the historic 700-acre farm in 2004 and relocated from Southern California to revive its identify and land, returning Spendthrift to prominence as a business breeding operation.
Final yr, Authentic pulled away down the stretch to win the Kentucky Derby by 1 1/4 lengths in Hughes’ fiftieth yr as a thoroughbred proprietor. The three-year-old colt was educated by Corridor of Famer Bob Baffert, who earned his record-tying sixth victory within the race.
Baffert first met Hughes when he arrived at Santa Anita from Arizona and switched from coaching quarterhorses to thoroughbreds full-time in 1991.
“I had a cowboy hat and he would invite me to breakfast with him and 5 different trainers,” Baffert instructed The Related Press. “I listened to the tales and obtained to know him after I had one horse. I by no means thought I might prepare for him.”
Final yr, Hughes partnered with an upstart on-line possession group known as Myracehorse.com, which supplied anybody who paid $206 a microshare possession curiosity in Genuine. Over 5,300 folks purchased in.
“By folks shopping for a small curiosity, it will connect them to the sport,” Corridor of Fame coach Richard Mandella instructed the AP. “He thought that may make some devoted followers, not simply informal.”
Sporting Hughes’ purple-and-orange colours, Genuine went on to win the BC Basic, and Hughes attended at Keeneland to simply accept the trophy in a crowded winner’s circle. The colt additionally gained the Eclipse Award as Horse of the 12 months.
“He is actually going to be missed as a result of he made such an impression on the business,” Baffert stated. “He wished to rejuvenate the game.”
Amongst Hughes’ different notable horses had been Motion This Day, the 2003 BC Juvenile winner and 2-year-old champion; and Beholder, considered one of three feminine horses in historical past to be a four-time Eclipse champion. She gained three Breeders’ Cup races, amongst her 11 Grade 1 stakes victories. She stands at Spendthrift as a broodmare.
“He was very blessed, and he knew it,” stated Corridor of Fame jockey Mike Smith, who rode Beholder as soon as. “He is carried out a lot for horse racing, and the horses, too.”
Mandella, who educated Beholder throughout her complete profession, recalled Hughes’ equanimity in a sport the place the losses far outnumber the victories.
“When issues went dangerous, he sucked it up,” Mandella stated, “and we went on to the subsequent mission.”
Born Bradley Wayne Hughes on Sept. 28, 1933, in Gotebo, Oklahoma, he was the son of a sharecropper. He moved to Southern California as a toddler and was launched to horse racing by his father who took him to Santa Anita for the primary time at age 11.
Identified all his life by his center identify, Hughes constructed his well-known work ethic from a younger age, delivering newspapers as a youngster to assist pay for tuition on the College of Southern California, the place he graduated in 1957. He was inducted into the varsity’s Athletic Corridor of Fame in 2012 and was a serious donor. He additionally served within the Navy.
Hughes was founder and chairman of Public Storage, one of many largest self-storage firms within the U.S. He was president and co-CEO earlier than retiring in 2002, when he turned his consideration full-time to racing.
“He was the primary billionaire I ever met and also you by no means would have identified it,” Baffert stated. “He was profitable, however he by no means stop. He had a lot power.”
Hughes created and funded the Parker Hughes Most cancers Middle in Minnesota, named for his youngest son who died in 1998.
He’s survived by spouse Patricia, son Wayne Jr., and daughter Tamara Gustavson. He was preceded in dying by dad and mom William and Blanche.