Death of leading
breeder Betty Mabee
BETTY Mabee, who developed the leading Californian breeding operation Golden Eagle Farm with her late husband John, has died at the age of 88.
The Mabees entered racing in the late 1950's after purchasing two yearlings at the Del Mar yearling sale and went on to breed over 170 stakes under the banner of Golden Eagle Farm, which was named after the couple's insurance company.
At its peak, the Golden Eagle operation encompassed over 400 head of stock in California and another 150 based in Kentucky.
Topping the Mabees many equine successes was the 1991 Pacific Classic winner Best Pal, who retired as the earner of $5.6 million. Also on the Golden Eagle roll of honour are the Grade 1 winners Beau's Eagle, General Challenge and the filly Excellent Meeting, who went off favourite for the 1999 Kentucky Derby after taking the Santa Anita Oaks.
The Mabees won the Eclipse Award as outstanding breeder in 1991, 1997 and 1998.
John Mabee's prominence in the industry extended to serving as a founding member of the Breeders' Cup board of directors and member of the Jockey Club. He was also president and chairman of the board at Del Mar, which under his influence grew into one of the most popular Californian tracks.
Betty Mabee joined the Del Mar board as a director in 2002 following the death of her husband.
Mabee is survived by son Larry and three grandchildren.