Loyd Gentry, who trained Graustark, Kauai King and Proud Clarion, the 1967 Kentucky Derby winner who held one of the race’s fastest times, died July 1, 2012 in Lexington, Kentucky of heart failure. He was 87 and lived in Stuart, Florida and Lexington, Kentucky. Gentry was born in Covington, Kentucky, on January 19, 1925 and earned the nickname Boo in early childhood while hanging onto the trousers of his father and uncle Olin. He grew up in Versailles, Indiana on his grandmother’s farm, attending school during the winter months and joining his parents on the racetrack during the summer. He came into thoroughbred horse racing naturally. His father twice rode in the Kentucky Derby as a jockey before turning to training and was North America’s leading trainer in 1929. His uncle, Olin Gentry, managed Col. E.R. Bradley’s farm and was instrumental in breeding 188 stakes winners, twenty champions, and nine classic winners, including six Kentucky Derby winners. Loyd Gentry’s thoroughbred training career spanned six decades and linked him to racing’s most prestigious names and stables. In the 1950s, he was head trainer for Captain Harry F. Guggenheim’s Cain Hoy Stable. The Guggenheim years were filled with fanfare, owing to the captain’s great wealth and political power. During a nine day period in 1955, Gentry won the Blue Grass Stakes at Keeneland with Racing Fool, the Derby Trial Stakes with Flying Fury, the Kentucky Oaks with Lalun, and ran fourth in the Kentucky Derby with Racing Fool. Despite these wins, Gentry missed being at the center of racing activity and eventually returned to central Kentucky. His record speaks for itself. He won the Princess Pat in 1960 with Rose Bower at Arlington Park and the important Matron Stakes at Belmont Park. He ran in the Kentucky Oaks three times, winning twice with Lalun in 1955 and Hail to Patsy in 1969, and running second in 1971 with Himalaya. His trainees, Umbrella Fella and Royal Gunner won a number of two year old races, finishing 2-3 in the Arlington –Washington Futurity in 1966 for Mike Ford. He trained Dinner Partner for Ralph Wilson, owner of the Buffalo Bills, winning stakes with her. She later became broodmare of the year in 1989 and produced a number of superb winners. Gentry trained for the stables of John A. Bell III, Leslie Combs and John Haynes, John W. Galbreath, Louis L. Haggin II, John D. Hertz, Mike Ford, Ralph Wilson and George S. Humphrey, Secretary-Treasurer of the United States. He trained Kauai King as a two year old, breaking his maiden with him before giving up his public stable to train privately for John Galbreath, turning over Kauai King to his good friend Henry Forest . Kauai King later went on to win the Kentucky Derby and the Preakness in 1966. Perhaps the fastest and best known horse Gentry trained was Graustark, who was undefeated until his last race and whose popularity was legendary in the media and with fans wherever Graustark went. Until his death, Gentry continued to breed and train thoroughbreds in the racing mecca that is a hallmark of central Kentucky. Gentry served in the U.S. Coast Guard during World War II and obtained his training license when the war ended. His first winner was a colt named Big Head at Tijuana, Mexico in 1946 and his first stakes horse was Tomas winning at Fort Erie, Ontario. Loyd was a member of the Thoroughbred Club of America, the Mariner Sands Country Club and the Idle Hour Country Club. He was preceded in death by his first wife Katherine Clark Gentry, as well as his only son, Loyd III. He is survived by his wife Diane M. Curry, cousins Tom Gentry, Olin Gentry, Kathleen Spears, Anne Eberhardt Keogh and Daniel Eberhardt of Lexington, Kentucky. Friends may call after 2 pm Sunday at Milward-Broadway until time for the memorial service at 4 pm. Memorials may be made to Chrysalis House, 1589 Hill Rise Drive, Lexington, KY40504; KentuckyEquineHumaneCenter, P.O. Box 910124, Lexington, KY40591; and CardinalHillRehabilitationCenter, 2050 Versailles Road, Lexington, KY40504.
Services will be held at:
Milward Funeral Directors - Broadway
159 N. Broadway
Lexington, KY 40507
Service scheduled for Sunday, July 8, 2012
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