Noted Horseman Tom Gentry Dies At 80

Longtime horseman Tom Gentry, who worked in many aspects of the Thoroughbred industry including as an owner, breeder, consignor and racing official, died Oct. 31. He was 80.

As reported in the BloodHorse, Gentry became enamored with horse racing at an early age, after a trip to Keeneland with his father, Olin. The younger Gentry developed his salesmanship skills as a teenager, when he borrowed $3,000 from his father to buy a broodmare. He later sold the broodmare, Rancor, in foal to Olympia, for $20,000.

The charismatic Gentry was a skilled horseman, but became well-known as a talented salesman and consignor. In 1979, Gentry sold a yearling for $1.6 million, a world record at the time. In 1988, he sold a yearling colt by Nijinsky II for $3.5 million, the highest-price yearling sold at public auction. That yearling later developed into Royal Academy, champion European miler and winner of the G1 Breeders’ Cup Mile.

Gentry also worked as a racing official in New Jersey, Florida, and Illinois and served on several commissions and boards, including the Kentucky State Racing Commission and at the Kentucky Horse Park.

Gentry is survived by his two children and five grandchildren.

Visitation is scheduled for Nov. 2 at Milwards Funeral Home at 159 N. Broadway in Lexington. A funeral mass will be held Nov. 3 at 10 a.m. at St. Paul Catholic Church on Short Street. The burial will be private.

Read more in the BloodHorse

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