01/04/2011 1:45PM

Baron Thierry van Zuylen, part owner of Perrault, dies at 78

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Baron Thierry van Zuylen, the Dutch banker who was part owner of Perrault, winner of the 1982 Eclipse Award as best turf horse, died in London on Sunday at the age of 78. Van Zuylen, who owned the Charlie Whittingham-trained Perrault in partnership with Serge Fradkoff, had been a leading figure on the French racing scene for more than 50 years.

The winner of the Grand Prix de Deauville as a 4-year-old in France in 1981, Perrault came to America a year later and won the Arcadia Handicap, the San Luis Rey Stakes, the Hollywood Gold Cup, and the Arlington Million during his championship season. That year, he also crossed the line a nose in front of John Henry in the Santa Anita Handicap, only to be disqualified and placed second. He was retired after breaking down as the second choice in the Marlboro Cup.

Among other horses owned by Van Zuylen was 1963 French champion sire Le Haar, Prix Jacques le Marois and Prix Vermeille winner Astaria, and Grand Prix de Saint-Cloud and Prix du Cadran winner Ramsin. He was the proprietor of Haras de Varaville, where he bred two-time Group 1 winner Voix du Nord. Among his survivors is his sister Marie-Helene van Zuylen, the wife of Baron Guy de Rothschild and the mother of France-Galop president Edouard de Rothschild. His daughter Cordelia van Zuylen is a trainer at Chantilly.