08/18/2009 11:00PM

Churchman dies; trainer was 74


John Churchman Jr., a trainer of two Kentucky Derby starters in the early 1990s, died Tuesday evening in Louisville, Ky., following a lengthy illness. He was 74.

Churchman, who began training in the mid-1960s and was a fixture throughout his career at Churchill Downs, sent out Fighting Fantasy in the 1990 Derby and Wilder Than Ever the following year. Both horses finished 15th.

Among Churchman's top horses was Ice Fantasy, a filly he bred and owned, who won the 1982 Debutante Stakes at Churchill, and Bravoure, winner of the 1988 Cradle Stakes at River Downs. His best years included 1988, when his stable won 26 races and $461,741.

Arrangements are being handled by Nunnelley Funeral Home on Taylor Blvd. in Louisville, with a funeral service scheduled for Friday at noon.