08/30/2011 5:19PM

David P. Reynolds, breeder and owner, dies


David P. Reynolds, the longtime Reynolds Metals chairman who bred and raced dual classic winner Tabasco Cat in partnership with the late W. T. Young, has died in Virginia at age 96.

The Richmond Times-Dispatch reported that Reynolds died Monday at the Virginia Commonwealth University Medical Center in Richmond "after a period of declining health."

Reynolds was a son of Reynolds Metals founder Richard S. Reynolds. The younger Reynolds developed the aluminum foil Reynolds Wrap and the now-ubiquitous aluminum beverage can. He was the company's chairman and chief executive officer from 1976 to 1986 and then served as chairman emeritus, retiring from the board in 1995.

By then, Reynolds already had bred and owned a classic winner in Tabasco Cat. He and Young, a Reynolds Metals director, bred the colt in a foal-share agreement in which Reynolds provided his homebred broodmare, the stakes-placed Sauce Boat daughter Barbicue Sauce, and Young put up a season to Storm Cat. The resulting chestnut colt gave the partners two classic victories as breeders and owners when he took the 1994 Preakness and Belmont; he also won four other stakes and earned more than $2.3 million for them.

But Tabasco Cat also was the source of heartbreak. A fiery colt, he was at least as famous for a tragic mishap in which trainer D. Wayne Lukas's son and then-assistant Jeff was critically injured. The year before his classic triumphs, 2-year-old Tabasco Cat got loose from a handler and the younger Lukas stepped out into the shed row to try to stop him, but the colt trampled him. Jeff Lukas suffered serious traumatic brain injury but survived.

Tabasco Cat, later sold to stud in Japan, died of a heart attack in 2004. He was 13.

Though Tabasco Cat was Reynolds's most famous runner, he also bred and raced such notable  horses as multiple graded winners Good and Tough and Lady Dean as well as Grade 2 winner Lord Carson. He also campaigned Grade 1 winner Small Raja, who was bred by another friend, the late Warner Jones, Jr.

Funeral arrangements were incomplete as of Tuesday.

Reynolds, the widower of Margaret Harrison Reynolds, is survived by daughters Margaret R. Mackell and Dorothy Bretherton of Richmond and Julie Swords of Lexington, Ky., as well as six grandchildren and nine great-grandchildren.