08/02/2006 12:00AM

Dixon, owner, dies at 82


F. Eugene Dixon, the owner of Erdenheim Farm outside of Philadelphia and the two-time chairman of the Pennsylvania State Horse Racing Commission, died Thursday morning of cancer at a hospital in Pennsylvania, according to the Jockey Club. He was 82.

Dixon, the grandson of George and Eleanor Widener, was a longtime horse owner and breeder. His most recent stakes win came with Smart Enough in the Beau Genius Stakes at Churchill Downs in June.

In June, Dixon stepped down as chairman of the Pennsylvania Horse Racing Commission after three years at the head of the state body. He had also been the commission's chairman from 1986 to 1997.

From 1976 to 1981, Dixon owned the Philadelphia 76ers professional basketball franchise, and was the former chairman of the Board of Governors of Pennsylvania's State System of Higher Education.