03/26/2009 11:00PM

Dreyfus of Hobeau dead at 95


Jack Dreyfus, founder of the Dreyfus Fund mutual fund and of Hobeau Farm in Ocala, Fla., died Friday at age 95, the Associated Press reported.

Dreyfus opened the Dreyfus Fund in the 1950s and developed it into one of the largest mutual funds in the United States. In the Thoroughbred sport, he was best known as owner of Hobeau Farm and owner of four horses famed for upset victories. They were Onion and Prove Out, who beat Secretariat in the 1973 Whitney and the 1973 Woodward, respectively; Handsome Boy, who won the 1967 Brooklyn Handicap over Buckpasser; and Beau Purple, who defeated Kelso three times - in the 1962 Suburban and Man o' War and in the 1963 Widener. Dreyfus also bred Onion, Beau Purple, and Handsome Boy.

Hobeau stallion Beau Gar was the sire of many good Dreyfus runners, among them Beau Purple, Handsome Boy and his full sister Blessing Angelica, and Grade 2 winner Garland of Roses.

More recently, Dreyfus campaigned multiple graded winner Kelly Kip, another homebred, and Grade 2 winner Dice Dancer.

Built on a 1,250-acre former cattle farm Dreyfus bought in 1961, Hobeau Farm grew into one of Florida's largest and most famous breeding and training operations, and its unusual blue fences became iconic. The farm had grown to more than 1,800 acres when Dreyfus sold it to Roy Lerman in 2005 for $12.75 million.

In addition to his Thoroughbred interests, Dreyfus was an expert gin rummy and bridge player. He also was known as a vocal proponent for the use of the drug Dilantin as a treatment for depression and wrote several books on the topic.

Dreyfus died at New York Presbyterian Weill-Cornell Medical Center.