Updated on 12/15/2016 12:25PM

Former Churchill executive Sexton dies


Steve Sexton, a former top executive at Churchill Downs who was also heavily involved in the opening of Lone Star Park in Texas, died Monday in Dallas after being diagnosed recently with a brain tumor, according to friends and relatives. He was 57, according to several media reports.

Sexton had worked outside of racing since resigning as an executive vice president at Churchill Downs in 2011 after eight years at the track. Prior to his Churchill post, Sexton was the president of Churchill’s Arlington Park property outside of Chicago.

In a statement released on Monday afternoon, Churchill noted that during his time at the Louisville track, Sexton worked with the Kentucky Chamber of Commerce, Greater Louisville Inc., the Kentucky Derby Museum, and the Permanently Disabled Jockeys Fund.

“Along with his deep experience in horse racing and race track management, Steve brought enthusiasm and boundless energy to everything he touched at Churchill Downs,” said Bill Carstanjen, Churchill’s chief executive, in the statement.

In 1994, after a decade in various management positions at tracks across the country, Sexton was named an assistant general manager of Lone Star Park, which at the time was seeking one of the first Class 1 racetrack licenses in Texas. The track opened in 1997, and Sexton was named executive vice president and general manager of the track in 2000.

Kalli Sexton, his daughter, posted on Facebook on Monday that she “lost my hero today.”

“His goal in life was to help others,” she wrote. “He had a way of leading people that was like no one else. He was the smartest person you could ever meet and seemed to know something about everything. He is the best father, husband, son, boss, mentor, and friend that anyone could ever ask for.”

Sexton most recently served as a managing partner of LOGE, a sports consulting firm and a subsidiary of HKS Architects, an international firm headquartered in Dallas. From early 2014 to late 2015, he served as president and chief executive of Strathmore, a sports and entertainment company that Sexton owned.

Sexton is survived by his wife, Kim; his son, Taylor; and Kalli Sexton.

:: Enjoy news and analysis from DRF? Unlock access to handicapping analysis, real-time coverage, reports, charts, and more. Start your 30-day trial for 1¢. (First-time members only.)