01/27/2017 11:20AM

Former owner Bob ‘Country' Roberts dies at 79

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Bob “Country” Roberts, who was a prominent Thoroughbred owner in the 1990s with his wife, Bea, has died in Las Vegas following an illness, according to friends. He was 79.

Based in Kentucky, Country and Bea Roberts owned a sizable stable that employed Gary Hartlage, Stanley Hough, and Steve Margolis as trainers before dispersing most of their equine holdings in 1999 and 2000 and moving to Las Vegas in 2002.

Their top horses included Judge TC, the winner of the 1995 Clark Handicap at Churchill Downs, and Request for Parole, who was fifth in the 2002 Kentucky Derby before ending his career with more than $1.37 million in earnings. Their other stakes winners included Meter Maid, Princess Willow, and Tres Coronas.

Country Roberts grew up in Shelbyville, Ky., and made a fortune in construction before entering the racing business.

“He was one of the most generous and well-liked men I ever knew,” Margolis said.

There will be no memorial service.