09/16/2015 10:10AM

Former Triple Crown Productions executive Seigenfeld dies

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Ed Seigenfeld, the retired executive vice president for the defunct Triple Crown Productions, died early Wednesday in palliative care in Louisville, Ky., following a brief illness. He was 78.

Seigenfeld guided Triple Crown Productions from 1991 until 2009, when the organization was dissolved because the Kentucky Derby, Preakness, and Belmont Stakes were being televised on different networks. During the company’s heyday, Seigenfeld was a prominent figure whenever a Triple Crown sweep was possible, particularly when a $5 million bonus was being offered by the series sponsor, Visa.

Seigenfeld, a New York native, worked in public relations for United Artists before working nine years (1981-90) as vice president of marketing at the New York Racing Association. From there, he was hired by Triple Crown Productions, a company formed by Churchill Downs in 1986.

Seigenfeld is survived by a son, Phillip, of Boulder, Colo.; a daughter, Lauren Bagull, of Chicago; and three grandchildren. A memorial service will be scheduled at a later date, according to the family.