04/20/2012 4:15PM

Harold McCormick, an owner of Rachel Alexandra, dies

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Harold McCormick, co-owner of 2009 Horse of the year Rachel Alexandra, died Thursday night, according to an announcement posted online by Stonestreet Stables, the majority partner in Rachel Alexandra.

McCormick, from Birmingham, Ala., was 83. The Stonestreet announcement, posted on the farm’s Facebook page, did not list a cause of death.

McCormick, the former president of Rust Engineering, was a longtime friend of Stonestreet founder Jess Jackson, who died April 21, 2011. The pair formed a partnership, with McCormick holding what he called “a small interest,” to buy Rachel Alexandra privately from Dolphus Morrison after she won the 2009 Kentucky Oaks by more than 20 lengths. It was McCormick’s first foray into racehorse ownership.

The new owners sent the Medaglia d’Oro filly straight to the Preakness Stakes, where she defeated colts and extended a win streak to six. She won three more consecutive races in 2009, including the Haskell and Woodward against males, and clinched the season’s champion 3-year-old and Horse of the Year honors. The 6-year-old mare resides at Stonestreet Farms in Lexington, Ky, now operated by Jackson’s widow, Barbara Banke. Rachel Alexandra produced her first foal, a colt by Stonestreet runner and two-time Horse of the Year Curlin, on Jan. 22 and has been bred back to Bernardini.

In addition to his position with Rust Engineering, McCormick also owned golf courses in Florida and had served as chairman of Bay Point Yacht and Country Club in Florida, a director of First Ireland Spirits Co. in Ireland, and a director of Torchmark Corporation.