08/19/2002 11:00PM

Kentucky breeder Clay dies

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LEXINGTON, Ky. - Albert Clay, breeder of Grade 1 winners Albert the Great and Pompeii, died at his home in Mt. Sterling, Ky., on Aug. 20. He was 85.

Clay bred 20 stakes winners, either alone or in partnership. Among the most notable runners to emerge from his program were Albert the Great, winner of the 2000 Jockey Club Gold Cup; Pompeii, winner of last year's Personal Ensign Handicap; and 1976 Strub Stakes winner George Navonod. He also was a co-breeder of 1990 Kentucky Oaks winner Seaside Attraction and multiple Grade 1 winner Gorgeous.

Clay was among the founders of the American Horse Council, the equine industry's federal lobbying group, in 1969. A leader in the tobacco industry, he was chairman and president of the Burley Auction Warehouse Association for 25 years.

Clay's survivors include his wife, Lorraine Newlin Clay; two sons, Robert Clay, owner of Three Chimneys Farm in Midway, Ky., and John Clay, also a Kentucky Thoroughbred breeder; and a daughter, Charlotte Clay Buxton. A memorial service is scheduled for 2 p.m. Friday at the First Christian Church in Mt. Sterling.