04/11/2014 4:37PM

Long-time owner Lathrop Hoffman dies at 89

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Lathrop Hoffman bred the multiple stakes winner Trailthefox, shown taking the 2000 running of the Arlington-Washington Futurity.

ARCADIA, Calif. -  Lathrop Hoffman, a Southern California car dealer who owned Thoroughbreds for more than three decades, died in Sierra Madre, Calif., on April 2 of natural causes, according to the Santa Anita publicity department.

Hoffman was 89.

Hoffman had an involvement in Thoroughbred racing dating to the early 1980s when he was part of the partnership that owned the millionaire and multiple stakes winner Erins Isle. An import from Ireland, Erins Isle won such races as the Grade 1 Californian Stakes in 1982, and three consecutive Grade 1 races in 1983 – the San Luis Rey Stakes, San Juan Capistrano Handicap,  and Hollywood Turf Invitational.

Erins Isle was second in the 1982 Hollywood Gold Cup.

As an owner on his own, Hoffman raced stakes winners in California and New Mexico.

His runners included Booyah, who won the 2008 Ralph Hinds Pomona Invitational at Fairplex Park; Forever Foxy, who won the 2004 Beau Brummel Stakes at Fairplex Park; and the eight-time New Mexico stakes winner Hayley’s Halo. He won stakes in New Mexico with Facil Catana, Hailey’s Gone West, Kuba a Noqua, Rapper SS, Storming Saint, Unfettered, and Visual Effect.

Jerry Fanning, in California, and Henry Dominguez, in New Mexico, trained on behalf of Hoffman.

Hoffman briefly owned Fairway Farm in Anza, Calif., but later sold the property. He bred the multiple stakes winner Trailthefox, who earned $388,217 racing throughout North America.

Born in Los Angeles, Hoffman was raised in Indiana and served in China and India in World War II.

In business, Hoffman was best known for his car dealerships throughout Southern California. He sold a wide range of vehicles, ranging from Alfa Romeo to Chrysler to Volkswagen. He founded Bank of Monrovia, which was later acquired by Citizens Business Bank.

Plans for a memorial service have not been announced. Hoffman is survived by his wife of 66 years, Dorothy, seven children, and 18 grandchildren.