03/11/2017 10:48AM

Mulholland, owner of Grade 1 winner Malibu Mint, dies at 74


John R. Mulholland, the co-founder of Mulholland Springs Farm in Lexington, Ky., and the owner of runners including Grade 1 winner Malibu Mint, died Thursday. He was 74.

A native of Sharon, Mass., Mulholland served in the U.S. Marine Corps, and his interest in horses eventually led him to Oklahoma, where he began training western pleasure horses.

While in the Sooner state, he married Martha Jane McCauley and founded J Bar M Quarter Horses in Edmond. Their successes over the subsequent decades included western pleasure champion Ms MBJ Mudlark and National Snaffle Bit Association Hall of Famer and prominent sire in his field Im a Big Leaguer.

Mulholland later transitioned into the Thoroughbred realm, moving his family to Kentucky in 1979 to form Mulholland Springs Farm, a breeding, racing, and sales consignment operation.

The farm’s most notable success story is Malibu Mint, a filly purchased privately by the Mulhollands during her 4-year-old campaign who won the Grade 1 Princess Rooney Handicap at Calder Race Course in her first start for her new connections. Malibu Mint went on to win the Grade 3 Thoroughbred Club of America Stakes and non-graded Weekend Delight Stakes before selling in foal to Mr. Greeley to Godolphin for $1.3 million at the 2008 Fasig-Tipton Kentucky fall selected mixed sale.

Other successful runners campaigned by the Mulhollands include Grade 2 winner Investalot, Grade 3 winner Shadow Miss, and stakes winners Bay Barrister and Naughty Notions.

Mulholland Springs also operates a boutique sales consignment operation whose graduates are led by 2011 Canadian Horse of the Year Never Retreat.

In addition to wife Martha Jane, Mulholland is survived by son John Henry Mulholland, who is the farm manager of Mulholland Springs, and daughter Laura Powers.