02/12/2014 12:30PM

Nebraska owner-breeder Don Everett dies

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LINCOLN, Neb. – Successful restaurateur, owner and breeder Don Everett died Tuesday in Lincoln at the age of 70 after dealing with Alzheimer’s disease for a number of years.

Everett campaigned 1984 Pan American Handicap winner Tonzarun. Tonzarun was a close sixth in that year’s inaugural Breeders’ Cup Mile behind Royal Heroine and went on to a career at stud. Everett later founded Bluestem Farm outside of Lincoln where he bred and raced several stakes winners, including Irish Villon, Thundering Verzy, and Bach’s Homebrew. The familiar yellow “BF” silks were a regular sight at racing venues throughout the nation over the years.

Everett became involved in his mother’s Runza Drive Inn in the 1960s and in 1979 franchised the restaurants, growing to over 80 outlets throughout the Midwest. He remained strongly involved in horse racing with Runza Restaurants sponsoring a family day on Easter weekend at Fonner Park for many years. Fonner has held a Runza Stakes for fillies and mares for several years.