01/01/2013 12:48PM

Owner-breeder Ed Wachtel dies at age 81

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Ed Wachtel, a longtime owner and breeder in New York, died Monday after battling stomach cancer. He was 81.

Wachtel began owning horses in 1973 under the name Exeter Stable before changing to the moniker Wachtel Stable. His best horses were Claramount, the 1989 New York-bred horse of the year who developed into a terrific stallion, and stakes winners including Stalwart Member, Smokin Mel, Bit of Puddin, Penny’s Reshoot, Dashboard Drummer, Sinclara, and Square Cut.

“He loved Saratoga more than any place,” said Adam Wachtel, one of Ed’s three sons, who owns many horses, including multiple Grade 1 winner Ron the Greek.

Off the track, Wachtel was the founder, CEO, and president of Members Only, an apparel company. He later became chairman and CEO of Europe Craft Imports Inc., a company that produced and marketed Members Only and Perry Ellis apparel.

Wachtel is survived by four children, 10 grandchildren, and four great grandchildren.

Funeral arrangements were pending as of Tuesday morning.