04/04/2002 12:00AM

Owner Jan Siegel dies at 69


ARCADIA, Calif. - Jan Siegel, the matriarch of a racing family with a 40-year involvement in the sport, died on Thursday in Los Angeles after a lengthy battle with cancer. She was 69.

Jan Siegel was part of a well-known ownership trio with her husband, Mace, and adult daughter, Samantha.

A jazz singer who sang with big bands in Kentucky and New York in the early 1960's, Jan Siegel and her husband bought their first horse in 1964, two years after they were married.

Over the years, the family's stable included such stakes winners as Hedonist, I Ain't Bluffing, I Believe in You, Ifyoucouldseemenow, Miss Pickums, Stormy But Valid, Thisnearlywasmine and Urbane. Mace Siegel estimates the family has campaigned 50 stakes winners.

One of the family's milestones was winning three stakes on the undercard of the 1992 Breeders' Cup at Gulfstream Park and winning another stakes on the preceding day.

"She always enjoyed racing," Samantha Siegel said of her mother. "Even yesterday, she said, 'When are we going to the track?' "

"She took a lot pleasure in coming up with good and clever names," Samantha Siegel said. "When the homebreds won, those were like her kids."

Jan Siegel underwent cancer surgery last October, the day before the Breeders' Cup, Samantha Siegel said. "She put up a brave fight," Samantha said.

A funeral service is scheduled for Tuesday at 2 p.m. at the Church of the Good Shepherd in Beverly Hills. In lieu of flowers, the family requests that donations be made to the City of Hope and St. Jude's hospital.

- additional reporting by Marty McGee