05/04/2015 11:21AM

Owner/breeder Miles dies at 85


A. Stevens Miles Jr., a retired banker and successful Thoroughbred owner and breeder, died April 29 in Louisville, Ky. He was 85.

A Louisville native, Miles began his career in banking with the First National Bank of Louisville in 1954 after serving in the Army. He became president of the company 18 years later, and was elected CEO of the bank and its holding company First Kentucky National Corporation in 1974. The holding company merged with National City Corporation and Miles was elected president of National City in 1987, a position which he held until his retirement in 1990.

Miles began taking an interest in Thoroughbred ownership, entering through the claiming game and later buying horses at auction and breeding. His most successful runner was Warrior’s Reward, winner of the Grade 1 Carter Handicap in 2010, who Miles purchased for $180,000 at the 2007 Keeneland September yearling sale. Warrior’s Reward has gone on to become a popular young stallion at Spendthrift Farm.

Miles bred and raced Neck n’ Neck, a three-time graded stakes winner, including the Grade 2 Indiana Derby in 2012. The son of Flower Alley finished third in the Grade 2 Alysheba Stakes at Churchill Downs on Friday, two days after his owner’s death.

Westerly Breeze, winner of the Grade 2 Alcibiades Stakes in 2002, was also campaigned by Miles after landing the folly for $145,000 at the 2001 Keeneland September sale. Miles later sold Westerly Breeze as a broodmare prospect for $560,000 at the 2003 Keeneland November breeding stock sale.

Miles is survived by his daughter, Elizabeth Miles Mitzlaff, grandchildren Elizabeth, Madison, and Miles, wife Dorothy Deane Miles, and her children Dorthory, Elanor, and Frederick.

A funeral service will be held Monday at St. Francis in the Fields Church, with a visitation following at the church. Private burial will be held at Cave Hill Cemetery.

In lieu of flowers, memorial gifts may be sent to Kentucky Country Day School or Washington and Lee University.