12/14/2013 12:36PM

Prominent blacksmith Jim Bayes dies at age 80


Jim Bayes, a prominent blacksmith who shod Alysheba and Cigar, died Thursday in Hot Springs, Ark., due to complications from the flu, said his wife, Jill. Bayes was 80.

Bayes was a native of Blanchard, Mich., who became one of the most sought after blacksmiths in racing. At one point in his career, Jill Bayes said her husband spent a number of years with Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum’s operation, splitting his time between Dubai and England. Bayes also spent time in New York and Kentucky.

“He shod for everybody,” said Joe Petalino, a longtime friend and trainer. “It seems like he shod just about every other good horse that came down the pike.”

In addition to Alysheba and Cigar, the list of prominent runners shod by Bayes includes Dubai Millennium and Easy Goer.

Bayes was retired from blacksmith work at the time of his death.

“He’d been farming for 15 years,” said Jill, his wife of 34 years. “We have a cattle farm, a few horses, dogs and the cats.”

The farm is in Glenwood, Ark.

Jill Bayes said a memorial service for her husband will be held at Oaklawn Park in Hot Springs, Ark. The date is to be determined. Bayes is also survived by a son, Jimbo, a blacksmith, and his wife, Jacqueline; a grandson, J.T.; and a brother, Bill, and his wife, Elaine.