07/07/2009 11:00PM

Rainey, led Jockey Club, dead at 93


Cal Rainey, a career racetracker who rose from exercise rider to executive director of the Jockey Club, died on July 6 at his home in Green Valley in southern Arizona at the age of 93, according to family members.

Rainey's career in Thoroughbred horse racing spanned 50 years, reaching from Louisiana to New York and then to Arizona. After a brief career as a jockey capped by his 1935 win on King Saxon in the Metropolitan Handicap, Gainey moved to the frontside of the racetrack as an identification clerk, eventually rising to the position of steward representing the Jockey Club at the New York Racing Association tracks.

Calvin Stuart Rainey was born in New Orleans in 1915 and began riding officially at the age of 15 as an exercise rider. Two years later, he took out his jockey's license and rode on the East Coast and in the Midwest until 1937.

After working at the New York tracks for six years and marrying Constance Lott in 1940, Rainey entered the military in 1943 and was discharged as a platoon sergeant in 1946. He returned to the frontside of the New York tracks, and in 1957 was appointed steward. He remained in the steward's stand until 1972, when he left to take the position of executive director of the Jockey Club.

After retiring from the Jockey Club in 1980, Rainey remained active in racing from an unlikely location: his home in Arizona. While in retirement, Rainey helped establish the University of Arizona's Race Track Industry Program, the first racing-focused higher educational program in the U.S. He also served as a member of the Arizona Racing Commission.

Rainey is survived by his wife, five children, and 10 grandchildren.