04/08/2009 11:00PM

Rudder of Rudlein Stable dies

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Donald I. Rudder, who with his wife, Anne, campaigned major stakes winner Behrens and Will's Way in partnership, died on Wednesday in Hobe Sound, Fla., where he resided, according to a family friend. He was 84.

The Rudders ran their horses under the name Rudlein Stable and frequently partnered with William Clifton Jr. Both Will's Way, who won the Travers Stakes in 1996, and Behrens, who earned $4.5 million, were campaigned by the partnership.

Rudder was known for his entrepreneurship, and his business forays into Thoroughbred racing included a partnership in EQUIX Biomechanics, a business that graded a horse's performance potential based on anatomical and biological measurements.

Rudder also was a founding member of the National Association of Thoroughbred Owners. The formation of the group in the 1990s was the impetus toward the formation of the National Thoroughbred Racing Association.

All of his horses were trained by H. James Bond. According to Robert Fierro, a friend of the family, the couple had reduced their Thoroughbred holdings to one horse by the time of his death.