01/07/2008 1:00AM

Samuel-Balaz, Sam-Son chief, dies at 47


Tammy Samuel-Balaz, who grew up in the world of show horses and went on to help run her family's Sam-Son Farm, died at age 47 on Saturday following a battle with breast cancer, the Toronto Star reported.

When her father, Ernie Samuel, died in May of 2000, Samuel-Balaz took over as president and general manager of Sam-Son Farm, the Thoroughbred racing and breeding entity with properties in Milton, Ontario, and Ocala, Fla.

The Sam-Son racing operation, based at Woodbine, has campaigned a host of champions, including Eclipse Award winners Dance Smartly, Sky Classic, and Chief Bearhart.

Quiet Resolve, in 2000, and Soaring Free, in 2004, are among eight Canadian Horses of the Year owned by Sam-Son. Sam-Son also has won eight Sovereign Awards as Canada's outstanding owner and seven as outstanding breeder.

Samuel-Balaz was a member of the board of directors of the Woodbine Entertainment Group; The Jockey Club; the Jockey Club of Canada; and the Thoroughbred Owners and Breeders Association.

She also was a director of the family business, Samuel Son and Co. Ltd., which processes and distributes steel and aluminum products.

Samuel-Balaz is survived by her husband, Rick Balaz; two children, Lisa and Michael; a brother, Mark; a sister, Kim; and her mother, Elizabeth.

Visitation was to take place Tuesday from 2 to 4 p.m. and from 7 to 9 p.m. at Glen Oaks Memorial Chapel, 3164 9th Line, Oakville, with a private funeral to follow.