12/03/2016 12:04PM

Thoroughbred owner Charles Sandford dies at 70


Thoroughbred owner Charles Sandford died at his home near Chicago on Friday at age 70 following a battle with cancer.

Sandford purchased his first Thoroughbred in June 2009, seeking a hobby at wife Maribeth’s urging. The couple’s stable rose to national prominence less than three years later when their regally bred Take Charge Indy, a graded-placed juvenile, upset the Florida Derby to earn a spot in the 2012 Kentucky Derby.

The son of A.P. Indy out of Grade 1 winner Take Charge Lady finished 19th in the spring classic, emerging with a bone chip. He returned to place in four more graded stakes before capturing the Grade 2 Alysheba Stakes the following spring at Churchill Downs. Retired with a career-ending injury that summer, he initially stood at WinStar Farm before recently being sold to Korea.

Take Charge Indy was the lone graded stakes winner campaigned by the Sandfords, who also owned Grade 3-placed Almost Famous. Patrick Byrne, a longtime friend of Charles Sandford, trained the stable’s horses.

Sandford made his fortune with the Illinois-headquartered Bag Makers Inc., founded by Maribeth in 1980, a prominent supplier of non-woven paper and plastic bags to the promotional products industry. Charles Sandford joined the company after the couple’s marriage in 1991.

Sandford is survived by Maribeth; children, Paul Fleming and Jennifer Madai; five grandchildren, and three great-grandchildren. Funeral arrangements are pending.