02/12/2014 8:51AM

William Currin, Southern California owner-trainer, dies at 77

Shigeki Kikkawa
Bill Currin trained or owned the stakes winners Bushwacker, Memorette, My Best Brother, Outta Here, Rosengold and Stormello.

ARCADIA, Calif. - William Currin, an owner and breeder who won stakes with such runners as Bushwacker, Memorette, My Best Brother, Outta Here, Rosengold and Stormello, died on Tuesday of heart-related causes at his home in Solana Beach, Calif., according to a family friend.
Currin was 77. He had been in declining health in recent months.

A residential real estate developer in Northern and Southern California, Currin was most comfortable around Thoroughbreds, making his first investment in the sport in the 1970s. By the early 2000s, Currin frequently had runners in major stakes in Southern California, and was actively directing his own stable.

Currin, who won 118 races as a trainer, won the Delta Downs Jackpot with Outta Here in 2002, the Grade 2 Beverly Hills Handicap at Hollywood Park with Memorette in 2006, and the Grade 1 Hollywood Futurity with Stormello in 2006.

Currin traveled to Asia twice with Outta Here in 2003. Outta Here was fourth in the United Arab Emirates Derby at Nad Al Sheba in March of that year. Five weeks later, Outta Here was seventh in the Kentucky Derby. Outta Here finished ninth in the Japan Cup Dirt at the end of 2003.

In 2007, Currin put Stormello on the Kentucky Derby trail, and the colt finished second in the Fountain of Youth and fourth in the Florida Derby at Gulfstream Park. Stormello was 19th in the Kentucky Derby. Stormello later went to stud in Kentucky but died at the age of 7 of colic.

Currin, who frequently owned horses with Al Eisman, ended his training career in 2010 because of health concerns, but remained active as an owner and breeder. Currin sold a half-brother to the graded stakes winner My Best Brother at the 2012 Keeneland September yearling sale for $1.55 million. Named Gala Award, he won a maiden special weight race on turf at Gulfstream Park on Jan. 20.

In recent years, Julio Canani trained for Currin, developing My Best Brother, who won the Grade 2 Del Mar Derby in 2012, and Rosengold, the winner of three turf stakes in 2013.

Rosengold is currently in training at Santa Anita. My Best Brother is entered in an optional claimer at Santa Anita on Friday.

Currin is survived by his wife, Betty, and adult children Jaime and Patrick. There are no plans for a memorial service.