Industry Profile: Eugene Melnyk passes. Most of success came on the turf, not on the ice

Eugene Melnyk will long be remembered as the owner of the Ottawa Senators. But what many sports fans don’t know is the Toronto-born-and-raised entrepreneur had more success with horses than hockey players.

Melnyk, who died on Monday at 62, was a King in the Sport of Kings, leaving a huge legacy in Canada and the U.S., both as a thoroughbred owner and breeder.

“He loved his horses. He was passionate about them. And he was a big supporter of Woodbine,” Woodbine Entertainment CEO Jim Lawson told the Toronto Sun. “He went to St. Mike’s and grew up largely as a wagerer.

“There’s one story about Eugene that’s a little bit of folklore,” Lawson said. “Ferdinand in the 1986 Kentucky Derby was a long-shot and Eugene was at Woodbine that day. He was there with people I know and he unloaded (his money) on Ferdinand for the main reason Ferdinand was his dad’s name. And Ferdinand paid $37.40 and Eugene took it all in cash. I think he walked out of there with over $30,000 in cash. Maybe more.”

Horse Racing History

Prior to leaving the horse-racing game in 2014, Melnyk had won 62 graded stakes winners and captured some of the biggest races on both sides of the border, including the 2004 Breeders’ Cup Sprint with Speightstown, a horse that won $1.3 million. Speightstown, named after a city in Barbados, also won an Eclipse Award — the highest honor in U.S. racing. Melnyk’s racing colours were blue and gold with three V’s (the national colours of Barbados, where he lived). He won all three Canadian Triple Crown races, including the 1998 Queen’s Plate with Archers Bay.

Another of his great thoroughbreds was…

The Belmont Child Care Association issued the following statement:

On behalf of the Board of Directors of the
Belmont Child Care Association, Inc.,
and the Staff and the Families of Anna House,
we wish to express our deepest condolences to the
Melnyk family, his companion Sharilynne, and to his
daughters Olivia and Anna, for whom Anna House was named.
We were saddened to learn of Mr. Melnyk’s passing and
we will always be most grateful to him for his
kindness and incredible generosity.
Share this with your horse racing friends
Handicapping tips from agameofskill.com

Subscribe

* indicates required





Email Format


About Editor

Rich Nilsen is a 19-time qualifier to the National Horseplayers Championship (NHC), an event he has cashed in four times. He was the first player to finish in the top 10 of the NHC twice. A former executive with Brisnet.com and a member of the NHC Players’ Committee, Rich is a graduate of the University of Louisville Equine Business Program and is founder of AGameofSkill.com, a site devoted to horse racing education and promotion.

Speak Your Mind

*

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

More in Industry Profiles, Kentucky Derby | Triple Crown, Thoroughbred Horse Ownership
Trainer Falcone Discusses Race Placement Strategy and More

Trainer Robert Falcone, Jr. is tied for third in the Aqueduct winter meet trainer standings with seven wins heading into...

Close