Wayne Hughes, billionaire businessman and horse owner, dies

Aug 18, 2021, 9:54 PM | Updated: 11:04 pm
FILE - In this May 3, 2005, file photo, B. Wayne Hughes, left, owner of Kentucky Derby hopeful Gree...

FILE - In this May 3, 2005, file photo, B. Wayne Hughes, left, owner of Kentucky Derby hopeful Greeley's Galaxy, is congratulated by Afleet Alex's trainer, Tim Ritchey, after he made the winning bid in a fundraising auction to breed a horse with Afleet Alex, at Churchill Downs in Louisville, Ky. The money benefited Alex's Lemonade Stand for Childhood Cancer. Hughes, the founder and chairman of Public Storage whose passion for horse racing culminated with a victory by Authentic in the 2020 Kentucky Derby and Breeders’ Cup Classic, died Wednesday, Aug. 18, 2021. He was 87. (AP Photo/Daniel P. Derella, File)

(AP Photo/Daniel P. Derella, File)

LOS ANGELES (AP) — B. Wayne Hughes, the founder and chairman of Public Storage whose passion for horse racing culminated with a victory by Authentic in the 2020 Kentucky Derby and Breeders’ Cup Classic, died Wednesday. He was 87.

Hughes died at home at Spendthrift Farm in Lexington, Kentucky, according to an announcement posted on the farm’s website. No cause of death was provided.

He purchased the historic 700-acre farm in 2004 and relocated from Southern California to restore its name and land, returning Spendthrift to prominence as a commercial breeding operation.

Last year, Authentic pulled away down the stretch to win the Kentucky Derby by 1 1/4 lengths in Hughes’ 50th year as a thoroughbred owner. The 3-year-old colt was trained by Hall of Famer Bob Baffert, who earned his record-tying sixth victory in the race.

Baffert first met Hughes when he arrived at Santa Anita from Arizona and switched from training quarterhorses to thoroughbreds full-time in 1991.

“I had a cowboy hat and he would invite me to breakfast with him and five other trainers,” Baffert told The Associated Press. “I listened to the stories and got to know him when I had one horse. I never thought I’d train for him.”

Last year, Hughes partnered with an upstart online ownership group called Myracehorse.com, which offered anyone who paid $206 a microshare ownership interest in Authentic. Over 5,300 people bought in.

“By people buying a small interest, it would attach them to the game,” Hall of Fame trainer Richard Mandella told the AP. “He thought that would make some devoted fans, not just casual.”

Wearing Hughes’ purple-and-orange colors, Authentic went on to win the BC Classic, and Hughes attended at Keeneland to accept the trophy in a crowded winner’s circle. The colt also won the Eclipse Award as Horse of the Year.

“He’s really going to be missed because he made such an impact on the industry,” Baffert said. “He wanted to rejuvenate the sport.”

Among Hughes’ other notable horses were Action This Day, the 2003 BC Juvenile winner and 2-year-old champion; and Beholder, one of three female horses in history to be a four-time Eclipse champion. She won three Breeders’ Cup races, among her 11 Grade 1 stakes victories. She stands at Spendthrift as a broodmare.

“He was very blessed, and he knew it,” said Hall of Fame jockey Mike Smith, who rode Beholder once. “He’s done so much for horse racing, and the horses, too.”

Mandella, who trained Beholder during her entire career, recalled Hughes’ equanimity in a sport where the losses far outnumber the victories.

“When things went bad, he sucked it up,” Mandella said, “and we went on to the next mission.”

Born Bradley Wayne Hughes on Sept. 28, 1933, in Gotebo, Oklahoma, he was the son of a sharecropper. He moved to Southern California as a child and was introduced to horse racing by his father who took him to Santa Anita for the first time at age 11.

Known all his life by his middle name, Hughes built his well-known work ethic from a young age, delivering newspapers as a teenager to help pay for tuition at the University of Southern California, where he graduated in 1957. He was inducted into the school’s Athletic Hall of Fame in 2012 and was a major donor. He also served in the Navy.

Hughes was founder and chairman of Public Storage, one of the largest self-storage companies in the U.S. He was president and co-CEO before retiring in 2002, when he turned his attention full-time to racing.

“He was the first billionaire I ever met and you never would have known it,” Baffert said. “He was successful, but he never quit. He had so much energy.”

Hughes created and funded the Parker Hughes Cancer Center in Minnesota, named for his youngest son who died in 1998.

He is survived by wife Patricia, son Wayne Jr., and daughter Tamara Gustavson. He was preceded in death by parents William and Blanche.

Copyright © The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.


              FILE - In this May 3, 2005, file photo, B. Wayne Hughes, left, owner of Kentucky Derby hopeful Greeley's Galaxy, is congratulated by Afleet Alex's trainer, Tim Ritchey, after he made the winning bid in a fundraising auction to breed a horse with Afleet Alex, at Churchill Downs in Louisville, Ky. The money benefited Alex's Lemonade Stand for Childhood Cancer. Hughes, the founder and chairman of Public Storage whose passion for horse racing culminated with a victory by Authentic in the 2020 Kentucky Derby and Breeders’ Cup Classic, died Wednesday, Aug. 18, 2021. He was 87. (AP Photo/Daniel P. Derella, File)

AP

Associated Press

British Gas sorry its agents broke into customers’ homes

LONDON (AP) — The U.K. energy regulator said Thursday it is investigating revelations that debt-collectors working for British Gas broke into customers’ homes to install prepay gas meters that left vulnerable people at risk of having their heat cut off. British Gas’ parent company, Centrica PLC, said it had halted the “unacceptable” practice. The Times […]
5 hours ago
Morocco's Prime Minister Aziz Akhannouch, center right, and Foreign Minister Nasser Bourita, right,...
Associated Press

Spanish, Moroccan prime ministers meet to improve ties

RABAT, Morocco (AP) — The governments of Spain and Morocco held wide-ranging meetings Thursday aimed at turning the page on diplomatic tensions and striking deals on customs crossings and business development. Spanish Prime Minister Pedro Sánchez arrived in Rabat on Wednesday along with 11 government ministers, and spoke alongside Moroccan couterpart Aziz Akhannouch at an […]
5 hours ago
FILE - Norwegian Prime Minister Jonas Gahr Store speaks as he arrives to attend the Joint Expeditio...
Associated Press

Norway PM says oil profits to fund more aid to Ukraine

COPENHAGEN, Denmark (AP) — Prime Minister Jonas Gahr Støre of Norway said Thursday that the oil-rich Scandinavian country will become one of the world’s top donors to Ukraine when his two-party center-left government presents another planned military and civilian aid package. Norway’s profits from oil will finance the additional aid, and there will be a […]
5 hours ago
FILE - President Bill Clinton reaches for a pen as he signs the Family Leave Bill into law during a...
Associated Press

Joe Biden, Bill Clinton mark 3 decades of family leave act

WASHINGTON (AP) — President Joe Biden is playing host to former President Bill Clinton to mark the 30th anniversary of the Family and Medical Leave Act, the first piece of legislation that the 42nd president signed into law after taking office in 1993. Biden and Clinton will take part in an event Thursday at the […]
5 hours ago
European lawmakers vote to elect a vice-president of European Parliament, Wednesday, Jan. 18, 2023 ...
Associated Press

EU assembly lifts immunity of 2 lawmakers linked to scandal

BRUSSELS (AP) — The European Union’s parliament on Thursday removed the protective immunity of two lawmakers linked to one of the bloc’s biggest-ever corruption scandals, paving the way for them to be questioned by Belgian investigators. In a show of hands, the assembly voted overwhelmingly to lift the parliamentary immunity of Belgian lawmaker Marc Tarabella […]
5 hours ago
Signs at a shell petrol station in London, Thursday, Feb. 2, 2023. Global energy giant Shell says a...
Associated Press

Shell profit doubles to record as war drives up energy costs

LONDON (AP) — Global energy giant Shell said Thursday that its annual profits doubled to a record high last year as oil and natural gas prices soared after Russia’s invasion of Ukraine. London-based Shell Plc posted adjusted earnings of $39.9 billion for 2022 in its financial results for the final three months of the year. […]
5 hours ago

Sponsored Articles

...
Day & Night Air Conditioning, Heating and Plumbing

Company looking for oldest air conditioner and wants to reward homeowner with new one

Does your air conditioner make weird noises or a burning smell when it starts? If so, you may be due for an AC unit replacement.
...
Fiesta Bowl Foundation

Celebrate 50 years of Vrbo Fiesta Bowl Parade magic!

Since its first production in the early 1970s, the Vrbo Fiesta Bowl Parade presented by Lerner & Rowe has been a staple of Valley traditions, bringing family fun and excitement to downtown Phoenix.
...
Quantum Fiber

Stream 4K and more with powerful, high-speed fiber internet

Picking which streaming services to subscribe to are difficult choices, and there is no room for internet that cannot handle increased demands.
Wayne Hughes, billionaire businessman and horse owner, dies