LOUISVILLE, Ky. — The man who led Churchill Downs for one of the longest periods of time, and through three Triple Crown winners, has died.
Lynn Stone lived an amazing 95 years of life dedicated to two different sports that were huge in Louisville.
Stone was President and CEO of Churchill from 1970 to 1984. Before he took over the historic track in 1958, he led the move of the Braves Triple-A baseball team to Louisville and served as GM of the “Louisville Colonels” baseball team.
WHAS11's Doug Proffitt talked to the voice of the Louisville Cardinals, former WHAS TV/Radio broadcaster Paul Rogers. Rogers, who was hired by the legendary Cawood Ledford, was calling races daily at Churchill during Stone’s tenure and covering the Kentucky Derby.
Rogers said, “Lynn Stone was a guy who ran a prestigious race track, quite the character. I remember him with a cigar in his mouth, a friendly man. You'd go into his office and Paul Hornung or Pee Wee Reese would be sitting there after a big day at the races, lot of fun to be around, a man who was a lot of fun to be around."
During Stone's tenure there were three Triple Crown winners: Secretariat, Seattle Slew and Affirmed.
The track set an attendance record in 1974, the year Secretariat won, and the 20 horse limit for the Kentucky Derby was set.
Stone died in Lexington on February 22, 2021.