Horseman R. Steven "Steve" Gray Sr. dies
December 09, 2011
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Richard Steven Gray, Sr., 50, of Anderson, Indiana, died Thursday, Dec. 8, in Anderson, Ind. Mr. Gray was the brother of Kentucky-based horseman Jack Gray Jr. and horsewoman Peggy Grant.
Born May 14, 1961 in Marion County, KY, he was an owner and trainer of Standardbred horses.
At the time of his passing, Mr. Gray had trained the winners of $2,058,736. Over his lifetime, his stable included winners at many venues, including fair and pari-mutuel tracks in Illinois, Indiana, Kentucky, and Ohio. Although he was known for his patience in developing trotters, his top money earning performer was the pacing mare EJ’s Copperstone p,2,1:53.2; 3,1:53; 4,1:52.3; 5,1:52.2 ($348,553). The daughter of Lease On Life was an Indiana Sire Stakes champion at ages two and three.
Another of Mr. Gray's biggest career victories as a trainer came in 2003 when his 2-year-old gelding trotter Dakota's Reason won the $100,000 Indiana Sire Stakes final at Indiana Downs. In the past few seasons, he had also campaigned the veteran trotter JSC Merit Raise 5,1:54.4 ($249,477), whose last start was a second-place finish in the Indiana Sires Stakes for aged trotters at Indiana Downs.
Though he generally shod the horses he trained, he was also a well-respected blacksmith within the industry. Many trainers would consult with Mr. Gray for corrective shoeing tips, with new records coming after his advice was followed.
He was also a woodworker and a former board member of the Indiana Standardbred Association. During his term as a director, Mr. Gray was considered one of the most approachable board members because of his good-natured disposition.
Mr. Gray was also a family man who loved his children and grandchildren. He enjoyed attending their school functions and sporting events, as well as sharing holiday festivities.
He was preceded in death by his parents, Jack Sanders Gray, Sr. and Emma Jean Abell Gray, three siblings, Mary Sanders McCauley and infants Mary Ella Gray and James Archie Gray.
Survivors include his wife, Julie Russell Gray; two sons, Stevie Gray of Gravel Switch, Ky. and Brandon Gray, at home; one daughter, Emily Gray, at home; one grandson, Jamie Gray of Gravel Switch, Ky.; one brother, Jack Gray Jr (Martha) of Lebanon, Ky.; seven sisters, Cary Jean Bright (Gilbert) of Palm Beach, Fla., Terry Ann Gootee (James) of Simpsonville, Ky., Emma Jean Thompson (Stuart) of Louisville, Ky., Teresa Jane Thompson (Pete), Pigeon Deep (Michael), Peggy Sue Grant (Daryl) all of Lebanon, Ky., Karen Marie Caldwell (Danny Ray) of Finley, Ky., and one brother-in-law, Larry McCauley of Lebanon, Ky.
Funeral services will be held at 2 p.m. on Sunday, Dec. 11, at Mattingly Funeral Home, 195 Holy Cross Road, Loretto, Ky., followed by interment in Saint Augustine Cemetery, Lebanon, Ky. Bro. Harold Gribbins will officiate.
Friends may call 4 p.m. until 9 p.m. on Saturday, Dec. 10, and 9 a.m. until the time of the funeral on Sunday at Mattingly Funeral Home. Condolences may also be sent via the funeral home Web site at www.mattinglyfuneralhome.com.
Memorial donations may go to his minor children c/o Richard Steven Gray Sr., Memorial Fund, Citizens National Bank, 145 W. Main, Lebanon, Ky. 40033. The account is to be administered by Co-Executors: Teresa Thompson, Peggy Grant, and Pigeon Deep (sisters of R. Steven Gray Sr.).