LEXINGTON, Ky. — Spendthift Farm owner and Kentucky Derby winner B. Wayne Hughes has died at the age of 87. He passed away in his home on the farm with family by his side.
Hughes became a billionaire as the founder and CEO of Public Storage. But he also had a passion for the horse industry that included the purchase and restoration of the historic Spendthrift Farm in Lexington in 2004.
He finally captured one of his biggest wins on the track in 2020 when Authentic won the Kentucky Derby. Hughes also used Authentic to start a horse racing ownership company for fans to get involved called MyRacehorse.com. Those interested could buy in an equity-based microshare of his Kentucky Derby contender.
Hughes was also heavily involved in the breeding of the horses. He started the "Share The Upside" initiative which was a ground-breaking program that helped the business relationship between the stallion and mare owner.
“We have to take care of the breeder and level the playing field between stallion owner and breeder,” said Hughes, upon launching Share The Upside in 2010. “You have people here, they have a farm, they need to sell their foal, they need to have a chance of making money. I need to provide the best investment programs I can. Breeders participate in making these stallions, so they should be participating in the success, too.”
Some of Hughes other notable horse he owned are 2003 Breeders' Cup Juvenile winner Action This Day who was voted the Eclipse Award winner for Outstanding 2 year old Male Horse. Beholder who the 2012 Breeders' Cup Juvenile Fillies and was American Champion 2 year old filly. She went on to win the 2013 Breeders' Cup Distaff and 2016 Distaff.
In lieu of flowers, the family requests donations to the B. Wayne Hughes Fund at UK HealthCare, P.O. Box 34184, Lexington, KY, 40588.