|Lone Star Park's Grade 3 Texas Mile Renamed for Steve Sexton
(Grand Prairie, Texas - Thursday, April 13, 2017) - Lone Star Park's Grade 3 Texas Mile has been renamed the Steve Sexton Mile in honor of the track's former executive vice president and general manager who died in December at age 57 after battling brain cancer.
"Anyone who knew or worked with Steve Sexton knows he was one of the most versatile, talented, and dedicated racing executives of his time," said Scott Wells, Lone Star Park's president and general manager. "Horses and the people who work with them are the backbone of this sport; and throughout his career, Steve demonstrated a passion for both which was unsurpassed. We are proud that the Steve Sexton Mile will live on at Lone Star Park as a tribute to him and to his spirit of achievement and excellence."
The $200,000 Steve Sexton Mile, for three-year-olds and older horses, will be held Sunday, May 7. Lone Star's meet runs April 20 through July 30, with racing Thursdays through Sundays. The Steve Sexton Mile is one of two graded stakes at the meet, the other being the Grade 3 Lone Star Handicap at 1 1/16 miles on May 28.
The renamed stakes also will raise awareness for the fund created by Sexton's family to put a student through college who otherwise would not have the opportunity. Many people have a verbal "bucket list" of things they'd like to do during their life. Sexton had a written list that he updated through the years.
"He had it stored in an envelope in the closet," said his son, Taylor. "I'd never seen it before, and we were going through his papers."
Upon his death, Sexton's friends and family created a GoFundMe account to fulfill his wish. Between that and checks sent to the family for the cause, more than $20,000 has been raised, Taylor Sexton said. The family is in the process of making the Steven P. Sexton Foundation a 501(c)(3) charitable foundation. The ultimate goal is to start one underprivileged kid a year in college.
"Given the earned success he had with his career, he wished to send a student to college who otherwise would not be able to have that chance," said Taylor Sexton. "The race is a great way to not only raise awareness but collect donations. As much as this race further establishes his legacy, it more-so is to raise money for a cause of which he would be extremely proud.
"This was one of several big items he had on his list. It sat there with 'Walk my daughter (Kalli) down the aisle.' We would love for the Steven P. Sexton Foundation to eventually see growth at the rate that the V Foundation (for cancer research) has grown over the years."
Sexton was an integral part of Lone Star's management team that opened the track in 1997. He had spent a decade working in various management positions at Santa Anita, Golden Gate Fields, Canterbury Park and Thistledown. As Lone Star's vice president and general manager, Sexton was instrumental in one of the most successful track launches in the modern era.
Sexton was named president of Churchill Downs Inc.'s Arlington Park in 2001, overseeing the suburban Chicago track's staging of the 2002 Breeders' Cup, then left shortly thereafter to take a similar post at the company's flagship track in Louisville. Sexton left Churchill in 2009 to pursue other interests and return to Texas, serving as the managing partner of the Dallas-based sports consulting firm LOGE at the time of his death.
"Having a race named after my dad is fantastic and fitting, an incredible honor for our family," Taylor Sexton said. "We're very excited about the race and look forward to watching the Steven P. Sexton foundation make a difference in the lives of young people. This is one of many instances where my dad wouldn't say he deserved it. But he did."