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Monday, April 24, 2006

Friend of racing: Steve Stavro (1927-2006)

Steve Stavro, owner of Knob Hill Stables and an enthusiastic lover of racing, passed away overnight from a heart attack. He was 78.
The grocery store entrepreneur also owned the Toronto Maple Leafs and Toronto Raptors and Air Canada Centre. He sold is Maple Leaf Sports & Entertainment in 2003.
Stavro was born on Sept, 27, 1927, in Gabresh, Macedonia, Stavro came to Canada at a child and eventually opened Knob Hill Farms food terminals.
His Knob Hill Stable grew into one of the country's most successful racing operations, racing Horse of the Year Benburb and Thornfield, both homebreds.
Stavro, as well, was honoured with Sovereign Awards in 1992 as Outstanding Owner and Breeder.
In 1993, his filly Apelia was voted a Sovereign Award as top sprinter. In 1999, Thornfield carried the Knob Hill colours to an upset win in the Canadian International, scoring at 17-1 and going on to Top Male Turfer and Canadian Horse of the Year honours.
Stavro was a dear friend of LongRun Thoroughbred Retirement Society and anually donated money for the racehorse retirement group for its charity events.
Young trainer Kevin Attard just began conditioning Stavro's runners in 2006 including several fillies nominated to the upcoming Fury Stakes.


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