Levy, owner of Bet Twice, House­buster, dies at 87

Daily Racing Form National Digital Edition - - News - By Marty McGee

Robert P. “Bob” Levy, who owned the stand­out race­horses House­buster and Bet Twice and whose fam­ily owned At­lantic City Race Course, died Wed­nes­day of nat­u­ral causes. He was 87.

Levy was prom­i­nent in rac­ing for much of his life but es­pe­cially so in the 1980s and early 1990s, dur­ing the hey­days of Bet Twice, win­ner of the 1987 Bel­mont Stakes, and House­buster, a two-time cham­pion sprinter in­ducted into the Rac­ing Hall of Fame in 2013. His best horses were trained by War­ren “Jimmy” Croll, him­self a Hall of Famer who died in 2008.

Levy was an iconic fig­ure in his home­town of Philadel­phia, where he was deeply im­mersed in the city’s cul­ture and sports ac­tiv­i­ties when serv­ing for more than 50 years as chair­man of a diver­si­fied busi­ness, DRT In­dus­tries, prior to his re­tire­ment in 2011. He in­her­ited own­er­ship of At­lantic City as the son of Leon Levy, who co-founded the New Jersey track in 1946.

“He was a great man to a lot of peo­ple,” said his son Michael Levy, a long­time Lex­ing­tonarea breeder and owner. “We were all very lucky to be around to see how much he was loved.”

The peak of Levy’s many years in rac­ing and breed­ing came on June 6, 1987, when Bet Twice won the Bel­mont by 14 lengths, foil­ing the Triple Crown bid of Alysheba af­ter hav­ing fin­ished sec­ond to his neme­sis in both the Ken­tucky Derby and Preak­ness. Bet Twice also de­feated Alysheba, a two-time cham­pion, in the 1987 Haskell and 1988 Pim­lico Spe­cial.

Be­sides Bet Twice and House­buster, other top horses Levy owned out­right or in part­ner­ship in­cluded Smoke Glacken, the 1997 sprint cham­pion, and Grade 1 win­ner Trum­pet’s Blare and Grade 2 win­ner Greek Cos­tume.

Levy helped to pi­o­neer simul­cast­ing in the early 1980s when im­port­ing the Mead­ow­lands sig­nal to At­lantic City, thus be­com­ing the first Amer­i­can out­let for such an in­ter­track ar­range­ment.

Among his many ti­tles and honors, Levy, a grad­u­ate of the Uni­ver­sity of Penn­syl­va­nia, was a for­mer chair­man of the Philadel­phia Sports Con­gress; founded the Lit­tle Quak­ers, a fab­u­lously suc­cess­ful youth­foot­ball fran­chise; served as pres­i­dent of the Thor­ough­bred Rac­ing As­so­ci­a­tion; was a for­mer di­rec­tor of the FasigTip­ton Co.; and was in­ducted into nu­mer­ous halls of fame.

Levy is sur­vived by his wife, Cissy, and five adult chil­dren: Robert Jr., Mike, Kather­ine, An­gela, and Wendy.

A me­mo­rial ser­vice is sched­uled for Sun­day in Trevose, Pa., with de­tails to be an­nounced. In lieu of flow­ers, do­na­tions are sug­gested to Thor­ough­bred Char­i­ties of Amer­ica (www.tca .org).

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