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Mike Shapira Passes

Published: May 27, 2009 7:33 pm ET

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Mike Shapira, whose Proudfoot Farms of Franklin, Michigan, owned the 1984 Little Brown Jug champion Colt Fortysix and the world-champion Albert Albert, died Sunday, May 24, after a long battle with cancer. He was 67.

Although he owned several local stars over the years, Mr. Shapira came to national prominence in 1984 when his three-year-old colt pacer, Colt Fortysix, became the sport’s all-time fastest racehorse when he won for trainer-driver Chris Boring in 1:50.3 at Springfield, Illinois. Colt Fortysix then proved that effort was no fluke as he captured the Jug at the Delaware, Ohio fairgrounds in straight heats.

In 1987 the Boring-trained and driven Albert Albert became the fastest freshman of all-time on a half-mile track, capturing the Kentucky Pacing Derby at Louisville Downs in 1:55.1. Albert Albert also won the Fox Stakes that year. He counted among his sophomore victories a heat of the Little Brown Jug, but he eventually finished sixth in the final. He finished his racing career with earnings of more than $1.2 million.

As operator of the suburban-Detroit based advertising agency W.B. Doner & Co., Mr. Shapira is credited in 1985 with creating the advertising slogan “In harness racing, it all comes down to the Breeders Crown” for the Breeders Crown races.

Mr. Shapira is survived by his wife, Carole Gall; a son, Jacob; daughters Kim Bowman and Michele Lyons; a brother, Steven; and nieces, nephews and cousins. He was predeceased by a sister, Jacqueline Zimmerman.

Funeral services were held Tuesday afternoon at the Davidson/Hermelin Chapel at Clover Hill Park Cemetery in Birmingham.

Memorial contributions may be made to The Jewish Federation of Metropolitan Detroit, 6735 Telegraph Rd., Bloomfield Hills, Mich. 48301.


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