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Lawyer, Award-Profitable Creator Toby Dies at 73


Milton C. Toby, an award-winning creator and legal professional remembered as a Renaissance man who embraced life and by no means did something midway, died July 24 at his house in Georgetown, Ky., following a brave battle with most cancers. Toby was 73.

Tall, lanky, and a bit Lincolnesque in look, his wit was dry, his humor fast, and his passions intense. His pursuits had been many, some profound, some whimsical, starting from Star Wars, golf, Jack the Ripper, and Fiona the hippo, to journey, legislation, publishing, legal justice, instructing, animals, and mysteries. Above all he cherished to jot down—most notably about Thoroughbred racing, to the eternal advantage of the game. 

Toby was born Oct. 26, 1949, to William and Laura Susan Toby of Campbellsville, Ky. Though raised round American Saddlebreds, Thoroughbreds turned his ardour. Days after graduating at 22 from the College of Kentucky with a level in Animal Science, he accepted a sports activities writing job on the Aiken Customary in South Carolina. His first project was associated to the Belmont Stakes (G1), and he was hooked.

A yr later Toby joined the employees at BloodHorse journal again in his house state, simply earlier than Secretariat’s historic 1973 Triple Crown run. The ’70s represented a golden period for racing, and Toby was there to witness it, {photograph} it, and write about it. For 12 years he honed his journalistic abilities, and towards the top of his BloodHorse tenure he trekked west to oversee images for the 1984 Olympic Video games’ equestrian occasions in Los Angeles.

Sunny's Halo wins the 1983 Kentucky Derby, Desert Wine 2nd

Picture: Milt Toby

A Milt Toby photograph captures Sunny’s Halo prevailing over Desert Wine within the 1983 Kentucky Derby

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In 1986 Toby launched a contract profession that might take him across the globe and into conditions not for the weak of coronary heart. As a photojournalist, he labored whereas residing in China, Costa Rica, and Colombia—writing for, amongst different publications, the well-known (some may say notorious) Soldier of Fortune journal.

Returning stateside, Toby met and married veterinarian Dr. Roberta Dwyer and by his mid-forties was searching for extra worlds to beat. He selected the authorized occupation, graduating in 1995 from the College of Kentucky Faculty of Legislation. His subsequent follow can be wide-ranging and profitable, encompassing equine legislation to loss of life penalty litigation. 

Starting in 2003, Toby took his abilities to the classroom, instructing at a number of Kentucky faculties and universities, and for a time chaired the Central Kentucky Bar Affiliation’s equine legislation division. Throughout these years, he additionally served as president of the American Society of Journalists and Authors, advocating on behalf of freelance writers, and sat on the board of the American Horse Publications. On the College of Louisville, he served as an teacher in equine industrial legislation for greater than a decade in its Equine Business Program.

His insatiably curious thoughts ultimately drew him again to writing about racing. He cherished nothing greater than an unsolved thriller he may sink his journalistic chops into and was particularly intrigued by the juicy chilly circumstances served up by the Sport of Kings. That is the place he shined brightest. In 2011 Toby was honored with the trade’s most profitable literary prize, the $10,000 Dr. Tony Ryan E-book Award, for “Dancer’s Picture, The Forgotten Story of the 1968 Kentucky Derby,” a meticulously researched story of racing’s most well-known doping scandal. Subsequent honors would come with a 2018 E-book of the 12 months nod from AHP for “Taking Shergar,” concerning the kidnapping of the 1981 Epsom Derby winner. Toby’s awards via the years had been many, however the actual winners had been his readers.

By 2023, Toby had written lots of of articles (together with 125 tales for BloodHorse) and authored 9 books. In his early 70s his abilities remained in full bloom, and he continued to push himself. A month earlier than passing, he delivered a one-hour Zoom lecture about copyright earlier than an AHP convention. As at all times, Toby selected to blaze his personal path all through his life—as a lawyer, professor, photographer, world traveler, public speaker, blogger and, finally, as one of many horse racing trade’s greatest investigative reporters.

Subsequent month, the College Press of Kentucky will publish Toby’s tenth e-book, “Unnatural Potential, The Historical past of Efficiency-Enhancing Medication in Racing.” It’s becoming that this posthumous quantity comes on the finish of a outstanding half-century profession, as “Unnatural Potential” will stand as his magnum opus, a piece of extraordinary breadth, perception, and significance to the trade he so cherished.

Toby additionally continued to contribute to BloodHorse. When the Medina Spirit Kentucky Derby (G1) disqualification case broke, his familiarity with the Dancer’s Picture case introduced necessary perspective in a narrative he penned for BloodHorse journal (July 2021, The Path Behind and Forward). Simply this yr his experience in racing’s doping and drugs points all through its historical past helped form his story on the significance of investigations to work along with drug testing because the Horseracing Integrity and Welfare Unite seems to be to implement the sports activities guidelines (Might 2023 situation, titled Focused Testing).

Milt Toby; Preakness 1987Picture: BloodHorse Library

Milt Toby on the 1987 Preakness Stakes

On tales just like the Medina Spirit case, Toby helped with potential concepts and angles in masking the day-to-day developments in that case. He additionally wrote award-winning long-form tales for the BloodHorse web site on Shergar, and a drug scandal involving Seabiscuit’s coach Tom Smith.

“I’ve misplaced a buddy and a mentor who over time helped me get my concepts and focus collectively for varied tales,” mentioned BloodHorse editorial director Frank Angst. “If he did not know the reply to a query about background on some story, he knew the place to look. Milt’s information of equine legislation and trade regulation is second to none. Even after shifting on from the publication, he cherished all issues BloodHorse, which gave us first crack at a lot of his fantastic tales. BloodHorse is eternally grateful that we have been in a position to showcase a few of Milt’s wonderful work.”

At his aspect upon his passing had been his spouse, Roberta, Echo the Doberman, and Winston the surveillance cat. He’s additionally survived by prolonged household and the various associates who cherished him.

No service or visitation is scheduled, though a gathering of remembrance could also be introduced later. Donations in his title will be made to Bluegrass Care Navigators, Lexington. 


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