Dr. Fred Lewis, owner and breeder, passes

Who Stole My Sock
Who Stole My Sock won the 2016 Maryland Million Starter Handicap. Fred and Mary Agnes Lewis at left. Photo by Teresa Genaro.

“Like all of us,” veterinarian Dr. Fred Lewis said in 2016, “he’s too soon old and too late smart.”

Lewis was referring to his homebred Scipion gelding Who Stole My Sock, though he could, of course, been referring to most of us. Perhaps not himself, though: Lewis, a veterinarian, World War II veteran, and accomplished horseman lived surrounded by family, human and equine, and, as he liked to say, “The Lord always looked after me.”

Lewis died March 13. He was 95.

Lewis and his wife Mary Agnes, who died in 2020 after 70 years of marriage, made a long avocation of breeding horses on their Clarksville farm and racing them; they also bought a few along the way.

Racing as Lewis Family Racing Stable – Fred and Mary Agnes had 10 children – the Lewises made nearly 400 starts between 2003 and 2022. Their charges earned over $1.2 million.

The best of the family runners was one they purchased, the stakes winner Katie’s Love, by Not for Love. She won the 2007 Shine Again Stakes at Laurel Park en route to earning nearly $250,000 in her career. Her daughter, Celtic Katie, was probably their best homebred, winning the 2014 Geisha Stakes and making over $215,000 in her career.

It was the modestly bred, and even more modestly accomplished, Who Stole My Sock who gave the Lewises their lone Maryland Million victory. That came in the 2016 Maryland Million Starter Handicap, in which Who Stole My Sock rallied from 12th to win by a neck at odds of 40-1.

The homebred Who Stole My Sock was truly a family affair: born and raised on their Clarksville farm and trained by Carlos Mancilla, who’d been trainer Chris Grove’s assistant when Grove had the Lewis horses and before he stepped away from the game.

He was also a product of the family’s naming tradition. The 10 Lewis children would get together to name the family horses, and as they looked at a horse with three – but not four – white socks, one of them observed, “He lost his sock.”

That would prove to be the last of Who Stole My Sock’s three career victories and also the lone Maryland Million win for the Lewis family stable. The family’s Hunter Joe provided the stable’s most recent win March 13 when he won an allowance/optional claiming event.

Dr. Lewis is survived by his 10 children, as well as 17 grandchildren and 4 great grandchildren.

The funeral will take place March 18 at 11:00 a.m. at Saint Louis Church in Clarksville, MD. In lieu of flowers the family requests donations be made to Our Daily Bread c/o Catholic Charities, 320 Cathedral Street, Baltimore, MD 21201. www.cc-md.org – contact Erin Boles 667-600-2021.