Mike Recio death – obituary : Co-founder of South Point Sales 46, passed away

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Mike Recio death – obituary, cause of death : Mike Recio 46, has died. He passed away after an illness in Lexington on September 16th 2021.

Mike was into thoroughbred racing and breeding; he was a consignor and bloodstock agent who loved the industry and loved the people tied to the industry even more.

Mike Recio a Co-founder of South Point Sales, and the son of respected Ocala, Fla., horseman Bill Recio, he had been involved in Thoroughbred racing and breeding for the majority of his life.

He worked in client services for Taylor Made Farm, Adena Springs, Mill Ridge, and Hidden Brook, where he cultivated his business acumen and his legendary gift of gab. That’s after graduating from the University of Louisville equine industry program in 2002.

John David Christman a friend of Recio noted that Recio’s infectious, fun-loving personality translated well to the industry. “He loved trading horses and he loved the horse business,” Christman said. “He had an incredible memory for races and pedigrees. He was completely immersed in this business and loved every aspect of it.”

South Point Sales was launched in the fall of 2014 by Recio, it became a prominent consignor at the breeding stock and yearling sales in Kentucky and Saratoga Springs, N.Y. Recio began Rockbridge Bloodstock, which became a full-service agency that quickly proved successful with mattings, racing and broodmare purchases, and stallion placement.

South Point sales grads of note include grade 2 winner Stubbins, and grade 3 winners Proud Emma and Fear the Cowboy, the latter being grade 1-placed.

He was involved in the private purchase of multiple graded stakes winner Tonalist’s Shape and had an especially strong record at the 2-year-old sales, 13% of his juvenile purchases earned black-type, including 2021 Breeders’ Cup Turf Sprint (G1T) contender The Critical Way.

The 46 years old was also adept at purchasing broodmare prospects. Four mares purchased under his Rockbridge Bloodstock banner have produced stakes winners in 2021, scooping up sisters to recent stars Swiss Skydiver and Arkansas Derby (G1) winner Super Stock.

Beth Bayer, the director of sales for Woodford Thoroughbreds said “I’ve known Mike for many, many years and partnered with him on some horses,”, “He is going to be greatly missed in the business. It was always a great joy to see him come to your barn. He was always happy and had fun things to say. I’ve known his family for a long time, and they are all so respected in the business. He was a friend and like family and a partner.”

Recio enjoyed industry success, he also will be remembered for his outgoing personality, the connections he made within the industry, and the people he brought together. He was never one to turn down a drink at the Keeneland bar or a dinner at Jeff Ruby’s Steakhouse, Recio had numerous numbers of friends within the industry.

The LaCroix-filled South Point water cooler became the best spot on the sales ground for gossip, and Mike was more than happy to supply. He never knew a stranger, and spoke with an ease that truly was a gift.

Christman said “I think he had moved to town and didn’t really know anybody. so, then he was always especially kind to anyone he met in a similar situation,”. “He was a larger-than-life kind of guy who never met a stranger. He put more into his 46 years than a lot of people who live much longer lives.”

Recio acknowledged the challenges in a Blood Horse story during uncertain times in 2020, but his optimism and faith in the industry also shone through.

Recio told Blood Horse “It’s becoming more and more difficult as a consignor and bloodstock agent to plan properly for the sales calendar of 2020 with what’s going on with COVID-19,”. “We as an industry are very keen to get the safety of the community under control and then move forward, but the best thing to do is to go day by day.

“We always do well as a business under pressure and we will come out of this just like any other major issue we have had in the past because we are resilient and darn right stubborn.”

Christman helped organize a GoFundMe page to benefit Recio’s family after Recio was admitted July 24 to the intensive care unit at Central Baptist Hospital in Lexington. Hundreds of friends and family—many with ties to horse racing and breeding—contributed a total of $445,183, surpassing the $400,000 goal.

“For a cut-throat type of business, when one of its own was in need the camaraderie and fellowship that collectively everybody showed was incredible,” Christman said. “This was a really, really great example of kindness and camaraderie in the horse business.”

Both Keeneland and Fasig-Tipton shared statements in remembrance of Recio.

Keeneland stated “Mike Recio was a great horseman and most importantly, a great friend to so many,”. “We will remember Mike’s energy, enthusiasm and love of life. Our thoughts and prayers are with the Recio family and all of those who were fortunate to call him their friend.”

“Our thoughts and prayers are with the family and many friends of Mike Recio,” the Fasig-Tipton statement read. “Mike was more than just a client of Fasig-Tipton, he was a great friend to many of us. Nobody enjoyed traveling to our various sales more than Mike, and we will dearly miss him and his infectious smile.”

While Recio loved the horse industry and his work, he took the greatest joy in spending time with his family and friends, whom he loved fiercely. He leaves behind his wife Nancy, his twins Wesley and Addison, whom he adored; his mother Lynn and father Bill, as well as his brother Gene, sister Katie Cauthen, brother-in-law Doug Cauthen, and niece Campbell Cauthen.