Perry and Dennis Martin in 2020.
With great sadness, Martin Racing announces the death of Dennis Martin, co-founder, and heartthrob, of Martin Racing, a thoroughbred and Standardbred breeding and racing organization based in Alpine, Wyo. , with global horse holdings. Brilliant chemist, entrepreneur, horse owner and mother of two passed away on June 14 at the age of 61.
With her husband and co-founder Perry serving as Martin Racing’s director of general sound and operations, Denise took the critical role in managing all the communications and behind-the-scenes business needs of the small, family-owned business, which was founded in 2016.
Martins were propelled to global fame in 2014, when the hugely popular and charismatic Colt California Chrome won the Kentucky Derby and their first Eclipse Award titles as the best horse in North America. The California-born star, who was raised by Martins and initially raced in partnership with Steve and Carolyn Coburn under the stable name Dumb Ass Partners, also won the 2016 Dubai World Cup and eight additional progressive races before retiring in 2017 with earnings of $1,752,650 – a record in North America at the time.
The success of the California Chrome Stories has enabled Martin Racing to expand internationally. In addition to supporting their first domestic breeding by participating in a stallion guild, originally in Kentucky and now in Japan, the Martins currently stand in Thoroughbred stallions in California, Louisiana and Wyoming, and the Hamptonian Trixton-winning Standardbred stallion in Canada.
Their Mo Musa colt won the Lone Star Park Class III Steve Sexton Mile Stakes on May 31.
“Dennis very much enjoyed interacting with racing fans, whether I reached out to them in person or through California Chrome’s official social media channels,” said Perry Martin. “She was also solely responsible for all of Martin Racing’s charitable giving endeavours.”
A trained chemist and California State University graduate, Denise was CEO of Martin Testing Laboratories in Sacramento, California, from its inception in 2000 until its sale in June 2020. She previously worked in the US Air Force as a civilian employee at McClellan Air Force Base.
In semi-retirement, the Chicago native has served the Wyoming community accredited to the Board of Directors of the Northern Alpine Water District. She also recently started taking online college courses in astronomy and has been building a telescope to view Wyoming’s clear night sky.
Dennis is survived by her adorable husband of 35 years Perry, daughter Kelly Martin, son Perry Martin Jr., siblings Andrew Prudniak and Richard Prudniak, a Golden Retriever Tizzy, 76 Thoroughbreds and seven Standardbred horses.
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