LARC NEWS Posted: 7/27/2018 2:18:34 PM

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           John Andreini, one of the most respected and successful owners and breeders in the Quarter Horse racing industry and a racehorse owner since 1968, died on Friday morning following a brain aneurysm. He was 90.

        Andreini is the founder, chairman of the board and CEO of Andreini and Company, one of the largest privately held insurance brokerage firms in the United States. His expertise in the business world and his knowledge of horse racing landed him on several important boards within the industry. Andreini served on the California Horse Racing Board and also on the PCQHRA Board of Directors. He was a Board Member of the American Quarter Horse Association, Member of the AQHA Foundation Committee/Council and part of the AQHA Racing Committee. He was an Ex-Officio Board Member of the PCQHRA. He was a partner of the Los Alamitos Equine Sale and before that he partnered with Blane Schvaneveldt to conduct the Schvaneveldt/Andreini Yearling Sale. Most recently, Andreini was a part of the new ownership group at Ruidoso Downs in New Mexico.

      “I can’t express what an incredible loss this is to the racing industry,” said Ed Allred, the owner of Los Alamitos Race Course. “He was a giant in Quarter Horse racing. All the wonderful things you’ll hear about John Andreini are all true. He helped Los Alamitos Race Course in so many ways. When we were facing difficulties with worker’s compensation coverage, John helped us greatly. He helped us create the framework for Finish Line Insurance Group. I was looking forward to spending some time with him on California Breeders Champions Night tomorrow night. He was such a distinguished gentleman in every way.”         

        “John was always looking to the future,” said Vince Genco, a friend and longtime business partner in Quarter Horse racing. “I don’t know anybody that had more passion for the sport and more enthusiasm to make it better. He bought part of a racetrack when he was 90, that tells you right there how much passion he had and much he enjoyed racing. He was always looking for a good mare. We did a lot of fun things and enjoyed a lot of great races together.

“The great Bill Verdugo told me that there are guys you can party with and guys you can go out and do business with, but very few you can do both with. John Andreini was one of those guys. He was such a great role model. He had such a positive attitude and always such enthusiasm for the sport. Just the other day we were at his ranch looking at the babies. He was so excited about his yearlings and weanlings. We would go out to his ranch four or five times a year. It was an honor to spend time with him and a privilege to have had some opportunities to sit down with him and Dr. Allred and listen to them talk about the sport. I’ll miss him dearly. It’s a sad day today.”

        Andreini first entered the equine world in 1965 when one of his best customers at the time invited him to take part in the Rancho Vistadores annual trail ride. He accepted the invitation and went on the trail ride that year. Horses became a major part of his life from that moment on. Race horse ownership soon followed in 1968 when Andreini met Los Alamitos trainer Judd Morse. The two raced horses together at Los Alamitos. Andreini would eventually have horses with legendary trainer Blane Schvaneveldt, who would encourage Andreini to spend $175,000 for a breeding share of First Down Dash, who would go on to become the sport’s all-time leading sire. Andreini owned shares of several other top stallions over the years, including the likes Mr Jess Perry, Walk Thru Fire, Corona Cartel, Separatist, One Famous Eagle, Valiant Hero and more.

        “I can’t think of another person that supported Los Alamitos Race Course, the Pacific Coast Quarter Horse Racing Association, and the American Quarter Horse Association at a local and national level more than John Andreini,” said Dominic ‘Bud’ Alessio, the president of PCQHRA. “He was also such a fabulous person. If you needed his helped or asked him to do something, he did it. He’s irreplaceable.” 

          Andreini would own in partnership with Schvaneveldt and Ronnie Keller stars like Militante and two-time Grade 1 futurity placed runner Corona Cocktail. He would later acquire ownership of the champion filly Jumping Tac Flash, and would eventually join Schvaneveldt and Zory Kuzyk to own the Grade 1 winning stallion Check Him Out. His Fantastic Corona Jr, a stallion that he campaigned in partnership with his great friend Vince Genco and the late Gianna Franco Samaja, was a seven-time Grade 1 stakes performer. As a stallion, Fantastic Corona Jr stood in the United States and shuttled back and forth to Brazil with success. He now stands in Brazil.

          For nearly 30 years, breeding Quarter Horses was one of Andreini’s passions in life. He bred in his own name or in partnerships with others the winners of more than $6.17 million led by the Grade 1 winner Volcom, a winner of over $430,000. He also bred the Grade 1 winner Deefirst, who earned over $319,000. Andreini also bred Grade 2 winner Make A Secret and Grade 3 winners Illegal Fireworks and Exquisite Strides. He was the co-breeder of Jumpn Beduino, who in 2009 earned close to $200,000, Grade 1 winner Headturner, and Lindas Dasher, the runner-up in the Grade 1 Ed Burke Memorial Futurity. His broodmare band has been spearheaded by the great Dinastia Toll BR, the mother of the champion millionaire FDD Dynasty, Brazilian Dasher, Chaotic Cartel, and Staggering Stride, the sale topper at the 2015 Los Alamitos Equine Sale.

      Over the years, Andreini’s broodmare band has also featured Lady Tenaya, Imjumpn, Go Adrianna, Totally Illegal, Ah Sigh, Shyann Cash, Immortal Cartel and more. His top current mares included Mischievous Player, a daughter of Dinastia Toll Br, and Jess Racy Eyes, who Andreini owned in partnership with Genco. She’s the mother of Oklahoma Futurity winner Fetching Beauty and three-time stakes winner Woop Dee Doo.

        “Since I had shares in several stallions, I needed to have some broodmares,” Andreini once said. “You always want to do a better job.”

      To go along with his success as a breeder, Andreini also owned or co-owned stakes winners Dashing Bye, Adriannas Dasher, Corona Cocktail, Chaotic Cartel, Doctor Rum, Corona Cocktail plus 2017 Grade 2 Southern California Derby finalist Hootin For Hotlips and stakes finalists A Streakinson and Like A Zephyr.   

        The long-time market breeder and stakes winning owner operated along with his wife, Linda, the 2,650 acre JL Ranch in Paicines, California. The ranch has always been a great source of pride for the Andreinis, who worked ardently to turn the ranch into one of Quarter Horse racing’s most pristine facilities. Over the years, the Andreinis added a ranch house for manager Danny Cardoza, big open field for the horses, large pastures, multiple barns and a second mare motel.  

        “I feel like I’ve lost one of the best friends I’ve ever had,” Cardoza said. “I’m one of his employees, but he treated me like family. He’d try to come to the ranch once a week. He wanted to see every horses, every mare and every baby. He wanted to know every single horse at the ranch. He just loved his horses so much.”          

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