Mary Elizabeth Florsheim Bradley dies at 90; prominent figure in Southland racing

Mary Elizabeth Florsheim Bradley, a prominent figure in Thoroughbred racing in Southern California and the daughter of a well-known Chicago shoe businessman, died Feb. 5 of natural causes at her home in Rancho Santa Fe, her family said. She was 90.

With trainer Charlie Whittingham and jockey Bill Shoemaker, Bradley was the owner of several major stakes winners in the 1970s and '80s.

Her best-known horse, Cougar II, won an Eclipse Award in 1972 as champion turf horse and captured the Santa Anita Handicap in 1973.

Bradley also was one of the owners of Greinton, which won the 1986 Santa Anita Handicap.

"Cougar was the most amazing horse," Bradley's daughter, Ellen Hunt, said. "He always came up from behind.

"It was a very, very exciting time," Hunt recalled of her mother's involvement with Thoroughbred horse racing.

Bradley was born in Chicago on Jan. 17, 1920, the oldest daughter of Irving Florsheim, chairman of the board of the Florsheim Shoe Co., and sculptor Lillian Florsheim.

She rode horses at her father's farm in Libertyville, Ill., and attended Marot College in Connecticut.

She moved to Los Angeles in 1951 and was married for a time to actor-singer Allan Jones, who starred in a number of movie musicals during the 1930s and 1940s.

Bradley served on numerous boards and charitable organizations, including the Sanford-Burnham Medical Research Institute in La Jolla.

In addition to her daughter, Bradley is survived by two grandchildren and two great-grandchildren.