PASSINGS: Vincent Timphony, Peter C. Marzio

Vincent Timphony

Trainer of Breeders’ Cup winner Wild Again

Vincent Timphony, 76, a thoroughbred trainer who guided Wild Again to victory in the inaugural Breeders’ Cup Classic in 1984, died Monday at Methodist Hospital in Arcadia, said his former wife, Scarlet. He had suffered from breathing problems and then had a series of strokes.

Wild Again, with jockey Pat Day riding, edged Gate Dancer and Slew o’ Gold to win the $3-million race at Hollywood Park, at that point the richest race ever run. Wild Again was declared the winner by track stewards after a finish so close “it looked like there was one big three-headed horse churning toward the finish line,” The Times reported.

The victory was the biggest of Timphony’s career.


He was born March 8, 1934, in New Orleans near the city’s Fair Grounds and started going to races there with his father when he was 3, Scarlet Timphony said. He graduated from New Orleans’ Warren Easton High School.

“By the time he was 11 or 12 he was running bets for bookmakers,” she said. “He was always a gambler; he won his first horse in a gin rummy game in New Orleans.”

He learned the business working in New Orleans for noted trainers Vester “Tennessee” Wright and Marion Van Berg. Timphony worked as a trainer in several states before coming to California in 1983.

Timphony won more than $9,000 betting on Wild Again in the Breeders’ Cup, The Times reported after the race. “I’ve always thought he was one of the best horses in the country,” he told USA Today in 2008.

Peter C. Marzio

Longtime director of Houston’s Museum of Fine Arts

Peter C. Marzio, 67, who built the Museum of Fine Arts, Houston into a world-class cultural center in nearly three decades as its director, died Thursday in Houston after a recurrence of cancer, the museum announced.

Marzio joined the museum in 1982 and was its longest-serving director. Under his leadership, the permanent collection more than quadrupled in size, growing from 14,000 artworks to 62,000.

At the time of his death, Marzio was planning a third building for modern and contemporary art, which he envisioned as presenting a global view of art movements in the Americas, Europe and Asia.


Born May 8, 1943, into a working-class Italian immigrant family in New York, Marzio was a gas-station attendant while growing up. He was the first in his family to graduate from high school and went to Juniata College in Huntingdon, Pa., on a sports scholarship.

He earned a doctorate in art history and American history from the University of Chicago. He began his career in Washington, D.C., as curator of prints and drawings at the Smithsonian Institution, then became director and chief executive of the Corcoran Gallery of Art.

Marzio was among candidates interviewed in 1992 when the Los Angeles County Museum of Art was looking for a new director. The museum hired Michael Shapiro, who had been chief curator of the St. Louis Art Museum.

Times staff and wire reports