From DMTC Publicity
CLOVIS, Calif. (Aug. 2, 2015) -- C.R. “Chay” Knight, a native of Ventura and a longtime trainer on California Quarter Horse and Thoroughbred circuits, died Friday at his home in Clovis after a long illness. He was 80, and only four days short of his 81st birthday.
Knight-trained Splendid Spruce won the 1981 Santa Anita Derby and, ridden by Darrel McHargue, finished seventh in the 107th Kentucky Derby, 7 ½ lengths behind Pleasant Colony.
Knight’s lone Del Mar stakes win came with Time Of Sale in the 1982 Sorrento Stakes but he had many stakes victories elsewhere with horses like Splendid Spruce, Raise A Man and others.
Quarter Horse records credit Knight, who conditioned world record holder and champion Kaweah Bar, with 103 wins before becoming one of the first trainers to make the transition from that breed to Thoroughbreds, a path that Hall of Famers D. Wayne Lukas and Bob Baffert were later to follow.
Knight is survived by his wife Mary and sons Terry, Barry, Greg and Chris. At Chay’s request, family members said, no memorial services were to be held.