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Jan Siegel, 69; Singer, Owned Racehorses

April 07, 2002|BILL CHRISTINE | TIMES STAFF WRITER

Jan Siegel, a former big-band singer who helped establish one of the most successful racing stables in California, died Thursday in Los Angeles. She was 69. She had suffered from cancer and had undergone surgery late last year.

Her name was Jan Winston when she met Mace Siegel at Aqueduct Race Track in New York in 1962. They were married two months later and had a daughter, named Samantha after the Cole Porter song that Jan loved to sing with several bands in the 1950s and early 1960s.

The Siegels--Jan, Mace and Samantha--have won dozens of stakes races in California and elsewhere. Their biggest day at the track came in 1989, when they won three $100,000 races on the preliminary card to the Breeders' Cup races at Gulfstream Park in Hallandale Beach, Fla. Their major race winners include Urbane, I Believe In You, Hedonist, I Ain't Bluffing, Miss Iron Smoke and Stormy But Valid.

Born in Cincinnati, Jan Siegel developed an interest in horses while attending the University of Kentucky. She and her husband, a developer of regional shopping malls who heads Santa Monica-based Macerich Co., bought their first horse at an auction in Maryland in 1964 and named the filly Najecam by combining and spelling their first names backward.

Najecam didn't win her first race until four years later, and was retired with only one win in 27 outings. But by the mid-1970s, the Siegels began assembling some top horses and were winning important races. Their filly I Believe In You won the Hollywood Starlet in 2000.

Siegel is survived by her husband, her daughter and a son, Evan.

Services are scheduled for 2 p.m. Tuesday at the Church of the Good Shepherd in Beverly Hills.

The family has requested that, in lieu of flowers, donations be made to the City of Hope and St. Jude Children's Research Hospital.

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