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Bud Baedeker, 90; Founded Horseracing Tipsheet

March 03, 2004|Bill Christine | Times Staff Writer

Bud Baedeker, who handicapped horses and caddied for mobster Al Capone in Chicago before moving to California, where he founded a racetrack tipsheet that has lasted for 66 years, died Saturday in New York City. He was 90.

"Baedeker's Guide" has been sold at Southern California racetracks since 1938, when Baedeker and his brother Jack started the business outside the tracks with a mimeograph machine and a sandwich board. The Baedekers swept the card -- picking the winner of every race -- on opening day at Hollywood Park in 1950, and their publication took off.

Now published by Bob Baedeker, one of Bud Baedeker's sons, the guide is one of the few sold within the gates at the Santa Anita, Hollywood Park and Del Mar racetracks.

Bud Baedeker, ill with tuberculosis, left his native Chicago when he was 19. Treatment in California cured him. In an interview with The Times in 1985, Baedeker remembered carrying Capone's golf clubs, also recalling that Capone would sometimes play with a machine gun in his bag.

Baedeker, whose real name was Frederick Martin, named his racing guide after travel books first published by Karl Baedeker in the early 1800s.

Baedeker's survivors, besides his brother and son, include his wife, Helen; another son, Rick Baedeker, who is president of Hollywood Park; daughters Kathy Brandt and Therese Pohlson; a sister, Mary Noble; 15 grandchildren; and five great-grandchildren.

A memorial service is scheduled for 1 p.m. Thursday at the Good Shepherd Cemetery in Huntington Beach.

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