October 4, 1993 |
Big Bear Markets to Be Sold: The San Diego-based supermarket chain, with 24 stores, will be sold to grocery wholesaler Fleming Foods of Oklahoma City and a supermarket chain whose identity will be made public "in the coming weeks," the companies said. Terms of the sale were not released. Big Bear is controlled by John Mabee, who also owns Golden Eagle Insurance, one of the largest California-based commercial insurance carriers.
February 16, 1997 |
Among those who have come to know John C. Mabee--whether as businessman, horse breeder or leader of San Diego high society--one opinion stands out. "He's a hard-ass," says a horse-racing acquaintance, "a defiant, ornery cuss who should never be in a regulated business." In fact, it was Mabee's very involvement in a regulated business--insurance--and his increasingly personal conflict with the state's insurance commissioner that have produced what for him could be a staggering financial disaster.
April 20, 2002 |
John Mabee, a founding member of the Del Mar Thoroughbred Club and owner and breeder of top horses in California for more than 30 years, was listed in critical condition Friday at the Palomar Medical Center in Escondido after suffering a stroke earlier in the week. Mabee, 80, was breathing with the help of a respirator, according to a statement from the Del Mar track.
March 21, 1998 |
This time of year, it's not unusual to hear a trainer say: "My owner's got Derby fever." This sends the trainer to the phone, to make shipping plans for Arkansas or Kentucky or New York, where some track will be running a prep race for the Kentucky Derby. Then the horse will run a strong half-mile before finishing eighth or ninth. The trip will have cost thousands of dollars. But by now, Derby fever is out of control.
July 24, 1991 |
John Mabee is used to seeing things grow. The son of an Iowa farmer, Mabee came West almost 50 years ago with his wife, Betty, and their 3-month-old son, arriving in San Diego in a 1941 Ford coupe, all their possessions in tow. Not long afterward, they bought a grocery store for $2,000. That mom-and-pop operation was the start of the Big Bear supermarket chain, now 29 stores strong. In 1957, the Mabees attended their first Del Mar yearling sale and bought two horses for $6,000.
February 25, 1997 |
State Insurance Commissioner Chuck Quackenbush on Monday threatened to sue ousted Golden Eagle Insurance owner John Mabee to recover $69 million in personal unsecured loans the company made to him before its Jan. 31 takeover by state regulators. The demand is part of Quackenbush's effort to turn up the heat on Mabee, who was ousted by regulators when the state assumed control of Golden Eagle, the state's third-largest workers' compensation insurer.