Lyle Anderson was 845 miles from home, but he liked to be around his horses.
Anderson, 55, flew to Lexington from Ottawa, Ontario, on Thursday and watched his filly Queen Charlotte and colt Cayenne Turbo race at The Red Mile. He spent part of Saturday with girlfriend Christina Anderson, also of Ottawa, eyeing yearlings before the fall sale, and boarded Comair Flight 5191 to go home. They never made it back.
"We just clicked right away," said Kevin Thomas, a close friend of Lyle Anderson. "You meet some people and you know you like them immediately and you know you'll never forget them. You don't meet many people like that, and when you do, they stand out."
Thomas said Anderson initially dabbled in the stock market, but "the second part of his life he wanted to be a horse trainer, and he was pursuing that."
Thomas owned a few horses with Anderson and trained his horses as well. Thomas said Anderson flew in to Lexington from Canada at least two dozen times a year to check on the 25 horses he owned here.
Thomas remembered his friend as someone who "had an aura" and a clown smile "from ear to ear." He said Christina Anderson, who had a memorable laugh, left behind two young children.
Lyle Anderson's family was en route from Canada. No information about funeral arrangements had been released.