Arnold Pessin, veterinarian and racetrack manager, dies at age 83

Arnold Pessin, a longtime Kentucky veterinarian and an early manager of Dueling Grounds, the racetrack in Simpson County that later became Kentucky Downs, died Friday in Lexington. He was 83.

A native of Hartford, Conn., Dr. Pessin founded Winchester Farm, a 500-acre stallion and broodmare complex and built the Kentucky Training Center, the first Kentucky site for Fasig-Tipton Sales.

In the mid-1990s, Dr. Pessin was entangled in the much-publicized case of horseman Tom Gentry, who served five months in federal prison for bankruptcy fraud and money-laundering. Dr. Pessin pleaded guilty to cashing checks for Gentry while Gentry was in bankruptcy, a violation of bankruptcy law, and was fined and placed on probation.

Dr. Pessin was a graduate of Cornell University and Texas A&M College of Veterinary Medicine.

Survivors include three daughters, Pam Pessin, Holly Barnhill and Jan Pessin; and a son, Neil Pessin.

Visitation will be at Kerr Brothers Funeral Home on Harrodsburg Road from 4 to 7 p.m. Tuesday.

Services will be private. Memorial contributions may be made to a Thoroughbred rescue of one's choice.