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Subject: Henryk de Kwiatkowski, 79, Calumet Farm Owner

died March 19
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Date Posted: March 24, 2003 2:06:54 EDT

Henryk de Kwiatkowski, a thoroughbred horse owner and breeder and the owner of the celebrated Calumet Farm since 1992, died on Monday at his home in Lyford Cay in the Bahamas. He was 79.

The cause was pneumonia, said Roy Roberts, the farm manager of Mr. de Kwiatkowski's Kennelot Stables in Greenwich, Conn.

Mr. de Kwiatkowski (pronounced dee-fee-at-KAWF-skee), a Polish native and a man of Old World charm who spoke 10 languages, made his first fortune by leasing and brokering the sale of used planes. He said that in 1975 he earned a $20.1 million commission on the sale of nine 747's for cash-strapped Trans World Airlines to Iran for $183 million.

His horses included Conquistador Cielo, the 1982 Belmont Stakes winner and North American horse of the year, who was syndicated for $36.4 million, a record at the time. He bought a horse named Danzig for $310,000, retired him after three races because he was unsound and watched him become one of history's most successful sires.

Before Mr. de Kwiatkowski bought Calumet in Lexington, Ky., the farm had bred nine Kentucky Derby winners and owned eight. Its best-known horses were the Triple Crown winners Whirlaway (1941) and Citation (1948), and the sires Bull Lea and Alydar.

But Calumet amassed more than $100 million in debt, and Mr. de Kwiatkowski bought it at a 1992 bankruptcy auction for $17 million. The day before he died, its horse Region of Merit won the Tampa Bay Derby.

Henryk Richard Kwiatkowski (the "de" came later) was born Feb. 22, 1924, in Poznan, Poland. He said his parents and four of his six siblings were killed by invading German troops during World War II.

He eventually reached England, emigrated to Canada in 1952 and to the United States in 1957.

Mr. de Kwiatkowski said that in 1994 and 1995, he lost a net $215 million trading in currency futures, with single-day losses of $112 million, $98 million and $70 million. In 2000, a federal jury awarded him $164.5 million from the brokerage firm Bear, Stearns on his claim that it did not warn him sufficiently of trading risks. An appeals court overturned the verdict.

Mr. de Kwiatkowski is survived by his second wife, Barbara Tanner Allen, of the Bahamas, New York City, Lexington and Greenwich; three sons, Conrad and Stephan of New York City and Greenwich and Nicholas of Greenwich; four daughters, Michelle Corsini of Rome, Nicole Timonier and Arianne de Kwiatkowski of Geneva and Lulu of New York City; and 10 grandchildren.

His marriage to his first wife, Lynne Burke Sawdon, ended in divorce.

"He did a lot of things in thoroughbred racing," John Asher, a spokesman for Churchill Downs in Louisville, told The Associated Press. "But saving Calumet Farm was something the industry will be eternally indebted to him for."

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