Mildred Saportas, 90, racehorse trainer

January 10, 1991

Mildred Saportas, 90, a racehorse trainer who was known as "Babe" since her childhood, died Monday at her home at Oakland Farm in Monkton, after breaking a leg in a fall last month.

Funeral services were being held today at St. James Episcopal Church, 3100 Monkton Road.

The former Mildred Pearce was born in the Oakland Farm house built on land her family had held since Colonial times. She received her nickname as the youngest of four children. She exercised and trained horses for hunt races by the time she was in her teens, a period in which she became well known as a rider in horse shows.

In 1926, she married George A. Saportas, a steeplechase jockey and racehorse trainer. He died in 1954.

Working at racetracks when women were rare there, she trained horses by herself, with her husband, and in the 1940s and 1950s, as a partner of the late William G. Myers.

She stopped riding in 1965 because of arthritis, but she was still saddling horses until the late 1970s, when she reduced her training activities. However, Mrs. Saportas continued to maintain her flower garden and to raise house plants.

Survivors include three nieces, Ann deMurguiondo, Susan Woodward and Sally Cocks, all of Monkton; nine grandnieces and grandnephews; and five great-grandnieces and great-grandnephews.

The family suggested memorial contributions to the Maryland Thoroughbred Horsemen's Association.

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