Oklahoma native John Ray James, a longtime Thoroughbred breeder and owner who raced and stood grade 2 winner Dramedy, died July 17. He was 75.
A resident of Dewey, Okla., James was born Oct. 26, 1943, in Lawton, Okla., to Noel Ray and Ellen Ann (Meek) James. He graduated from Dewey High School in 1962 and attended Northeastern State University in Tahlequah, Okla., where he received an associate degree.
James won numerous awards and races across the country with his horses. He was particularly proud of freshman sire Dramedy, who simultaneously gained his first winner and his first black-type scorer July 12 when Southgate won the Iowa Stallion Futurity at Prairie Meadows. Dramedy stands at River Oaks Farms in Oklahoma, where his 2019 fee was $2,000.
Dana Aschinger of War Horse Place, where James boarded his Kentucky horses for several years, remembered his passion for Thoroughbred breeding and racing.
Dramedy raced for multiple outfits and trainers throughout his career but accomplished his most significant score in the 2015 Dixiana Elkhorn Stakes (Gr.2T) at Keeneland when racing under the silks of the John James Revocable Trust under the care of Aschinger's late husband and co-owner of War Horse Place, Gerald Aschinger.
James was preceded in death by his mother and father. He is survived by Darlene; daughter Sami Duffield and husband Zach; grandchildren Jaxson, Jesi, and Jordi Duffield; one brother; several aunts and uncles; and many cousins and extended family.
In lieu of flowers, the family suggested memorial donations be made to the Dewey Lions Club at 300 E. Angus Ave., Dewey, OK 74029. Funeral services were held July 23 prior to interment at the Dewey Cemetery.