Longtime owner Tim Sweeney didn’t make regular appearances to Churchill Downs but when he did they were memorable. Sweeney passed away in early December at age 72 but his legacy around the racetrack and trainer Greg Foley’s Barn 11 remains strong.
Sweeney’s namesake, Attorney Tim, was able to record an emotional victory Thursday night at Churchill Downs for the Lloyd Madison Farms syndicate along with Foley. The 5-year-old gelding drove past Cibolian in the late stages of the featured $97,989 first-level allowance at 1 1/8 miles on turf to pay $9 to win.
Sweeney would typically come to Churchill Downs once or twice a year and don an infamous Foley Racing hat, which he embroidered “Assistant Trainer” on the side as a running joke with the barn.
“We can’t speak enough about how good a man Tim was,” Foley said. “I remember the first horse we bought for that ownership group named Double Mint. He was an Ohio-bred that really started their operation.”
Double Mint was purchased by Foley in 1996 and recorded seven victories through 50 starts. Since Double Mint, Lloyd Madison Farms campaigned several star horses including multiple graded stakes winner Champali, Eight Belles (GII) winner Sconsin and Kentucky Derby 146 entrant Major Fed. Sweeney was at Churchill Downs for Major Fed’s 10th-place finish in the 2020 Kentucky Derby and was able to enjoy the famous walkover with his fellow owners and Foley.
Along with Lloyd Madison Farms’ stars on the racetrack, they established a strong broodmare band over the last decade.
“This is an amazing sport filled with amazing people,” Sweeney said in a 2018 interview with Churchill Downs. “We’ve got a good group of horses and great potential horses as part of our broodmare band.”
Attorney Tim is a graduate of Lloyd Madison Farms’ homebred program. He’s out of the mare Bobby’s Babe who produced several top horses including Clairenation, Major Fed and Zapperini.
Sweeney grew up in Madison, Wisc. where he was a three-sport athlete in baseball, basketball and football. He was a walk-on quarterback at the University of Notre Dame in the late 1960s. Following his football career, Sweeney graduated Notre Dame with an economics degree and later got his law degree at the University of South Dakota School of Law.
Sweeney practiced law for more than 45 years and was recently recognized by US News & Reports as one of the Best Lawyers in America for Real Estate Law.
Not only was Sweeney passionate about horse racing, he adored teaching and giving back to his community. When Foley‘s son Alex was studying law at the University of Louisville, Sweeney was at the ready to help mentor and answer any questions.
“Loss is never easy but when Tim died it was a gut punch,” Alex Foley said. “Tim was always there for me during my schooling and always had encouraging words for me when I needed them the most. He was a kind heart in an unkind time. I will miss his kind words of encouragement followed by a quick witted joke, usually at my expense.”
While Attorney Tim hasn’t won a major stakes race, the Foley barn celebrated Thursday night’s allowance win like he was at the top of the sport.
Churchill Downs Press Release
Photo: Tim Sweeney, Greg Foley and Joe Schwartz, (Coady)