Bloodstock agent and consignor Mike Recio passed away Sept. 16, at the age of 46 after an unexpected illness.
Mike, the son of respected Ocala horseman Bill Recio, had been involved in the Thoroughbred racing and breeding industry for the majority of his life. After graduating from the University of Louisville Horse Racing Industry Program in 2002, Mike worked in client services for Taylor Made Farm, Adena Springs, Mill Ridge and Hidden Brook, where he cultivated his business acumen and his legendary gift of gab.
In the fall of 2014, Mike launched South Point Sales. South Point became a prominent consignor at the breeding stock and yearling sales in Kentucky and Saratoga. At the same time, Mike began Rockbridge Bloodstock, a full service bloodstock agency that quickly proved successful with matings, racing and broodmare purchases and stallion placement.
Mike was involved in the private purchase of multiple graded stakes winner Tonalist’s Shape and had an especially strong record at the 2-year-old sales. Thirteen percent of his juvenile purchases earned black type, including 2021 Breeders’ Cup Turf Sprint (G1) contender The Critical Way.
Mike was also adept at purchasing broodmare prospects. Four of the mares purchased under his Rockbridge Bloodstock banner have produced stakes winners in 2021, and Mike also scooped up sisters to recent stars Swiss Skydiver and Arkansas Derby winner Super Stock.
South Point sold several more good ones, including record-setting Grade 2 winner Stubbins, who was also mated on Mike’s advice, graded stakes winner Proud Emma, graded winner and Grade 1-placed Fear the Cowboy, and multiple stakes winner and Sovereign Award finalist She’s the Berries.
Although Mike was a tremendous businessman in his own right, he will be remembered for his outgoing personality, the connections he made within the industry, and the people he brought together. Never one to turn down a drink at the Keeneland bar or a dinner at Jeff Ruby’s, Mike had an astounding number of friends within the industry. The La Croix-filled South Point water cooler became the best spot on the sales ground for gossip, which Mike was more than happy to supply. He never knew a stranger, and spoke with an ease that truly was a gift.
While Mike loved the horse industry and his work, he took the greatest joy in spending time with his family and friends, whom he loved fiercely. He leaves behind his wife Nancy, his twins Wesley and Addison, whom he adored, his mother Lynn and father Bill, as well as his brother Gene, sister Katie Cauthen, brother-in-law Doug Cauthen, and niece Campbell Cauthen.
A celebration of life will be held at a later date.