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Auto Dealer, Racehorse Owner Peter Fuller Dies

This article is more than 7 years old.
In this 1968 file photo, horse owner Peter Fuller, left, jockey Bob Ussery and trainer Louis Cavalaris Jr. celebrate Dancer's Image's Kentucky Derby win. (AP)
In this 1968 file photo, horse owner Peter Fuller, left, jockey Bob Ussery and trainer Louis Cavalaris Jr. celebrate Dancer's Image's Kentucky Derby win. (AP)

Well-known former Boston automotive dealer, racehorse owner and boxer Peter Fuller has died. He was 89.

The son of former Gov. Alvan Fuller, who was elected to the office in 1924, Fuller was an amateur boxing champion, led his family's Cadillac dealership, and groomed successful horses at Runnymede Farm in New Hampshire.

"He was sort of a character out of Hemingway," Richard Johnson, curator of The Sports Museum in Boston, told the Boston Globe in its obituary.

Perhaps most notably, Fuller owned Dancer's Image, the 1968 Kentucky Derby winner, but the horse was stripped of its title days later for testing positive to an anti-inflammatory drug.

As a New York Times blog wrote Monday:

Some speculated that the sample or the horse was purposefully tainted in order to default the race. Fuller spent four years and many thousands of dollars trying to clear his horse’s name.

Fuller never accepted the ruling against Dancer's Image — the only horse ever stripped of its Derby win. The drug in question was then sanctioned in 1974.

The 89-year-old died of cancer Monday in Portsmouth, N.H.

For more, see the Globe obit, the NYT piece and this special BU feature on Boston's famed Auto Row — which refers to Fuller's father, Alvan Fuller, as "the Prince of Packard's Corner."

In February, Boston University shared this image of Fuller's former Cadillac dealership on Commonwealth Avenue:

The Fuller Building (Kalman Zabarsky and Robert Dolan/Boston University)
The Fuller Building (Kalman Zabarsky and Robert Dolan/Boston University)

This program aired on May 15, 2012. The audio for this program is not available.

Benjamin Swasey Twitter Digital Manager
Ben is WBUR's digital news manager.

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