Jim  Ford


Jim Ford was born in Danville, Ill., on October 5, 1943, to Dale and Ruth Ford.
He graduated from Danville High in 1961, before enlisting in the U.S. Navy at the age of 17. Mr. Ford served over three years at the Miramar Naval Station in San Diego, Calif., until he earned an honorable discharge to attend SDSU.
Upon graduating in 1969, he obtained his teaching credentials in 1970. He taught school for five years at Parkway Junior High School, while simultaneously obtaining his real estate sales and broker's license. Later, he earned a contractor's license from the State of California.
Mr. Ford built hundreds of apartments, condos and single-family homes in East County San Diego until moving to North County San Diego. Here, he became one of the premier builders in Rancho Del Mar, Fairbanks Ranch, Rancho Santa Fe, Del Mar, Rancho Pacifica and Del Mar Country Club. His crowning glory was developing The River Estates in Rancho Santa Fe.
Mr. Ford had interests in sports of all kinds, ranging from golf and tennis, to basketball and skiing, but his main focus soon became the "Sport of Kings," thoroughbred horse racing. Since 1979, he accumulated over 100 wins at the Del Mar Racetrack alone, 47 stakes wins, including a Grade 1 win at Keeneland Racetrack in Lexington, Ky.; a Grade 1 win at Hollywood Park; and two Grade 2 races at Del Mar.
Mr. Ford was well respected on the backside, having ridden hall of fame jockeys such as Chris McCarron, Alex Solis, Laffit Pincay Jr., Eddie Delahoussaye, Patrick Valenzuela, Kent Desormeaux, Gary Stevens, Mike Smith, Martin Garcia, Corey Nakatani, Jerry Bailey, Pat Day, Victor Espinoza, Danny Sorenson and many upcoming stars in the game. Of the many horsemen he had an opportunity to meet, Mike Mitchell, Philip D'Amato and English Bloodstock Agent, Jamie Lloyd stand out the most.
Jim soon adopted a local restaurant and bar, Red Tracton's, as his favorite place to meet new people and enjoy the camaraderie of his friends. Mr. Ford was known for his quirky poetry and wrote dozens of poems about friends, family, and his own life. One of his more popular poems, "My Life on a Barstool," was written as lyrics to his first song written and performed by Bobby Cruz and others up and down the coast and became a fan favorite.
Jim is survived by his beautiful wife, Beth Ford; her wonderful daughter, McKenna Platt; his lovely daughter, Molly; brother, Kevin Mackin of Florida; sister, Michele Heaton and her husband, JL Heaton; and many nieces and nephews.
Jim Ford was always a fun-loving guy who truly lived life to the fullest each and every day.
His Celebration of Life will be at 11 a.m. July 14 at the Del Mar Racetrack-Paddock Area with a reception noon-4 p.m. at Red Tracton's Restaurant.
In lieu of flowers or donations, he and his family would prefer a contribution to be made to Pacifica House, 4411 Park Drive, Carlsbad, CA 92008, or the Permanently Disabled Jockeys Fund, PDJF.Org - notifying Beth Ford, P. O. Box 8323, Rancho Santa Fe, CA 92014, bethford5412@aol.com
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Published on June 24, 2019
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