Virginia Thoroughbred Owner Marshall Dowell Passes Away at 77

The Virginia horse industry sends deep condolences to family and friends of Marshall Dowell, 77, who departed this world Thursday, April 27, 2023.  He was preceded in death by his father, Claude Melvin Dowell; mother, Mary Elizabeth “Brown” Dowell; and brother, Claude “Melvin” Dowell, Jr.  

Marshall is survived by his daughter Kimberly Dowell; son, Marshall Dowell, Jr.; grandchildren, Jacob, Tanner, Fairan, and Georgia; sister-in-law, Madeline Dowell; long-time girlfriend, Cathy; and his faithful road trip companion, Kim.  

Marshall grew up in Lakeside (Richmond area) where his tenacious work ethic started.  He worked several jobs as a young man, winning trips for top sales contests.  He joined the Army where he became a special forces member in Vietnam.  His service rendered him several medals.  Returning home, he then turned his sights on the automotive business and became a successful car dealer. While in his tenure, he ventured into the Harley-Davidson Community with great success.

His passion then turned to thoroughbred horse racing, where his success was high among his peers.  His horse, Scrappy T, was his most successful horse courtesy of a second-place finish in the memorable 2005 Preakness with the help of his trainer, W. “Robbie” Bailes. Overall, Scrappy T earned $645,919 from 17 starts including a win in the Grade 3 Withers Stakes, runner-ups in the Grade 2 Indiana Derby and Grade 3 Discovery Handicap, and a third in the Grade 1 Wood Memorial. Local fans got to see Scrappy T compete in the 2008 Old Nelson Handicap at Colonial Downs.

Scrappy T (photo by Tibor & Judit Photography)

Another of Marshall’s best horses was Mint Slewlep who bankrolled $174,556. Career highlights for the bay horse included a win in the 2008 Da Hoss Stakes at Colonial and a seventh in the 2007 Preakness. He also competed in the Colonial Turf Cup in New Kent the same year.

Marshall’s Jakey D, winner of $200,000-plus, broke his maiden at Colonial in 2000. The Chimes Band gelding provided 31 top-three finishes from 64 starts.

Marshall’s final win came last October at Charles Town when his Theola Huggins broke her maiden in gate-to-wire fashion.

Overall, Marshall’s horses made 1,014 starts that produced 138 wins, 160 second place finishes and 139 thirds, good for $3,684,802 in purse monies.

Marshall’s life was one of passion, adventure, travel, and overall lust for life.  He was loved by many.  The family will received friends on Sunday April 30, 2023 at the Mechanicsville Chapel of the Bennett Funeral Home, 8014 Lee-Davis Rd, where services will be held 10 a.m. Tuesday, May 2, 2023.  Interment will follow in Signal Hill Memorial Park.