Courtesy Santa Anita Park
Trainer Don Warren, a hard-working fixture in California for almost half a century, died at his Laguna Woods home in Orange County early Thursday morning. He was 67 and had been in ill health since a failed back surgery.
“He had been taking pain medication for a degenerative back disease, which caused his kidneys to shut down,” said his sister, Rhonda Schiewe, wife of former trainer Paul Schiewe. “He had other health issues, too.
“He was one of the finest horsemen I ever knew, and I’m not saying that because he was my brother. He started in racing when he was 18 or 19.”
The oldest of 10 children, Warren’s best horse was Acclamation, who won the 2011 GI Pacific Classic en route to capturing an Eclipse Award that year as outstanding older male. A son of the late Unusual Heat, Acclamation had career earnings of nearly $2 million and stands at Harris Farm in Coalinga.
Training most of his career for California’s iconic Old English Rancho in Ontario, California, later in Sanger, Warren won 646 races from 5,316 starters that earned $21,226,170.
“He wasn’t just a good trainer,” said former trainer Kim Lloyd. “He was a good family man; a good husband and a good father.”
Warren is survived by his wife, Patty, twin daughters Jennifer and Diana, and daughter Amanda. Don’s brother Ron is a former jockey who was based in the Bay Area and currently resides in Lake Tahoe.
Funeral services are pending.