Arkansas News Bureau

Arkansas News Bureau

HOT SPRINGS Bob Holthus, who won nine training titles at Oaklawn Park, died early Tuesday at his home in Louisville, Ky.

Holthus, 77, began training at Oaklawn in 1953 and had not missed a meeting since. He holds the record for most career victories at Oaklawn.

In addition to his success at Oaklawn, Holthus also won training titles at Arlington Park and Hawthorne near Chicago, Detroit Race Course, Louisiana Downs, and Turfway Park and Ellis Park in Kentucky. The son and grandson of thoroughbred trainers, Holthus suffered from heart problems for more than 20 years, but remained active while substantially reducing the size of his stable in recent years.

Holthus won the Arkansas Derby with Lawyer Ron in 2006 and with Proper Reality in 1988. Lawyer Ron also won the Rebel and Southwest Stakes at Oaklawn. Holthus also trained Grade I winner Pure Clan.

Holthus is survived by his wife, Bonnie, who accompanied him to the races with regularity; his sons, Paul, a longtime former assistant who also trained a public stable before working in other capacities in the racing industry, and David; and his daughter, Debbie, also a longtime stable assistant who worked in recent years overseeing the family farm in Arkansas.

ESPN quoted Bonnie Holthus as saying her husband was getting ready for work early Tuesday when he suffered a heart attack.