Longtime Remington Park trainer Norm Thomas Jr. died the evening of Sept. 8 at his home in Duncan, Okla. The 70-year-old Oklahoma horseman is survived by his wife, Ann, son Tim, and daughter Jeannie.
Thomas began training in the 1950's and trained on the Southern California circuit in the 1970's and '80s before returning to his home state permanently when Remington Park opened in 1988.
His best runner, Darrell Darrel, accounted for eight stakes wins from 1992-94. He also won a $25,000 against Quarter Horse E J Cash Bo. Thomas also trained stakes winners Cannon Green and Jeans Ruler.
Ron Canady, executive director of the Oklahoma Horsemen's Benevolent and Protective Association, remembers Thomas as one of the state's best ambassadors for racing.
"Junior was a true horsemen's horseman," stated Canady. "He was very skilled as well as cordial and pleasant to be around. He was also one of the hardest working men I know and he was always concerned about his fellow man."
Thomas served two terms as a director of the OHBPA from 1993-96 and from 1997 to 2000.
A trust fund has been set up to assist Thomas' family with medical expenses. Those who wish to donate can call Canady at (405) 427-8753. Canady, along with Oklahoma Thoroughbred breeder and owner Larry Kettles, established the fund at First Capital Bank in Guthrie, Okla.