Trainer Mike Mitchell will undergo surgery June 29 to remove a brain tumor that was diagnosed early this week.
"He’s at USC Medical Center right now and is scheduled for surgery tomorrow at 9 a.m.," said the trainer's wife, Denise Mitchell. "Hopefully, they can remove the tumor and then run tests. We won’t know anything until after the surgery."
Mitchell, 64, was admitted to USC Medical Center June 27. The Southern California-based horseman does not know if the tumor is malignant or benign; tests are expected to make a determination early next week. An MRI taken June 25 revealed the tumor, which Denise Mitchell said was "medium-sized."
Mitchell's most recent stakes victory came with Potesta in the June 23 Hollywood Oaks (gr. II). His runners have taken 2,595 victories while earning a total $62,880,930 in purses. His grade I winners include Ever a Friend, Star Over the Bay, Kela, Romance is Diane, and Monzante; he is also responsible for the graded stakes wins of St. Trinians, On the Acorn, Kessem Power, and Skip to the Stone.
Mitchell has won six Del Mar training titles and 17 overall on the Southern California circuit. As well as being the all-time winning trainer at Del Mar, he is second behind the legendary Bobby Frankel at Betfair Hollywood Park.
In his absence, longtime assistant trainer Phil D'Amato will handle Mitchell's business.