Retired trainer Mel Stute, 85, still recuperating in Pomona, Calif., from a spill in which he suffered a head injury, hopes to celebrate Christmas with a post-holiday visit at a satellite facility for Santa Anita's opener Dec. 26.
"He seemed really, really good yesterday when I visited with him," his son, trainer Gary Stute, said Dec. 24. "He shouldn't be in there much longer. He still can't lift himself out of the chair, but other than that, he seemed really good. Hopefully, we'll get him to Fairplex for a while on opening day."
Mel Stute's best horse in a career spanning more than six decades was the California-bred Snow Chief, 1986 Preakness (gr. I) winner and that year's 3-year-old champion.