Southern Cal Vet Steve Buttenbach Dead

Steve Buttgenbach, a popular Southern California veterinarian, died May 15 in his La Canada home from complications of cancer. He was 64.

Buttgenbach began working at Southern California tracks in 1972 and was associated with trainers such as Henry Moreno, Tommy Doyle, John Canty, John Sullivan, Ray Bell, and Neil Drysdale. For Drysdale, he worked with 1992 Horse of the Year A.P. Indy and champions Princess Rooney, Tasso, Hollywood Wildcat, and Fiji.

"I knew Steve for 30 years," said veterinarian Rick Arthur, equine medical director for the California Horse Racing Board. "He was very consistent and very professional. He cared about horses, and he cared about horse racing."

Buttgenbach, who grew up in the Marina area of San Francisco, worked for Dr. Bob Baker in Chino before starting to work at the track. He spent 1974 in France working for the Wildenstein stable when it won the Prix de l'Arc de Triomphe (Fr-I) with Allez France.

Buttgenbach survivors include sons Adam and Alex, plus former wife Judy Lee.