ALS Claims Trainer William Erminelli

William Erminelli, who trained horses at Rockingham Park and Tampa Bay Downs, died Jan. 22 from Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS), also called Lou Gehrig's disease. He was 56.

Born in Providence, R.I., Erminelli began his career as a hotwalker at Lincoln Downs, eventually becoming a groom and then a trainer. He raced mostly at Rockingham and Tampa Bay Downs, although he came to New York as assistant to trainer Jud Van Worp in 1995. That year, Van Worp won the Vosburgh (gr. I) at Belmont Park with Not Surprising, who would run fourth in the Breeders' Cup Sprint (gr. I).

His wife, Valerie, survives Erminelli.

As there is no memorial service planned; friends are asked to donate to their local ALS Foundation.