Rafael DeLeon, who assisted trainer Doug Peterson for the past five years, will take over training his 23-horse stable at Hollywood Park. Peterson, 53, was found dead in his Crowne Plaza Hotel room near the track Sunday evening.Funeral services are scheduled for Peterson Saturday at 7 p.m. at Our Savior Lutheran Church, 512 W. Duarte Road, in Arcadia. Peterson, best known for training Seattle Slew to an Eclipse Award as a 4-year-old in 1978, won 345 races with 2,525 starters during his career. At Hollywood Park, he won 109 races. His last stakes victory was the 1997 Blaze O'Brien with Reality Changes. Peterson sent out Apalachee Ridge to a track record victory of 1:07.52 for six furlongs the same year.
DeLeon, a 43-year-old native of Guatemala, has been in racing for 22 years. A 9-year-old son, David, survives Peterson.