Doug Atkins, racetrack executive, Thoroughbred owner, trainer, and breeder, died at his home in Solana Beach, Calif. home after a lengthy battle with cancer on Nov. 29. He was 76.
Atkins began his racing career by operating Horsemen's International, a publicity/public relations agency. His clients included Bill Shoemaker, Eddie Arcaro, Liz Tippet, Charlie Whittingham, Bay Meadows, and Golden Gate Fields.
In 1959, he was named publicity and public relations director for Sunland Park in New Mexico. He also served as an assistant to track president Riley Allison. He returned to California in 1967 as secretary-treasurer and chief operating officer of the Horsemen's Benevolent and Protective Association, a position he held until his retirement in 1987.
In partnership with Los Angeles attorney Neil Papiano, Atkins raced and bred such stakes winners as Taisez Vous, Evil's Pic, Princess Alleged, Baldomero, Monarm, Shirkee, Fine 'n Majestic.
Atkins is survived by his wife, Lee, and daughters, Dianne Mize and Marlene Cashin, and five grandchildren. Private services were held in Del Mar.