Dick Wheeler

Dick Wheeler

Benoit Photography

California Racing Official Wheeler Dies at 69

Longtime California racing official Dick Wheeler died Jan. 3 at his home. He was 69.

Longtime California racing official Dick Wheeler died Jan. 2 at his Monrovia, Calif., home. He was 69.

Wheeler worked in several capacities throughout the Golden State for nearly four decades, including at Santa Anita Park and Fairplex Park, where he was racing secretary. Wheeler retired 18 months ago.

"He was kind to everybody. Everybody loved him," said Santa Anita clerk of scales Kevin Colosi, a longtime friend and associate. "He had been sick for a while and stopped eating. He just shut down.”

Wheeler requested that there be no services, Colosi said.

Added trainer David Bernstein, who knew Wheeler since their teens: "We had a lot of fun. We were young18, 19 years oldand he and one of my clients, Bob Brown, used to meet in Santa Anita's infield every Saturday. Brown also passed away. Now I'm the last of the Mohicans."