Obituary, David Beard

David Beard

February 10, 1936 – June 22, 2018

David Beard was a self-made man, who was proud of family, friends and employees who helped him achieve his success.  He was the President and Leader of Great American Foods that always stayed true to the lessons he learned as a child about pride and hard work, which helped him become the successful entrepreneur many came to respect and love.  David led the company and his employees through over 40 years of a successful business and provided careers for many employees an opportunity of a first job for so many more. He opened his first restaurant, David Beard’s Catfish Village, in 1969 on Highway 155 near Ore City, and the rest was history. He oversaw multiple restaurant concepts, food manufacturing, warehouse and logistical endeavours over the years.  David learned his skills, not from school, but from hard work, determination and putting quality above all else.  He was a builder and cattleman for many years and owned thoroughbred racehorses.  He was a faithful and passionate Christian man that would share his beliefs with you as well as his opinion.  David’s integrity in his business and personal life was an example to anyone who knew him.

A member of the Louisiana Thoroughbred Breeders Association, he raced many successful Louisiana breds. His most successful Louisiana bred runner was Witt Ante who was selected Champion Accredited Louisiana Bred 2-Year-Old Colt or Gelding as a juvenile in 2002 and 2004 Champion Accredited Louisiana Bred Older Male. While running from ages 2 to 8, Witt Ante had a lifetime record of 59-10-9-5 with lifetime earnings of $619,420, including 6 stakes victories and placing in another 8 stakes contests.

David was preceded in death by his parents, Dayton and Pauline Beard; his sisters, Margrey Sullivan, Kathleen Hall, and Bonnie Wood; his brother, Bruce Beard; and sisters-in-law, Mary Lou Berry and Ann Morgan.  He is survived by his wife, Margie Durham-Beard; his daughters, Kathy Weeks and husband Jason, Dana Hitchcock, De-Ann “Mikki” Parrish and husband Fred, and Denise Beard; grandchildren, Tonya Spencer, Colt Spencer and wife Victoria, Fredi Parrish, Tanner Gibson, Taylor Gibson, Lane Hitchcock, Gavin Weeks and Madison Weeks; great-grandchildren, Lukas Enloe, Haven Benge, Logan Benge, Haley Benge, Colt Spencer Cohen Spencer; brother, Jerry Beard; sister, Lynda Beard-Davis and husband Billy Paul Davis; sister-in-law, Martha Sue Martin and her husband Ken; brothers-in-law, Jerry Berry and Wayne Morgan; numerous nieces, nephews, other relatives and friends.

Funeral services will be conducted 2:00 p.m. Monday, June 25, 2018 at the Ore City Church of Christ. Burial will follow at Coffeeville Cemetery, under the direction of Reeder-Davis Funeral Home. There will be a time of visitation from Noon until 1:30 p.m. Monday at the church.

The family wishes to thank everyone for all of your loving support and prayers during our time of sorrow. We also respectfully request, in lieu of flowers, please make donations to St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital.

Obituary: Shantel Lanerie

Shantel Lanerie

June 01, 1976 – June 22, 2018

CARENCRO ~ Funeral services will be held Thursday, June 28, 2018 at an 11:00 a.m. Liturgy of the Word in Evangeline Memorial Gardens Chapel in Carencro for Shantel Lanerie, age 42, the former Shantel Hebert, who passed away Friday, June 22, 2018 at Norton Women’s and Kosair Children’s Hospital in Louisville, Kentucky.

Interment will be in Evangeline Memorial Gardens in Carencro. The Rev. Gary Schexnayder will officiate at the services.

Musical selections will be provided by Charlotte Jagneaux, accompanied by Phyllis Simar on the organ. The songs will be You Will Always Be A Child In My Eyes, Hail Mary Gentle Woman, Isaiah 49, and Wind Beneath my Wings.

Shantel was a native of Cecilia and had been a resident of Louisville, KY for the past 15 years. She was a 1994 graduate of Cecilia High School and was a 13-year dance student at Liz Trahan School of Dance. She was a devoted wife, loving mother, adored daughter and beloved friend.

Survivors include her loving husband of 21 years, Corey Lanerie of Louisville, KY; one daughter, Brittlyn Lanerie; her parents, Riley Hebert and the former Katherine Guilbeau; one brother, Rylan Hebert; one niece, Brooklyn Hebert; her mother-in-law & father-in-law, Debbie and Gerald Lanerie; and one godchild, Ashton Theriot.

She was preceded in death by her maternal grandparents, John Guilbeau and the former Nora Belle Guidry; and her paternal grandparents, Justin Hebert and the former Gladys Robin.

A rosary will be prayed at 7:00 p.m. Wednesday in the funeral home.

The family requests that visiting hours be observed from 10:00 a.m. to 10:00 p.m. Wednesday and will continue from 8:00 a.m. until service time on Thursday.

Pallbearers will be Riley Hebert, Rylan Hebert, John L. Guilbeau, Earl Estilette, Robby Albarado and Gerald Lanerie. Honorary pallbearer will be Keith Estilette.

Melancon Funeral Home, Evangeline Memorial Gardens Chapel, 4117 N. University Ave., Carencro, (337) 896-3232, is in charge of arrangements.



VisitationWednesday, June 27, 2018
10:00 AM – 10:00 PM

Melancon Funeral Home Chapel
4117 N. University Ave.
Carencro, Louisiana 70520Get Directions on Google Maps


RosaryWednesday, June 27, 2018
7:00 PM

Melancon Funeral Home Chapel
4117 N. University Ave.
Carencro, Louisiana 70520Get Directions on Google Maps


VisitationThursday, June 28, 2018
9:00 AM

Melancon Funeral Home Chapel
4117 N. University Ave.
Carencro, Louisiana 70520Get Directions on Google Maps


Liturgy of the WordThursday, June 28, 2018
11:00 AM

Melancon Funeral Home Chapel
4117 N. University Ave.
Carencro, Louisiana 70520Get Directions on Google Maps

Shantel Lanerie, 42, Dies; Wife Of Jockey Corey Lanerie, Mother Of Brittlyn, Waged Courageous Battle Against Cancer

Corey and Shantel Lanerie, with their daughter Brittlyn, at the Survivors Parade on Kentucky Oaks Day at Churchill Downs

Shantel Lanerie, the beloved wife of Churchill Downs’ 15-time champion jockey Corey Lanerie and devoted mother of their 10-year-old daughter Brittlyn, passed away late Friday afternoon at Norton Women’s and Children’s Hospital in Louisville, Ky. She was 42.

Shantel Lanerie was diagnosed with Stage 1 breast cancer earlier this year and had been undergoing chemotherapy treatments to battle the disease. She was admitted to the hospital Thursday to treat what was diagnosed as sepsis – a severe infection – and underwent emergency surgery that evening, according to family friend Gary Palmisano. Sadly, her courageous fight ended Friday.

Raised in Cecilia, La., Shantel was the daughter of a trainer and met her future husband when he began riding at Evangeline Downs in Opelousas, La. in 1991. They were married April 11, 1997.

After dominating the Texas and Louisiana horse racing circuits, Corey and his wife moved to Kentucky in the spring of 2005 and took up residence in Louisville’s Lake Forest community.

While watching her husband ride, Shantel held various positions at the track primarily before their only daughter Brittlyn was born in early 2008. She worked as a tab writer with the clocker at Lone Star Park, a mutuel clerk at Fair Grounds and a photographer’s assistant at Churchill Downs.

As Corey’s success reached new heights with the first of 15 Churchill Downs riding titles at the 2012 spring meet, Shantel and Brittlyn were often spotted and recognized in the Churchill Downs’ winner’s circle while sporting wide smiles and the most stylish fashion.

Additionally, Shantel was famously known around the racetrack for her hospitality and delicious Cajun cooking as she often whipped up memorable meals for family and friends after the races and on “dark days” at their Louisville home.

“The Churchill Downs family is devastated by the sudden passing of Shantel Lanerie,” said Churchill Downs racetrack president Kevin Flanery. “This is a very sad day. We extend our heartfelt condolences to Corey, Brittlyn, family members and numerous friends as they endure this extremely difficult time. Please keep them in your thoughts and prayers.”

After being diagnosed with breast cancer earlier this year, Shantel was one of 144 women that walked in the always-stirring Survivors Parade on Kentucky Oaks Day at Churchill Downs and a video that told her story was shown throughout Churchill Downs on the Big Board.

Jockeys wore pink “Fight With Shantel” bands around their legs on Kentucky Oaks Day. Those bands somberly returned during Friday’s racing program at Churchill Downs.

In addition to Corey and Brittlyn, Shantel is survived by her mother and father, Katie and Riley Hebert; brother Rylan Hebert; and mother-in-law and and father-in-law Debbie and Gerald Lanerie.

At the time of Shantel’s passing, the family was surrounded by members of the Churchill Downs jockey colony, including Robby Albarado, Brian Hernandez Jr., Ricardo Santana Jr., Julien Leparoux and Samuel Camacho Jr.

A memorial service in Louisville and funeral in Louisiana is pending.

Obituary: Billy Cannon

Billy Cannon passed away peacefully in his home early Sunday morning, May 20, 2018, LSU announced. He was 80 years old.

A Baton Rouge native, Cannon was the winner of the 1959 Heisman Trophy as a halfback, and led the Tigers to the 1958 national championship. He was a longtime member of the Louisiana Thoroughbred Breeders Assoc.

He was inducted into the LSU Athletic Hall of Fame in 1975 and into the College Football Hall of Fame in 2008. He was named LSU Alumnus of the Year in 2010.

“There may be no other figure in LSU sports who was more beloved and revered,” LSU Vice Chancellor and Director of Athletics Joe Alleva said. “His loss will be felt across the world today. The LSU family mourns with the Cannon family. He will always be a Tiger and will always be in our memories.”

“To say that Billy Cannon was legendary is an understatement,” LSU President Dr. F. King Alexander said. “His talent catapulted LSU Athletics into the national limelight, but more than that, he had unwavering commitment to his alma mater. He will forever remain a part of the LSU legacy throughout the nation.”

A private ceremony for Cannon is planned for early this week, according to LSU Athletics. Details for a public remembrance will also be announced.

The Cannon family asks that donations be made to Johnny Robinson’s Boys Home and the Tiger Athletic Foundation Billy Cannon Endowed Scholarship in lieu of flowers.

“Billy Cannon was LSU football through and through. He was a legend. He will be missed and never forgotten,” LSU football head coach Ed Orgeron said.

Cannon Family statement:

“Today is profoundly sad for all of us. We know the thoughts and prayers of so many who were touched by my father’s life are with him and with us. There are no words to express how grateful we are for the outpouring of support from all over the country. It is overwhelming and comforting.”

“LSU meant more to our dad than anyone could ever know. It wasn’t the awards or the acknowledgements on the football field. It was always the love of the LSU family that meant the world to him and to all of us. There is simply no other place on earth where so many come together to love and support their own like LSU. His life was intertwined with the purple and gold, and he wouldn’t have had it any other way.”

Obituary: Dr. Sharon (Young) Buras

Dr. Sharon Young Buras, RN, CRNA, CNS, MSN, DSN, a retired Certified Nurse Anesthetist, passed away on Sunday, March 18, 2018 at home with her family by her side.

Sharon received her Bachelor of Science in Nursing degree from Southeast Louisiana University, her certificate in Anesthesia for Nurses from Charity Hospital New Orleans School of Anesthesia for Nurses, her Masters of Science in Nursing degree in Psychiatric and Community Mental Health Nursing from Louisiana State University Health Sciences Center School of Nursing, and her Doctorate of Science in Nursing degree from Louisiana State University Health Sciences Center School of Nursing. She practiced Nurse Anesthesia as a member of the faculty of the Charity Hospital School of Anesthesia for Nurses. In addition, Sharon, as a Clinical Nurse Specialist/Nurse Practitioner, also counseled children with behavioral issues in her own private practice.

Outside of her career in nursing, Sharon was a successful wife, mother, grandmother, and a very accomplished horseman. She was a rodeo rider as a youth, with quarter horse pole bending her specialty, and later a successful owner and breeder of thoroughbred race horses, winning races at Fair Grounds, Louisiana Downs, and Evangeline Downs.

She was a member of the American Association of Nurse Anesthetists and the Louisiana Thoroughbred Breeders Association. Sharon loved going to the beach, and spending time there with her family and grandchildren. She was also a dedicated cruise boat rider, cruising several times each year with her family and friends.

She is survived by her husband of 39 years, Floyd A Buras, Jr., her son, Floyd A Buras, III and his wife, Shelle Pullen Buras, and by her two granddaughters, Ella Buras and Joslyn Buras. Sharon was the daughter of the late Samuel Leslie Young and Bonnie Lou Bryant Young, and the sister of Samuel Young, Jr., Scott Young, Steve Young, Sloan Young, and the late Susan Young.

Services will be at Lake Lawn Metairie Funeral Home, 5100 Pontchartrain Blvd in New Orleans, on Tuesday, March 27, 2018, with visitation at 11:00 am and Catholic Mass following at 1:00 pm. In lieu of flowers, the family requests donations to Sharon’s GoFundMe account to help with her final expenses. To view and sign the family guestbook please visit

Funeral Home
Lake Lawn Met Funeral Home
5100 PONTCHARTRAIN BLVD New Orleans, LA 70124
(504) 486-6331

Obituary: Claude P. Williams


Claude P. Williams

November 3, 1935 – March 24, 2018


Long time thoroughbred industry professional Claude P. Williams, son of the late Hazel P. and Dempsey D. Williams Jr.,  passed away at Our Lady of the Lake Hospital in Baton Rouge Saturday March 24, after a brain injury suffered in a fall earlier in the week. He was 82.

Williams started his thoroughbred career as a freelance journalist for the Daily Racing Form in 1965.  He was a chart caller for the Daily Racing Form for 10 years, becoming a staff columnist until 1981.  He then took the job as manager of Franks Farms in Shreveport, Louisiana until 1983.

Williams purchased Louisiana Horse magazine from the late Jack Lohman in 1984 and was editor and publisher from 1984 to 1988 when his son, the late Kyle Williams, became editor.

In March of 1988, Williams became a state steward for the Louisiana Racing Commission. In November of 1989, he was appointed Executive Director of the Louisiana Racing Commission by Governor Buddy Roemer, a position he held through September of 1991.

From there he moved to Alabama to be Executive Secretary of the Birmingham Racing Commission.  He retired from that position in December of 2003. In retirement, he continued his interest in the thoroughbred industry as an author.

Service is at 10 a.m., Wednesday, March 28, 2018 at Westwood Presbyterian Church, Dothan, Alabama.

Survivors include his wife Rosemary Williams of  Dothan, Alabama; Son Keith Williams of Ponchatoula, Louisiana; Daughter Kelly Williams Odom of St. Croix, U.S. Virgin Islands; Step Son Richard Glaze of Warrior, Alabama; Step Son Alan Glaze of Hoover, Alabama; Brother Raymond L. Williams, of  Gulf Breeze, Florida; Ex-wife, Martha Williams of Springfield, Louisiana; 8 Grandchildren; 5 Great Grandchildren, and  4 Step Grandchildren.

He was preceded in death by son Kyle T. Williams, brother Lawrie G. Williams and  brother Dempsey D. Williams, III.

In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to the Wounded Warrior Project, Baptist Children’s Homes of Alabama or  Westwood Presbyterian Church of Dothan, Alabama.

Obituary: Leandrus James “Lee” Young

November 13, 1937  –  March 19, 2018

Leandrus “Lee” James  Young, age 80, a native of Church Point, LA and a resident of Grand Coteau, LA, passed away on Monday, March 19, 2018 at his residence surrounded by his family.

Lee was the owner and operator of Indian Hills Country Club in Opelousas for the past eight years. He enjoyed going daily to visit the members and to spend time with his family. He also was a parishioner of St. Charles Borromeo Catholic Church in Grand Coteau for many years.

Lee was well-known as a horse trainer throughout his life. In the years 1969, 1971, and 1973 he was awarded “Top Racing Horse Trainer” in the nation and then in 1968, 1972 and 1974 he was awarded second “Top Racing Horse Trainer” in the nation. In 2013, Lee’s passion and talent for training racehorses earned him the “Horse and Harmony Award”.

He was survived by his wife of 60 years, Shirley Leger Young of Grand Coteau, LA; his sons, Marty Young of Houston, TX; Troy Young of Opelousas, LA; his daughters, Lea Ann Bullara and husband, Dean, of Opelousas, LA and Shirlene Young of Lafayette, LA; his brothers, Ronald Young and wife, Annette, of Houston, TX; Sherman Young and wife, Nancy, of Church Point, LA; his sisters, Nelda Turner and husband, Bendal, of Church Point, LA and Peggy Baker and husband, Mike, of Scott, LA. He is also survived by eleven grandchildren and eight great-grandchildren.

Family and friends are invited to sign and view the online guestbook at

Prominent Owner Tom Benson Dies

Owner of New Orleans Saints, Pelicans was active in Thoroughbred racing.


Tom Benson, a Louisiana sports icon who took his football and his basketball with a healthy side of horse racing, died March 15 at Oschner Medical Center in Jefferson, La., with his wife Gayle Marie Benson at his side. He was 90, and was hospitalized with the flu Feb. 16.

For all his success as owner of the New Orleans Saints and New Orleans Pelicans, including the Saints’ Super Bowl XLIV victory and a plaque in the Louisiana Sports Hall of Fame, there was one sports trophy the Louisiana native joked he might not want to claim. As much as he loved Thoroughbreds, as a savvy businessman Benson recognized how horses pull you in.

Greg Bensel, general manager of the Benson family’s GMB Racing—who confirmed Benson’s death through his role as senior vice president of communications and broadcasting for the New Orleans Saints and New Orleans Pelicans—spoke Wednesday at the National Horsemen’s Benevolent and Protective Association convention in New Orleans. He recalled how Benson approached the morning of the 2016 Kentucky Derby Presented by Yum! Brands (G1), just two years after GMB Racing was formed.

“We’d rented a home in Louisville. At breakfast he said, ‘You know, Greg, I don’t know that I really want to win the Kentucky Derby today.’ I said, ‘Why is that, Mr. Benson? He said, ‘If we do win, we have to buy more horses, a farm, and really get into this,” Bensel said.

While they dabbled in racehorse ownership in the 1970s and 1980s, the Bensons returned to the sport after a multi-decade absence with renewed vigor in 2014, inspired by the rags-to-riches story of two-time Horse of the Year California Chrome .

“He said, ‘Greg, what would it take for us to get in the business?’ I said, ‘Why don’t you give me a check for $2 million—that will be a start—and we’ll go out and hit the Keeneland September sale and we’ll buy some horses,'” Bensel said.

From their first modern crop of yearlings, they campaigned not one, but two starters in the 2016 Kentucky Derby—graded stakes winner Mo Tom (eighth for trainer Tom Amoss) and multiple graded stakes winner Tom’s Ready  (12th for trainer Dallas Stewart).

“We finished eighth and 12th, which I thought was respectable, but he ended up buying more horses and one of the most beautiful farms I’ve ever been on,” Bensel said, mentioning Benson Farm at Greenwood Lodge in Paris, Ky., home to a broodmare and boarding operation.

“We had tremendous, uncanny success. He realized that was not the norm in this business,” Benzel said. “It started out as a hobby for us, and now it’s nearly a $21 million business.”

Benson was born Thomas Milton Benson Jr., on July 12, 1927, in New Orleans. The son of Thomas Milton Benson Sr. and Carmelite Marie Pintado Benson, he was raised in the 7th Ward neighborhood of New Orleans and graduated from St. Aloysius High School (now Brother Martin High School) in 1944.

Benson enrolled at Loyola University New Orleans to study business and accounting. He interrupted his education to enlist in the U.S. Navy, where he was assigned to the USS South Dakota. Upon the conclusion of World War II, he returned to New Orleans and continued his business administration studies.

In 1948, Benson went to work as a bookkeeper for the Cathey Chevrolet Company in New Orleans, and by 1956, at age 29, was on his way to managing a Chevrolet dealership as a junior partner. Six years later, he took full control of the company and established a multi-dealership organization, with outlets throughout the New Orleans area and South Texas. In 1972, Benson entered the banking business and eventually took his banking network public as Benson Financial World.

In 1985, Benson purchased the New Orleans Saints after learning that the NFL franchise was on the verge of being sold to parties interested in relocating the team. He purchased the Saints on May 31, 1985. In 2012 Benson purchased the New Orleans Hornets NBA franchise and renamed it the New Orleans Pelicans the following season.

Through his sports teams, business interests, and the Gayle and Tom Benson Foundation, Benson was dedicated to assisting myriad charitable, faith-based, and educational causes in the New Orleans and South Texas communities. Under Benson’s direction, his businesses and sports teams annually have put millions of dollars back into the community in financial support, in-kind donations, charitable appearances, and the donations of goods and services.

“It is a sad day for Louisiana. Thank you for everything you have done for our state, our country, and the sport of horse racing,” Amoss said of Benson, in a statement posted on his Twitter account. “It is hard to put into words what you have meant to all of us. I am honored to have been a small part of your story.”

Details regarding public visitation and funeral will be forthcoming.

Obituary: Allen Joseph Weber Sr.

Thoroughbred owner and trainer, Allen Joseph “Chew” Weber, age 80, through the Mercy of Our Lord was called from this World to eternal life on January 19th, 2018 at 4:31 p.m. at Ochsner Medical Center in Kenner. He was born on November 27th, 1937 in Norco, LA to the late Clifford Joseph and Gertie St. Pierre Weber.

He is survived by his sister, Dorothy (Dot) Canatella, and his brother Joseph Clifford “Peanut” Weber and his sister-in-law, Leah Gonor Weber. He was preceeded in death by his brother, Daniel Joseph Weber, and his brother-in-law, B.J. “Sweet” Canatella. He was also preceeded in death by his first wife, Marguerite Beber Weber Jackson, and his second wife Barbara Calvert and his great-granddaugher, Shelby Martine Wenning.

He leaves behind his loving and devoted children to cherish his memory and the many happy times they shared: His daughter, Terri and son-in-law, Kenneth Wenning, Sr., his sons and daughters-in-law, Donnie & Kim, Allen & Gail, David, Todd & Mindi, Christopher Weber, and his step-son and stepdaughter-in-law, Todd Pannell and Laurie.

He was the proud grandfather of Kenny, Jr. (Allyson) & Dr. Derick (Rebekah) Wenning; Blythe (Benny) Gary, Dane (Jenna), Jordan (Brittany), David, Jr., Candace (Ryan), Blake, Brandan, Lacey (Bryant), Andrew, Dylan, Krystal, and Bethany Weber. His great grand-children, Kanon Gilbert, Luca Weber, Elise, Jake, Eli and Hailey Wenning.

Left behind to cherish his memory were many special nieces and nephews, family members and friends, especially, Taylor Schexsnayder and Belinda Mauduit.

Mass of Christian Burial at was held at SACRED HEART OF JESUS, 401 Spruce Street, Norco, on Tuesday afternoon, January 23, 2018.  An online guestbook is available at

Trainer Jack Van Berg Dies at 81

Entered Hall of Fame in 1985; trained Alysheba.


the son of Hall of Fame trainer Marion Van Berg, died Dec. 27. The 81-year-old conditioner had been hospitalized at Baptist Medical Center in Little Rock, Ark., due to complications from cancer.

Van Berg, who entered the Hall of Fame in 1985, ranks fourth on the all-time win list for North American-based trainers with 6,523 victories. His runners earned more than $85 million.

His most famous runner was Alysheba, winner of the 1987 Kentucky Derby (G1) and Preakness Stakes (G1). After being named champion 3-year-old male of 1987, he was dubbed “America’s Horse” and earned Horse of the Year and champion older male crowns following his victory in the 1988 Breeders’ Cup Classic (G1). Alysheba, who entered the Racing Hall of Fame in 1993, raced for Dorothy and Pamela Scharbauer and earned a then record $6,679,242 (surpassing John Henry) with 11 wins from 26 starts.

Van Berg also had classic success with Gate Dancer, winner of the 1984 Preakness.

Among the many accomplishments of Van Berg, he was the first trainer to reach the 5,000-win plateau on July 15, 1987. In 1976 he set a record for the most wins in a year with 496 and was also the leading trainer by earnings. He won the Eclipse Award for outstanding trainer in 1984.

Van Berg’s beginnings were in the West, where he sent out his first winner in 1957. A few years later, he was the leading trainer at Ak-Sar-Ben in Nebraska for years, where he was able to be the leading trainer in the country by wins nine times between 1968-86.

At the time Alysheba came along, Van Berg had more than 150 horses in training for some 35-40 clients. The majority of his horses trained at his center near Goshen, Ky.

A $500,000 sale yearling bred by Preston Madden, Alysheba “was a little light because he hadn’t been prepped that much,” Van Berg said in 1987. “He had an air about him. He was very well balanced, and he had that look.”

While not as accomplished as others for the classics, Alysheba had an entrapped epiglottis, and a new technique was performed by Dr. Scott Merrell following a second-place finish in the San Felipe Handicap (G1). Alysheba returned to the track to finish first in the Blue Grass Stakes (G1) at Keeneland, but was disqualified and placed third. In a famed Derby stretch run where he bumped with Bet Twice and almost fell, Alysheba rallied under Chris McCarron to win by three-quarters of a length.

The BloodHorse‘s editor, Ed Bowen, wrote after the Derby: “The day after he won the Kentucky Derby with Alysheba, Van Berg spoke of his father’s gruffness with affection. As a boss, Marion Van Berg had a tendency to call his male help ‘boy,’ regardless of whether the individual being addressed happened to be his grown son.

“‘I never sassed him, because I had too much respect for him,” the son said, and he recalled that his father’s technique of helping others learn often was to let them try for themselves, and then point out their mistakes.”

After Alysheba’s win in the Preakness, he failed to land the Triple Crown finishing fourth behind Bet Twice, Cryptoclearance, and Gulch in the Belmont Stakes (G1). Later that year Alysheba finished second to fellow Derby winner Ferdinand in the Breeders’ Cup Classic.

The following year Alysheba won seven of nine starts and closed out his career with four straight grade 1 wins: the Philip H. Iselin Handicap at Monmouth Park, the Woodward Handicap at Belmont Park, the Meadowlands Cup Handicap, and the Breeders’ Cup Classic at Churchill Downs, where he defeated runner-up Seeking the Gold by a half-length.

Van Berg later moved his base to Southern California, but he was unable to maintain his winning level. A mid-1980s land development deal soured, and so did his business. He resurfaced in the 2010s at Oaklawn Park and began to rebuild his stable. He was recognized of late motoring around the backstretches on a scooter and he would often watch his horses train from a pickup truck parked on the grandstand apron.

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