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.



1941 – 2017 Obituary Condolences

Peter L. "Pete" Orlando Sr. Obituary
Peter L. “Pete” Orlando, Sr. passed away on Friday, November 17, 2017 while doing what he loved to do, tending to his horses, in Folsom, LA. He was born on March 13, 1941 in New Orleans, LA to the late Lawrence Joseph Orlando, Sr. and Elaine Debelo Orlando. Pete was married to his beloved wife, Pamela Rinck Orlando, for 51 years. He was the loving father of Peter L. Orlando, Jr. (Lisa), Philip J. Orlando (Jamie), and Elaine O. Marquize (Kip). Pete was the proud grandfather of Jacob, Luke, and Nicholas Orlando, Lucy, Jillian, and Kasey Orlando, and Isaac and Rachel Marquize. He was the brother of Lawrence J. Orlando, Jr., Josie O. Adams, Eva O. Vinsanau, and the late Nick H. Orlando.

Pete is also survived by nieces, nephews, cousins and his beloved aunt, Eve “Aunty” Romano. Relatives and friends are invited to the Funeral Mass at E.J. Fielding Funeral Home, 2260 W. 21st Avenue, Covington, LA 70433 on Saturday, November 25, 2017 at 12:00 Noon with visitation from 10:00 AM until Mass time. Please Share a Memory on the Tribute Wall at

Published in from Nov. 21 to Nov. 25, 2017

Former racing executive Al Stall Sr. dies at 85

By Marcus Hersh

Albert Stall Sr., a former longtime chairman of the Louisiana Racing Commission and a prominent Thoroughbred owner, died Sunday in New Orleans at 85. He was the father of four children, including the Breeders’ Cup Classic-winning trainer Al Stall Jr.

Al Stall Sr. was born in Cairo, Ill., but came to New Orleans with his family as a child. Stall’s father worked in the Louisiana oil fields, and Stall got into the oil business himself after becoming a geologist. Stall first went to the races at Fair Grounds as a teenager in New Orleans and quickly was smitten with the racing bug. He became chairman of the LRC in 1972 and during more than 20 years in that position helped introduce turf racing, Sunday racing, and exotics betting to Louisiana racetracks.

Stall had a long and successful career as a horse owner, winning many major races alone or in partnerships. His Lady Vi-E captured the 1970 Kentucky Oaks, and Combat Ready won the New Orleans Handicap in 1973.

Stall had been living with Alzheimer’s for more than a decade, according to Al Stall Jr., who said services were to be arranged Monday.

Obituary for Doyle Wardrop

Memorial services for Doyle Reece Wardrop will be 11:00 a.m. Tuesday, August 22, 2017, at the Freedom United Methodist Church with Rev. Carolyn Murrow officiating. Arrangements were entrusted to Marshall Funeral Home of Alva.

Doyle Reece Wardrop, 67, was born November 15, 1949, to Foy Reece and Nena Mae (Olson) Wardrop at Alva General Hospital in Alva, Oklahoma, and passed away August 16, 2017, at Alva, Oklahoma.

Doyle grew up on the family farm 6.5 miles west of Camp Houston in western Woods County, Oklahoma. He started school at Centerview Rural School and graduated Freedom High School, Freedom, Oklahoma, in 1968. He attended Northwestern Oklahoma State University, majoring in Agriculture. He spent many hours working with Professor Leo Brandt showing livestock across the United States. In 1970, Doyle entered the U. S. Army at Fort Polk, Louisiana, and served with distinction until his honorable discharge in 1972.

Doyle started in the horse business near Lafayette, Louisiana, after his discharge from the Army. He was well known and respected in the Quarter Horse and Thoroughbred Racing Industry across the country, having trained numerous award winning horses. He owned and operated Southern Horse Transportation while managing Iron Horse Acres near Sunset, Louisiana.

In 2002, he returned home to Woods County and took over the operation of the family farm and ranch. He also managed the Jim Darnell Ranch in far northwest Woods County for many years. Doyle married Kay Decker in 2010. They continued to live on the farm until recently moving to Alva, Oklahoma.

Doyle served on the Woods County Election Board for many years, was Commander of Hatch-Vincent American Legion Post in Freedom, was a member of the Freedom Chamber of Commerce, the Cimarron Cowboys Association, served on the Board of Directors of the Louisiana Thoroughbred Breeders Association, and was active in the Woods County Republican Party for a number of years.

He was preceded in death by his parents, Nena and Foy Wardrop.

Doyle is survived by his wife, Kay, of Alva; his daughter Kendra Wardrop Barrilleaux and his son-in-law, Adam Barrilleaux of Cypress, Texas; his daughter, Shelby Wardrop of Broussard, Louisiana; three granddaughters, Graison and Addison Barrilleaux of Cypress, Texas, and Bailey Wardrop of Broussard, Louisiana; three sisters, Connie Brown, Jana Stein, and Jill Elmore; numerous other relatives and many, many friends.

Memorial contributions may be made through the funeral home to the Northwestern Oklahoma State University Foundation for the Social Sciences Department Doyle Wardrop Fund.

Linda Plaisance Obituary

Graveside services for Linda Ann Plaisance will be held at 1:00 P.M. on Saturday, July 22, 2017, in St. Francis de Sales Cemetery, Echo, LA.

Visitation will be held from 12:30 P.M. until time of service in the cemetery on Saturday, July 22, 2017,

Linda Ann Plaisance, 67, of Loranger, passed away on Tuesday, July 18, 2017, in her residence.

She is survived by her husband Doug Plaisance; two sons, Douglas Plaisance and Donald Plaisance and wife, Michelle; one sister, Loretta Romero and husband, Gerald; one brother, David Marshall and wife, Sandra; along with four grandchildren, Emily, Donnie, Drew, and Douglas, IV.

To extend online notes of condolence to the Plaisance Family, please visit

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