04/05/2013 1:55PM

Dennis Patterson, longtime Northern California trainer, dies at 77

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Dennis Patterson, who began training horses in the 1950s and has been a Northern California fixture since 1966, died at his home in San Mateo, Calif., at age 77 on Thursday night.

Patterson, who had battled back from repeated bouts of pneumonia, died of natural causes, said his son, Dennis Jr., a jockey agent.

“His body just gave out,” said Patterson of his father. “He was at home, and we were all there with him.”

Patterson’s first victory came at Agua Caliente on July 17, 1954, with The Most, a horse he purchased for $200. Patterson trained at Caliente for seven years and also raced horses in the Northwest. He came to Northern California in 1966, purchasing a home two miles from the now-defunct Bay Meadows Racetrack. He was based at Bay Meadows until the track closed down in 2008.

Patterson enjoyed his biggest success with multiple stakes winner Run It, who gave him his biggest victory in the Grade 3 Berkeley Stakes at Golden Gate Fields in 2010. Run It won the Alamedan Handicap at Pleasanton later that summer. He won the Alcatraz the year before at Golden Gate Fields.

Patterson also trained multiple stakes winner Carbonite, and stakes winners Storm Talker and Devilish Nature.

His barn, headed by his son Bill and daughter-in-law Christy Wiebe, has four wins at the current Golden Gate Fields meeting and had two horses scheduled to run Friday.

Patterson is survived by his wife, Theresa; sons Dennis, Bill and Jim; daughter Peggy; and three grandchildren.

Services are pending.

Dennis Patterson More than 1 year ago
Thanks for the kind words about my dad. He was very fortunate to live his life doing something he was so passionate about. He loved the horses and they loved him right back. It was really something to watch the way horses responded to him. As great as he was with horses he was just as great with his family. We miss him dearly but take comfort in knowing that he no longer suffers and is watching over us at that big racetrack in the sky. Thanks again, Dennis Patterson, Jr
Tony More than 1 year ago
Dennis was a great guy,and a great thorseman. He was always nice to me. A sad day for all of us who knew Dennis. Tony Calo
Quite A Dude More than 1 year ago
A very good horseman and just a terrific person. Dennis will be missed.
Lafe Bassett More than 1 year ago
A true gentleman, and a hands on horseman. Always enjoyable to encounter,a real asset to the industry!