01/08/2013 2:32PM

Lin Wheeler, trainer and the son of Bob Wheeler, dies at 70


Lin Wheeler, the son of Hall of Fame trainer Robert Wheeler and a successful trainer in his own right, died on Saturday at his home in Coarsegold, Calif., from a long illness at the age of 70, his sister, Sidney, said Tuesday.

Wheeler assisted his father, who trained such top runners as Bug Brush, Silver Spoon, and Tompion, before going out on his own. He also trained Track Robbery, who was turned over to his father when Lin took a job in the early 1980s with Bruce McNall’s Summa Stable. Under Bob Wheeler’s care, Track Robbery won the Eclipse Award in 1982 as champion older female.

In addition to Track Robbery, one of the best horses Lin Wheeler trained was the sprinter Maheras, who won the 1976 Palos Verdes Handicap at Santa Anita. He also trained Rascal Lass, winner of the 1984 California Thoroughbred Breeders’ Association Stakes for Motown founder Berry Gordy’s Vista Stables.

After Bob Wheeler’s death in 1992, Lin briefly returned to training, but retired a few years later. He subsequently worked as a racing official at Charles Town, and also worked at Three Chimneys Farm in Kentucky.

Bob Wheeler was inducted into the National Museum of Racing and Hall of Fame last summer.

In addition to his sister, Lin Wheeler is survived by his stepbrother, Lance; son, Jeff; daughter, Sherri Wheeler McNitt; six grandchildren; and one great-grandchild.

Funeral services are pending, but are expected to be held this weekend in Coarsegold, Sidney Wheeler said.

In lieu of flowers, donations are requested to be made to the California Thoroughbred Horsemen’s Foundation, P.O. Box 660129, Arcadia, Calif., 91066-0129. The CTHF provides medical and dental assistance for backstretch workers.