09/13/2012 11:07AM

Mickey Sample, racing official, dies at age 69


Mickey Sample, a well-traveled racing official who wound up his career in Kentucky, died early Wednesday morning in Columbus, Ohio, after suffering a heart attack at his home the previous night. He was 69.

According to Karale Sample, his wife of 38 years, Mickey Sample retired from racing in 2007 after a lifelong career in the game. After training horses in his early years, he became a racing official in 1973, with his first stints at Penn National and the old Keystone. He also worked as an official in Florida, New York, Ohio, New Hampshire, and Minnesota.

Sample was briefly in the spotlight on the Kentucky circuit when serving on an interim basis as chief steward from April 2004 to July 2005, following Bernie Hettel and preceding John Veitch in that position. After that, Sample served in various roles in Kentucky for a few years before retiring.

Besides his wife, Sample is survived by his son, Mark. Karale Sample said a private memorial service has been scheduled for the same chapel in Chester, W.Va., where the couple was married.