Updated on 06/30/2012 11:11AM

Mike Mitchell to undergo surgery for brain tumor


INGLEWOOD, Calif. - Trainer Mike Mitchell, who operates one of the most successful stables in California, was scheduled to undergo surgery Friday at the University of Southern California Medical Center to remove a brain tumor that was diagnosed early this week. Mitchell, 64, was admitted to the medical center on Wednesday, according to his wife, Denise.

She said the tumor was "medium-sized" and that doctors expect to determine whether it is malignant or benign by early next week. "We won't know until after the surgery," she said. The doctors "made it sound like it would be up to five days."

Mitchell in recent weeks had been recovering from another medical procedure that left him uncharacteristically fatigued. "We finally realized the fatigue was not from the previous surgery," Denise Mitchell said.

When other unspecified symptoms surfaced, Mitchell underwent an MRI on Monday that revealed the tumor.

Mitchell was at his Hollywood stable on Wednesday morning before checking into the hospital to prepare for surgery. He is expected to be released next week, at which time biopsy results of the tumor are expected.

Mitchell won the Grade 2 Hollywood Oaks Saturday with Potesta and through Sunday ranked fourth in the Betfair Hollywood Park standings with 10 wins from 55 starters. Mitchell has won 20 meet training titles, including at all four Thoroughbred tracks in Southern California (Hollywood, Del Mar, Santa Anita, Fairplex Park). He is the all-time leader at Del Mar with 454 wins.

Assistant trainer Phil D'Amato will operate the stable in Mitchell's absence. D'Amato, 35, has been Mitchell's assistant for seven years.

Their scheduled weekend starters include Camp Victory on Saturday in the Grade 1 Triple Bend Handicap, and Obviously on Sunday in the $70,000 Robert Kerlan Handicap.
Mike and Denise Mitchell live in nearby Redondo Beach, Calif. They have been married 31 years and have two children -- Shea, 25, and McCall, 28.

Mitchell began training in 1974, and through Sunday had won 2,607 races from 12,080 starters who earned more than $62.9 million. His list of stakes winner includes St Trinians, Star Over the Bay, Jaycito, Romance Is Diane, and Kela.

"We'd like to thank everyone for their prayers and well wishes," Denise Mitchell said.

Quite A Dude More than 1 year ago
Benign or malignant, this isn't a good thing. Hope all goes well..
Jordan More than 1 year ago
Best wishest that the surgery goes well and that the tumor is benign. Mitchell has risen the trainers ranks from a claiming wizzard to a horsemen with proven success at all levels. He's a very important member of the trainer's colony out here.
JoyJackson21 More than 1 year ago
Mr. Mitchell, my thoughts and prayers are with you as you meet this challenge. It is my prayer the tumor will be benign. All my best to you and your wife, I know you will rise to this challenge and will win the battle. I wish you a full and speedy recovery.
Fred More than 1 year ago
fred my thoughts and prayers are with you
JOHN More than 1 year ago
Wishing you the best.
Rick Berend More than 1 year ago
Godspeed to you, Mike and family!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Get well soon, Mitch! Rob
WILLIAM ROBINSON More than 1 year ago
My family sends best wishes and prayers to MM AND FAMILY. You will recover from this be strong
Carole Cole More than 1 year ago
Sending best wishes for positive results and speedy recovery.
Dawn Gannon More than 1 year ago
As a recent survivor of brain tumor surgery (1 year), I wish him all the best, and all my positive thoughts for a quick and complete recovery.