06/09/2002 11:00PM

Muniz of Fair Grounds on the mend

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Mervin Muniz, longtime director of racing and racing secretary at Fair Grounds, underwent colon surgery Sunday after being diagnosed with cancer two weeks ago. Monday morning, Muniz said the surgery had been a success, and a full recovery was expected.

"The prognosis is good," Muniz said. "When they blow the bugle opening day on Thanksgiving, I'll be there." Muniz said he had been suffering from a persistent stomach ailment that eventually landed him at his doctor's office, at which point a blood test revealed the cancer.

The Fair Grounds racing office won't look the same next season as it has in recent years. Stakes coordinator Brent Seward will not be back, while Joey Boulet, a former jockey's agent, is expected to be active role in day-to-day operations.