04/06/2009 12:00AM

Richard O'Neill, owner, dies at 85


Richard J. O'Neill, a Thoroughbred owner and prominent Orange County, Calif., land-owner, died early Saturday of natural causes, according to published reports.

O'Neill was 85. He had suffered from Parkinson's Disease in recent years, according to newspaper reports.

O'Neill owned such recent stakes winners as Highland Torree, who won the California Equine Retirement Foundation Stakes at Del Mar last August; Steelin, the winner of the Bangles and Beads Stakes at Fairplex Park last September; and Tizfiz, who won the Grade 2 San Gorgonio Handicap at Santa Anita in January.

O'Neill was the grandson of Richard O'Neill, the founder of Rancho Mission Viejo in Orange County.