01/03/2013 1:00PM

Texas trainer Ralph Arnold Jr. dies suddenly at age 62

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Trainer Ralph Arnold Jr., who experienced his best year in racing in 2012, died Dec. 31 of a possible aneurysm, according to friends. He was 62.

Arnold was a native of San Antonio whose first win as a trainer came at Bandera Downs on May 26, 1991. He was perennially among the leading owners and trainers at his home track of Retama Park. Arnold also raced at Sam Houston in Houston and at Lone Star Park near Dallas, where in July he sent out Early M to win the $50,000 Valor Farm in her first start since being claimed for $8,000. She paid $53.60.

Arnold, a successful businessman outside of racing, also had a stable this past meet at Remington Park. He experienced a career year in victories and earnings in 2012, with his charges winning 42 races for stable earnings of $604,538. Arnold won a total of 272 races as a trainer, for stable earnings of $2,874,475.

Arnold is survived by his wife, Kathy Stephens-Arnold, a leading owner in Texas. He also is survived by five adult children: Weylan Arnold, Tashlyn Smith, Jana Wallace, Tymonee Piel, and Tyson Stephens.

A visitation for Arnold will be held from 5-8 p.m. Friday at Finch Funeral Home, 13767 Hwy. 87, La Vernia, Texas. Services will be at 10 a.m. Sunday, also at Finch Funeral Home. Arnold was a resident of Floresville, Texas.