05/14/2004 11:00PM

Trainer Danny Hutt dead at 55

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LOUISVILLE, Ky. - Danny Hutt, a longtime horse owner and trainer in Kentucky, died of an apparent heart attack at a local restaurant Friday evening. He was 55.

Hutt, a native of Louisville and a graduate of the University of Kentucky, began training Thoroughbreds in 1992 after having been involved with Standardbreds for five years. He owned and trained a number of successful horses, including graded stakes winner Cowboy Dan and Celtic Warrior, who ran 10th in the 1997 Kentucky Derby.

Last fall, Hutt began reducing his role in the day-to-day training of his horses, eventually turning them over to his friend, trainer Dave Kassen.

Hutt had strong ties in the Louisville community beyond racing. He franchised Exhaust Pro muffler shops and owned Huttster's Burgers, a local restaurant.

He is survived by three children, Kathryn, Hillary, and Jay; an ex-wife, Donna; his mother, Kathalea; his father, Joseph; a stepmother, Carol Pope Hutt; a brother, Gregory; and a sister, Gretchen Martin Hutt.

Visitation will be from 2-8 p.m. Monday at Pearson's Funeral Home at 139 Breckenridge Lane in Louisville. The funeral will be Tuesday at 1 p.m. at Second Presbyterian Church at 3701 Old Brownsboro Road, also in Louisville.