01/05/2015 12:14PM

Trainer Ronnie Warren Jr. dead at 79


Ronnie Warren Jr., who retired from training in 2007 after a colorful career, died Dec. 31 in Little Rock, Ark., after suffering an aneurysm, according to a family friend. He was 79.

Warren was perhaps best known as the trainer of Coax Me Chad, the runner-up to Swale in the 1984 Kentucky Derby. He also was the leading trainer at the 1968 Keeneland fall meet with a then-record 16 winners. He told Daily Racing Form for a 2013 article that he had “four different horses win three races each” at that three-week meet. “Of course, that was in a different age.”

Warren was known for a gruff and mercurial personality and unorthodox training methods, but his personality had softened in retirement. He lived with family in Naples, Fla., for a while and was living in Hot Springs, Ark., at the time of his death.

Plans for a memorial service were still pending as of Monday morning.