ALBANY, Calif. (Aug. 16, 2016) -- Antonio L. “Tony” Diaz, a top Northern California rider and trainer died of cancer Monday at age 67.
Diaz was the leading rider on the Northern California circuit during the 1970s prior to the arrival and development of Russell Baze. He won a number of riding titles at both Golden Gate Fields and Bay Meadows while scoring 2,505 career wins before his retirement in 1992. His mounts earned more than $20 million.
Following his retirement, Diaz began training horses and took Meadow Rendezvous to the 1993 Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Fillies, where she finished eighth under his brother, Juvenal Diaz.
Diaz had 441 winners from 2,421 starters as a trainer, missing nearly two years after a serious stroke in 2002. His runners won 2 of 6 starts this year, with his final winner being Compadre Sam in a March 13 maiden special weight race at 5 1/2 furlongs.
Diaz is survived by his wife, Martha; son, Tony Jr.; daughters Yesenia, Sandra and Norma Lopez; and two brothers, jockeys Juvenal Diaz and Adalberto Lopez.