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Top horseman Warren Cameron dies at 74

June 09, 2014

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Warren Cameron, a third generation horseman who developed and campaigned the top pacers Brand New Fella and Direct Scooter, died Thursday, May 29, in Astor, Fla., where he resided. He was 74.
Mr. Cameron was the son of Hall of Fame horseman Del Cameron. Del Cameron trained a top Grand Circuit stable and in 1944 moved his family, which included Warren and his brother Gary, to Pinehurst, N.C. Warren began working in his father's stable and learned horsemanship from the ground up and became a respected horseman.
In 1960 Warren, then 20, became one of the sport's youngest two-minute drivers when he drove Newport Admiral to a 1:58.4 victory. Four years later, with parental blessing, he was on his own. In 1965 he led the drivers at Brandywine Raceway. In 1966, as a catch driver, he drove Speedy Play to a world trotting record.
When Del Cameron's top client Octave Blake died, Blake left the horseman the choice of one of the three horses he owned at the time of his passing. Del Cameron selected Newport Judy, an Adios filly with a mark of 2:00. The filly went on to become a broodmare and produced Precious Newport. Precious Newport was the dam of Precious Fella, who was raced by Del, and a filly named Brand New. A mating of Precious Fella and Brand New resulted in Brand New Fella p,3, Q1:54.3 ($522,462), a top winner on the New York Sires Stakes circuit for Warren.

The horse Warren became best known for, however, was Direct Scooter. In the late 1970s and through the 1980 racing season, Direct Scooter p,3, 1:54 ($800,451) won 36 of 60 starts with 50 on-the-board finishes. Direct Scooter became known as one of the toughest competitors of his era, setting a track mark when he won the 1979 American Pacing Classic at Hollywood Park over Try Scotch. He was retired to stud duty at Walnridge Farm in New Jersey where he sired Matt's Scooter, at one time the sport's fastest pacer.

Mr. Cameron's horsemanship also made him popular as a catch-driver of top horses, especially with Hall of Famer Stanley Dancer. He drove Dancer's great pacer Cardigan Bay and also won with the top pacing colt Nero.

For many years Mr. Cameron and his wife, Elaine, lived on a 60-acre farm in New Jersey. They sold it and moved to Deleon Springs, Fla., when their youngest son, Greg, graduated from high school. They built their 128-acre Florida farm from the ground up but sold it when health problems forced Mr. Cameron to retire from racing horses.

After selling the second farm, Mr. Cameron changed his "horse power" from horses to boats, completely remodeling a houseboat. He was also an avid fisherman and won several tournaments.

Although plagued with many health issues the last 20 years of his life, Mr. Cameron continued to be a help to his family and friends. His family described him as a jack of all trades, adding that if he didn't know how to do it, he learned. He built two ultralight airplanes and taught himself to fly, and with the help of his son, Doug, he learned how to break down a tractor and put it back together, a pretty good skill for a farm owner to have.

The men in Mr. Cameron's immediate family all dealt with heart problems and died relatively young. Mr. Cameron had undergone two quadruple bypass surgeries. Mr. Cameron is survived by his wife, Elaine, who he met while attending school in Pinehurst; and two sons, Jeff and Greg, who both once worked as horsemen; and five grandchildren. He was predeceased by his son Doug.--harnessracing.com

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