DONNIE VON HEMEL
Born: Oct. 10, 1961
Birthplace: Manter, KS
Family: wife Robin, daughter Tess
Trainer Donnie Von Hemel began 2011 by winning Oaklawn’s $100,000 Smarty Jones Stakes with Caleb’s Posse and his year culminated when the Posse colt captured the Breeders’ Cup Dirt Mile (G1) to put himself clearly in the picture for championship honors. In addition, Caleb’s Posse also won the Ohio Derby (G3) and defeated champion Uncle Mo in King’s Bishop Stakes (G1) at Saratoga.
From one of racing's most recognizable families, Donnie and his brother, Kelly, are the sons of longtime Midwestern trainer and Nebraska Hall of Famer, Don Von Hemel. Donnie is the kingpin at Remington Park in Oklahoma City, holding virtually every training record at that track.
He graduated from Fort Hayes State University with an accounting degree, but went into the family business in 1984. He won his first training title at Louisiana Downs in 1988 and began a run of dominance at Remington that includes his induction in their Hall of Fame in 1998.
In addition to Caleb’s Posse’s success, Von Hemel also won the Peter Pan Stakes (G2) at Belmont with Alternation and three stakes with She’s All In in 2011. Other major winners for him include Clever Trevor, Mariah's Storm, Evansville Slew, Custer, Leave a Legacy, Queen's Gray Bee, Explosive Girl, Mr. Ross and Bien Nicole.