Trainer Mike Mitchell at races less than 3 weeks after brain surgery

DEL MAR, Calif. (AP) -- Trainer Mike Mitchell attended the races at Del Mar less than three weeks after undergoing brain surgery.

Mitchell was on hand for opening day Wednesday to give instructions to jockey Julien Leparoux aboard Celestic Night. They finished fourth.

The trainer had said he probably wouldn't make it to Del Mar until midway through the summer meet. He visited a track for the first time since his June 29 surgery last Sunday, when his horse Dhaamer won the Sunset Handicap at Betfair Hollywood Park in Inglewood.

"I'm fine, all the reports are good," Mitchell said. "My treatments start on Mondays and go five days in a row. I figured if I felt good, and felt like I could withstand opening day, which is kind of tough, I'd come on down."

Mitchell was accompanied by his wife Denise, and daughters McCall and Shea, who is engaged to Leparoux.

"It's all about family and Del Mar has been such a special place for our family," Denise Mitchell said. "We're a strong family, we've got a lot of love and support and we'll get through it."

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