By Mark Ratzky, publicity – Cal Expo Harness
After spending several years under the tutelage of his father Lino, 25-year-old Jessie Pacheco is making a name for himself here at Cal Expo, including a four-bagger on last Saturday night’s program.
Among the performers in Jessie’s barn is the hard-hitting 8-year-old I’m An Athlete, who races for Ronald Rettig-Zucchi and has several wins in the Open Pace to his credit at this meeting, with last week’s top dance among his triumphs.
Jessie was born in California, but after an accident at age 1, he went to Mexico to live with his mother. While visiting his father at age 9, he was exposed to harness racing and upon his return to the States at 18 he set out to make it his life’s work.
“In Mexico I rode quarter horses, but I knew I wanted to come back here and work with my dad and the harness horses,” he explained.
It was two years ago that Pacheco took out his trainer’s license and he has been making a steady stream of visits to the winner’s circle at this meeting.
“Everything I know about this sport I learned from my dad. I also want to thank the owners who have been very supportive.”
In addition to training, Jessie is slowly segueing into driving with a few evening ventures to his credit at this meeting. “I definitely need to get more experience with the driving,” he noted. “Right now, I’m concentrating on the training.”
Talkin Tootsie, Silverlode headline main event
Talkin Tootsie, who has won three of her last five starts including an upset over division leader Pridecrest two weeks ago; and the hard-hitting Silverlode loom the top combatants in Friday night’s $5,500 Open II Trot.
There will be 12 races on the Watch and Wager LLC program with the headliner going as the fourth event on the evening. A pair of $6,500 California Sire Stakes will be decided as non-betting events prior to the regular card.
Talkin Tootsie is a 5-year-old daughter of Cantab Hall from the Westgate Crown mare Minnesota Carol who carries the banner of Martin Garey and Henry Wieseneck, takes her lessons from Bob Johnson and will once again have Mooney Svendsen giving directions.
Two weeks ago in the Open Trot, Talkin Tootsie was patient early, began to pick up momentum turning for home and hung a neck decision on the 1-5 Pridecrest in a 1:57 2/5 performance.
In last week’s clash at the head of the trotting class, Pridecrest returning to his winning ways with a coast-to-coast score, while Talkin Tootsie sat the pocket and had to settle for third that evening.
Silverlode was up to nail her for the place money in that affair and like Talkin Tootsie will appreciate getting away from Pridecrest. She is a 9-year-old British Sterling homebred who races for the Desomer Stables with Vickie Desomer conditioning and Steve Wiseman in the sulky.
Completing the field are Silverhill Volo, The Evictor, Franks Best, Windsun Galaxie and Dougs Hobby Horse.