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Thursday, October 20, 2011

Saturday's Amateur Series At Cal Expo Benefits Bronte Epilepsy Research

Saturday night (October 22) at Cal Expo will find the opening leg of The Bronte Epilepsy Research Foundation Amateur Series, which is being sponsored by Lou Pena and some of his owners.  Between their generosity and the driver fees, a total of $7,000 beyond the purse monies will go to the Foundation.

Two separate pacing events, one for the males and one for the mares, will be held over three Saturdays.  The first two legs are going for $3,000, while a $10,000 pot will be waiting at the end of the respective November 5 finales.

The first leg of the series will get underway with the pacers sporting $3,000 base claiming prices, while they will have $4,500 claiming tags on the second week.  The top eight purse earners from those first two legs will compete in each of the respective $10,000 finales and there will be no claiming in that affair.

California Amateur Driving Club President Dave Siegel is high in his praise for Pena, who contacted him and said he wanted to do something to benefit both The Bronte Foundation and California harness racing.

“I really miss California and I hope things can turn around,” Pena said.  “While I have had success since leaving two years ago, I’m happy to give something back to the place where I have many friends and family.

“I still have a strong interest in the health of the industry, with some horses sent back here to compete, and I’m happy to continue to support the amateur cause and more importantly the horsemen and Bronte Foundation.  It’s great that Dave Siegel continues to drive these events and they are winners for the track, the horsemen and the bettors.”

Speaking of the bettors and in conjunction with the Amateur Series, free TrackMaster past performances and TrackMaster Greg analysis will be available for the next three Saturday night programs by going to

The Bronte Epilepsy Research Foundation Amateur Series, Sire Stakes Have Saturday Cal Expo Spotlight

The first leg of The Bronte Epilepsy Research Foundation Amateur Series and the second round of $15,000 California Sire Stakes action for the 2-year-old pacing and trotting colts headed by Ra Ra Steven and El Azteca top the marquee at Cal Expo Saturday evening (October 22).

Looking at the Sire Stakes, Ra Ra Steven and El Azteca both posted impressive victories two weeks ago in the first round of added-money action for the 2-year-old colts.  Ra Ra Steven is a homebred son of Little Steven who races for Billie Schwartz, David Rachford and Jim Wilkinson Jr., with Wilkinson training and Rich Wojcio once again guiding.

The bay performer made every pole a winning one in that first stakes clash for the pacers, reporting home with four lengths to spare over Down Holme and Little Tor.  They will challenge again, while Bloom N Doom and Looks Don’t Count will complete the line-up.

El Azteca left little doubt in the trotting event for the boys as he waltzed home by 14 lengths in the first big-money gathering for his owner/breeder/trainer/driver Marco Rios.  Taking him on in the non-betting event are Light Red, Lee’s Persuader and High Dollar.