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Thursday, November 24, 2011

Putoneonnetformom Carries On Cimini Family Tradition At Cal Expo

Thursday, November 24, 2011 - by Mark Ratzky, Publicity -- Cal Expo

There is a lot more to Putoneonnetformom than the story behind the name.   First there is the father/daughter/son team of owner/breeders Jeff, Gerald and Diana Cimini; the sire Trot For Joy, who raced strong until his forced retirement at 14; and the dam Light The Lamp, who died just five months after giving birth to her first foal.

“We’ve been involved in harness racing since the late 1970s,” Jeff explained.  “My dad was a jockey in Ohio, Pennsylvania and West Virginia, but he gave that up before I was born.

“We had moved to California and our neighbor was Len Corbisero, who was known as the ‘Goodie King’ because of all the promotional items he gave away as part of his business.  He was a harness owner, and he took us to Hollywood Park at night and then to the backstretch in the morning.  I remember riding on my dad’s lap in the sulky at age 8, and I was hooked.”

The Ciminis have had their share of nice horses over the years, including Delusionofgrandeur, who registered 38 lifetime victories and banked over $178,000 in his career.

“That was our first homebred winner, and it was a big thrill,” Jeff said.

This brings us to Light The Lamp, another homebred who was a very special member of the clan.

“She and I broke our maiden in the same race, and I was on cloud nine for a week,” Cimini recalled.  “She had her problems, including EPM, and we ended up breeding her to Trot For Joy, who was a game veteran who was top class right up to his retirement.” 

Soon after he was born, the weanling to be named Putoneonnetformom developed a blood infection and things did not look good.

“We rushed him to the hospital and they wrote him off, but somehow he survived.  Unfortunately, Light The Light died five months later from the West Nile Virus.”

The Ciminis are big hockey fans, which may give you a major clue when it comes to Light The Lamp, who was a daughter of Armbro Goal, and her son.

“Light The Lamp is when you score a goal, and as a tribute to her, we named the colt Putoneonnetformom.  He never won a Sire Stakes, but he had the misfortune of coming along the same year as Hitchiker, who won just about every one of them.  We had a lot of seconds, though, and were very proud of him.”

Now a 7-year-old in the Rocky Stidham barn, Putoneonnetformom has won three of his last six starts while part of an outstanding rivalry with Franks Best for the top trotting position at Cal Expo.

“He’s got his father’s longevity and his mother’s heart,” Jeff Cimini said.  “That’s a great combination.”