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Thursday, February 9, 2012

CalX1 - Roesch Making Himself Right At Home At Cal Expo

Thursday, February 9, 2012 - by Mark Ratzky, Publicity -- Cal Expo

Bob Roesch (pronounced Rush) got his first snapshot here at Cal Expo in last Saturday night’s (February 4) opener, landing in the charmed enclosure with the odds-on pacing mare Wild About Eagle.

The 48-year-old Ohio native was involved with riding horses as a youngster, but it wasn’t until he was 18 that he discovered the world of harness racing.

“I was actually raised in Tennessee, but I returned to Ohio and took a job with my uncle Loyal Miller, who was a trainer at Toledo,” Roesch explained.

“Once I got the chance to jog a horse, I found it was addicting.  About a year later, I went to work with Tom Marsh Jr. at Northfield and I learned quite a bit from him.  Two years later I got my driving and training license.”

Bob’s first pacer was a mare named Misty Ides. 

“The first time I raced her I couldn’t drive, because they had a rule at Northfield that provisional drivers couldn’t compete on a weekend.  She needed the race and finished sixth, and then I waited an extra week so I could race her on a Wednesday and was able to drive.  She won and paid $98.”

Roesch’s favorite trainee would be Becca Anne, a mare who won some 30 races under his care during a three-year period in the mid-1980s.  In 2009 when his wife Holly had a job transfer to Pennsylvania, Bob had the opportunity to work with the outstanding Ron Burke barn.

“That was a great experience, getting the chance to be around some sensational horses like Won The West.”

Last spring, Holly once again found herself moving due to work, this time landing in Reno.

“We came down to the races here in September and realized I wanted to get involved in the game again.  I knew Tony Succarotte from Michigan, and eventually I got myself a couple of horses, one of which was claimed away.”

Roesch guided Wild About Eagle to a dominating score to the delight of the chalk-players, and admits it felt good to win his first race in a couple of years.

“I’ve always kept my license current by driving here and there.  I have to say I’m having a great time right now, the weather is terrific and I’ve had the pleasure to meet some really nice people.”