Andy Arsenault making himself right at home
By Mark Ratzky, publicity – Cal Expo Harness
Andy Arsenault is one of the new faces on the scene here at Cal Expo, bringing down a small string from Canada while also hoping to do his share of catch-driving.
The 50-year-old native of Sudbury, Ontario was born into the game and knew at an early age that he wanted to make the trotters and pacers his profession. “The half-mile track at Sudbury was being built at about the same time I was born, and my father did a little bit of everything there, including driving and training for the owner of the track,” Arsenault related.
“I can remember walking hots when I was very young and it was always my passion. By the time I was finishing school, the racetrack was definitely more on my mind than the studies. It didn’t help that the school was on a hill overlooking the track.”
Andy drove his first winner in 1988 when he guided a pacer named Holridge Millie to victory at the former Cloverdale Raceway and has made his share of winner’s circle appearances in the interim in the Great White North.
Andy credits his father and top Canadian horsemen Bill Davis with giving a great education, and it was for Davis that he recorded his most memorable victory.
“I was driving the weakest part of a three-horse entry for Bill, and after going to the front I got passed by both the stablemates and eventually every other horse in the field,” he recalled. “We ended up circling the field to win, and that one was especially satisfying.”
Arsenault explained that he has been thinking about coming down to Cal Expo for several years, “but just couldn’t pull the trigger” until recently when Quentin Schneider convinced him to give California a try. “So far the people have been great,” he added.
Lodi Dorian Blues headlines featured Trot
Lodi Dorian Blues, who had has the unfortunate task of trying to overhaul Flameon and Silverlode in his two appearances at the meet, gets some class relief Saturday night in the featured $4,400 Open II Trot.
There is also an $5,000 Open II pacing event for fillies and mares on the program and Hare to Eternity is likewise dropping in class in that affair after chasing home the top males on the grounds in last week’s clash at the head of the class
Twelve races are set to be decided Saturday and first post for the Watch and Wager LLC program is 6:10 p.m. The featured Trot goes as the second event and the distaff Pace is third third contest on the evening.
Both Lodi Dorian Blues and Hare to Eternity are conditioned by Kathleen Plestad and will have Steve Wiseman at the controls. Lodi Dorian Blues has been assigned the outside slot in the field of seven, while Hare to Eternity goes from the No 4 post in a cast of six.
Lodi Dorian Blues is a 7-year-old son of New Age Hanover out of the Cooper Lobell mare Storm Cooper who races for Scot Ehrlich and George McCrystal. He comes into this assignment having won seven of his 30 starts on the year, including a lifetime best 1:57 1/5 tour here earlier this season.
The hard-hitting sidewheeler has been a fast-closing third in both his appearances at this stand since returning from Running Aces and will surely appreciate the fact that Flameon and Silverlode will be staying in the barn this weekend.
Rounding out the cast, from the rail out are Winsome Kelly from the Luke Plano shedrow; Kickinitwithkohler from the Kennedy Lindsey barn; the Lino Pacheco-trained Winsun Galaxie; the Sparky Clarke trainee Zoraze; and Cadet from the Vickie Desomer barn.