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Thursday, December 15, 2016

Cal Expo Saturday Advance

Race honors memory of Robert Staats
By Mark Ratzky, publicity – Cal Expo Harness

Saturday night’s feature race is named for Robert Staats, the prominent owner/breeder who passed away in 2011 at the age of 69 at his home in Reno, Nevada. 

Along with his wife Loretta, Robert Staats was active in the sport beginning in the early 1970s, with Bob Gordon handling the training duties for most of those years.  Upon Gordon’s passing, Rick Plano and Bob Johnson conditioned the Staats performers.

Among those outstanding color-bearers have been Stand By, the brilliant New Zealand-bred race-mare and producer; her son Moxie, a 1:49.3 performer with over $400,000 in earnings;  Nemisis, a sparkling 1:48 winner; the popular mare Reno Rose; Bells To Be Rung; and the stakes-winning BG’s Prodigy, who was named after Bob Gordon.

Stand By was the horse who put the Staats stable on the map and she was his all-time favorite.  The Down Under import had a 1:52 career standard and banked $255,000 in a brilliant career on the racetrack, then went on to be an equally outstanding broodmare. 

She was inducted in the California Hall of Fame in 2010.  Stand By produced nine foals and they have earned over $1 million, with her son Moxie retired to stud at the Desomer Farm and becoming a top sire in his own right.

“Bob Staats was first and foremost a kind and classy gentleman,” said General Manager Chris Schick. “Bob raced top quality New Zealand imports and California Sire Stakes competitors for nearly 40 years. We are proud to honor his memory here at Cal Expo.”

Rodeo Blues headliners Robert Staats Finale

Rodeo Blues, fresh from back-to-back wins including last week’s elimination heat, gets the top billing in Saturday night’s feature $10,100 Robert Staats Final for pacing fillies and mares.

Watch and Wager LLC will present 14 races Saturday with a first post of 4:45 p.m. and the main event goes as the 10th race on the evening. 

Rodeo Blues is a 3-year-old daughter of Blue Burner who is owned by Teresa Samaha and is reined and trained by Andy Arsenault. She is looking for her seventh win on the yea from 30 trips to the post.

The dark-hued miss made every pole a winning one on December 3, then was wheeled back in last week’s Staats elimination and was used early over a sloppy track before settling in for a pocket journey to the stretch behind PA’s Corn Squeezin.

Rodeo Blues responded when the question was asked and prevailed by a length that evening, with PA’s Corn Squeezin holding the place spot after doing most of the heavy lifting over that off track.

The latter is a 4-year-old mare who races for Dave Haness and driver/trainer Luke Plano. She was runner-up in the Annette Funicello Final behind fellow Staats participant The Bearded Lady last month and has returned with two thirds and last week’s game runner-up performance.

Completing the field are Afaceinthecrowd with Chip Lackey; Cenalta Diamond, Tim Clevenger; Listentoherheart with Steve Wiseman; The Bearded Lady, James Kennedy; Speak English, to be handled by Mike Jarvis; Sweet One, Mooney Svendsen; Polish Jola with David Siegel; and Mystery Affair, who will have William Hernandez in the sulky.

Special Holiday racing schedule                                                 

Looking at the holiday racing schedule, the trotters and pacers will next be in action on a special Monday, December 26 program. That week will also find racing on Friday, December 30 and Sunday, January 1. The December 26 and January 1 cards will feature an earlier 4:45 p.m. first post.