Race honors memory of Bill Conlin
By Mark Ratzky, publicity – Cal Expo Harness
Saturday’s main event is named for Bill Conlin, the longtime sportswriter, editor and columnist for the Sacramento Bee who passed away in 1997 at the age of 84.
“Bill Conlin, quite simply, is a legend, a real newspaperman who loved his work and his hometown of Sacramento like no other,” related Sacramento Bee columnist Debbie Arrington.
“With great wit, he covered sports (and more) in this city for six decades, first at the Sacramento Union, then The Bee. He knew everyone - from Ronald Reagan to Al Davis - and was a daily presence in The Bee's Sports section until his retirement in 1985.
“Through it all, harness racing remained one of his favorite sports, both to cover and to watch as a fan.”
Debbie noted that when Conlin passed away in June of 1997, Cal Expo’s harness drivers paid tribute to him in the winner’s circle before the first Bill Conlin Memorial, which was won by the great pacer and sire Little Steven.
“It’s wonderful that Bill’s name still lives on at Cal Expo in a sport he truly loved,” Arrington added.
Genuine Desire heads Bill Conlin Final
Genuine Desire, who posted an impressive victory last week over a sloppy track, gets the top billing in Saturday night’s featured $8,400 Bill Conlin Final.
The main event goes as the eighth of 13 races with first post set for 6:10 under the Watch and Wager LLC banner.
Genuine Desire is a 3-year-old son of Real Desire who races for Rick and Marlene Thomas and George Reider, with Reider doing the conditioning and David Siegel once again handling the lines.
The pacer has posed for pictures following two of his last three trips to the post, turning a pocket trip into a victory on November 12 over firm footing and then getting the job done at most recent asking while competing over a sloppy course.
Sent off the 2-1 second choice in that event, Genuine Desire tracked early, brushed to command on the far turn and went on to post a two and a half-length score with Siegel. They will leave from the N. 7 post in the field of nine.
Bo Master is looking to make amends after checking in third in last week’s Conlin prep.
The Sportsmaster 2-year-old is owned by Little Bapa LLC, gives the Reider barn two solid looks at the outcome and will have Luke Plano at the controls.
Rounding out the field are The Bearded Lady, who will be guided by James Kennedy; Cenalta Diesel, Tony Succarotte; Stole The Show with Mark Kennedy; Gene Eugene, Gerry Longo; Laissezmoipicoler for William Hernandez; Musician, Mooney Svendsen; and Mathachusetts with Steve Wiseman.