By Mark Ratzky, publicity – Cal Expo Harness
When the sharp Genuine Desire lines up for Saturday night’s Bill Conlin Final, he’ll be gunning for his fourth win from his last six trips to the post, including two of his last three over this layout.
The sophomore son of Real Desire is owned by Rick and Marlene Thomas and George Reider, is conditioned by Reider and will be handled by David Siegel.
Genuine Desire started his recent streak with a 43-1 shocker in his Hawthorne finale last month with Tim Curtain at the controls and has recorded his last two tallies after being re-united with Siegel.
In last week’s Conlin Prep over a sloppy track, the pair made a power move to the top on the final bend and went on to a two and a half-length decision that sets them up perfectly for this assignment.
“I am glad I finally got the opportunity to get back behind Genuine Desire after his venture back to Illinois,” Siegel related after last week’s score. “Going by his record and speed ratings, there is little doubt he likes the going at Cal-Expo better.
“He is very handy and can be driven as the situation dictates, on the front, off the pace, and has the ability to two-move if needed.
“He fits the Conlin field well and hopefully we can get the right trip and get the job done for his supportive owners Rick and Marlene. I fully expect George will have him prepared for the challenge.”
Marie Hill Pace brings out distaffers
The Marie Hill Pace, a $4,400 Open II event for fillies and mares, heads the 13-race card Friday night at the Watch and Wager LLC meeting. First post is 6:10 p.m.
Lady’s Art, for driver/trainer Chip Lackey; and the Robin Clements-trained, David Siegel-driven Windsun T Bird have been assigned the outside posts in the field of seven.
She passed away on November 22 at the age of 85 in Merlin, Ore., near the residence of her daughter, Irene, after a brief illness.
Born Aug. 12, 1931, in Blacks Harbor, New Brunswick, Ms. Hill attended her first harness race at the half-mile track at St. Stephen, New Brunswick, when she was 11 years old. At 13 she wrote her first article for The Canadian Sportsman, a few paragraphs titled “Watchim on the Trot,” which was about the trotting track record holder at St. Stephen.
The story led to other articles for The Canadian Sportsman’s Christmas editions. She also wrote for The Horseman And Fair World, Hoof Beats, The Harness Horse, and Trot magazines.
Ms. Hill became one of harness racing’s most prolific historians, writing six books including: Single G: The Horse That Time Forgot; Adios: The Big Daddy of Harness Racing; Gentleman Joe-The Story of Harness Driver Joe O’Brien; Mr. Harness Racing-the Story of Delvin Miller; and The Horseman from Alberton.
In 1959 Ms. Hill moved to California, where she worked as an accountant and office manager for construction companies in the San Francisco Bay area. Her interest in harness racing, its horses and people, never waned. During the 1970s and early 1980s she bred, owned and raced horses in California, Kentucky and Indiana.
Ms. Hill became acquainted with Delvin Miller by mail when he responded to an advertisement she had run in The Horseman And Fair World in which she had asked for historical information about Single G. Miller responded, as was his habit, and thus began a lifelong friendship.
Miller subsequently asked Ms. Hill to write his biography and she delightedly agreed to the project. In 1992, when Adios was inducted into the Indiana Standardbred Hall of Fame, Ms. Hill accepted the award at Miller’s request.
In 1984, Ms. Hill nominated B C Count to the Canadian Horse Racing Hall of Fame. The horse’s subsequent election, which came in 1998 following a 14-year campaign on her part, brought her great satisfaction.
In 2005 Ms. Hill was honored with the Harness Racing Museum’s Pinnacle Award and in 2007 she was inducted into the Communicators’ Hall of Fame.
In addition to harness racing, Ms. Hill’s hobbies included the Civil War and watching the New York Yankees. She loved her family, friends, animals, her Catholic faith, and was a devoted mother and daughter.
In addition to her daughter, Irene (Stephen), Ms. Hill is survived by her cousin, Sheila Hurley and friend, Arlene Matheson, both of whom she called sisters; the Walker family, Hill and O’Connor cousins; and many more cousins.
Ms. Hill was an avid supporter and former board member of the Stable of Memories at The Red Mile and memorial contributions may be sent to Stable of Memories, P.O. Box 11073, Lexington, KY 40512-1073, or to Shrine of St. Jude Thaddeus, P.O. Box 15368, San Francisco, CA 94115-0368, or to any animal shelter or rescue.