Day At The Track

Trotters clash in Gary Budahn Final

10:45 AM 26 Jan 2017 NZDT
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A contentious field headed by last week's upset winner Delta Breezeoflodi, Franky Provolone and Big Baller is set for Friday night's $8,500 harness racing Gary Budahn Final.

Watch and Wager LLC will be presenting 13 races on Friday with first post set for 5:55 p.m. The co-feature is a $6,600 Open Pace headed by I'm An Athlete, who leaves from the assigned outside slot in the field of seven.

Last week's Budahn Prep winner Delta Breezeoflodi will likely get more respect at the windows after posting a 9-1 surprise in that contest. A 4-year-old daughter of Little Steven, she is owned by Mary Harris and Pierre Girard, is conditioned by Girard and will once again have Luke Plano giving direction.

The bay miss left from the cozy rail slot last week and used a big move past the half to take command. She held a two-length advantage to the stretch and hit the wire with a length and a half to spare over a good racetrack.

The popular veteran Franky Provolone put in a solid effort to complete the exacta that evening from the No. 9 post and looms large again. Robin Clements owns and trains the $208,000 earner and Steve Wiseman has the return assignment.

Big Baller had to settle for third as the 4-5 favorite in the Budahn Prep and will be gunning for some revenge. The Panama Hanover offspring, who sports a 1:56 1/5 mark, is closing in on a $290,000 bankroll and goes about his business for the partnership of Siegel, Robinson, Thronson and Reider with George Reider training and David Siegel in the sulky.

Completing the field are Katie Mouse, Swift Cougar, Tour Guide, Lodi Bank Robber and Talkin Tootsie.

Race honors memory of Gary Budahn

Friday's Gary Budahn Trot is named for a mainstay of California harness racing for more than 30 years, who passed away in April 2009.

Dr. Budahn served on the Board of Directors of the California Harness Horsemen's Association for more than 12 years, including President of the CHHA for three terms. He was a strong voice in California harness racing for many years and was always there for the horsemen, helping them in any way he could.

Dr. Budahn was well known in harness racing for being one of the best veterinarians to grace the backside and was well respected throughout the country. Along with his wife Debbi, Dr. Budahn started The Gusty Stable, sending out some of the best horses to ever race in California, including Doodlin and Claude's Last Lady.

Each represented The Gusty Stable in Breeders Crown events and were two of the best mares to ever campaign in the Golden State on the pacing and trotting side.

Along with those two outstanding mares, The Gusty Stable raced many more top performers such as Wilder Echo, Alfa Star, Amazing Glide and Claudius Augustus and was the breeder and developer of Direct Flight.

"Gary Budahn was a man of integrity and probably the best horseman I ever met," said former driver Rick Kuebler, who guided many top performers for The Gusty Stable over the years.

"When it came to diagnosing the problem of a horse, he had no equal. He had an intimate knowledge of the Standardbred and harness racing in that he was a top trainer and even spent time in the sulky. He is very much missed."

By Mark Ratzky, publicity - Cal Expo Harness


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