Silverlode, who has some Sires Stakes trophies on her mantle, is attempting to win her second series finale at this meet having captured the Joe Lighthill final in late November. She was second and third in the first two legs of the Budahn behind Donna Letsgo and Hooray Katie.
For the 77-year-old Desomer, he will be making sulky appearance No. 12,701 in a career that has seen him land in the winners circle on 2,609 occasions while banking nearly $11 million in the process.
The veteran, who runs the barn along with his wife Vickie, was asked how things have changed since the days of Western Harness Racing at the soon to be demolished Hollywood Park.
The racing has changed dramatically since the days of Hollywood Park, Steve related. Back in the 70s, most of the drivers were also trainers. The horsemen were more complete in that they had knowledge of shoeing, soundness, driving, rigging and training and entering.
Today many of the drivers specialize in just driving. Driving against the likes ofand other young drivers puts the older drivers at a distinct disadvantage in that they do not react as quickly as needed. Most know the drivers and horses they race against, but making that split second decision becomes more difficult with the passing of time.
PICK 5- $10,000 BOTH NIGHTS
PICK 4 - $20,000 FRIDAY
PICK 4 - $25,000 SATURDAY
Dr. Gary Budahn Trotting Series finale in spotlight
The $13,750 final of the Dr. Gary Budahn Trotting Series, with first and second leg winners and stablemates Hooray Katie and Donna Letsgo figuring to get the majority of the attention, is the main event on Friday nights Cal Expo program.
A 14-race card is on tap Friday evening, with the Budahn final set as the seventh event on the program. First post is 5:20 p.m.
The Dr. Gary Budahn Series honors the memory of a mainstay of California harness racing for over 30 years who passed away in 2009.
Dr. Budahn served on the board of directors of the California Harness Horsemens Association (CHHA) for over 12 years, including President of the organization for three years. He was a strong voice for harness racing in the state and was always there for the horsemen, helping them in any way he could.
Looking at the field, Hooray Katie is a 5-year-old daughter ofwho is owned by William Neumeister, takes her lessons from and will once again be guided by . She proved best in her divisions of the first two legs of this event, last week showing the way home by a half-length over Silverlode.
Donna Letsgo gives the Johnson barn two solid looks at the outcome in the headliner. The Keystone Blitz mare is owned by the trainer, Marty Garey and Henry Wiesenstock withdoing the honors. In last weeks penultimate leg, the bay miss made every pole a winning one and came home with two and a quarter lengths to spare.
Completing the field are High Dollar for; Bar Back, who has the services of ; Lodi Dorian Blues, ; Silverlode with Steve Desomer; Sky Keeper for ; Ali De Vie, to be handled by ; and Southwind Kean, who leaves from the outside with at the controls.
By Mark Ratzky for Cal Expo Harness