The Marvin Hannah Memorial Trot and a pair of $12,000 California Sire Stakes for sophomore fillies headline the Friday night (May 25) harness racing action at Cal Expo. The Marvin Hannah honors the memory of the longtime owner/breeder who passed away in March at the age of 75.
Along with his wife of 44 years, Judy, Mr. Hannah campaigned such outstanding individuals as Thadrow and Lightly Spiced, and owned the stallion Spicy Charlie for the last 11 years of his life.
Marvin and Judy were introduced to the sport in 1974 by Danny Parrish and in a short period of time had part of a horse. They ended up owning several performers in a syndicate with Ron Curtis and with that money Marvin eventually went to the track for three years to learn to train.
He worked with Pat Wheeler, John Christiano and Gary Perry, and he and Perry were the first to train at Greenbriar, before it officially opening. The first horse they purchased from a sale was Bear Hug from Glen Holt in 1983. Over the years, the Hannahs have had farms here in California in Elk Grove and Wilton.
Vickie Desomer said, “Marvin, Judy, my husband Steve and I shared wonderful times both on and off the track. I remember Marvin as a most determined horseman, always willing to learn and expand. He had a ‘can-do’ attitude that was beyond compare.”
The field for the Marvin Hannah Memorial carries a $5,000 purse and matches Giles L S Hanover, Tokyo Oklahoma, The Goose, K D Nicol, Alpine Hawk, BK’s Stiff, Winsom Kelly, Broadway Victory, Dreaming Of Amy and Betty Elizabeth.
Taking a look at the two Sire Stakes, Diva Las Vegas gets the top billing in the pacing event while Silverlode will attempt to make a clean sweep of the big-money events for the trotting fillies at this meeting.
Diva Las Vegas is a daughter of Hi Ho Silverheel’s and the Little Steven mare Prettylittlerebel who carries the banner of Wayne Knittel and trainer Denise Maier with Tim Maier handling the driving duties.
The bay miss already has three stakes trophies on her mantle, including the last two decided for this group. She did the track-and-attack to perfection in the April 27 gathering and drew off by three lengths in the stretch, then made every pole a winning one in the most recent big dance two weeks ago and established a new career standard of 1:56.1 in the process.
Little Anna Mae was the runner-up in that affair and gives the Maier barn two strong looks at the outcome. The Little Steven offspring carries the banner of Eileen Brodbar, breeder Alan Kirschenbaum and her conditioner, and looms large with the cozy one-hole draw here.
While Little Anna Mae is seeking her first stakes win, she has certainly been dropping hints with a fourth and two runner-up finishes in the big-money jousts at this meeting. She got a pocket trip behind Diva Las Vegas in the May 11 gathering and came home smartly for miss by three-quarters of a length.
La Madawna De Rosa picked up the show money that evening after a game first-over mile for owner/breeder Cindy Tupper, trainer Bob Johnson, and regular pilot Lemoyne Svendsen. She has two wins from her nine starts, including a 1:57 score in a conditioned event on April 6.
Completing the field are Pismo Beach, one of three Johnson trainees in the cast; Twentyone Guns with Scott Cisco; On The Way Home with James Kennedy giving directions; and Drawing Dead, who will be doing her work from the outside post in the field of seven.
Silverlode will face only one rival in California Crush in the trotting stakes, which will go as a non-betting event prior to the regular program. The British Sterling homebred has romped in all three added-money appearances this year for Desomer Stables with Steve Desomer at the controls.
Live racing resumes at Cal Expo on Friday (May 25) & Saturday (May 26) at 6:00 p.m. (PST). On every live card, Cal Expo offers free parking & free admission after 4:30 p.m. On Friday, Cal Expo offers Happy Hour from 4:00-7:00 p.m. on which Beer; Well Drinks & Wine are offered at $4 each, while a Burger with fries is offered at $5.
Cal Expo currently offers a reduced 15 percent takeout rate on all Pick 4’s. Additionally, all Late Pick 4’s now come with an increased $20,000-guaranteed gross pool. Also, the Friday Late Pick 4 will offer a 0% takeout on all winning wagers made on track or at Twinspires.com, while the Saturday Late Pick 4 will be broadcast on TVG.
by Mark RATZKY