Day At The Track

Harmony Haven offers equine rescue and rehab

04:50 AM 18 Apr 2014 NZST
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Harmony Haven tour wagon, harness racing
You can tour Harmony Haven from their special wagon ride
Nestled in Cottonwood, California is Harmony Haven Therapeutic Riding and Horse Rescue, a facility devoted to horses and people. The farm is operated by Jeannie Womack and her daughter Tiffany.

"We rescue and rehabilitate horses, so they can rescue and rehabilitate the people who need them the most, related Jeannie, who for several years was a groom for the Steve and Vickie Desomer barn.

"Horse therapy teaches people to challenge their bodies and minds to help them make their dreams of a happy and health life possible for themselves. Jeannie explained that standardbreds work best for the program because they do anything and everything that is asked of them.

Harmony Haven is a non-profit organization and has been in operation for six years and growing, according to Womack. Its all about leaving your mark or hoofprint and helping others to have a better life just because you were part of theirs.

Among the well-known harness performers currently at Harmony Haven is Linear, the dam of last years 3-year-old pacing colt champion Bit Player. Linear is very valuable to our program because she is our main vaulting mare, Jeannie continued. She is also Tiffanys main riding horse when we are pleasure riding.

Among the other former harness performers on the grounds are Tricky Deal, whose offspring include Wastin Time and Cordealia; and the recently-retired Yiannoulas Boy, who is easily recognizable to Cal Expo racing fans.

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One And Only eyes another Open Pace

One And Only, who has rattled off back-to-back impressive victories at the head of the class; and stablemate Pancetta, who is set to over the $200,000 earnings plateau and has gone a number of big races over this layout, head the cast for Saturday nights $5,000 Open Pace at Cal Expo.

A 12-race card is scheduled with first post at 6:15 p.m. Racing secretary Fred Kuebler has assigned One And Only the demanding No. 10 post position for this go-around, while Pancetta moves inside his barnmate while doing his work from the No. 4 slot this weekend.

One And Only is a 6-year-old son of Bettors Delight who carries the banner of Richard Morita and David Yamada with Lino Pacheco the conditioner and Chip Lackey handlng the lines. He is looking for his eighth win from 12 starts on the year and recently pushed his bank account into six figures.

The Pacheco trainee earned a 1:51 2/5 career standard when he captured the April 5 Open with Lackey, then came right back the following week to do an encore. In that latter mile, he showed the way to the half, got a strong challenge from co-favorite Pancetta, but re-rallied gamely in the stretch to prevail by a length and a quarter.

Pancetta also races for the Morita/Yamada/Pacheco combination with Steve Wiseman at the helm. He was a 1:51 1/5 winner last season over the five-eighths Pocono Downs oval and should be rounding to his best form now as he makes his fourth appearance after being away from the wars for over three months.

Taking on this dynamic duo are Im An Athlete for trainer Gretchen Smith with Tim Maier in the bike; and a pair from the George Anthrop barn in Docs Zippy with Patrick Galbraith and Mobil Big John, who leaves from the cozy rail slot with Dave Siegel handling the lines.

A reminder there are three wagers here with a reduced 16 percent takeout rate. They are the 50-cent Pick 5; the 20-cent Pick 4 with a $20,000 guaranteed gross pool on Friday and a $25,000 guarantee on Saturday; and the 10-cent Hi-Five on the finale.

By Mark Ratzky, for Cal Expo Harness





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