Day At The Track

Urgointohearmeroar has Robert Gordon spotlight

06:13 AM 26 Jan 2019 NZDT
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Stand By was an outstanding race-mare
Stand By was an outstanding race-mare - and producer for Robert and Loretta Staats

The streaking Urgointohearmeroar looms an overwhelming favorite in Saturday night's $9,800 Robert Gordon Final for the harness racing pacers at Cal Expo.

An 11-race card is on tap under the Watch and Wager LLC banner with first post set for 6:10 p.m. There will also be an Open Pace headed by the razor-sharp Icy Blue Scooter and a Filly and Mare Open Pace featuring Misspanderosajones.

Urgointohearmeroar has accounted for five of his last six trips to the post here, including the December 29 Bill Conlin Final and last week's Robert Gordon Prep as the 1-9 favorite.

A 4-year-old son of Mystery Chase out of the Dragon Again mare Its Unconditional, the bay performer goes about his business for owner Mark Anderson, trainer Gordie Graham and will once again be guided by Mooney Svendsen.

In last week's Gordon Prep, Urgointohearmeroar was parked to the lead by the quarter, then took complete control of things from that point and came home with two and a half-lengths to spare.

Just B Talking turned in a solid runner-up finish in that affair as a 25-1 shot for owner/trainer/driver Gerry Longo. They left into what became a pocket trip, tracked the heavy favorite to the lane and kept to the task while easily holding for the place spot.

Completing the field are Hay Hay Alright, Fox Valley Hoss, In For The Chase, Wizard Of Odds and Lickcreek Speedway.

Race honors memory of Robert Gordon

Saturday night's main event is named for Robert Gordon, the noted driver/trainer and track executive who passed away at the age of 65 in 2006.

Said Ben Kenny, Cal Expo/Watch and Wager LLC Asst. General Manager and Chief Financial Officer, "Bob was my unofficial campaign manager when I first ran for the CHHA board. He was a mentor on the board, a great horseman and I remember him always having a funny joke to tell."

Said trainer George Reider, "Bobby Gordon was a good friend off the track, but on the track he was all business and could train a horse as hard as anybody in the country and be successful at it. The Bobby Gordon I choose to remember is when we played water volleyball and had those great barbecues."

Robert Gordon started his 40-year career in Ohio and learned his lessons under the outstanding horseman Bob Farrington. He eventually settled in California and was a mainstay at the top of the trainer standings from the late 70s through the early 90s, conditioning such stars as Stand By N, Theora Hanover and Pack Leader.

Stand By N raced under the banner of Bob and Loretta Staats stable and she was his all-time favorite. The Down Under import had a 1:52 1/5 career standard and banked $254,381 in a brilliant career on the racetrack, then went on to be an equally outstanding broodmare. She was inducted in the California Hall of Fame in 2010.

Bob Gordon was a past president of the Western Harness Standardbred Association and the California Harness Horse Breeders Association, while in the early 90s he served as a director of the USTA. He was president of Premier Harness Racing, which raced at Los Alamitos, and was instrumental in keeping the sport alive in California in the mid 90s at a time when harness racing was definitely on the ropes.

Bob Gordon was also director of backstretch operations for the Sacramento Harness Association and helped in starting the not-for-profit corporation, which was operating at Cal Expo at the time of his death.

By Mark Ratzky, publicity - Cal Expo Harness



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