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This past Sunday the California Harness Horsemen’s Association (CHHA) held its annual awards meeting at the Hilton in Sacramento to honor divisional stakes winners, horse of the year and the induction of a horse into the CHHA’s hall of fame. Cut It Out, by Levity out of the Jenuine Hanover mare, Jenuine Frost was inducted into the hall of fame for California this year. Owned by Mark Holden and trained and driven by Bob Rosen, Cut it Out was a sensational mare, taking a mark of 1:55.1f and earned $436,594 lifetime. Winning 19 out of 22 races and earning over $212,000 in her 3 yr. old year, she won every sire’s stakes race either on the front end or coming from behind while setting the 3 yr. old filly track record at Los Alamitos.  Cut it Out was voted California horse of the year in 1985 and 1986. Show Runner by Little Steven out of Peace Runner was voted 2013 California horse of the year. Bred by the late Alan Kirschenbaum and owned by Denise Maier and Eileen Brodbar , Show Runner dominated the 3 yr. old filly stakes races, while winning 19 out of 33 starts for the year. Awards were also handed out to divisional stakes Champions who were, Show Runner 3 yr. old pacing filly owned by Denise Maier and Eileen Brodbar. Bit Player 3 yr. old pacing colt, owned by Desomer Stables More Tequila 3 yr. old trotting filly owned by Frank Neverez Freedombird 3 yr. old trotting colt owned by Melissa Erzene. 2013 Stallion awards were handed out to top breeding stallions, Hi Ho Silverheels, pacer owned by Wayne Knittle Panama Hanover, trotter owned by Debbie Budahn . The CHHA also welcomed new board of directors Steve Wiseman and Luke Plano. by Robin Clements, for the CHHA

This weekends three series finales at Cal Expo honor the memory and contributions of Alan Kirschenbaum, Richard Staley and Marvin Shapiro. The Alan Kirschenbaum Series is named for the longtime owner and breeder and past president of the California Harness Horsemens Association, who died in October 2012. Kirschenbaum was a major factor in California as an owner, breeder and amateur driver for many years. With his stallions Little Steven and British Sterling standing at Cherry Tree Farm in Wilton, he helped support the industry in California. In the past, he had even waived his stallion fees to help the California horsemen breed their mares to help the horse population survive in the Golden State. He was also a huge supporter of the California Sire Stakes and amateur races. Richard Staley, who passed away in 1997 at the age of 66, was one of the top owners to ever campaign trotters and pacers in California. He was involved in the sport for more than 25 years and during that entire period had only one trainer, Hall of Famer Doug Ackerman. Over the years Staley and Ackerman would regularly go to the major sales to select and purchase the regally-bred years that became the bulwark of the Staley Stable and provided California harness racing with many of his classiest performers. Marvin Shapiro was the son of L.K. Shapiro, who owned the Hall of Fame thoroughbred and California-bred champion Native Diver. He was the president of Western Harness Racing Inc. in the 1960s and spearheaded legislation that sanctioned night racing in California. He died in 2003 at the age of 83. Marvin Shapiro Finale, Open Pace in spotlight A contentious $7,350 finale of the Marvin Shapiro Pacing Series and an Open Pace headed by One And Only are the main events on Saturday nights Watch and Wager LLC program at Cal Expo. Itsabouttonight and Plum Crazy Baby captured the two divisions of the first leg of the Shapiro, while last week saw one division and it was Majestic Lass who come rolling late to post a $47 upset. An 8-year-old daughter of Art Major, Majestic Lass is owned by Kimberly Andres, is conditioned by Salvador Wenceslao and will have Mooney Svendsen in the sulky. No threat in the first leg of the Shapiro, she came back last week to be up by a head over another longshot in Pips Jenny G., with the $1 exacta returning a cool $515 in that affair. Itsabouttonight will represent owner/trainer Gretchen Smith with Tim Maier at the helm. The Illinois-bred mare dominated her division of the opening leg over a sloppy track, then was a close third last weekend after opening up a large lead at the head of the stretch that evening. Plum Crazy Baby is a 6-year-old Relentless Yankee mare who carries the banner of Derick Takahashi with Dario Solares training and Dave Siegel doing the honors. She was a very convincing victress in the first leg, then was first over in her most recent appearance and had to settle for the fourth as the 8-5 favorite behind Majestic Lass. Completing the field are Red Star Gilda with Williams Hernandez; No Mo Parking for Mike Jarvis; Curvacious with Luke Plano in the sulky; Pips Jeeny G, Patrick Galbraith; and Little Schoolgirl, who leaves from the outside slot with James Kennedy at the helm. One And Only gets top billing in the Open Pace for owners Richard Morita and David Yamada, trainer Lino Pacheco and driver Luke Plano. The son of Bettors Delight rattled off five straight wins between December 21 and February 1 before having the streak broken at most recent asking after doing his work from the demanding No. 10 post position. By Mark Ratzky, for Cal Expo Harness    

Steve Desomer will be guiding his mare Silverlode in Friday nights finale of the Dr. Gary Budhan Trotting Series, hoping to pick up another nice check with the 5-year-old homebred daughter of the late British Sterling. 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 of Tyler Smith and 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. GUARANTEES INCREASED 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 of Chip Chip Hooray who is owned by William Neumeister, takes her lessons from Bob Johnson and will once again be guided by Tyler Smith. 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 with Luke Plano doing 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 Tim Maier; Bar Back, who has the services of Steve Wiseman; Lodi Dorian Blues, Chip Lackey; Silverlode with Steve Desomer; Sky Keeper for James Kennedy; Ali De Vie, to be handled by Gene Vallandingham; and Southwind Kean, who leaves from the outside with Marc Mosher at the controls. By Mark Ratzky for Cal Expo Harness            

Cal Expo is giving a tip of the cap to Alan Horowitz Saturday night, naming the closing-night mainharness racing event for the executive secretary of the California Harness Horsemen's Association. He will be leaving the post at the end of the month after 36 years of service.

It was a day of celebration and of tears as the California Harness Horseman's association held it's annual CHHA meeting on Sunday April 7th. The harnes racing celebration for the people and horses inducted into the hall of fame and for accomplishments in the sires stakes program and tears remembering friends and horses we lost in the past year.

The California Horse Racing Board (CHRB) received official notice Thursday that the Office of Administrative Law (OAL) disapproved the regulatory package containing 25 proposed rules that the Board approved November 15, 2012, for the regulation of exchange wagering.

Harness racing trainer Douglas Ackerman Sr. a native of Michigan and 3rd generation horseman, along with Robitaille will be inducted into the California Harness Horseman's hall of fame at the annual meeting in March.

The California Harness Horsemen's Association (CHHA) is accepting harness racing nominations for it's class of 2012 Hall of Fame until December 31st 2012.

The California Harness Horsemen's Association (CHHA) is accepting harness racing nominations for it's class of 2012 Hall of Fame until December 31st 2012.

Long time California harness racing owner/breeder Alan Kirschenbaum passed away last Friday, Oct.26th.

A song for California Harness Horsemen by Don and Barbara Arnstine has signaled a strong harness racing message. What do you think?

A Man of great vision and respect and two horses will be inducted into the California Harness Hall of Fame on Sunday March 25th. Pres Jenuine was for many years one of the best known and respected officials in harness racing.

The California Harness Horsemen's Association (CHHA) is accepting harness racing nominations for it's class of 2011 Hall of Fame until January 2nd 2012. Nominations fall into one of two groups - people and horse.

The California Exposition & State Fair (Cal Expo) has been the only home for harness racing on the West Coast since 2000.

Uncooperative weather did not dampen the spirits that accompanied the harness racing fans and drivers involved in the Bronte Epilepsy Research Foundation Amateur series finals on Saturday.

Over the last three weeks, while half of the harness racing horses in the Lou Pena sponsored Bronte Series have been eliminated, eight mares and eight geldings stand ready to do battle to win their piece of the $10,000 purses.

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