Day At The Track

The opening leg of the Richard Staley Series

12:30 AM 30 Jan 2013 NZDT
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Dreaming Of Amy, who has captured six of her last eight appearances, gets the top billing in Thursday night's opening leg of the Richard Staley Trotting Series at Cal Expo. The race carries a $3,500 purse and will go as the eighth event on an eleven race harness racing program.

A 6-year-old Illinois-bred daughter of Banderas Hall, Dreaming Of Amy was claimed from her last start by Kc C Carvalho and is now trained by Tim Brown with Luke Plano in his usual spot in the sulky.

The bay mare began her streak with wins on December 7 and 15, had to settle for the exacta completion at next asking and then rattled off back-to-back scores to close out the year and start the new one. She found herself in the rare position of the front end on December 12 and was overpowered by Bobby Baccala, but has avenged that defeat in her last two trips to the post with impressive wins from off the pace.

Twice The Ruckus is a very nice fit in this field and figures to get respect at the windows. The 9-year-old son of Ilooklikemymom is owned by Denise Maier, takes his lessons from Tim Maier and will be guided by James Kennedy. He has $115,000 in the bank and should be in a good early position.

The aforementioned Bobby Baccala is the only trotter to have finished in front of Dreaming Of Amy in her last two starts and will be among her rivals in the Staley cast. The New Age Hanover gelding is conditioned by George Reider, who also co-owns with Dave and Rob Haness, and Chip Lackey has the assignment.

Completing the field are Chiselled, from the Frank Petrelli barn with Mooney Svendsen handling the lines; the Bob Johnson-trained Loose Cannon with Steve Wiseman at the helm; and the Bernie Wolin-conditioned Earls Dreamofglory from the outside slot with Dave Siegel guiding.

There is a trio of wagers offered here each night with a reduced 16 percent takeout rate. They are the 50-cent Pick 5 that begins on the third race; the $1 Pick 4 that comes with a $15,000-guaranteed pool on Thursday, a $20,000 guarantee on Friday and a $25,000 guarantee on Saturday; and the 10-cent High 5 that is conducted on the final race.


Thursday night's Richard Staley Trotting series honors one of the top owner/breeders in the sport, who passed away 16 years ago at his home in La Jolla at the age of 66.

Staley became involved with the trotters and pacers after attending a seminar at Hollywood Park in 1970. Pres Jenuine recommended Doug Ackerman as a trainer and this proved to be a very successful relationship for the next 25 years.

Richard Staley owned many outstanding performers, including Crowning Point ($343,662.), Armbro Cadet ($693,392.), Albaquel ($498,222.), and Denali ($485,795.), Noble Hustle ($399,620.), Self Confident ($371,416.), Ever So Rich ($573,756.) and his favorite, Bramble Hall ($215,809.). Staley also maintained a select broodmare band.

The year he passed away, his 30 starters won 69 races and $669,803, ranking him 17th on the 1996 list of leading money-winning owners. He was an enthusiastic patron of the Grand Circuit and attended many major yearling sales.

Richard Staley provided support for harness racing in many other ways, never seeking credit for his actions. One instance was his help in funding harness meets at several California tracks, including one at the Del Mar track, close to his home in La Jolla and where his horses trained.

In addition to the Richard Staley Series getting underway, the opening legs of the Michael Corley Series and the Bill Conlin Series will be decided this weekend. The Corley is named for the respected and longtime steward, while the Conlin honors the former sports editor of the Sacramento Bee and Sacramento Union. More on these important players in California harness history in Friday's program.

By Mark Ratzky, publicity - Cal Expo Harness

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