Day At The Track

Kenny Fowler gets things started at Cal Expo

07:55 AM 08 Dec 2017 NZDT
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Cal Expo, Harness Racing
Cal Expo

The start of a harness race is extremely important, and when it comes to getting the harness racing fields away in good order here at Cal Expo, Kenny Fowler is the man.

Along with his assistant/driver Larry Dana, Fowler is responsible for making sure everybody is up close and personal with the starting gate when the car starts to speed ahead to send them on their way.

"I'm coming up on my 30th year," said Fowler. "I started in 1988 with Larry Jones and then I spent 20 years as the driver with Bill Vallandingdam, and that experience was invaluable."

For the last four years, Fowler has been the starter here at Cal Expo and does an excellent job of giving every horse and driver the best possible start. Much like a referee in a sporting event, when you don't hear much about them, that means they are doing a good job.

One of the changes that has been made over the years is the switch from the traditional Cadillac to a four-wheel drive, which is especially import when it comes to traction and off tracks.

"There are special challenges when it's raining, no question about that," Kenny related. "One is getting the wings on the starting gate closed before you get into the turn. When the wings are open all the weight is on the back of the car, so it's a little tricky.

"To be honest, the wind and the fog are much tougher obstacles than the rain and a muddy racetrack."

Robert Staats Prep matches pacing distaffers

A well-matched field of eight pacing fillies and mares will do battle in Saturday night's featured Robert Staats Prep, with Rockin Repeat and Be My Lucky Lady among the major contenders.

The feature will go as the eighth on an 11-race program under the Watch and Wager LLC banner with first post set for 6:10 p.m.

Rockin Repeat and Be My Lucky Lady will have a rematch Saturday after finishing a head apart in a conditioned event here last week. Rockin Repeat got the better of that skirmish after sitting a pocket trip that evening.

A 3-year-old daughter of Rockin Image, Rockin Repeat is owned by George Reider and Dave and Rob Haness with Reider training and Luke Plano once again doing the honors. Last week's 1:53 2/5 victory established a new lifetime mark for the sophomore.

Be My Lucky Lady is a Hi Ho Silverheel's homebred who takes her lessons from Kathie Plested and will have Steve Wiseman at the controls. She has been runner-up in her last two trips to the post and is a nice fit with this group while leaving from the No. 6 post.

Cenalta Call Girl took the measure of several of these rivals in the Annette Funicello Final last month and should be right in the thick of things. The Canadian miss races for Rene Goulet and Helen and Myrna Empey with Goulet reining and training.

Rounding out the field are Cenalta Couger, Yeswellnomaybe, Alwaysalittlemore, Free Radical and Wizzel Stix.

By Mark Ratzky, publicity - Cal Expo Harness

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