Chase The Gold, who has rattled off five straight victories at this meet, looks to keep the streak alive as he tops the cast in the $12,500 Steve Wiseman Pace on Sunday (Jan. 23) at Cal-Expo.
The main event headlines an 11-race card under the Watch and Wager LLC banner with first post set for 4:55 p.m. The co-feature is a $7,700 Open Trot that rematches the dynamic duo of Mandeville, Pridecrest and Silverhill Volo.
Chase The Gold is a four-year-old son of Mystery Chase who is owned by Qks Racing, takes his lessons from Quentin Schneider and will be handled by James Kennedy while leaving from the cozy rail slot in the field of seven.
During the course of his streak, Chase The Gold has posted a six-and-a-quarter length romp in the Donald Arnstine Final on December 3 and set a new lifetime mark of 1:54.1 in winning last week’s Wiseman elimination/prep.
Spectacular Sunset was the runner-up in that latter event as the 7-5 favourite and will be looking for some revenge this weekend after carving out most of the fractions and getting beat a length by Chase The Gold.
The four-year-old son of Artspeak competes for Set The Pace Racing LLC and is reined and trained by Nick Roland. He started off this meet with five straight victories while steadily working his way up the class ladder.
Completing the field are Major Ted, Urkillinmesmalls, Bobs Time, The Dog Wont Hunt and River Lassena.
Race honours memory of Steve Wiseman
Sunday night’s feature is named for longtime California horseman Steve Wiseman, who passed away last March at the age of 53.
Wiseman was a third-generation harness horseman, as his grandfather drove the starting gate in British Columbia and his father Raleigh was a respected horseman in both Canada and the United States.
Steve came to California as a teenager and not long after that went to work with Tim and Denise Maier, followed by a stint with the Jim Perez stable. He eventually went to Chicago where he was second trainer to Joe Anderson, who encouraged him to strike out of his own.
It was at this point that Wiseman returned to California to start his stable. Soon after he met his wife of 21 years, Kathie Plested, and they had their daughter Tyler, now 21.
Steve and Kathie had made Sacramento their home while operating one of the largest stables at Cal Expo in the fall and winter and Running Aces in Minnesota in the spring and summer with a number of driving and training titles to show for those efforts.
Steve was on the board of directors of the CHHA, a member of the California Hall of Fame committee and the drivers track committee.
Steve’s favourite performers included Magna Kay, Cashimir Dow Jones, Rhianna Seelster and Silverlode, the latter breaking the North American record for a trotter at mile and a half with a 2:57.2 victory here at Cal Expo in the Joe Lighthill Memorial.
“Steve Wiseman was the consummate horseman,” said Steve and Vickie Desomer. “Professional and friendly whether training or driving or working around the barn. When we raced coupled entries, it was always our hope and good fortune when Stevie consented to drive for us. He will be sorely missed as he remained one of the horsemen that gave our industry a good name. Rest in peace Stevie.”
From Tim and Denise Maier: “We have always considered Steve part of our family. It was a pleasure to see the amazing man he became. The paddock at Running Aces will not be the same without him. I hope God appreciates his humor.”
“Horse owners will tell you about the money they are making or losing, but after 50 years, this small owner will admit, it’s about the joy of harness racing,” said Barbara Arnstine. “In creating that joy, Steve Wiseman was rightly named the Magician. I’ve had my worst mare and one of my best in his barn over the years, and thanks to his magic, they were both wonderful experiences.”