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Santa Rosa California - 1940

Monday, August 5—A capacity crowd turned out for today's events, and the weather was first class for racing.

Robert Montgomery, just recently home from the battlefields of Europe, and Jimmy Cagney, were interested spectators.

Rustic Chimes, owned by Bert Shepherd of Oklahoma City, and driven by Ray Reeves, was outstanding in the 2:24 trot's first division, winning both heats in 2: 10, and 2:08. Forsyth, owned and driven by Jackie Searl of San Fernando Valley, was next best thing in the race. He got away badly in the first heat, though he gained third horse position at the finish, and in the next heat it looked for a time through the stretch as if the son of Gaylworthy would take the measure of the Reeves' mount. This event was Jackie Searl's first race, and he drove like a veteran reinsman.

E. A. Tassi's Countess Lena won the second division of the 2:24 trot well‑within‑herself, being driven by Clare Hansen and going two heats in 2:11‑2:11. Woollen D., with Floyd Brown in the sulky, was second each trip.

Miss Logan, owned by Mrs. Montgomery, and driven by Mart Heiney, was the best in the California‑bred race for 2:17 pacers. These heats were stepped in 2:07, and back in 2:051/2,
Delbert Argo drove Yoder Crispin to victory in straight heats in the three‑year‑old pace, with Little Scott second each trip. This race went in 2:051/2, and back in 2:071/2, and the son of Crispin not only won first money but took a lot of seconds off his last season's two‑year‑old record of 2:12.

Tuesday, August 6—We sincerely hope that the drivers and the racing officials soon get together on the barrier question. True, the horses get away much quicker than they used to, but as far as pleasing the public is concerned, up to date many of the winners have finished with wide margins of advantage, and horses are strung out all over the race track, making the races look rather bad, when many of them should be very close and entertaining contests.
Several fellows have been set down for beating the barrier (Perry, Shively, Johnson, Rodman, etc.), and yet others have been successful at it, just as some used to be adepts at beating the pole‑horse away, and others not, back last season, and the years before, when the starting was done in the steward's stand.

The two‑year‑old pace for California‑breds on today's program was a fairly good contest, though we still insist that if there has to be two‑year­old races, why not make them open to everybody, so that the boys from the east, as well as the native sons, may have a chance at the purse money?

In the three‑year‑old trot, A. H. Lamberth's Whirlwind, with Bi Shively up, won in straight heats in 2:12, and back in 2:11.

In the 2:22 pace, Acme Woollen, owned by George Johnson of Eureka, Kan., and driven by Byron Perry, won the first heat from Guy Harris in 2:071/2, and in the next, the old campaigner, Tulare Express, owned by Nelson Lindblad of Denver, Colo., and driven by Ed Argo out‑paced the son of Peter Woollen, finishing victorious in 2:05 flat.
The three‑year‑old pace was another two‑heat affair in which first money was divided. Merridale, owned by the Craig Bros, and driven by Howard Vickery, took the first heat in 2:13, and Eva G. Mack, ably driven by her owner, "Bib" McKenzie of La Crosse, Wis., won the final trip in 2:121/2

Wednesday, Aug. 7—The first race on today's program was another of those California bred two‑year‑old trots, that was stepped off in 2:211/2, and back in 2:171/2.
Palomin 2:013/4, one of California's truly great trotters, owned and driven by a lady who needs no introduction, Miss Hellen E. Davis of Vacaville, Calif., won the 2:10 trot this afternoon, finishing both heats handily jogging home in 2:043/4, and 2:04.
El Venado, owned by W. E. Foxworthy of Livermore, Cal., driven by Homer Rutherford, was outstanding in the 2:10 class for pacers. He won the first heat from Chuck Vonian in 2:021/4, and took the next one from W. E. T. in 2:041/2.

In the first heat the horses were all turned the right way and the record said, "GO" but as the horses headed for the first turn, the officials rang the bell calling them back. In the meantime the needle had not been lifted from the record, making the start an official one, if the rule book means anything. We do not remember just how many drivers refused to pull up, and kept right on going just like Charley Lacey and Doc Parshall did with Little Pat and Jane Azoff back in 1938 in the Free‑For‑All Pace at Lexington, but we do know that El Venado came home in 2:03 flat, with Santa Margarita second, and Merry Mite third.

This afternoon, here at Santa Rosa, the mutuel windows were kept open, and when the horses finished the mile it was declared unofficial, and they all had to come back and race it over. That does not sound at all like the rules, but that is not all. Bill Johnson had beat the gate away in the unofficial heat, with Prince June, and when he pulled up he was taken down and another driver, Ben Morgan, was put up to drive the race. In other words, Bill Johnson was taken down, and was not even in a race! !

Jack SearlJack Searl, who though he did not win, made a very good showing at Santa Rosa with his clever trotter Forsyth 2, 2:101/2, being second in the 2:24 Trot (First Division) and third to Bird McElwyn and Calif. Patch in the 2:18 Trot. At 19 years Jack drives a race very well and knows how to rate a horse.

Mark LeafMark Leaf (Bob Steele) winning deciding heat of Two‑Year‑Old Pace from King Abbe (Bi Shively) at Santa Rosa.

WhirlwindWhirlwind (Bi Shively) winning final heat of three‑year‑old Trot from Miss Pointer Leaf (Clare Hansen) and Gladys Ann (Joe Haldeman).

MerridaleMerridale (Vickery up) winning first heat of Three‑Year‑Old Pace from Bay Leaf (Robb) at Santa Rosa.