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Steve Desomer An Icon In The Sport 
Wednesday, June 15, 2011 - by Mark Ratzky, Publicity -- Cal Expo

Steve Desomer has seen and done it all in harness racing over the last five decades-plus, proving to be the complete horseman in the process and earning the respect of his peers and the fans.
 
The native of Belgium, who will turn 75 next month, came into this week just four wins shy of the 2,600-victory mark, with earnings of nearly $10.8 million.  While he doesn’t ply his evening trade as much as he used to, he still scores his share of Sire Stakes victories with those Desomer Stable homebred trotters and pacers that he campaigns with wife Vicki.
 
“I have to admit that I don’t get the same kick out of winning races as a driver as I did in the earlier years,” Steve related.  “I think, with age, comes a certain degree of complacency.  The fierce competitive drive is lacking, but my interest is still high as far as the horses we raise at the farm.”
 
Desomer was asked how tactics have changed over the years, and gave a response that we didn’t quite expect.
 
“The drivers’ tactics are easier to sort out, and that’s because of the closeness of the colony.  Things are different when you have racing where drivers and trainers come from all over to congregate for a new meet.  The unknowns are always exciting.”
 
As far as changes to the sulky, Steve feels that wheels are the most important move forward in recent years.  Having said that, he said he still prefers the old Jerald on some of his horses.
 
When it comes to interests away from the racetrack and farm, he gets great pleasure out of gold mining.
 
“Good timing with gold pieces well above $1,500 an ounce,” he related with a smile.  Not to mention a liberal sprinkling of those Sire Stakes victories that have become a staple of the Team Desomer breeding and racing operation.
 
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Saturday night will find the second leg of the TVG Get Away Amateur Driver Series, with the event concluding on closing night, Saturday, June 18.  Free TrackMaster past performances for both these programs will be available at trackmaster.com/calx.
 
 
Live racing resumes at Cal Expo on Thursday (June 16) and continues through closing night Saturday (June 18).  Post-time on Thursday is 5:30 p.m. (PDT).  Post-time on Friday (June 17) & Saturday is 6:00 p.m.  On Thursday night, Cal Expo offers the Late Pick-4 with a $10,000 guaranteed pool.  The wager will be conducted on races five through eight.  Further, the takeout for the Late Pick-4 will be lowered to 15 percent, as it will also be on the Early Pick-4.  On Thursday and every live card, Cal Expo offers free admission, as well as free preferred & general parking after 4:30 p.m.  Also on Thursday night from 6:00 p.m. to 8:30 p.m., Cal Expo offers a complete Lasagna dinner, which includes salad and bread, for just $3.00.  Additionally on Thursday, beer & wine can be purchased for $3.00 each as well.
 
On Saturday, Cal Expo offers a reduced 15 percent takeout rate on both the Early & Late Pick-4 (mandatory payoff) with the Late Pick-4 having a $15,000 gross guaranteed pool.  Additionally, for winning wagers made on the Late Pick-4 online at TwinSpires.com or on track at Cal Expo, a bonus payout of 17.65 percent of the gross Late Pick 4 mutuel payoff will be paid.