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Race Honors Memory Of Dennis Giles At Cal Expo
Friday, May 18, 2012 - by Mark Ratzky, Publicity -- Cal Expo

Dennis Giles

Dennis Giles

Saturday evening’s (May 19) $5,000 feature at Cal Expo is the Dennis Giles Memorial, named for the longtime harness racing fan and owner who died as the result of an automobile accident last month.  He was 73.
Mr. Giles was born in Alberta, Canada and spent most of his adult life in Northern California.  He was married to his wife Sherryl for 27 years prior to her passing in 1988 and leaves behind three children and three grandchildren.
He is survived by son William; daughters Denise and Tamara; grandchildren Lilly, Madeline and Morgan; his brother Bill and four sisters, Beverly, Barbara, Janet and Judi; in addition to many loving cousins, nieces and nephews.
Dennis worked in various areas of the home improvement industry and was passionate about his family, his friends and the sport of horse racing.  He could be found here at Cal Expo nearly every racing night at a table that he shared with Jerry and Maureen Pittaro, Richard Morita, Roland Dekeyser and blacksmith Jason Landers.  Dennis also made the Hall of Fame plaques that hang in the simulcast area.
Among the horses Mr. Giles campaigned were his first performer Hey Ladies, Sakra Genesis, Taps To Music, Lindasfella, Mistressoftheball and Tequila On Ice.  One of his favorite racing moments came when Lindasfella won the Cal-bred Open in a lifetime best 1:52 mile.
Dennis owned Lindasfella in partnership with Harry Aced and Les Hunsucker, he was trained by Edgar “Sparky” Clarke and driven by Bruce Clarke.  He loved to talk about that race with his many friends in the game and he will be missed.
Headlining the field for the Giles Memorial are Doc’s Zilla, who chased home the streaking Albion in his seasonal debut; and Ra Ra Steven and That Space, who were one-two in last week’s Sire Stakes for the sophomore pacing colts.
Doc’s Zilla is a 4-year-old son of Cams Eclipse who races for Toman Enterprises, hails from the Earl Kennedy barn and will be handled by James Kennedy.  He won seven of his 22 starts last year, including a lifetime-best 1:52 victory at Colonial Downs and should be much more at home with this group.  He posted a 1:56 flat score in a May 4 qualifier and also has the advantage of a race under his belt.
Ra Ra Steven and That Space get a rematch after finishing in the first two spots in the most recent big-money clash for their division.  The former is a homebred son of Little Steven who carries the banner of Billie Schwartz, David Rachford and trainer Jim Wilkinson Jr., with Rich Wojcio handling the lines.  He has four stakes trophies on the mantle, adding the most recent last weekend in a coast-to-coast performance that resulted in a 1:56 lifetime mark.
That Space put in a nice finish to earn the place money and will be looking for a little revenge here.  The Power Of Art offspring is owned by J J J Stables, is conditioned by Gordie Graham and Luke Plano has the return assignment.  He captured six of his 10 starts in Canada this season and should be making his presence felt in the late stages.
Completing the field are Hi Fidelity with Scott Cisco; Badger Creek for Harold Herrera; Strikes N Charges, Darren Lupul; Glad To Be Back, who gives the Wilkinson barn two looks at the outcome; Vantage; Hollywood Lenny, Quentin Schneider; and Millions with Steve Wiseman guiding.
For the second time this month, beginning this week purses here at Cal Expo will be increased by 25 percent across the board.  The increases will remain in effect through the end of the current meeting on June 16.
“We are pleased to provide this additional purse increase to the horsemen who have supported our program,” said Director of Racing David Elliott. “This increase is due to the underpayment because of increased handle, while Cal Expo has also reached into their own pocket with an additional $175,000.”
Live racing resumes at Cal Expo on Friday (May 18) & Saturday (May 19) at 6:00 p.m. (PST).  On every live card, Cal Expo offers free parking & free admission after 4:30 p.m.  On Friday, Cal Expo offers Happy Hour from 4:00-7:00 p.m. on which Beer; Well Drinks & Wine are offered at $4 each, while a Burger with fries is offered at $5.
Cal Expo currently offers a reduced 15 percent takeout rate on all Pick 4’s.  Additionally, all Late Pick 4’s now come with an increased $20,000-guaranteed gross pool.  Also, the Friday Late Pick 4 will offer a 0% takeout on all winning wagers made on track or at, while the Saturday Late Pick 4 will be broadcast on TVG.