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Thursday, November 22nd, 2012 - Mark Ratzky, publicity – Cal Expo Harness

 Mike Jarvis is enjoying his first venture to California, having already made quite a few winner’s circle appearances at Cal Expo in partnership with trainer George Anthrop.

“George has been trying to get me to drive for him for a couple of years and I decided to give it a try,” Jarvis explained. “So far everybody has been great and it’s nice to win some races.”

The 61-year-old native of Canada got the harness bug when he was just 11 years old in his native Collinswood. “There was a fairgrounds there and I started working for Clarence Lockhart cleaning out stalls for 50 cents an hour. He ended up teaching me about the game from the ground up.”

In addition to learning from Lockhart, who was renowned for his expertise with trotters, Jarvis also got a great education with Keith Waples, who took him to Blue Bonnets.“I drove my first race at Barre Raceway when I was 19 and won with a pacer named Problem Drinker. A few years later I got married and went out on my own.”

Mike captured a trio of driving titles and had one of his best years in 1987 when he had four of the best performers on the grounds. “There was Alle Milas, who was a Niatross, and Classy Superstar, who was by Bret Hanover. We did real well with both of them.”

Jarvis recorded the fastest victory of his career in 1991 when he guided Armbro Liqueur to a 1:50 flat victory in an Invitational at Woodbine. “I won quite a few races with him and eventually lost him in a $100,000 claimer.”

The scariest moment in his career came five years ago in Ohio, when an accident left him with a broken collarbone, three broken ribs and two broken wrists. “It was pretty bad and I had to cut back a little after that.” Fast forward to the present and Mike is doing quite well in his initial invasion of the Golden State while looking forward to many more picture sessions.


Please note that Sunday, December 23, has been added to the live racing calendar here at Cal Expo and there will be a special first post of 2:35 p.m. for the Friday, Saturday and Sunday programs that week (December 21-23).


A $6,000 Open Trot and a pair of $10,000 California Sire Stakes for the 3-year-old pacing and trotting fillies will be decided at the Watch and Wager LLC meeting at Cal Expo Friday night.

A 16-race card is set with first post at an earlier 5:30 p.m. The Open Trot finds Shelby County gunning for a repeat victory at the head of the class and goes as the third on the evening, while the two Sire Stakes will be non-betting races held before the regular program.

Shelby County is a 5-year-old daughter of Chip Chip Hooray and the Whiteland Somolli mare Rowdy Somolli who is gunning for her 15th win on the season from 32 trips to the post. She recently went over the $100,000 earnings plateau and established her 1:57 1/5 mark here earlier in the year.

After making a break in her first start at the meet three weeks ago, Shelby County was runner-up to Franky Provolone two back then put it all together in the most recent clash at the head of the class in coast-to-coast fashion for Stidham over a course that was rated good. Taking her on are Franky Provolone (Tim Maier), Giles L S Hanover (Steve Wiseman), Claudius Augustus (Mooney Svendsen) and Be Famous (Frank Petrelli).

Looking at the Sire Stakes for pacing distaffers, trainers Tim Maier and Bob Johnson will both have two looks at the outcome with Diva Las Vegas and Little Anna Mae suiting up for Maier with Pismo Beach and Twentyone Guns represent the Johnson barn. Drawing Dead and La Madawna De Rosa complete the cast. In the trotting event, Vari Forgetfull and Silverlode are both multiple stakes winners while California Crush will try for an upset.