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Wednesday, February 27th, 2013 - Mark Ratzky, publicity – Cal Expo Harness

This weekend Cal Expo is proud to feature three series events named for the late horsemen Jim Grundy, Shelly Goudreau and Jim Dennis.
Jim Grundy, who passed away in 2009 at the age of 74, was a California mainstay for several decades. Originally a hockey player in his native Canada, a knee injury forced him to hang up his skates in 1958 and he found himself going into the family business of harness racing.

It was in California that Grundy blossomed into one of the state’s top horsemen. Teaming with owners like Chris Bardis, Lloyd Arnold and Ron Zumbrun, he won countless stakes races with the likes of Googie, Hugabear, Steam and Easel, and was especially noted as a developer of young trotters.

Shelly Goudreau was a rising star of the sport who died as the result of an accident in a race at Hollywood Park in August of 1982 at the age of 34. He began his career in 1966 at Windsor Raceway, where he led the standings for two years before heading to the United States.
Goudreau raced in Michigan and then made the trek to California in 1977 and almost immediately went to the top of the standings.

Between Los Alamitos and Hollywood Park, he won the most races and money for two consecutive years, having his best season in 1981 while competing in both the Hambletonian and Little Brown Jug.

Jim Dennis had an outstanding career that saw him driving and training such stars as Sir Dalrae, his half-brother Mr. Dalrae and Adios Vic, the latter handing the legendary Bret Hanover four of his six lifetime defeats. Dennis piloted 2,677 winners while earning nearly $13 million and passed away in 2004 at the age of 79.


The opening legs of the Jim Grundy Trotting series and the Shelly Goudreau Pacing series, headed by I Love New York and Oompa Loompa, respectively; and a pair of $10,000 California Sire Stakes are the highlights on Friday night’s Watch and Wager LLC program at Cal Expo.

The Grundy is set as the eighth on the 15-race card; the Goudreau goes in divisions as the second and sixth events and the two Sire Stakes will be decided as non-betting races.
I Love New York appears to hold the aces in the Jim Grundy. The 5-year-old son of Broadway Hall carries the banner of Jack Coffey, Patricia Waldeck and Bruce Clarke with Clarke doing he driving and training and he turned in a solid runner-up effort in the Open Trot last weekend after returning from a lengthy vacation.

Oompa Loompa is coming out of last weekend’s Open Pace and looms large in the Goudreau. This guy was sizzling hot earlier in the meet for owner Kc C Carvalho, trainer Tim Brown and pilot Luke Plano and has been facing some tough company in his last three appearances.
Its Not Over is strictly the one to beat in the combined stakes for filly and colt trotters. Owned and bred by Debra Budahn with Bob Johnson training and Chip Lackey at the controls, he has been dominating his peers, with a nine-length romp in December and a handy two-length score in the most recent big-money gathering. Show Runner is fresh from a hard-earned added-money decision over Blue Gem and gets top billing in the distaff pacing stakes.


A reminder that there are three wagers offered here with a reduced 16 percent takeout rate – the 50-cent Pick 5, the $1 Pick 4 and the 10-cent Super High 5. Last Saturday night, the Pick 5 paid $2,604 for each 50-cent ticket; the Pick 4 returned a juicy $12,097 for a dollar, while the Super High 5 saw a couple of longshots keying a $2,102 payoff for a dime.