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Siegel guides pair to impressive efforts
Thursday, November 6th, 2014 - Mark Ratzky, publicity – Cal Expo Harness

Last Saturday night was a good one for pilot and co-owner Dave Siegel, as he guided Lifetime Louie to victory in the Open III Pace and finished second with the mare Country Jewel in the Open II Pace.
 
Both horses are conditioned by George Reider. Siegel partners with Brev Creech, Greg Robinson and Bob Thronson on Country Jewel and with Reider and Dave and Rob Haness with Lifetime Louie.
 
“Country Jewel is a diamond,no pun intended, that I found for the Reider barn while scouring the country for a horse that I thought would fit in Minnesota and California and that would fare well in George's barn.  Her being Minnesota sired is preferable given the Running Aces allowance program and our DHA program. 
 
“That said, I expected her to be a mid-level claimer and George and her day-to-day groom Kim Hines have done wonders with her as she has become an open-level mare.  They both have a way of getting sometimes difficult horses to relax and not that she was that way, but they did that with Axle last year, and Silence Son this year. 
 
“I wanted to help George get some nice horses that I could drive, and Jewel has become just that, the Jewel of the barn.”
 
Lifetime Louie did the stalk-and-pounce to perfection last weekend to pick up his first score of the meeting. “Lifetime Louie was a horse we claimed last year that we knew had some feet problems, which is another area of George's strengths.  We correctly thought he could improve the horse and he is another that has surpassed expectations. 
 
“Kim does an exceptional job with Louie too, which I have come to expect from all of the horses in her care.  He is a delight to drive and very handy.  He has a huge heart and he is one I get along with very well.”
 
Co-features honor Joe Lighthill, Robert Staats
 
 
The Joe Lighthill Trot, the Robert Staats Pace and an Open II Pace share the spotlight on Saturday night’s 13-race program at Cal Expo.
 
Racing is now being conducted under the Watch and Wager LLC banner on Saturday and Sunday nights, expanding to three nights a week on December 26 when Friday racing is added to the mix. First post Saturday is 5:40 p.m. with a 4:45 p.m. start on Sunday.
 
The Joe Lighthill and Robert Staats are named for the late driver/trainer and late owner/breeder who were so important to California harness racing.
 
The Lighthill goes as the sixth event on the card, the Open II Pace occupies the 11th-race slot and the Staats has been designated as the penultimate race of the evening.
 
The Open II Pace is headed by A Real Miracle, a 4-year-old son of Real Desire who is owned by Junior Wlkinson, Billie Schwartz and Ivan Axelrod, is conditioned by Wilkinson and is guided by Luke Plano. He established his 1:52 1/5 career standard this summer over the seven-eighths Hoosier Park oval.
 
The Wilkinson trainee has clicked twice from four stats at this meet, including a dominating victory in the main event on opening week. After tiring in his next two tries, he returned to his winning ways last week as he made what proved to be the winning move for Plano on the backside and went on to a length score over favored Country Jewel.
 
Lining up against A Real Miracle are Del Rio Seelster, who hails from the Gordie Graham barn; the George Reider-trained Lifetime Louie; Mar Dream from the Bob Johnson shedrow; and Cowboy Cold, who calls the Tim Brown barn home and leaves from the cozy rail slot.