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Ryan Grundy brings familiar name with him
Friday, December 19th, 2014 - Mark Ratzky, publicity – Cal Expo Harness

One of the new faces here from Alberta is Ryan Grundy, who has certainly made his presence known through Cenalta Power, a pacer who has won two of his three starts here including a lifetime-best 1:52 4/5 score last weekend.
 
If the name Grundy sounds familiar, it’s because 33-year-old is the great nephew of Jim Grundy, a mainstay on this circuit for decades and one of the best driver/trainers to every ply their trade in California.
 
“I grew up around the horses,” Ryan related. “I was probably about 6 years old when I knew this is what I wanted to do.”
 
It was Jim Grundy’s brother, Art, who was a mentor to Ryan. “My grandfather is the one who taught me everything. He was very good at bringing young horses to the races and did all his own shoeing, which I also do.”
 
Grundy struck out on his own in his early 20’s, starting out on the fair circuit in Manitoba while spending the last 10 years racing over the five-eighths and mile tracks in Alberta.
He has come down with his wife Ashley, and they have 10 horses here, with Cenalta Power being the star of the barn.
 
“I’ve had him since he was a yearling and we’re real pleased with what he’s done so far on this track,” Ryan noted.
 
Grundy, who will be here until very close to the end of the meeting, was asked if he has a preference when it comes to driving different-sized tracks. “I prefer a mile track like this one,” he replied. “On the half-mile, you can’t win very often if you’re not up front, and the post position is such a huge factor. A mile track is much fairer.”
 
Mandatory payouts, Open Pace highlight program
 
A $6,000 Open Pace featuring St Lads Lotto headlines the Sunday night card at Cal Expo, with mandatory payouts in all wagers, including the 10-cent Jackpot 6.
 
A 13-card is on tap with first post set at 4:40 p.m. Beginning next week on December 26, racing will be conducted here three nights a week, with the trotters and pacers in action on Friday, Saturday and Sunday evenings.
 
St Lad Lotto is a 4-year-old Ontario-bred son of Stonebridge Eagle who carries the banner of Ferne and Jack Frydman, is conditioned by Mark Winnacott and will have Steve Wiseman at the controls while doing his work from the outside slot in the field of seven.
 
A 1:52 winner last season at Mohawk, the dark-hued performer had to settle for minor awards in his first two starts at this meet, but has had his picture taken four times in a row since, the last two at the Open level.
 
The most recent decision came last week as the 9-5 favorite. St Lads Lotto left into a tracking position in that event, made a strong brush to command past the half, then continued powerfully through the lane to prevail by four lengths in a 1:52 3/5 clocking over the “good” track.
 
A Real Miracle completed the exacta that night in a solid effort from the demanding Nol 10 post. The 4-year-old Real Desire homebred races for Junior Wilkinson, Billie Schwartz and Ivan Axelrod, with Wilkinson doing the training and Luke Plano once again handling the lines.
 
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Happy Holidays! A reminder that beginning December 26, the Watch and Wager LLC meet expands to three nights a week, with the trotters and pacers in action on Friday, Saturday and Sunday evenings.