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Steve Crump savoring his California stay
Friday, November 21st, 2014 - Mark Ratzky, publicity – Cal Expo Harness

Steve Crump is making his first trip to Cal Expo and the 65-year-old Saskatchewan native and his wife Shannon are enjoying the racing and the mild weather.
 
“My wife and I love it, and so do the horses,” said Crump, who came down from Alberta with eight performers and plans to stay through the end of the meet.
 
“I originally got involved with harness racing in 1969 through Chuckie Lewis,” Steve related when asked about his beginnings in the game. “I was 19 at the time and while I’d been around horses all my life, this was the first time I was exposed to racing.”
 
After putting in several years learning about the game from the ground up in the Lewis barn, Crump elected to concentrate on his marriage and home life and spent five years working as a carpenter.
 
“We always had some horses, though, and in 1982 we came back in and opened a public stable. I guess the most we ever had was about 16, and that’s when we raced out all-time favorite, a mare named Tangle High who did real well for us.”
 
There came a second time when Crump left training, going back into the construction business while buying a farm in Alberta. “Three years ago, everybody in the company retired and we got back into the horses full time in Edmonton.”
 
Encouraged by Quentin and Ricky Schneider, Steve and Shannon decided to give Cal Expo a chance this winter. “You can say that we wanted to follow the warmth,” Crump said.
 
El Azteca, It’s Not Over holding spotlight
 
The Open Trot headlines Sunday evening’s Cal Expo program, with It’s Not Over and El Azteca getting the top billing. An 11-race card is on tap and first post is 4:40 p.m.
 
The trotters and pacers are now in action under the Watch and Wager LLC banner on Saturday and Sunday evenings. Beginning December 26, Friday night action will be added to the mix.
 
Its Not Over is a 4-year-old son of Panama Hanover out of the Andover Hall mare Hall It who is owned by Richard Dryden and Debra Budahn, takes his lessons from Bob Johnson and will once again have the services of Chip Lackey.
 
After checking in fourth here two weeks ago in a needed effort, Its Not Over was able to work out a perfect stalking trip in last week’s clash for the top trotters on the grounds and ignited when it counted for Lackey to prevail by a length over odds-on El Azteca that evening.
 
The latter is another son of Panama Hanover who is owned, trained and was bred by Marco Rios and again has James Kennedy at the controls. He comes into his assignment having posed for pictures following 15 of his last 26 trips to the post with a 1:54 3/5 mark and a $122,000 in his bank account.
 
El Azteca gamely got the job done in his first two starts at this meet following a layoff, on both occasions hanging head decisions on Franks Best. Sent off at 1-2 in last week’s gathering, he carved out all the fractions and could not quite hold off Its Not Over at crunch time completing the exacta.
 
Looking to post a surprise in the main event are Silence Son from the George Reider barn; the Vickie Desomer-trained Franky Provolone; and Ali De Vie, who leaves from the rail slot for trainer Gene Vallandingham.