Joe Lighthill FFA Trot in Friday spotlight

The $10,000 Joe Lighthill Free-for-All Trot headlines Friday night’s Cal Expo card with Its A Horse and Scramble Camp among the major players. Watch and Wager LLC will present 12 races with first post set for 6:10 p.m.

The Joe Lighthill Trot is named for the outstanding driver/trainer who was a mainstay in California for decades and passed away at the age of 78 in 2006.

Lighthill, who began his career in the mid-1940s, drove 2,272 winners for purse earnings just shy of $7 million and reined and/or trained some of the most outstanding performers of their generation. Included in that illustrious group were Meadow Skipper, Countess Adios, Tender Loving Care, Hickory Pride, Peter Lobell, Try Scotch and BC Count.

Its A Horse is a 6-year-old son of Full Count who is owned by Ray Alan Miller, trained by Marco Rios and will be guided by Dean Magee. The long-fused trotter stormed from well back to get the job done on November 23 while registering his 15th victory from 77 career outings.

Scramble Camp accounted for his Cal Expo debut last month in a coast-to-coast performance for owner Jeralene Roland and driver/trainer Nick Roland. The Iowa-bred sidewheeler was a 1:54 4/5 winner earlier this year at Hawthorne.

Taking on this pair, from the rail out: Majestic Lady Jo, Flameon, Kristy’sgingergal, Windsun Galaxe, Pridecrest and Mandeville.

Looking ahead to Saturday’s program, the rescheduled Dave Goldschmidt Free-for-All Pace headed by Allmyx’sliventexas and the Robert Staats for pacing fillies and mares featuring Rue Hanover will be in the spotlight.

A Tip of the cap to Ed Burgart

Cal Expo is proud to name Friday night’s 10th race for Ed Burgart, who is retiring after being the voice of Los Alamitos for the past 39 years.

Ed’s final call will be the Los Alamitos Two Million on Sunday night.

In addition to calling Arabians, Thoroughbreds, Mules and of course Quarter Horses at Los Alamitos, Ed was also the announcer for harness racing at the Orange County oval for one season.

“I called harness racing at Los Alamitos in 2000, which was the final year it took place here,” Burgart related. “Going from 350 yards to a mile required a different tempo and I quickly learned that harness racing had its own terminology.

“What I found most interesting about harness racing was the strategy involved, especially over a five-eighths mile track like Los Alamitos. Top drivers knew when to make the proper brushes and how to take advantage of inside and outside post draws.”

Cal Expo salutes Ed Burgart and wishes him and his wife Marsha the very best in his retirement.


There will be mandatory payouts in all wagers on Saturday night, including the reduced 16 percent takeout 20-cent Pick 5 and 20-cent Pick 4, with the latter featuring a $30,000-guaranteed gross pool.  

Robert Staats, Dave Goldschmidt FFA Pace headline Saturday

The $9,900 Robert Staats for pacing fillies and mares, headed by Rue Hanover; and the rescheduled $10,000 Dave Goldschmidt Free-for-All Pace featuring Allmyx’sliventexas are the main events on Saturday night’s program.

There will be 12 races presented under the Wager and Wager LLC banner with things getting underway at 6:10 p.m. The Staats is the fifth race and the Goldschmidt will be the sixth contest and there will be mandatory payouts on all wagers.

Allmyx’sliventexas, who has rattled off three straight impressive victories to kick off this meet, looks to keep the streak going as the heavy favorite in the Dave Goldschmidt Free-for-All.

Allmyx’sliventexas is a 6-year-old son of Hi Ho Silverheel’s out of the Distinguishedbaron mare Annie Get Your Gun who is owned and was bred by Wayne and Rod Knittel, takes his lessons from Bob Johnson and will once again have Mooney Svendsen.

The hard-hitting bay performer is just shy of the $200,000 mark in career earnings and recorded his lifetime mark of 1:50 last season over the seven-eighths Hoosier Park oval.

After leaving from the assigned No. 10 post in last week’s Open Pace, Allmyx’sliventexas will do his work from the No. 4 slot in the field of six,

Sent off the 1-2 choice in his last appearance despite the post handicap, Svendsen took an early tuck with the Knittel colorbearer before brushing to command before the half over the sloppy going. The issue was never in doubt thereafter, as Allmyx’sliventexas came home with two and three-quarter lengths to spare.

Completing the Goldschmidt field are Almost Cut My Hair with Luke Plano; Bettor In The Bank, James Kennedy; Bestinthebusiness for Braxten Boyd; King Of The Crop with Steve Wiseman; and Part Time, who leaves from the outside with Nick Roland.

The Robert Staats looks wide open with Rue Hanover getting the slender edge for owners Chip Lackey and Kenneth Seastrom with Lackey doing the driving and training.

Two races back, Rue Hanover was a convincing winner of the Bill Conlin Final on November 16, doing the stalk-and-pounce to perfection for Lackey as the second choice in the wagering.

Thats How It Goes is coming off a 20-1 upset in the Annette Funicello two weeks ago and figures to get more respect at the windows this time around. The Mr. Saratoga mare is owned and tried by Richard Schneider with James Kennedy once again doing the honors.

The remainder of the field finds Tabbat Morey with Rene Goulet; Lakota Law, Braxten Boyd; Bertha Vanation for Nick Roland; Red N Hotallover, John Roberts; Flash Me Baby with Luke Plano; Casey N Grinegan, Jacob Cutting; and Sand and Rocks, to be guided by Tony Succarotte

Mandatory payout for all wagers Saturday

There will be mandatory payouts on all wagers Saturday night, including the two low takeout bets that are offered here each night.

The two reduced 16 percent takeout wagers are the 20-cent Pick 5, which is conducted on the first five races on each program; and the 20-cent Pick 4, the latter featuring a $30,000-guaranteed gross pool.

Mandatory payout on all wagers Saturday night

There will be mandatory payouts on all wagers Saturday night, including the two low takeout bets that are offered here each night.

The two reduced 16 percent takeout wagers are the 20-cent Pick 5, which is conducted on the first five races on each program; and the 20-cent Pick 4, the latter featuring a $30,000-guaranteed pool.

California Sire Stakes still accepting yearling nominations

The California sires stakes is still accepting yearling nominations for foals of 2018.

2018 Foals from stallions in the DHA program from the states of California, Minnesota, Iowa, Wisconsin, Michigan, Maine and Alberta Canada may still nominate until December 31st 2019 for $300. Payment must be postmarked by Dec 31st.

To submit a payment, forms may be downloaded at our CHHA website at under the sires stakes tab.

CHHA seeking Hall of Fame candidates for 2019

The California Harness Horsemen’s Association is accepting harness racing nominations for its class of 2019 Hall of Fame until Dec. 14th,2019

Nominations fall into one of two groups — people and horse.

People that have contributed significantly to California harness racing as a breeder, owner, trainer, or driver and/or through organizational leadership, or people who have achieved national prominence in one of the foregoing categories and have significant California attachments will be considered.

Horses that have achieved prominence in racing or reproduction, and should have done so in California, or have been outstanding in racing or breeding and whose breeders, owners, or trainers are/or were residents of California will be given due consideration.

Nominations can be accepted by going to the CHHA website at

The inductees will be announced at the annual CHHA meeting in January

People interested in sending in a nomination, please state the reason why, along with stats, as to why the nominee should be considered.