California harness racing Hall-of-Famer Bill Vallandingham passed away on April 4 due to complications from a lung transplant he had seven years ago. He was 74.
Billy V, as he was affectionately known, was the starter at Cal Expo for 20 years before health issues forced him to leave the job in 2014, but he did return to limited duties at the Sacramento track in 2018.
He wore many hats around the racetrack, including groom, paddock judge, horse identifier and horse tattooer before assuming his stint as the starter in 1994.
Mr. Vallandingham was a veteran of the Army and served in Vietnam.