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CalExpo: Smith’s trotting mare shows right Spark
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Smith’s trotting mare shows right Spark
By Mark Ratzky, publicity – Cal Expo Harness
 
After knocking on the door in her first four starts this year, Blue Spark got her picture taken last week in emphatic fashion for owner/trainer Gretchen Smith with son Sean at the controls.
 
The 5-year-old trotting daughter of Valley Victory came up on the wrong end of a nose photo in her previous mile, but left no doubt in last Saturday night’s opener as she won going away despite a long journey.
 
“I bought her last August in Ohio,” Gretchen related after the victory. “She had conditions and I figured she would fit class-wise out here. It also looked like she could handle the smaller tracks back East during the summer.”
 
There have been some breaking problems along the way, but if her last two efforts are any indication, Blue Spark has put things together and has the majority of her issues behind her at this point.
 
“It was really just a matter of getting her head on straight,” Smith explained. “She’s pleasant around the barn, but at the same time she can also be cantankerous. We’ve tried some different things and learned that you pretty much have to give her head when she’s racing.”
 
Gretchen was very pleased with Blue Spark’s recent score, which found a gap of nearly three lengths back to the nearest rival while stopping the timer in 1:57 2/5 that evening.
“If you watch Sean, you’ll see that she could have gone a lot faster. Hopefully, we’ve figured her out.”
 
As for summer plans, Smith said the trotter would more than likely go to Pennsylvania with her son and could also make stops at Yonkers and Saratoga in New York, both half-mile tracks. 
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