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Cal Expo: Joe Lighthill Trot, pair of Opens featured
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Joe Lighthill Trot, pair of Opens featured
By Mark Ratzky, publicity – Cal Expo Harness
 
The $7,500 Joe Lighthill Trot headed by Talkin Tootsie; an Open Pace featuring Firedrake and a filly and mare Open Pace highlighted by Capitol Hill share the spotlight at Cal Expo Friday evening.
 
Friday’s Joe Lighthill Memorial 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.
 
Mr. 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.
 
"Joe was the consummate horseman and a good friend," said Vickie Desomer, who will send out Silverlode in Friday night’s headliner with husband Steve in the sulky.
 
"Time and time again Steve and I relied on him to get our young green horses safely around the track and he always did just that. He was truly one of the greats, not just in California, but across the nation."
 
A field of eight will line-up for the Joe Lighthill Trot with Talkin Tootsie likely to attract plenty of attention for owners Martin Gary and Hank Wieseneck, trainer Bob Johnson and pilot Mooney Svendsen. He won an Open II contest two back and was runner-up to the streaking Pridecrest at most recent asking..
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