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Racing Returns Saturday, October 4



1600 Exposition

A lot ahead for us this spring around the races

This week, 1600 Exposition looks more like a big desktop calendar blotter. There are hand-scrawled notes all over the dining room table that evidence the concept. There's a lot to cover as we press our way into spring. As I have assembled more plans for the next month-plus of this column, I have been reminded of something once said by the late Huell Howser, and it was in response to a question posed to him about whether he could ever get bored or have trouble locating good subject matter for his long-standing California travelogue on public broadcasting. To paraphrase his reply, he emphatically explained that there was enough within five miles to keep him occupied the rest of his life. I'm starting to appreciate those sentiments!

We have learned of an interesting event that comes up in May. Several retired Cal Expo horses will perform in a Civil War reenactment that will take place at Gibson Ranch, near Rio Linda. It's a sharp setting for a event like this and I will be there to watch it and tell you all about it just after. Watch for this in May.

We are still seeking leads for available video of past California harness racing. These videos will often be able to help us provide footage whenever we offer a special event or stakes series commemorating our legends. Leads have begun to materialize, yet we would welcome any and all media of these races we can get hold of. I'll be the one sitting with two VCR's hooked up copying one to another or transferring to DVD! Emailing us via the Cal Expo Facebook page or calling and leaving me a message at our office is the best way to reach me. 916.800.1395 is the number.

It recently came to my attention that the Desomer family is significantly scaling back their harness racing activity and next week, I'll be travelling out to their Wilton farm to talk with Steve and Vicki Desomer to gain their recollections on a long and storied career in multiple areas of harness racing. Theirs is a remarkable memoir and they are the feature next week. In a brief conversation I had with Vicki Desomer the other day, I nearly had enough alone right there to tell you a vivid story. However, I want to get down there and give you a firsthand perspective on their family's tale as mainstays of racing in our state.

In April, another East/West amateur driver challenge comes our way and I'll get in the mix (you don't want me driving, we'll not go that far) and tell you about some of the interesting people visiting us that hop into the sulky for love of the game.

Stick around. These are interesting weeks ahead!

- Leighton Worthey