carrots motivate Stueben Jumpinjack
Thursday, December 5th, 2013 - Mark Ratzky, publicity – Cal Expo Harness
Stueben Jumpinjack continues to do solid work at this meeting for Gretchen Smith, as the Pacific Fella gelding has now posed for pictures following four of his last five trips to the post with James Kennedy giving directions on each occasion.
The water gets a quite a bit deeper for the 5-year-old this weekend, as he steps up to the Invitational ranks. Looking to deny the sharp pacer are such heavyweights as It’s Getting Hairy and One And Only and well-regarded invaders Pancetta and Somethinginthewind.
Stueben Jumpinjack is owned in partnership by Smith and Maureen Pittaro and has been money in the bank when competing for a claiming tag at this session. He used his patented track-and-attack method to prove a punctual favorite last weekend and has earned a ticket to the rarified air of the Invite for this week’s go-around.
“Stueben is an awesome animal,” Smith related. “We bought him at a sale last November He had two starts for us, one being a win, before he tore a suspensory. We turned him out and gave him almost six months to heal. We brought him back slowly and it has paid off.”
Smith makes it clear that co-owner Pittaro is the secret weapon in this winning equation. “Maureen has been a partner with me on a few horses over the past several years. She comes to the barn every single day and feeds Stu carrots and swears that is the secret to his success. It’s all in the carrots and love.
“She truly loves her horses and coming to visit them. Stueben has to be one of the easiest horses to work with I have ever had in my barn, from the stall all the way to track. He’s just a pleasure to be around.” More ---
Inside Edition do their mom proud
Wednesday, December 4th, 2013 - Mark Ratzky, publicity – Cal Expo Harness
Not only did Bob Johnson own, train and breed last week’s Invitational Trot dead-heat winners Franks Best and Inside Broadway, but these two top performers are half-brothers as they are out of the American Winner mare Inside Edition. They square off again Friday night.
“Inside Edition was an Open mare with a 1:57 2/5 mark at 4, but she developed an ankle infection which ended her career,” Johnson related. “She was retired at the Desomer Farm and bred to Armbro Scribe.”
The resulting foal was Franks Best, who was an absolute terror in Sire Stakes competition in his younger days and has continued his winning ways under Johnson’s direction. He suits up Friday evening with $181,000 in his account and a 1:56 2/5 mark that was set last season over the Running Aces oval.
“Inside Edition was eventually sent back to Pennsylvania, and that’s where she was bred to Broadway Hall two years later,” Bob said. “Inside Broadway won a few stakes in Pennsylvania and took his mark of 1:55 3/5.”
Both trotters competed this summer in Indiana and have been putting on a pretty good show for barn bragging rights through the first couple of months of this meeting. “That last race was a real thrill,” Johnson explained. “To have these two horses dead-heat in an Invitational is a great feeling, especially having bred for both of them.” More ---