continues to do Kimmie Girl proud
Thursday, March 6th, 2014 - Mark Ratzky, publicity – Cal Expo Harness
After making a clean sweep of the Sire Stakes for his division at this meeting, the 4-year-old trotter Freedombird has added two more conditioned victories to the resume, including a dominating score at even-money with Luke Plano last weekend.
“He’s still a work in progress, but he’s very game and all business when that gate starts rolling,” trainer Gordie Graham related. “He likes to have a target, because when he’s out in front he has a tendency to think his work is done.
“The key with trotters is to relax, and he’s definitely getting there. Luke said when he moved with him the other night he only needed two fingers, which is a great sign. He’s late maturing and I’m sure we haven’t seen his best yet.”
Freedombird is a son of Panama Hanover out of the diminutive Sacramento mare Kimmie Girl, an extremely popular performer who carried the banner of Walt and Patty Petersen. Like Freedombird, she retired with a slew of Sire Stakes trophies on her mantle. More ---
Rikybrnthegaragdown fires bullet to even stakes score
Wednesday, March 5th, 2014 - Mark Ratzky, publicity – Cal Expo Harness
Rikybrnthegaragdwn and King Of The Crop put on four great battles in the Sire Stakes series for the 3-year-old pacing males at this stand, ending up with two trophies each once the dust had settled.
The Luke Plano reined-and-trained Rikybrinthegaragdwn drew first blood on January 18, but had to be happy with a second and a third in the next two stakes clashes behind King Of The Crop and driver/trainer James Kennedy.
Rikybrnthegaradgdwn evened the score last weekend, carving out all the fractions and then coming a :26 and change final quarter to hold safe by a head over his pocket-sitting arch-rival in a very game performance.
“They’re both nice horses, but still green,” Plano related after his colt scored in 1:55 2/5, a week after motoring by conditioned foes in a 1:55 tour. “Even though Riky is a stud, he’s as mild-tempered a horse as you’re ever going to be around. He’s got a great personality and a toddler could jog him.”
By Living It Up out of the fine racemare and producer Sports Bra, Rikybrnthegaragdwn was broken last year in Florida by Luke’s dad Rick and has really developed in the last few months. “He’s getting better all the time,” the younger Plano noted. “I think he’s going to turn out to be a good one.”
Of course, one can’t interview Luke without asking about the name, which it turns out goes back many years and involves his dad, his uncle and his grandfather. “The story goes that my dad burned down the garage when he was a kid, but my grandfather was never told who did it. More ---