Thursday, April 14, 2011

Drive Him Yourself Racing

How much fun would this be?  Of course you have to be properly trained and certified, but I would LOVE this!




Contact: David Siegel (

With March Madness in the rear view mirror, the eyes of the world will be on Sacramento, California for the two-day, East versus West, Amateur Driving Challenge. This weekend was specifically chosen so these races would not take away from the attendance at AT&T Park, as the World Champion Giants are out of town. The Giants did send along their thanks for thinking of them when scheduling the event.

Still, the event will have the attention of the eight participants, and the horsemen and wagering fans in California and in the simulcast world.

Team East will be represented by first-timers Laura Macnamara, Simeon Hunsdon, and Jamie Marra who will be joining teammate Steve Oldford who competed in the East’s only win in five tries in 2008. The Eastern contingent will try to avenge recent defeats and get back on the winning track.

Team West will be a repeat of last year’s squad. Leading the team is 2010 Faut’s Champion Rick Bertrand. Rounding out the squad of amateur reinsmen are Robert Stepien, David Siegel and Chris Hernandez.

Four races will be contested on each of Friday and Saturday nights. Free programs and TrackMaster Greg selections for the Challenge races and all other races on the Cal-Expo cards on both nights can be accessed at

Alan Kirschenbaum, California Harness Horseman’s Association President remarked, “"Amateur racing is what makes harness racing unique among sports. It provides the opportunity for everyone to experience the adrenaline rush of competition, the way so many kids experienced it while growing up and playing sports. It is a crucial component of growing the sport's popularity in these challenging days.”

He went on to say, "Amateur driving competitions are popular all over the harness racing world, and we believe the California amateurs are as good as anyone, and this will be an exciting chance to prove it. We're so far away from the other harness racing venues that we rarely get to participate in the major competitions like the Billings Series and the one-day all-amateur card at Monticello, so the East-West is a very big deal to us."

Gregg Pistochini, the Cal-Expo on-air handicapper had this to say: “As much as we try to vary the races, nothing shakes things up here the way the East-West Challenge does. The races provide some of the best wagering opportunities we have here and in the past have been some of our larger pools.”

Cal-Expo’s successful pick-fours will include some of the Challenge races resulting in what are hoped to be higher the usual payoffs given the twists of the new drivers appearing at the oval.

For information about the California Amateur Driving Club, the Challenge or Amateur Driving in general, please visit

No comments: