The multiple stakes-winning pacing mare Haggin Oaks, who posed for pictures following 35 of her 116 starts while banking over $165,000, has been retired and will get to work on being a mother next season. The 8-year-old is by Hi Ho Silverheels out of the Incredible Finale mare Ladyladybemylady and set her mark of 1:52 3/5 last year in New York over the five-eighths Tioga Downs oval.
Haggin Oaks was campaigned by Shari Burns, Ferris Funk and Jerry Cimini and was trained early in her career by Lester Smith before James Kennedy took over the duties, as well as being her regular pilot. "We call her Liza, because her original name was Cherry Tree Liza,” Shari related. "She was bred by the late Alan Kirschenbaum and he decided to re-name all the yearlings that year after golf courses, which is how Haggin Oaks came about.”
Burns pointed out that in their 20-plus year friendship, Jerry Cimini and her husband Ferris had always wanted to campaign a horse together and couldn't have found a better performer for the partnership.
"Liza was the last yearling left that year. She was a difficult 2 and 3-year-old and it took a lot of love and patience to make her a racehorse. I want to thank Jason Landers for keeping her feet in such great shape and that was not easy. Lester Smith also did a great job and has always been a big supporter of our farm.
"Of course, when James took out his trainer's license, she was his first winner. For me, seeing the joy in my husband's face and hearing the joy in Jerry's conversations about this mare made it all worthwhile.
"It's not too often someone gets the chance to own such a nice Cal-bred making well over $100,000 in California and we will now give her the life she deserves on the farm where she was born and raised. Hopefully she will produce a few more winners for Ferris and Jerry.”
Shari also noted the strong bond between Haggin Oaks and her driver/trainer Kennedy. "After the race, the first thing James does when he gets out of the sulky is to walk up to her head and give her a big hug.”
On just about every occasion, she earned it.
Sharpshootennorris headlines Open Trot
Sharpshootennorris, an impressive winner of two of his last three appearances at the top rung, looks to keep the momentum going in Friday night's featured $5,000 Open Trot. He will do his work from the assigned No.10 post position.
An 11-year-old Canadian-bred son of Earl, Sharpshoootennorris carries the banner of Bette Jean Calice with Steve Wiseman doing the driving and training. He is looking to add to a $436,000 bank account with a 1:54 career standard that was established five years ago.
The hard-hitting veteran sat a pocket trip for Wiseman when he got the job done in the March 29 Open, was runner-up when coming from last in his next mile and then returned to his winning ways at most recent asking as he took the field coast-to-coast by two and a quarter lengths.
Franky Provolone was his nearest rival in that affair and has gone some big miles over this layout for owner Robin Clements and trainer Vickie Desomer and Mooney Svendsen has the call. Axle took the measure of a softer group last week over a sloppy track and has to be respected as he goes for owner/trainer George Reider and driver David Siegel. (Cal Expo)