Lou Pena has returned to the Golden State – not to race horses – but as a major supporter of California harness racing and the Bronte Epilepsy Research Foundation. After decades of playing a major role on the west coast, Lou relocated to the east where he has continued his success, and drawn a lot of attention. We expect his return, as the underwriter of our biggest amateur racing series in the history of the state and a fund raiser for a great cause, to draw much positive attention.
When he was based here, Lou was a tireless support of all things harness. His stable was the first to provide horses for demonstrations, displays, and any racing-related public relations venture. Lou was there, not only with his stock, but also with his larger-than-life personality. When our club hosted visiting drivers from the east coast, Italy, German and Finland, Louie was always at the front of the line offering his support. This support was hardly limited to his horses. Lou would be right there in the paddock, encouraging and coaching his guests and promising victory!
I will never forget driving a horse in an amateur competition for Lou some 10 or so years ago. He was right there with his well-recognized smile and a long list of instructions. The horse was tricky (No More Excuses N). Lou told me what to do regarding scoring down, turning to the gate, leaving the gate and how to handle my charge after the race. While I was nervous, Louie calmed my fears somewhat as he told me with a grin, “Don’t worry. Do it right and you WILL win!” I did it right and I did win.
I am proud to be one of many amateur and professional drivers who have won with a Lou Pena trained horse. While I will never forget is expert horsemanship, it was and still is his positive attitude that is most memorable. We are all proud to have Lou Pena back in California as a major supporter during difficult times. Thank you Lou.
Steve Chambers is an avid supporter of harness racing in California. He is a former amateur driver, owner, breeder and is involved in the California Sire Stakes program.
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