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Carl Allen’s Memory Honoured

Published: November 30, 2008 12:37 pm ET

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To hear owner Neal Oksenberg of North York, ON tell it, the late, and widely respected, trotting specialist Carl Allen would surely be proud of CR Bellman. In fact Oksenberg is so fond of his horse that he’s nicknamed him ‘Carl’.

CR Bellman will soon reach a half million dollars in lifetime earnings and he’s done it on grit and heart, he’s done it the hard way,” Oksenberg says of the 10-year-old Royal Troubador gelding. “He’s just a pure adrenaline rush for me every time he races, he’s given me so many great thrills. There have been lots of times in his career that’s he’s supported the rest of my stable,” Oksenberg adds.

Since the Boxing Day program at Western Fair on December 26, 2006, CR Bellman has raced from the care of London-based trainer Larry Fitzsimmons. From 2002-2006 his Ontario starts were from the Bill O’Donnell stable.

While still racing for the Carl and Rod Allen Stable as a two and three year old, CR Bellman’s biggest purse career win was for $52,000 in June of 2000 at the Meadowlands. O’Donnell brokered the deal that saw Oksenberg acquire the horse from Carl and Rod Allen by private treaty.

In Monday afternoon’s second race at Western Fair, CR Bellman has drawn Post 1 against a veteran conditioned group for a $10,000 purse as he goes out in search of his 25th career win with Alfie Carroll in the bike.

Oksenberg, a Toronto property and real estate investment and management specialist by trade, says he’s expanding his holdings in the USA thanks in large measure to the boost that ‘Carl’ gave him on the racetrack.

“I had the good fortune to meet and befriend Earl Beal, the President of the Pennsylvania Harness Horsemen’s Association” Oksenberg explains. “Thanks to his contacts I’m now partners on three yearlings from Harrisburg with (trainer) Matt Butcher in Florida and we’re partners on a couple of two year olds turning three. I also have two horses with (trainer) Sam Beegle which race at Harrah’s Chester and Dover Downs thanks to Earl’s contacts in the business.”

The forecast for Monday’s program in London is for a temperature just above the freezing point and a chance of snow.

“That kind of weather would suit him great” Oksenberg says. “He seems to be better the worse the weather is and the more adversity he has to deal with. I saw Rod Allen a few weeks ago at the Harrisburg Sale and he asked me how the old guy, CR Bellman, is doing. I told him ‘Carl’, my favourite horse, is doing great and that every owner would love to have a barn full of horses like him.”

Top Trot Battle Looms

Monday’s $18,400 Preferred Trot at Western Fair turns to the gate in the eighth race and features the return to London of track record holder Brawn Seelster. The six-year-old gelding campaigned by Callie Rankin has amassed 10 wins in 30 starts this year and he’s drawn Post 3.

Last week’s winner in this class, Stonebridge Diablo, races for the duo of trainer Ron Waples Jr. and driver Ross Battin. The field also has two strong Michigan-based entrants in Pierre Lavec sent out by Allen Sisco and Home Stretch being campaigned by Tim Driver.

A point of interest concerns Post 2 starter Coreys On Crombie in the $12,800 Preferred 2 Pace in the ninth race. He’ll be driven by Doug McNair, who recently became the first reinsman to record a million dollar season in his rookie year at age 18. The 42-time career winner is owned by Ken Sommer of Sheffield, OH.

Through December, post time each Monday and Tuesday afternoon is 3:05 p.m. eastern and each Friday and Saturday evening at 7:05 p.m. eastern.

The exceptions are the London traditional Boxing Day matinee at 1:15 p.m. on December 26 and the New Year’s Eve card at 7:05 p.m. There is no live card on Saturday, December 27 at Western Fair.

(Western Fair Raceway)

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