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Pena Sponsored Series A Huge Success

Published: November 7, 2011 2:04 pm ET

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Uncooperative weather did not dampen the spirits that accompanied the fans and drivers involved in the Bronte Epilepsy Research Foundation Amateur series finals on Saturday. The free 500 T-shirts donated by Lou Pena were gone as fast as the rains came.

Cal-Expo was the recipient of significant television coverage for the event. Amateur Club secretary Steve Chambers and driver-member Amanda Fraser were featured on the local ABC morning news live from the track on Wednesday. On Friday, Lou Pena was interviewed on the local Univision affiliate. And on Saturday, Good Morning Sacramento, broadcasting live from the track with anchor Ken Rudolph, had features including Mr. Pena, Ms. Fraser, and professional driver Steve Wiseman.

Of course the big winner was the Bronte Foundation, which received a cheque for $7,000 presented by Lou Pena in a ceremony following the event, and which received several thousand more dollars from fans and others connected to the event.

Two owners were big winners as well. Spanish Rosey, trained and owned by Robley Johnson, won the girls division picking up the $5,000 winner's share. Driver Brian Marchand got his first win on the mare in the second leg and dusted the field in the final with a sharp driver in the muck. In the male division, Serious Art won coming off the pace for driver David Siegel. Between the two legs, Serious Art had a total of 12 claims on him. But original owner Williams Hernandez, successful claiming the gelding back in leg two, came away with the trophy for trainer Matias Ruiz.

Also at stake for the drivers was the annual season point totals, which came down to the wire. With the win in the final race, Dave Siegel just snuck by Amanda Fraser for top annual honours, with newcomer Karen Isbell finishing third and Rick Bertrand finishing fourth. These four will represent the California Amateur Driving Club in the 7th annual East-West Challenge to be held in the spring of 2012.

California Harness Horsemen’s Association President, Alan Kirshenbaum, was most appreciative for the sponsorship of this event commenting, "Thanks to Lou Pena, who has been instrumental in his support, both for this wonderful charity and for the amateur driving program."

“We did something really good here," commented California Amateur Club president David Siegel on the series. "A wonderful cause received a nice donation from Louie and the drivers and received some much needed publicity. The amateurs, track management and horsemen cooperated. I am hopeful that all involved took note of what can be accomplished when all of the oars row in unison. Moreover, involving charitable causes as part of one’s business can yield great benefits beyond the charity itself. In this case, the horsemen received some nice added purse monies and were on the winning side of media coverage. With all of that said, none of this would have been possible without the incredible generosity of time, money and energy of Lou Pena. With all of the challenges he has faced over the last several months, where others may have become centered on self, Louie gave more of himself to others in a totally selfless manner. We cannot thank him enough for his sponsorship of and involvement in this event.”

More information about amateur driving can be found on the California Amateur Driving Club’s website.

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