Pancetta To Make Final Career Start

Pancetta winning at Running Aces
Published: September 12, 2023 10:25 am EDT

One of the most familiar pacers on the Running Aces/Cal Expo circuit over the past several years, Pancetta will take his final career bow after race five on Tuesday night, Sept. 12 at Running Aces. 

The 14-year-old stallion by No Pan Intended out of the Life Sign mare, Gingerbread Square, has drawn post two in a $6,800 conditioned contest and will have Luke Plano in the sulky. They have been tabbed at 6-1 on the morning line. 

Pancetta was bred by Peter Pan Stables of Ohio and he was unraced at age two. He made his career debut in a $2,000 conditioned pace on May 26, 2012 at Scioto Downs and was a winner in 1:55.3. In late July of that year, he was purchased by Richard Morita and David Yamada and placed in the Rick Plano stable.

Pancetta scored his first win for his new connections in his second start for them, turning in an impressive 1:52.4 mile at Tioga Downs. Shortly thereafter, Pancetta moved into the Liberio "Lino" Pacheco barn before ripping off six more wins that year and taking a three-year-old mark of 1:51.3 against older horses in the Open at Cal-Expo. 

At four, he took on the Sagamore Pacing Series at Yonkers Raceway and captured the final, before several wins in the top Open at the Hilltop that year. 

Pancetta would go on to spend the majority of his career with team Pacheco. Both Lino and his son Jessie, have frequently been listed as his trainer. Jessie Pacheco has also driven Pancetta on numerous occasions in recent years as well. 

The petite but powerful pacer has racked up dozens and dozens of wins for the partnership of Morita and Yamada over the ensuing years since that 2012 purchase and they have relished in all of his success throughout his career. 

Pancetta eclipsed the $500,000 mark in career earnings on June 4, 2021 at Hawthorne Racecourse and recorded his 50th career win on June 13 of this year at Running Aces, and a few weeks later at Aces, he also scored his 50th second-place finish (July 18). 

Morita shared that "it is a sad day for us because we will miss him on the track. He has been such a good horse to us. In nearly 40 years of being in this business, he has been a standout."

The proud owner also shared his appreciation for his trainers: "The fact that he has lasted this long and still been competitive is due to the wonderful care he has gotten from Lino Pacheco and Jessie Pacheco -- they are a top notch team." 

The stallion was checked for fertility this summer and plans are currently in place for Pancetta to begin a new career as a stud for the next breeding season. 

(With files from Running Aces)

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