Sacramento, CA --- Your eyes are not deceiving you, Gerry Longo is back in California and competing at Cal Expo.
Once a fixture at or near the top of the driver standings at this track, Hollywood Park and Los Alamitos, the 68-year-old driver/trainer has returned to the West Coast for at least the foreseeable future.
|Cal Expo photo|
|Forty years later -- from left to right: Gene Valandingham, Steve Desomer and Gerry Longo.|
“It’s been over 30 years since I raced out here,” said Longo, who recently passed the 2,600 win plateau with more than $11 million in earnings. ”I’ve come to California quite a bit to visit my mother, who lives in Garden Grove, and my daughter in Riverside, but this is the first time I’ve raced here in a long time.
“I can tell you that the weather is nice, the people are great and I’m impressed with the way they’ve upgraded the facility since I was here the last time.”
Longo explained that he made the move to Chicago at a time when it looked like harness racing was about to go down for the count in California.
“I did some racing back there in '78, '79 and '80, then I bought a place and started racing in Chicago full time,” he said. “I like to travel, so I’ve also been racing at tracks in Virginia and Minnesota.”
Longo has brought out six performers and is almost treating the visit like a vacation.
“Right now the plan is to stay at least until March, but we’ll see how it goes.”