Sacramento, CA --- Saturday’s night’s (Jan. 25) 11th race at Cal Expo is named for Robert Franklin Goodbary, DVM, who died Dec. 28, 2013, at his ranch in Clements, Calif.
In his final days he was surrounded by family and friends at home, where he candidly would say he was “Just chuggin’ along.”
Known to everyone as Doc, he was born August 3, 1934, in Chandler, Okla., to Omer “Snip” and Olga Mae Goodbary. His father worked as a ferrier, moving his family from Oklahoma to Yuba City, Calif., in the 1940s. His mother was a homemaker.
Goodbary graduated from Yuba City High School in 1952. While in high school, he worked as the only paperboy who delivered the San Francisco Examiner and San Francisco Chronicle to Yuba City and Marysville. He also worked for Dr. Sam Fisher as a kennel boy, and later worked with larger animals, primarily cows.
After graduating from high school, he attended college at Michigan State and graduated in 1958 with a Doctorate in Veterinarian Medicine. This is where he met Noel Lassen, whom he married and they had two sons, David and Richard. During his summers off from college, he came back home to work at the Del Monte Cannery as the Floor Foreman, overseeing about 35 employees.
After graduating from college, he moved back to California, where he began his career as a Professor at the University of California-Davis, then opened a small animal veterinarian clinic. He also owned and operated the Buena Mora Ranch in Pleasanton and later a ranch in Clements.
Goodbary worked as the Thoroughbred and Quarter Horse track veterinarian at northern and southern California racetracks, operating on and treating many a racehorse in his day. In northern California, he worked many years at Bay Meadows, Golden Gate Fields and Tanforan racetracks, as well as the northern California fairground circuit that included Cal Expo, Stockton, Pleasanton, Santa Rosa and Fresno. In southern California, he worked many years at the Los Alamitos and Santa Anita racetracks.
Goodbary enjoyed watching football, gardening (at home and even at the racetrack), playing cards and winning. He loved dancing and making his annual treks to Sayulita, Mexico to vacation with family and friends.
He liked being in charge and doing it his way, the right way. No one was ever a stranger to him. He was greatly respected, loved and adored by family, friends and colleagues who knew him. They all were considered family.
Goodbary is survived by his wife, Jeannette; son, David; brother, George (Ginger); grandchildren, Elizabeth, Connor, Dylan, Brooke, Ryan, Amanda, Alex and Anthony; and many nephews and nieces. He was preceded in death by his father and mother, “Snip” and Olga Mae; sisters, Mary Ann Yerzy and Donna Sue Prevatt; son, Richard; and special friend, Dorothy Stringer, who was his mother-in-law.
In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to this animal rescue: The Grace Foundation P.O. Box 4692, El Dorado Hills, CA 95762.
Ideal Smile’s connections grinning ear-to-ear
Ideal Smile is one of the hottest horses on the grounds, having rattled off three straight 1:54 and change victories for owners Scott and Lisa Ehrlich and driver/trainer Steve Wiseman.
Two of those decisions have come from a stalking position, while last week’s tally was accomplished in coast-to-coast fashion without an anxious moment as the son of American Ideal made 6-5 look like a belated Christmas gift. He’s back in action Saturday night with a second-tier starting position.
Scott Ehrlich related, “Ideal Smile caught my eye in the early part of last year here when he showed very good speed on the front-end for Mike Eaton, carrying it well most of the time. This impressed me because I feel that the bias at Cal Expo almost always favors closers.
“Fast-forward to last October when Mike invited my family to his farm to jog some horses when we made a trip to New England. By luck, I got to jog Smile and I liked the way he went. Mike said he was for sale, but that was about the end of it, or so I thought.
“About a month later, Mike called me and said he was for sale as part of a package deal with Surprisingly Sweet. By pure luck, I had watched a race of hers and loved the way she closed. Then after watching more of her previous races, she fit the type of horse I love and we made the deal.
“Since getting them, both of them have required some time to get built up to where they should be physically/weight wise, especially Smile. Steve and Kathie Wiseman, and their fine crew, including Smile’s great caretaker, Mike Fowler, have done an outstanding job of getting them to where we want them to be. And while they're much closer, they aren't there yet, which would lead you to hopefully believe that better things are yet to come.”
Saturday night will feature free admission after 4 p.m. at Cal Expo with $1 beer, coffee, hot dogs and soda. Handicapper Dave Brower will also be live on site both Friday and Saturday, so be sure to stop by the simulcast center and say hello.