Rob Rice Homes: Keshia Casey Helps Protect Our Communities

first_imgFacebook10Tweet0Pin0Submitted by Barb Lally for Rob Rice HomesWhen a homeowner calls Keshia Casey, she does everything she can to help, or she finds someone who can.Keshia is the Home Owners Association (HOA) Coordinator for nine Rob Rice Communities with more than 1,000 homes. She provides valuable assistance to each HOA board so they can make decisions to preserve the long-lasting home values and quality of their community.Keshia, surrounded by the many binders that contain the records she keeps for each HOA community.She works for Gemini Development Corporation (GDC) owned by Rob Rice. The company provides HOA management and is one of the ways the area’s largest builder stays connected to his communities to ensure they thrive and are managed properly for many years.The EnforcerKeshia has a dizzying list of jobs that requires superior customer service and highly-skilled financial and administrative abilities.“We do all of the behind the scenes work,” explains Keshia. “It would be very time-consuming and a lot of responsibility for the board members to do, especially since they are all volunteers.”Keshia processes HOA dues, pays bills, files taxes and coordinates all repairs and maintenance, to name just a few of her jobs. She also handles violation and complaint processes and prepares packets, materials and financial statements for board meetings.Rob Rice’s office is right on State Street where Keshia enjoys working with the whole team at Rob Rice Homes and learning from Rob Rice himself.It is a lot of paperwork and many roles that require Keshia’s versatility and ability to prioritize. Known affectionately as “The Enforcer” Keshia helps homeowners understand the Covenants, Condition and Restrictions (CC&Rs) that protect the neighborhood, a job that is not always easy.Keshia explains that having GDC as a management company provides the HOA with a “middle man” to enforce the CC&R’s, reducing conflicts between neighbors. When a homeowner calls upset, she does not take it personally but tries to understand the problem and find a way to fix it.I like people and I am definitely a problem solver,” says Keshia. “The CC&Rs need to remain consistent, applied equally to everyone to protect each homeowner’s investment. If they resell their home next year or 20 years from now, what do they want someone to pay for it? And, they won’t just be selling their home but what the neighborhood looks like as well.Keshia says that knowing that Rob Rice is a local builder reassures homeowners that they will be taken care of.“We have a 360 area code, not a 1-800 number. As a local builder, Rob strongly believes in excellent customer service because word of mouth is everything. When someone asks one of our homeowners ‘How do you like your home, how do you like your community?’ The next question is usually, ‘Where do I find Rob Rice?’ Word of mouth is everything.”Strong in Business and in KindnessHomeowners and HOA board members in Rainier Park, a 20-year-old community that has retained its value and beauty, appreciate Keshia’s capable assistance.“I initially met Keshia when I attended the Rainier Park HOA meetings as a new homeowner,” says Cynthia Jordan, who was recently elected to the HOA board. “It became obvious that she is someone that homeowners trust, knowledgeable of our CC&Rs and the appropriate processes. I have observed Keshia with board members and, despite her youth, she holds her own and is firm, yet compassionate. She does it all with a smile and positive attitude. I am impressed with how she handles herself in every situation.”Keshia Casey is a Thurston County native and counts the Rob Rice Homes staff as “family”.Keshia was born and raised in the area and is a graduate of North Thurston High School. Because several family members own businesses, she developed a business mentality early on.“It has always been easy for me to provide proficient customer service,” says Keshia who attributes much of her attitude to her dad, an Air Force veteran and a former Lacey police officer, who has owned a pawn shop in Tumwater since 1995.“I am definitely a Daddy’s girl,” Keshia explains with a warm smile. “He raised me to treat people the way I want to be treated and to never judge a book by its cover. Everyone has their own story and you never know when their challenges might be yours. Loyalty is huge with my dad and he will try to do anything he can for someone, even if it is as simple as $1.50 for a bus pass.”The Team on State AvenueKeshia appreciates the whole team she works with at their office on State Avenue in Olympia, especially learning from Rob Rice himself.“The very first time I had to coordinate the back flow test in a community, I had no idea what it was for,” says Keshia. “I am a thinker, so I normally ask 50 gazillion questions and Rob took time to explain the test, one that checks if water is flowing to the storm pond the way it should be.”Along with all the learning she receives daily, Keshia is excited about the newest Rob Rice Community, Steilacoom Ridge currently under development in Lacey, and the role she gets to play in it.Working with Kim Showalter, Gemini Development Corporation’s HOA Manager, is one of the top perks of Keshia’s job.“I can contribute to it from the beginning and watch it grow. Because we are developing the CC&Rs, Rob often includes me in the development process to ensure it all works together,” she shares.Keshia also appreciates working with Kim Showalter who has managed the HOAs for many years.“Kim is the sweetest and smartest woman I know,” she adds warmly. “She is an accounting master and could probably recite the CC&Rs for most of our communities.”Keshia has a son, Calvin (7) and a daughter, Avery (3) and she just purchased her first home.  She juggles her time between work, her home and her kid’s activities and says she truly feels at home in her office because the staff is like family.“It makes me feel better to make others feel better,” Keshia says. “If one of my coworkers is having a bad day, I do what I can to make them smile. I always joke with them that we are a family whether they like it or not!”last_img read more

Casey Kilborn Named OlyFed Employee of the Quarter

first_imgFacebook0Tweet0Pin0Submitted by Olympia Federal SavingsOlympia Federal Savings is proud to announce Casey Kilborn, AVP/District Manager, as Employee of the Quarter. Kilborn was selected for the honor because of his incredible leadership supporting his colleagues throughout the bank in response to COVID-19.Photo courtesy: Olympia Federal SavingsKilborn never hesitates to take on any additional responsibilities that are asked of him. If fact, Kilborn was instrumental in helping the business lending team organize, intake, close and fund close to 90 Payment Protection Program loans for area small businesses and nonprofits.Awarded the honorary title of loan closer, Kilbron spent many hours in the downtown Olympia drive-thru and on the phone going over mortgage loan documents with customers, ensuring all of their questions were answered. Kilborn did all of this while balancing so many competing demands, managing the downtown branch and so much more.We are all so impressed and thankful to have such a great team member, leader and coworker in Casey, especially during these incredibly challenging times,” Lori Drummond, President & CEO said. “Not only has Casey been focused on serving the needs of our customers and community, he regularly sends out motivational emails to the entire organization and he puts forth extra efforts to connect with his team members on an individual basis to ensure they’re getting the care and support they need.”last_img read more

Chats between Shakib Al Hasan and bookie suspected of match fixing released

first_imgAdvertisement q0jNBA Finals | Brooklyn Vs7rygWingsuit rodeo📽Sindre E7jve( IG: @_aubreyfisher @imraino ) atlmWould you ever consider trying this?😱v1vk4Can your students do this? 🌚3q7wRoller skating! Powered by Firework On Wednesday, the International Cricket Council (ICC) released all the details of Shakib Al Hasan’s conversation with a bookie named Deepak Aggarwal. Yesterday the highest governing board of cricket banned the Bangladeshi all-rounder from all formats of the game for two years after he was found guilty for failing to report corruption cases. And today through the media release, ICC mentioned that Shakib was approached by Aggarwal way back in 2017 and has been in regular contact with him since.Advertisement Image Courtesy: GettyImagesAccording to ICC, during his days with Dhaka Dynamites (November 2017), Shakib first came in touch with Aggarwal through one of his acquaintances. The bookie, then approached the world no.1 all-rounder to provide him contacts of some players taking part in the Bangladesh Premier League.Two months later on January 2018, Aggarwal congratulated Shakib for his match winning performance in a tri-series between Bangladesh, Zimbabwe, and Sri Lanka and asked him “do we work in this or I wait till the IPL”. Clearly, the “work” mentioned in this message was regarding the inside information the cricketer was supposed provide, ICC confirmed.Advertisement A few days later, the bookie, desperate for a response, pinged Shakib again, saying “Bro anything in this series?” And Shakib affirmed that Aggarwal was searching for any inside information on the Tri-Series yet again.It was during IPL 2018 when Shakib had a doubt over Aggarwal’s intentions after the latter asked him about bitcoins, dollar account and his (Shakib’s) account details. The 32-year-old then told Aggarwal that he wanted to meet him “first” to which he got no response.Advertisement The ICC have a strict code against corruption and have asked all the cricketers and coaches round the globe to inform them about such illegal approaches. But, unfortunately for Shakib, he failed to report any of these conversations to the ACU or any other anti-corruption authority and now face a ban for two years. Advertisementlast_img read more

Bayshore Towns Working Together With County to Increase Tourism

first_imgBy Philip Sean Curran Arnone said some thinkthe tourism industry in thecounty only means the JerseyShore area. Political and business officials in the nine towns that make up the Bayshore region are putting their heads together to see how they can increase tourism to their part of Monmouth County without overlapping one another. “There is nothing you cando in New Jersey you can’tdo in these nine towns,”Moore said. Kennedy called theBayshore the best “day-tripregion” throughout the year. “Nearly every night of the week, you will find something to do, all summer long and into the fall,” she said. Bayshore 2020 aims to develop ways to publicize what is available for people to do in those communities along the Route 36 corridor. The effort is being led by Keyport Mayor Collette J. Kennedy and Cliff Moore, a businessman who also serves as the director of economic development of Highlands and Keansburg. Yet Route 36 also provides opportunities, given the 1.7 million visitors each year to Sandy Hook who take the highway to get to the beaches there. But he said tapping into that market would require coordination, such as towns not having outdoor concerts on the same nights of the week. Tourism is a major part of the state’s economy. Last year, New Jersey had 111 million visitors who spent $44.7 billion, with more than half of all spending on food, beverages and lodging, according to a report by the state Division of Travel and Tourism. Of that total, 8.6 million people visited Monmouth County – among the highest totals in the state. “There’s no contiguous roadway other than Route 36,” he said. “So we have challenges and obstacles that other people don’t have.” “There is so much to do in the Bayshore besides visiting Sandy Hook National Park,” Kennedy said June 21. Monmouth County Board of Chosen Freeholders Director Thomas A. Arnone said at the summer kickoff event that the Bayshore has a “full-fledged partner” in the county and that “we’re going to treat all of the county equally for their needs and make sure that we just advance you and be part of that success that you’ll have.”center_img “So many of us havehistory people don’t knowabout,” Atlantic HighlandsMayor Rhonda C. Le Gricesaid in an interview after thekickoff event. Another strategy is to attract young families to visit the region to take advantage of free beaches and highlight that, even on rainy days, there is something in one of the nine towns to do no matter the time of year, he said. She said those options run the gamut from boating and other water activities to dining out and visiting museums, among other things. Towns also have outdoor movie nights, live music, festivals and even an amusement park in Keansburg. Her comments came at an event Monmouth County held in Keyport to mark the start of summer. Bayshore officials and others are hoping the county, through its public information and tourism department, will help promote what happens in their communities. They met with county officials earlier this year to press their case on the issue for a region that feels it has been overlooked in the past. “That’s a bad message,because when you tell peoplethat, they don’t want to comehere,” he said. “So we need tochange that quite a bit.” The aim of Bayshore 2020, made up entirely of volunteers, is to have the towns stop working in “silos,” in Moore’s words, and instead work together. Moore said the region faces a unique set of challenges, including the fact that Route 36 is the only way in and out of the towns, a collection of “blue collar communities,” he said. The Bayshore consists mostly of small towns of around 10,000 people or fewer. A community like Middletown, part of which makes up the Bayshore, traces its roots back to the 17th century, during the colonial period. Atlantic Highlands boasts of its stock of restored Victorian homes. Moore said the narrative about the Bayshore also has to change. He said that while the region bounced back strongly after Super Storm Sandy hit in October 2012,people need to stop sayingthe region is “still comingback from Sandy.” “We all do movies on the beach,” Moore said. “Let’s not all show ‘Jaws.’ Let one town show ‘Jaws,’ right? Soit’s those types of things thatwe want to collaborate with.” “And that is farthest fromthe truth,” he said. “Tourismgoes throughout our all 53municipalities.”last_img read more

A Vote of Confidence for Nonpartisan Elections in Oceanport

first_img“It turned out, in some pretty stark numbers, that people really didn’t care what our political affiliations were. The voters weren’t voting party, they were voting people,” Coffey said. “We’re going to move forward with our petition,” Coffey said of an effort to record signatures from 75 percent of the borough’s registered voters, an initiative that could also help change the future of how elections in the town are conducted. OCEANPORT – National political party allegiance “just doesn’t matter” when it comes to local elections, Mayor Jay Coffey said. The totals were similar for Walker and Tvrdik, who were opposed by Republican council incumbents Joseph Irace and Stephen Solan. Walker said the political divisiveness in town has residents ready “for a coming together.” “Clearly the message we put out there resonated with people,” said Walker, who is finishing out her term on the Oceanport Board of Education ahead of being sworn in at the council’s January reorganization meeting. Walker said attacks from the opposition during the campaign targeting her national political allegiances played in favor of her andher running mates. Coffey said change, particularly the new perspective on borough government affairs secured by Walker and Tvrdik’s election, is a step in a positive direction for Oceanport. Other optional aspects of government, including the size of the governing body, term length of elected officials, the use of runoff elections and the method by which the mayor is selected may also be altered with a referendum. The results were resounding, and Coffey believes it’s a message from his constituency to move forward with the cornerstone of their platform – changing Oceanport’s form of government.center_img Coffey, who shared an independent ticket with Democrat Meghan Walker and Republican Tom Tvrdik, swept the open seats on the borough council with plenty of room at the polls to spare. Coffey outpaced Republican mayoral candidate and borough council member Robert Proto, more than doubling his total votes by a count of 1,393 to 620. The group ran on the notion of transitioning away from the borough form of government to a small municipality system. Adopted as part of the Optional Municipal Charter Law of 1950, known better as the Faulkner Act, one provision of the small municipality system is a community’s ability, by way of a referendum, to implement nonpartisan elections. “I think over the last couple of years the tenor of the conversation in our town has gotten really combative and even vicious at times. And in the end, I think that helped prove our point and really turned the tide even further for us,” Walker said. “Whether people agree with my personal national politics or not, they didn’t like seeing a fellow resident treated the way I was,” she said, citing social media posts on the Oceanport Republican Committee Facebook page. “You can’t argue the results. Plenty of voters bought into Jay’s argument about political parties at the local level. I still disagree with it. I think it’s a total sham,” Proto said. “I don’t think there’s any way an individual can extricate themselves from their ideologies or their political beliefs when they’re making decisions on budgets and spending tax-payer dollars. That idea goes against human nature. What Jay and his running mates are pushing will forever change Oceanport, and I don’t believe it’s for the better.” Proto said the change considered by Coffey, Walker and Tvrdik, “worries me a tremendous amount.” Celebrating their win at a post-election victory party were Oceanport’s Meghan Walker, Jay Coffey and Tom Trvdik.Photo courtesy Meghan Walker “Everyone has stress in their lives. You turn on the news and national politics is nothing but division, and it’s permeated the local level. People are ready to bridge the divide. To have a council that doesn’t speak to the mayor is at odds with the board of education, parks and recreation, your first responders, your office of emergency management, with FMERA. Nothing can get done if that’s the situation,” Walker said. “People are ready to have fresh blood step up and take the mantle.”last_img read more

Rally in the Valley shows community behind Hockeyville bid

first_imgCurrently there are more than 160 letters have been submitted, and the list is growing daily.The letters are looking for community spirit and heartfelt stories of hockey experiences in Nakusp, past and present.Deadline for submissions is Sunday, January 30, 2011.Based on submissions a panel chooses the top 10 — two communities from each of the five regions. The regions are Pacific (B.C./Yukon), West, Ontario, Quebec and Atlantic. The top 10 will be profiled on CBC on March 8. Then online and telephone voting begins from March 8-13.Five communities will be chosen on March 19. Then online voting from March 19-21 determines the grand prize winner — $100,000 in arena upgrades and the right to host an NHL preseason game. The winner is announced April 2 on Hockey Night in Canada.The four runner-up communities receive $25,000. The excitement is building by the day as the Nakusp faithful attempt to land one of the 10 bids in the Kraft Hockeyville contest.Local enthusiasts packed the local arena Saturday night as part of Rally in the Valley in support of landing Kraft Hockeyville 2011.Nakusp displayed its pride at the arena during an evening featuring a midget rep game with junior and senior novice players showing their skills during period intermission.One-person committed Andrea Coates is busy encouraging the public to submit letters and pictures explaining experiences in the sport of hockey in Nakusp, which Nakusp leads in Western Canada.last_img read more

Newell, DiBella pace Team B.C. to best showing at 2011 National Women’s Under-18 Championships in six years

first_imgKimberley Newell and Aimee DiBella left a lasting impression on the 2011 National Women’s Under-18 Championships in Saguenay, Que.Newell, the goalie for the Kootenay Ice of the B.C. Major Midget League, turned aside all 40 shots and Nelson native DiBella scored on the power play powering Team B.C. to a 5-0 shutout of Ontario Blue Saturday at the 2011 National Women’s Under-18 Championships.Team B.C. finished fifth at the National Under-18 Tournament.B.C. held a 1-0 lead on a goal by Kelowna’s Stephanie Schaupmeyer. It was the fourth goal of the tournament for Schaupmeyer, the leading scorer on Team B.C.DiBella, who plays for the Okanagan Hockey Academy in Penticton, doubled the Team B.C. lead in the second, driving to the net before scoring on Ontario Blue goaltender Kayla Black.The marker stunned Ontario Blue, who out shot Team B.C. 20-8 in the period but failed to get a puck past the red-hot Newell.B.C. pulled away in the third as Reaghan Chadwick of Port Coquitlam, Kelowna’s Brittany Berisoff and Lauren Spring scored to clinch the province’s best finish at the tournament since winning bronze at the January 2005 on home ice in Salmon Arm, B.C.Newell earned player-of-the game honours for her performance in the B.C. nets.In medal round action Ontario Red meets Quebec for the gold while Manitoba faces Alberta for the bronze.sports@thenelsondaily.comlast_img read more

Grand Forks bodybuilders move up in the ranks: New gym opening in GF

first_img“It’s hard,” said Clark, noting the last few weeks are the most challenging because that’s when they work on slimming down. “The last 10 weeks … the last six weeks … that’s mentally tough.”If Witwicki places in the top three at nationals she can earn her pro-card, which will open even more doors for her. However, she’s staying realistic.“Only two girls get it,” she said, adding if she places in the top three at nationals she’s automatically qualified for nationals the following year.Nancy Clark heads to pro show in ChicagoWitwicki isn’t the only one qualifying for major shows. Al’s wife, Nancy is competing at the Chicago Pro Show July 6.“She’s competing at an elite level,” said Clark. “If she places in the top 3 in Chicago, she’ll be one of the top 15 (female bodybuilders) in the world.”A top three placement would qualify her for Olympia – the biggest competition in the world.“That’s just a pipe dream,” said Clark, adding they try not to think about it because they don’t want to jinx it.Nancy competes in the bodybuilding category – the bulkiest level in female bodybuilding, with bikini being the smallest, followed by figure and then physique. The bodybuilding category is at risk for being eliminated from competition in the next few years because it isn’t as popular as other categories so it’s Nancy’s last chance to make it to this level.“She’d probably retire,” said Clark, adding that her age and the difficulty in slimming down would make it challenging to change categories. “It’s such a transformation. It’s just as hard to cut the body down. It would probably take two years for her to be competitive at physique.”The Clarks also have more local plans in the works. They are opening a new gym in downtown Grand Forks. The gym will be at 358 Market Avenue and will feature custom-made equipment that is suited for everyone, not just those that want to compete.“There’s this idea that we only train people that want to compete,” said Clark. “But whatever your goal is, we are qualified to train you.”With that in mind, Clark says they are going to make sure that their gym is non-judgemental and they will have ladies nights where women of all sizes can feel comfortable working out.Other competitionsThe Clark’s, who own Body Edge Fitness and Personal Training, have had a busy year with competitions. In addition to Nancy and Witwicki’s major competitions, they have worked with two women that competed at the novice level in Fort St. John, June 8.Emilija Martic (23) from Surrey has been training with the Clark’s and placed second at the competition, while Terri Maglio (44) from Nelson came in third. Both competed in ladies physique.“Terri when through an unbelievable body transformation,” said Clark. “She went from just under 200 lbs (90.7 kg) to being on stage in two years.”Both women qualified for provincials but decided not to compete further. Female bodybuilder Sharona Witwicki has returned from the BC Provincial Championship with a top three placement – a feat that qualifies her for nationals in August.The bodybuilder, who competes in the “figure” category, is thrilled with the third place outcome — especially since she only started competing two years ago. However, she’s decided to wait a year before competing at the national level. The qualification is valid for two years.“We are going to go to nationals and watch the judges to see what they are looking for,” she said, adding the requirements at provincials are quite different than at the national level. “They may want a tinier waist and big shoulders. We have no idea what to expect.”It’s an idea that her trainer Al Clark agrees with.“She knows that there is going to be the top three from every province competing,” said Clark. “It’s good she realizes that. Not everyone can be critical. She says ‘I’m not there yet’ and now she has another year to train.”Witwicki can’t praise her coaches, Clark and his wife Nancy enough.“I really have to thank them for getting me this far,” she said.But Clark has plenty of good things to say about Witwicki’s dedication as well.“She placed sixth the first time she competed in November of 2011,” he said. “That was a big eye opened – to go up there and stand in front of everyone. The first time, everyone is probably in the best shape of their life. Then they go and see that everyone is in the same shape or better. People have one of two reactions. They either say that’s enough — they can’t make the jump to the next level in order to place in the top three. Or they become super dedicated. Sharona chose the route to be super dedicated.”From then on she ramped up her routine, stuck to her workouts and diet and turned it into a lifestyle.“It really impacts your life,” said Clark, of people who train for competition. “People don’t realize how much. You go to a barbecue and you can’t eat or have a drink. Your family is mad at you because they can’t eat cookies in front of you. It affects everything you do.”Now that Witwicki has decided to take a year before her next major competition, she is supposed to give her body a break.“I’m supposed to eat whatever I want. My body needs to rest,” she said, adding it’s hard to make that change. “I can go to dinner and a movie with my husband. I can’t remember when we last did that.”She will still workout for the next few months but not at the same intensity. In December, she will really start training for nationals in August, said Clark.last_img read more

Top-flight rinks gearing up for Doug Bothamley Memorial Cashspiel

first_imgOrganizers have 18 confirmed rinks for the three-day event, the largest field ever.Rinks are represented from the Okanagan, East Kootenay as well as Nelson, Trail and Castlegar in the West Kootenay.The rinks include many from the BC Men’s Curling Championship held last February in Nelson.Along with the Ursel rink are Chris Ducharme of Creston and Mark Longworth of Vernon — both rinks were at the BC Men’s tournament — Myron Nichol of Castlegar, who lost of Ursel in the 2015 final.The Bonspiel is being held at the Nelson Curling Rink and is free for spectators, so come down and watch some competitive curling.  First draw is at 7 pm Friday night.Visit for more information or contact garry.beaudry@gmail.comor for entry information. Bob Ursel’s Kelowna rink, minus the Provincial Seniors Champion skip, is back to defend the 2015 crown at the Doug Bothamley Memorial Cashspiel this weekend at the Nelson Curling Club.The Ursel rink is one of many top provincial foursomes looking for a cash payout at the annual Heritage City cashspiel.last_img read more


first_imgECLIPSE AWARD WINNERS REIGN AT SANTA ANITANYQUIST AND MOR SPIRIT DRILL FOR 2016 DEBUTSGENDER AGENDA GOES THE EXTRA MILE AGAINSUNDAY RULES WORKS OUT FOR SANTA MONICAPOPULAR DOLLAR DAY AT SANTA ANITA MONDAY JockeyMts1st2nd3rdWin%ITMMoney Won Flavien Prat4674915%43%$374,826 (Current Through Saturday, Jan. 16) FINISH LINES: Fans can feast on the cheap this Monday, Martin Luther King Jr. Day, when Santa Anita offers another of its Dollar Days, with draft beers, hot dogs and sodas available for just a buck. Santa Anita will be dark Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday. Live racing resumes Friday, Jan. 22, at 1 p.m. . . . Breeders’ Cup congratulations also are in order for Santa Anita-based Beholder (top older female of 2105 trained by Richard Mandella) and unbeaten superstar Songbird (outstanding two-year-old filly, trained by Jerry Hollendorfer) . . . Sunday Rules, prepping for next Saturday’s Grade II Santa Monica Stakes, worked five furlongs Sunday for Phil D’Amato in 1:01.80. The speedy California-bred daughter of the late Tribal Rule has won seven of eight career starts . . . Agent Brian Beach reports Victor Espinoza will be at the iconic Claridge Hotel in London Tuesday for the 2015 Longines World’s Best Racehorse Ceremony to receive an award . . . Simon Callaghan said that Taris came out of her smashing 5 ¼-length victory in Saturday’s Grade II La Canada Stakes “perfect” and will go on to the Grade I Santa Margarita Stakes on March 19 . . . The Board of Directors of the Thoroughbred Owners of California (TOC) has voted to appoint Samantha Siegel to fill a vacancy on the board created by the recent resignation of George Todaro. Siegel, campaigning as JayEmEss Stable, is an active owner and breeder whose family has been involved in California Thoroughbred racing for more than five decades. Her late father, Mace, was a founding member of the Thoroughbred Owners of California. JayEmEss has had many stakes winners, including multiple Grade I winners Urbane, I Ain’t Bluffing, and Include Me Out, Grade I Hollywood Gold Cup winner Rail Trip, and 2004 champion male two-year-old Declans Moon. Siegel also is passionate about horse retirement and serves on the board of CARMA and is Treasurer of that organization. She resides in Beverly Hills. “We are very pleased to welcome Samantha and feel that, with her involvement and experience as an owner and breeder, she can offer a unique perspective to the TOC board,” said Chairman Mike Pegram. “I am excited to join the TOC board,” said Siegel, “and am looking forward to working toward the continued improvement of Thoroughbred racing in California.” . . . And this just in: maiden winner Crimson Giant has been retired. The seven-year-old California-bred Formal Gold gelding trained by Charles Stutts finished fifth at Golden Gate yesterday in his 86th and final career start. “He retired perfectly sound,” said owner Bryan Carney. “He’ll go to Orange County and be trained to be a jumper.” . . . Eric Kruljac won his second race from 12 starts this meet when Dive Down captured Saturday’s opener, but the trainer isn’t getting carried away. “All I’ve got at my barn are a bunch of canaries,” Kruljac said. “Cheap, cheap, cheap.” Richard Baltas2974224%45%$432,504 Philip D’Amato3567917%63%$397,590 David Lopez46831017%46%$253,438 TrainerSts1st2nd3rdWin%ITMMoney Won Kristin Mulhall1342131%54%$150,100 GENDER AGENDA BACK A MILE FOR MEGAHERTZGender Agenda goes from a mile and an eighth victory in the Grade III Robert J. Frankel Stakes on Dec. 27 back to one mile in Monday’s Martin Luther King Jr. holiday feature, the Grade III Megahertz Stakes for older fillies and mares on turf.“The basic makeup of the race will be a lot different from a mile and an eighth, but she’s won at a mile and run very well at the distance so this race seemed like a logical step,” noted Carla Gaines, who trains the five-year-old English-bred mare for Keith Brackpool, Alon Ossip and Tim Ritvo.Gender Agenda has raced eight times at a mile on turf, winning three, but seeks her first stakes win at that distance in the Megahertz, which drew a full field of 14 but was down to 12 with the scratches of Sweet as a Rose and Oscar Party.“More than anything else, it just shows that particular division is probably overloaded,” said Jim Cassidy, trainer of  Oscar Party, who ran in yesterday’s Grade II La Canada. “I’m sure there are a few in the race that are taking a chance to see if they fit.”The field: Circling, Tiago Pereira, 15-1; Glory, Mike Smith, 7-2; Beat of The Drum, Flavien Prat, 15-1; Theatre Star, Drayden Van Dyke, 6-1; Tiz a Kiss, Santiago Gonzalez, 20-1; Keri Belle, Alex Solis, 8-1; Gender Agenda, Tyler Baze, 6-1; Stormy Lucy, Kent Desormeaux, 4-1; Chaulk O Lattey, Rafael Bejarano, 6-1; Journey On, Mario Gutierrez, 15-1; Alexis Tangier, Gary Stevens, 10-1; and My Year Is a Day, Brice Blanc, 10-1. Bob Baffert3273722%53%$419,200 Edwin Maldonado48102521%35%$297,370 Santiago Gonzalez791611620%42%$596,760 Mario Gutierrez5569511%36%$325,904 William Spawr1252042%58%$123,274 Peter Miller3762116%24%$191,340 SANTA ANITA STATISTICS Rafael Bejarano681514622%51%$763,890 Peter Eurton2247418%68%$173,240 Joseph Talamo5688514%38%$374,858 Doug O’Neill5349108%43%$264,332 NYQUIST, MOR SPIRIT WORK FOR SOPHOMORE DEBUTSNyquist, fresh from officially winning an Eclipse Award as outstanding male two-year-old of 2015, worked five furlongs on Santa Anita’s fast main track Sunday morning in 1:00.80 as the unbeaten son of Uncle Mo trained by Doug O’Neill for Paul and Zillah Reddam preps for his three-year-old debut in the Grade II San Vicente Stakes at seven furlongs on Feb. 15.“The work was as good as Doug likes to have it,” said assistant Leandro Mora. “He went out (six furlongs) in (one) 14 and galloped out (seven furlongs) in 1:28. It was very good.”Also working for his three-year-old debut was Mor Spirit, winner of the Grade I Los Alamitos Futurity. Under regular rider Gary Stevens, the son of Eskendereya owned by Michael Lund Petersen went five furlongs in 1:01 flat as he prepares for the Grade III Robert B. Lewis Stakes at 1 1/16 miles on Feb. 6.“It was a good work,” said Bob Baffert assistant Jim Barnes. “Gary loved it.” ‘A WONDERFUL YEAR’ FOR AMERICAN PHAROAH’S TEAMPerpetually blessed by Mother Nature, Santa Anita basked in another glorious morning Sunday, sun filtering through wispy clouds with temperatures refreshingly invigorating, less than 24 hours after Team Baffert, which makes The Great Race Place its second home, received the sport’s highest honor, Eclipse Awards for outstanding achievements in 2015.“We swept all the awards, which is kind of what we hoped would happen,” said Jim Barnes, Bob Baffert’s trusted assistant who was minding the store at Santa Anita while the Hall of Fame trainer and his entourage were en route to California after participating in festivities at Gulfstream Park Saturday night.“It was a wonderful year and it’s going to be hard to ever beat it, that’s for sure.”Not only did American Pharoah become only the second horse in the 45-year-old history of the Eclipse Awards to receive every first-place vote for Horse of the Year, Baffert received an Eclipse Award as outstanding trainer; American’s Pharoah’s owner/breeder Ahmed Zayat was honored in those two categories; and Pharoah, who would go on to complete an unprecedented “Grand Slam” by capturing the Breeders’ Cup Classic on Oct. 31 before being retired to stud, was named top three-year-old male.Victor Espinoza, who did not attend the ceremonies, finished a distant second to Javier Castellano as outstanding jockey, 184-70, even though he piloted American Pharoah to the first Triple Crown triumph in 37 years and also helped make the horse a household name thanks to numerous appearances at popular mainstream events.Espinoza also was the regular rider of Stellar Wind, who earned an Eclipse Award as outstanding three-year-old filly.But all that was trumped by Castellano’s record-setting year in money won by horses he rode, $28,120,767, and a total of 344 wins overall, 17 of them Grade I stakes.“Castellano won more graded stakes than anybody else did,” noted Hall of Fame great Gary Stevens, an Eclipse Award winner himself in 1998. “The right rider won it. Victor would have been deserving, but the right rider won it. Castellano worked his ass off. He rode more races, he won more races. He had a phenomenal year.“That’s my opinion, and that’s with full respect to Victor.” -30-last_img read more