Racing at the Sonoma County Fair begins Friday and it’s nervous time, as usual, for Steve Specht, one of Northern California’s top horsemen and a Santa Rosa resident.
“It’s the same every summer,” Specht said. “I still feel the pressure to do well at this meet.
“People we know around town follow my horses and I never want to disappoint them.”
Specht’s followers haven’t been disappointed often.
In the 27 years he’s been coming to the fair, Specht has been shut out just one time.
In recent years, his horses have done exceptionally well on opening day. He saddled three winners the first day of the 2012 meet and last year, he scored with Jack Jack Jack for local attorney Jack DeMeo.
Friday, Specht will have four runners in three races but he’s not brimming with optimism.
He’ll begin the afternoon by saddling Swiss Skimmer in the second race followed by the entry of Adriatic Son and Yahoo Tahoe in the third. He’ll conclude the day with Lumberman’s Arch in the seventh.
“I think my best chance is in the third race, although we probably need some luck,” he said.
“Yahoo Tahoe won his last and always seems to be close. Adriatic Son hasn’t been breaking well from the gate and he needs a good beginning to stand a chance.”