Sonoma County Fair Begins Thursday



By Michael Patricks

The Sonoma County Fair begins this Thursday and we will have eight days of racing with post time set for 1:15 daily, and a 2:15 special post on Friday.  Our Airport Express Daily Handicapping Seminars will commence at 11:30 a.m. in Shade Park as usual, save Fridays which will be an hour later at 12:30 to coincide with the later post time.  Dennis Miller and I have been hard at work securing a unique blend of guests who are as follows:

Thursday, August 2nd:       Miss Sonoma County Tyler-Avery Lewis

Friday, August 3rd:             Jockey William Antongeorgi III

Saturday, August 4th:        Radio Host Tag Wotherspoon

Sunday, August 5th:           Track Announcer Michael Wrona


Thursday, August 9th:        Aspiring announcer James Wallace

Friday, August 10th:           Jockey Irving Orozco

Saturday, August 11th:      Trainer Jonathan Wong

Sunday, August 12th:         Track Announcer Michael Wrona

We are extremely pleased to have track announcer Michael Wrona return for his tenth season in the Santa Rosa announcer’s booth.  Michael has also agreed to join us for our ever-popular “Sundays with Wrona” segment located in Shade Park to conclude each racing weekend.

For an excellent article about Michael which was written by my seminar co-host Dennis Miller, simply click the attached link, or cut and paste it into your web browser:

From Left to Right:

Seminar Guest James Wallace, Michael Patricks, trainer David Hofmans and Michael Wrona


Like what you’re reading?  Each week I post a racing-related article that includes free analysis and race selections to The Grapevine, the official Blog for the Sonoma County Fair. Access The Grapevine at and stay informed of all the news and events surrounding the Sonoma County Fairgrounds.  You can also reach me directly at


Well, I was basically on the receiving end of the billy club with both selections at Saratoga last Saturday.  I was finally able to get up off the mat to a standing eight count just in the nick of time to witness Deb’s Wildcard get a perfect trip while unable to make any progress on a tough competitor in Alliford Bay in the California Governor’s Cup from Sacramento.  (The three-knockdown rule was subsequently invoked at that point, thankfully.)


Speaking of Sacramento, and any of you who may happen to be in the area, I’ll be the guest at the handicapping seminar from Cal Expo on Sunday as I join CARF announcer and morning line maker Chris Griffin along with Golden Gate Fields morning line maker and CARF placing judge Steve Martinelli.  Three morning line makers–one steal cage of a stage—there should be fireworks aplenty at this closing day donnybrook.  That trench warfare session begins at 12:45 p.m.


Pressed for time, so please excuse the brevity of the analysis in this weekend’s complimentary selection.


Del Mar-Race 7

The California Dreamin’


Take: # 7 Fly to Mars 5/1 ML


Fly to Mars reeled in Oceanside Stakes-winner Restrainedvengence in his last start before drawing out to an open-lengths score.  The pace should be lively to help set him up and this move in with Cal-breds should only embolden his spirit.  Prat defects from the venerable Ashleyluvssugar in favor of him.  For my money, I don’t know if there is a more potent trainer in the game than Peter Miller at this point, so you have to think this son of Ministers Wild Cat should be sitting on a big one.


I’ll try to write something next week on our local Stakes action from Santa Rosa, time permitting.  For those of you available to do so, come on out and join us for live racing the next couple of weeks at the Sonoma County Fair.  And as always, thanks for reading!