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Racing Returns Saturday, October 24



Friday Feature

Jessie Pacheco following in father's footsteps



After spending several years under the tutelage of his father Lino, 25-year-old Jessie Pacheco is making a name for himself here at Cal Expo, including a four-bagger on last Saturday night’s program.

Among the performers in Jessie’s barn is the hard-hitting 8-year-old I’m An Athlete, who races for Ronald Rettig-Zucchi and has several wins in the Open Pace to his credit at this meeting, with last week’s top dance among his triumphs.

 Jessie was born in California, but after an accident at age 1, he went to Mexico to live with his mother. While visiting his father at age 9, he was exposed to harness racing and upon his return to the States at 18 he set out to make it his life’s work.

“In Mexico I rode quarter horses, but I knew I wanted to come back here and work with my dad and the harness horses,” he explained.

It was two years ago that Pacheco took out his trainer’s license and he has been making a steady stream of visits to the winner’s circle at this meeting.

“Everything I know about this sport I learned from my dad. I also want to thank the owners who have been very supportive.”

In addition to training, Jessie is slowly segueing into driving with a few evening ventures to his credit at this meeting. “I definitely need to get more experience with the driving,” he noted. “Right now, I’m concentrating on the training.”