Q-Racing Blog: Staying and Going

Two important people are making important changes.

Two important people are making important changes.

Ed Burgart is staying and Lisa Saumell is going.

Los Alamitos announcer Ed Burgart has extended his tenure at Los Alamitos. He was planning to retire at the end of this year. However, Los Alamitos owner Dr. Ed Allred talked to Burgart, and Boss Ed and Announcer Ed came to an agreement, with the latter staying on to announce through 2019. Ed and his wife, Marsha, had long been planning for Ed’s retirement and they own a house in Arizona. They jointly decided for Ed to announce another year, and he gets more time off to be with Marsha and they can stay in Arizona and travel.

I started working at Los Alamitos in the publicity department several months after Ed started at Los Al in 1977. We sat a few feet apart in the press box. He has been a true brother since I showed up. Then he took over in the announcer’s booth in 1981 and has been there ever since.

Ed is not only the premier Quarter Horse announcer of all-time, he is the best handicapper and done as much, if not more, than anybody to improve Quarter Horse racing’s exposure to the public in the past four decades. I, selfishly, like that I get to have his race calling and analysis for another year. More so, I want what is best for Ed and Marsha. Whatever they wish, they deserve.

Lisa Saumell has been a fixture in
New Mexico racing.
PHOTO: Journal Photo

Lisa is one of those behind-the-scenes people on the backside who has never gotten the public credit that she deserves. She has worked for trainer Paul Jones since 1991 and has long managed the Jones stable in New Mexico. Her name isn’t in the program, but anybody who knows anything about New Mexico Quarter Horse racing, knows her.

Lisa Saumell will be retiring in September and set off traveling. Like Ed, I wish for her whatever she wants.

Horses are a part of Lisa’s soul. She always cared more about the horses in her barn than people outside of her barn. I was in her barn this morning and thought it just won’t be the same without Lisa around. New Mexico Quarter Horse racing was better with Lisa and her horses in the barn area.

Her all-time favorite horse is Planet Holland, the Ruidoso Downs 350-yard track record holder. The gelding won the 2003 Rainbow Futurity (G1) and was the consummate racehorse. She says that Planet Holland was her first love and says that Noconi isn’t far behind. Champion Noconi did not win his maiden until his 11th start when he won his All American Derby trial and then gained national exposure when he rallied to a narrow win in the 2008 All American Derby (G1) over champion Heartswideopen. He retired with 12 stakes wins and earnings of $1,356,400 after not gaining a win in his first 11 races. Lisa quickly said that Tricky Dust is her favorite 870-yard horse. The gelding won 12 stakes races at 870 or 1,000 yards. In his 41st and final start, he showed his class one last time with a charging head win at 870 yards.

The Jones barn, with Lisa helping, won the All American Futurity (G1) with Teller Cartel, No Secrets Here and Runnning Brook Gal.

This morning, Lisa said that when she gets to heaven, she wants to see through a horse’s eyes one time. Last week, she told me to bring carrots when I visit Planet Holland. That’s Lisa.

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