"Pancho Power" could be coming to the races.
Local harness horse owner Jim Reuther has submitted paperwork to the U.S. Trotting Association to change the name of his horse, Bee True Hanover, to Pancho Power after getting permission from Veronica Borjon, Bills super fan Ezra "Pancho Billa" Castro’s longtime partner.
Reuther spoke with Borjon on Thursday, the one-year anniversary of Castro's death at age 40 after a long battle with cancer.
Reuther expects the process to go renaming smoothly because he researched the name in November to make sure that it had not been previously issued.
"There shouldn't be any issues," he said Monday.
The horse has been training for 6 1/2 months at the Butler Fairgrounds in Pennsylvania. She went to the Meadows Racetrack in Washington, Pa., last Friday and clocked at 2:12. Reuther said the plan is for the horse to continue to work at the Meadows each of the next two Fridays in hopes of getting to qualify to race when the track opens and then race ono the Pennsylvania fair circuit this summer. Trainer Steve Schoeffel is based in Pennsylvania.
Reuther and Pancho struck up a friendship through Reuther’s memorabilia hobby, where he obtains mostly Bills-signed items and resells them.
“I used to send him stuff, whenever I had a signing I’d always get an extra piece for him,” Reuther told The News last fall. “We became friends and then the last year he was alive he told me about this fundraiser he did at two Bills Backers bars in Dallas. They’d auction off the memorabilia to raise money and use the proceeds to buy toys for kids at Christmas.”