Day At The Track

Amateur series comes down to wire at 'Expo'

06:58 AM 16 Jun 2011 NZST
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Dave Siegel
Dave Siegel
USTA Photo - The U.S. hopes for gold will be in the hands of Dave Siegel

In addition to being closing night, Saturday evening's (June 18) harness racing program at Cal Expo will find the final leg of the TVG Get Away Amateur Driver series. With four races in the books, the eighth and tenth contests on the evening will round out the event.

“This series has been super so far,” related participant Dave Siegel, president of the California Amateur Driving Club and a major force behind these popular events. “Last week Amanda Fraser got her first pari-mutuel win and she’s second in the standings only a fraction of a point behind Karen Isbell. We also had a one-two-three finish female finish with Sue Boyce in one of these races.”

Siegel is particularly proud of the sponsorship and handle figures for the series. Television Games Network is an important supporter and has been providing coverage of the Get Away Series.

“We have had near meet-high handles on these races,” Dave noted. “It shows how good amateur racing can be for the participants, fans and horsemen, when it’s properly supported.”


A reminder that the thoroughbred & mixed breed meet will be in action at Cal Expo during the California State Fair with racing July 14 through 24. Dark days will be on Monday and Tuesday, July 18 and 19. Harness racing is scheduled to return August 26 (pending CHRB approval).

TVG Get Away Amateur Driving Series final, Satire help bring down curtain at Cal Expo

The final leg of the TVG Get Away Amateur Driver series and a $3,400 pacing event headed by Satire are the highlights on Saturday’s closing (June 18) night program at Cal Expo.

This is the third leg of the Get Away Series and it will occupy the eighth and tenth slots on the card. While Laredos Goose has been able to win both of his starts in the series, four different drivers have posed for pictures.

Nick Casale handled Laredos Goose for trainer George Reider in the first leg, while Amanda Fraser recorded her first lifetime victory when she guided the pacer to a 10-length romp last weekend. As luck would have it, Fraser has once again landed the drive on Laredos Goose in the eighth race.

Dave Siegel and Karen Isbell have accounted for the other two races. Rounding out the pilots for the Get Away series are Bennie Mancino, Sue Boyce, Rick Bertrand and Keith Willey.

Looking at the feature, Satire is going in razor-sharp form with two wins from his last three trips to the post. The 6-year-old is owned by Williams Hernandez and Matias Ruiz with Ruiz the conditioner and Luke Plano making his third straight appearance in the sulky.

Satire used his strong closing punch to win going away by two and a half lengths at this level on May 28, then caught a sloppy track at next asking and had to settle for third behind Red Star Popeye. In last week’s tour, he took advantage of some very fast fractions to swallow up the leaders in the stretch in a sparkling 1:52.4 mile, shaving four ticks off his previous standard.

Taking him on are the hard-knocking mare Haggin Oaks for James Kennedy; Arch Nemeses with Steve Wiseman; Doit By The Clock, to be handled by Lemoyne Svendsen; and Western So, who leaves from the outside with Scott Cisco at the controls.


Saturday’s action will include a simulcast of the rich North America Cup program from Mohawk Raceway. Wagering will be available on races 3 through 11 on the star-studded card, beginning at 4:53 Pacific Time.

Live racing resumes at Cal Expo on Thursday (June 16) and continues through closing night Saturday (June 18). Post-time on Thursday is 5:30 p.m. (PDT). Post-time on Friday (June 17) & Saturday is 6:00 p.m. On Thursday and every live card, Cal Expo offers free admission, as well as free preferred & general parking after 4:30 p.m. Also on Thursday night from 6:00 p.m. to 8:30 p.m., Cal Expo offers a complete Lasagna dinner, which includes salad and bread, for just $3.00. Additionally on Thursday, beer & wine can be purchased for $3.00 each as well. On Thursday night, Cal Expo offers the Late Pick-4 with a $10,000 guaranteed pool. Further, the takeout for the Late Pick-4 will be lowered to 15 percent, as it will also be on the Early Pick-4.

On Saturday, Cal Expo offers a reduced 15 percent takeout rate on both the Early & Late Pick-4 (mandatory payoff) with the Late Pick-4 having a $15,000 gross guaranteed pool. Additionally, for winning wagers made on the Late Pick-4 online at or on track at Cal Expo, a bonus payout of 17.65 percent of the gross Late Pick 4 mutuel payoff will be paid.

by Mark RATZKY

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