Day At The Track

Dougs Hobby Horse all business in Budahn

08:29 AM 18 Jan 2018 NZDT
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Cal Expo, Harness Racing
Cal Expo

The first two times James Kennedy guided Dougs Hobby Horse for Rick Bertrand didn't turn out so well, with the harness racing mare making breaks on both occasions, but the third time was the charm as they teamed up for a decisive victory in last week's Gary Budahn Trot.

"It was just a case of some bad luck in those first two starts," Kennedy noted. "She has a tendency to run in and in the first one she just didn't have enough room and jumped it off. The next time the gate was a little too slow and she made a break at the start."

There were certainly no such troubles in the Budahn Final, as Kennedy was able to leave alertly with Dougs Hobby Horse from their cozy rail draw to push the early issue, settled into a tracking trip behind favored Silverlode and then ignited in the stretch for the four-length score.

"I know she had the early speed to take advantage of the inside post and I pushed her out of there to get a good position," Kennedy said. "She was on her game, and my only concern was to take her out a bit on the turn to make sure she had plenty of room."

This was the third win from five starts at the meet for Dougs Hobby Horse, who races for Bertrand and her namesake and breeder Doug Flores. She established her lifetime mark of 1:56 1/5 when she captured a conditioned event here last month.

Interestingly, she is a daughter of Claudius Augustus, who carried the banner of Gary Budahn during his racing days, which included several impressive miles over this track.

"It was an honor to win a race named after such an excellent vet and horseman as Gary Budahn," Kennedy said after posing for pictures in the winner's circle.

Main event matches pacing distaffers

A $6,600 Filly and Mare Open Pace is the featured attraction on Friday night's Watch and Wager LLC program at Cal Expo with Delightfully Wild and Melodies That Rock getting top billing.

Delightfully Wild is a 5-year-old daughter of Bettor's Delight out of the Western Ideal mare Wild Ride Hanover who carries the banner of Richard Morita and David Yamada, hails from the Lino Pacheco barn and will have Luke Plano once again giving directions.

She is looking for her third straight decision at this Open level, including last week's clash at this top rung over a good track in a heavy fog that saw her dead-heating for the score with Melodies That Rock.

The latter is a 5-year-old daughter of Rockin Image who is owned by Brittney Nicole Thigpen, and is reined and trained by William Hernandez. She was a 27-1 upset winner of the Robert Gordon Final and then dead-heated with Delightfully Wild in last week's top dance for the pacing distaffers.

Looking ahead to Saturday, the Marvin Shapiro Pace will headline the program with last week's elimination winners Cenalta Call Girl and Getter Queen Flush getting the top billing.

Getter Queen Flush and Cenalta Call Girl both got the job done last week with solid come-from-behind scores while each going off at 8-5 odds with Nick Roland and Rene Goulet at the controls, respectively.

A reminder that there are two wagers offered here each night that come with a reduced 16 percent takeout rate. They are the 50-cent Pick 5, which is decided on the first five races of the evening; and the 20-cent Pick 4, which comes with a $30,000-guaranteed gross pool.

By Mark Ratzky, publicity - Cal Expo Harness

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