Day At The Track

Excellent program at Cal Expo on Saturday

06:30 AM 23 Feb 2019 NZDT
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A pair of contentious Open Paces; the $8,600 Shelly Goudreau Final and the $8,000 Joe Lighthill Trot at an extended mile and one-half headline an excellent program at Cal Expo on Saturday night

An 11-race harness racing card is set to kick off at 6:10 p.m., with the Lighthill going as the fourth event; the Filly and Mare Open follows in the next spot; the Open Pace occupies the seventh-race slot and the Goudreau Final will be the ninth event on the evening.

Urgointohearmeroar will be looking to account for his third series final at the meet in the Goudreau. A 4-year-old son of Mystery Chase, Urgointohearmeroar has already captured the Bill Conlin and Robert Gordon Finals at this stand and looms a very heavy favorite once again.

Owned by Mark Anderson, trained by Gordie Graham and with Mooney Svendsen in the sulky, he has been unbeatable this season while going off the prohibitive choice on each occasion.

Urgointohearmeroar faced his biggest challenge in last week's outing in the Goudreau Prep, leaving from the second tier in the overflow cast. He was parked first-over at the half, then dug in determinedly to prevail by a neck that evening.

It was certainly a blanket finish, with the first four across the wire separated by only three-quarters of a length in that 1:54 flat mile, but the others figure to have their work cut out Saturday with Urgointohearmeroar having the rail draw this time around.

The two Opens are both very contentious events with Bettor In The Bank assigned the outside post in the male division and stablemates Capitol Hill and Outrageousdelightn getting the outside slots in the Distaff end.

Low takeout wagers offer true value

There are two wagers offered here each night that come with a reduced 16% takeout rate - the 50-cent Pick 5, which begins on the first race; and the 20-cent Pick 4.

There are guaranteed pools for the Pick 4, with a $30,000-guaranteed gross pool on Fridays and a $40,000 guarantee on Saturdays.

To give you some idea of the added value, last Saturday night's Pick 5 returned a very nice $4,562 for each winning 50-cent ticket. Using normal takeout, the payoff would have been $4,073 a difference of $489 per ducket.


By Mark Ratzky

Cal Expo Harness


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