Harry Landy making most of visit to Cal Expo

05:41 AM 24 Feb 2012 NZDT
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Harry Landy and Lauren Graham Harry Landy
Harry Landy and Lauren Graham
Harry Landy - Lived the racing dream for as long as he could remember

Harry Landy had such a good time in his first trip to Cal Expo last weekend, including a harness racing victory with Albion at the head of the pacing class, he decided to stay for another week. The 20-year-old Landy has been plying his trade at Freehold in New Jersey for the last two years and has more than 100 wins under his belt.

When he guided Albion to victory in last Saturday’s (February 18) main event, the 1:52.4 clocking was the swiftest of the meeting.

“Coming out here has been very enjoyable,” Harry related. “I got to see Cal Expo, which is a really nice facility. In a business like harness racing there are a lot of components to being a driver, but the true key one is opportunity.

“I’m thankful to the trainers out there who put me up. Albion was definitely a huge thrill . The track here is pretty flat with the surface being good on the horse’s feet but not as compressed as the Meadowlands, so it's a bit slower of a mile. That makes Albion’s back half in 54 even more impressive.”

With Freehold being a half-mile track, Landy welcomes the chance to see some action on a mile layout.

“When I do drive a mile track back East, I’m normally only getting behind horses who are 10-1 and up, and much of the time I’m just sitting on the rail and hoping to get a share.

“To come out here and get the opportunity to drive horses that really fit the class of the race will give me a lot more experience in driving the bigger track.”

After competing here last weekend, Landy headed south to visit Los Angeles for the first time.

“There are a few reasons staying another week,” he related. “Now that I’ve been to LA, I wanted to see the north and go skiing in Tahoe.”

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ALBION, SHELBY COUNTY SHARING SATURDAY SPOTLIGHT AT CAL EXPO

Albion, fresh from flying home to record the fastest mile of the meeting last week with his 1:52.4 performance, attempts an encore in Saturday night’s (February 25) Winners-Over Pace while stable-mates Shelby County and Putoneonnetformom get top billing in the co-featured Winners-Over Trot.

A 6-year-old son of The Panderosa, Albion carries the banner of Dan Tullio, James Mascola and trainer Matias Ruiz and will try to keep his record perfect with the 20-year-old East Coast pilot Harry Landy on a return assignment. A 10-time winner last season, he comes into this affair seeking his fourth snapshot from seven tries this year and sports a 1:51.1 career standard that was set at the Meadowlands.

Off at 9-2 for last week’s clash at the head of the pacing class, Albion sat last of the seven to the half. He began to pick up momentum first over to the turn, engaged for the lead at mid-stretch and drew off late to prevail by three lengths while coming home in :26.3 that evening.

Shelby County, who returned to top form with a coast-to-coast decision at most recent asking with trainer Rocky Stidham in the sulky, faces his hard-hitting barn-mate in the co-headline Trot.

Shelby County is a 5-year-old homebred daughter of Chip Chip Hooray who carries the banner of Ben Kenney with Stidham doing the driving and training. She comes into this assignment having posed for pictures following three of her five trips to the post this season.

After registering impressive tallies in her first two starts on the year, the chestnut mare made a break on a sloppy track and went evenly at next asking. She got back to her winning ways last time, however, as Stidham sent her right to the top, she set the fractions without challenge and held safe by a neck over Franks Best while equaling her lifetime mark with the 1:57.15 final clocking.

Live racing resumes at Cal Expo on Friday (February 24) & Saturday (February 25) at 6:00 p.m. (PST). On every live card, Cal Expo offers free parking & free admission after 4:30 p.m. On Friday, Cal Expo offers Happy Hour from 4:00-7:00 p.m. on which Beer; Well Drinks & Wine are offered at $4 each, while a Burger with fries is offered at $5.

Cal Expo currently offers a reduced 15 percent takeout rate on all Pick 4’s (Friday nights in partnership with the USTA Strategic Wagering Committee). Beginning February 24, all Late Pick 4’s will now come with an increased $15,000-guaranteed gross pool. Also starting this weekend, the Friday Late Pick 4 will offer a 0% takeout on all winning wagers made on track or at Twinspires.com, while the Saturday Late Pick 4 will be broadcast on TVG.

by Mark RATZKY

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