Day At The Track

Hi Ho Julio heads Cal Expo weekend

06:14 AM 05 Feb 2021 NZDT
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Hi Ho Julio, fresh from a dominating harness racing victory with similar company, figures to have plenty of backers in Friday night's main event at Cal Expo Harness.

Watch and Wager LLC will present 11 races with first post set for 6:00 p.m. and the headliner is the fourth event on the evening.

Hi Ho Julio is a 5-year-old son of Hi Ho Silverheel's who is owned and trained by Bob Johnson and will once again have Nick Roland giving directions. He established his 1:53 2/5 career standard here last season.

He started the year with back-to-back wins, then was no factor in his next pair before returning to winning form in last week's assignment. Roland left hard into an eventual pocket spot, regained the lead early in the drive and went on to a four a quarter length decision while returning $13.40 to his backers.

Looking ahead to the Saturday program, the best trotters and pacers on the grounds will be in action with an Open Pace, an Open Trot and a Distaff Open Pace in the spotlight.

The Open Pace is headed by last week's smashing winner Ponda's Prospect and Allmyx'sliventexas, who had his winning streak snapped at five after having a rough journey.

Pridecrest and Silverhill Volo get another chance to settle the score in the Open Trot, while Velocity McSweets eyes her third straight victory at the head of the distaff class in the Filly and Mare Open Pace.

A reminder there are three wagers offered each night that come with a reduced 16 percent takeout rate - the 20-cent early and late Pick 5 and the 20-cent Pick 4, with the latter featuring a $25,000-guaranteed gross pool.

Marc Mellow, Magic give Clements barn a boost

The latter part of last Sunday's program was a good one for owner/trainer Robin Clements, as she watched her full-brother pacers Marc Mellow Man and Marced Magic account for two of the last three events on the evening.

Marc Mellow Man overcame the outside post in a field of nine to come from last and post an 8-1 upset with Nick Roland at the controls, while Marced Magic was a prompt 3-5 favorite in the nightcap with Luke Plano in the sulky.

"I was especially happy with Marc Mellow Man, because he hadn't been racing well," Clements noted. "I had given him a couple of weeks off before his last start, so I knew he would need a tightener, and he did get a class break last week even though he had the nine hole.

"Nick gets along well with Marshmellow, as we call him, and I was lucky he was available. He gave him a great drive and it was a nice boost for the stable."

Everybody and his cousin expected Marced Magic to win, thus his 3-5 odds, and he didn't disappoint with a three and three-quarter length romp for Plano while shaving a tick off his lifetime standard with the 1:52 3/5 clocking.

"I talked to Luke before the race and mentioned that even though Magic has won on the front end before, he does prefer to come from behind and has a huge kick coming home. He is also very versatile and can take the air. He's my favorite in the barn because there is no cheat in this horse and he will give you 200% ever time."

Robin pointed out the one thing full brothers Marc Mellow Man and Merced Magic have in common is that neither horse will pee in the best barn. "We always laugh because the testers know they won't pee and always comment how lucky they were to get the horse for the test!"

Clements wanted to give a shout out to groom Irma Delacruz, who puts in long hours giving these horses tender loving care and usually gets stuck for an extra hour and a half in the test barn with this pair; and Tien Desomer, who handles the workout miles.

By Mark Ratzky, for Cal Expo Harness










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