Day At The Track

Low takeout wagers, Pick 4 50K guarantee

07:37 AM 09 Mar 2018 NZDT
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Watch and Wager LLC, harness racing
Watch and Wager LLC meet

There are two harness racing bets offered here at Cal Expo each night that come with a reduced 16 percent takeout rate, those being the 50-cent Pick 5 and the 20-cent Pick 4.

The Pick 5 is offered on the first five races each night, while the Pick 4 is held on the final four races on the card. In addition, on Saturday nights there is a $50,000-guaranteed pool for the Pick 4, with a $40,000 guarantee on Fridays.

To give you some idea how this low takeout translates into real money, last Friday evening's Pick 4 contested over a sloppy track saw favorites struggling and resulted in a $4,408.96 payoff for each correct 20-cent ticket.

Using the regular takeout rate, the payoff would have been $3,936, a difference of a cool $472 per winning ducket.

The tone for last Friday's sequence was set by Rockinaroundheaven, who appeared to have his work cut out from the No. 8 post, but Chip Lackey let his charge fall well back early and then made a steady first-over move to the lead in the stretch while obviously loving the off going.

Directing Traffic likewise came from well back to capture the featured Filly and Mare Open for trainer Junior Wilkinson and pilot Luke Plano, while Laissemoipicoler used late heroics to post an $18 upset in the penultimate leg.

That set the table for Cordees Fantasy in the nitecap at 12-1 for the Richard Remillard/Gary Clark combination. Like the other winners in the sequence, she left from an outside post and took her time through the early stages, then rolled late through the slop to get the job done.

Sire Stakes, Distaff Open atop the marquee

The first $6,500 California Sire Stakes for the 3-year-old pacing fillies and a $5,500 Filly and Mare Open Pace get the spotlight treatment Saturday night at Cal Expo.

Things get underway at 6:10 p.m. under the Watch and Wager LLC banner, with the Sire Stakes going as the second on the 11-race card, while the Distaff Open occupies the 10th-race slot.

The field for the Sire Stakes will line up this way: Glad to Meet Ya from the Junior Wilkinson barn with Luke Plano guiding; the Robin Clements-trained Pep Rally with Steve Wiseman; James Kennedy will guide Goturnumber for Gordie Graham; the Pierre Girard reined-and-trained Lucky Seven Oflodi; and Brigitte Bordeaux for trainer Bob Johnson with Mooney Svendsen handling the lines.

Directing Traffic, who last week added her name to the distaffers who have captured a Filly and Mare Open Pace at this meet, looks to do an encore in the co-featured Open.

Directing Traffic is a 6-year-old daughter of Real Desire from the Park Place mare Park It Ashley who is owned by Junior Wilkinson and Billie Schwartz, takes her lessons from Wilkinson and will once again have Luke Plano giving directions.

In last week's clash at the head of the class over a sloppy racetrack, the bay mare was reserved early and sat double digits off the leader in the opening stages. She began to pick up some momentum from the outside on the final bend, then stormed home in the stretch to win going away by two and a half lengths.

Shesamysterytome will be looking to make amends after checking in third as the 6-5 favorite in last week's Distaff Open. She was hard used on the front end on an off track that favored closers as the night progressed and looms large for owners Ashlee Sluggett and Trevor Williams and driver/trainer Ryan Grundy.

By Mark Ratzky, publicity - Cal Expo Harness

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