Day At The Track

Maria Kleinsasser making her mark

08:11 AM 25 Jan 2019 NZDT
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Cal Expo harness racing
Cal Expo harness racing

Harness racing trainer Marissa Kleinsasser is one of the new faces here from Canada this season, and she won't soon forget Cal Expo as it was here last month that she recorded the first training victory of her career with Camita B and E.

Sent off at 39-1 in that December 7 contest, the 6-year-old pacer rode live cover to the lane for Nathan Sobey and won going away by a length and a half while rewarding his backers at 39-1 that evening. He races for Kleinsasser and Marlys Muller and has added another victory in the interim.

While it may have been first win for Marissa on her own, the 23-year-old native of Alberta has made plenty of winner's circle appearances.

"I'm fourth-generation in the game, and I guess you could say I knew I wanted to be involved from the time I was old enough to walk and talk," Kleinsasser related. "I've worked for last 10 years for my uncle Glenn Lutz."

Marissa was encouraged to come down and give California a try by several of her fellow Alberta horsemen, who touted her on Cal Expo and all that comes with the racing here.

"I absolutely love this mile track, especially the surface, and obviously the weather is much nicer than home right now. Add to that the people are the nicest I've ever been around and then winning my first race, it's been great so far."

Kleinsasser plans to stay here until April and then will return to the Great White North, where she's looking forward to racing at the new mile track in Edmonton later in the year.

Silverhill Volo, Silverlode set to battle

Silverhill Volo and Silverlode, who chased home the red-hot Its a Horse in last week's top dance, get away from that rival and loom large in Friday night's featured Open II Trot. First post for the 12-race program is 6:10 p.m.

Silverhill Volo is a 6-year-old son of Muscle Hill who is owned, trained and driven by Chip Lackey. He comes into this assignment with $137,000 on his card and a 1:55 1/5 mark that was set four years ago.

He accounted for the December15 Open for his most recent tally, but has had to settle for three straight runner-up finishes behind Its a Horse since that score. On each occasion he has shown the way to the stretch, but could not contain the powerful finish of the Marco Rios trainee.

Silverlode also figures to get plenty of support in Friday's headliner, as not only does she get away from Its a Horse but has a race over the track.She had been away from the wars since December 8 when she suited up in last week's Open.

Owned by Medinah Racing and trained by Kathie Plested, the 10-year-old daughter of British Sterling put in a big effort with Mooney Svendsen, coming first over into Silverhill Volo and only weakening late in the needed outing.

Silverlode sports a 1:54 3/5 career standard with $228,000 in the bank and has gone several huge miles over this Cal Expo strip. Her versatility and class make her very dangerous in this spot.

Looking ahead to Saturday, there will be an outstanding card with the $9,800 Robert Gordon Final, an Open Pace headed by the streaking Icy Blue Scooter and a Filly and Mare Open Pace that finds Misspanderosajones eyeing an encore.

By Mark Ratzky, publicity - Cal Expo Harness

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