Pacers square off for top spot on Saturday

08:09 AM 30 Sep 2011 NZDT
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Luke Plano has the sophomore returnee
Luke Plano has the sophomore returnee - Shamderock in Saturday's main event at Cal Expo

Cycle Power, who came off the bench for a $17 upset last week; Ivegotwhatuneed, his most immediate victim as the odds-on choice in that affair; and the classy sophomore returnee Shamderock head the cast in Saturday's (October 1) $4,500 Cal Expo harness racing feature for the pacers.

Cycle Power is a 5-year-old Cambest offspring who is owned and trained by Nathalie Tremblay with Scott Cisco at the helm. When he suited up for last week’s clash at the head of the pacing class, he was making his first evening appearance since late May and was spotting his rivals a conditioning edge.

Somewhat offset by the cozy rail start in that contest, the Tremblay color-bearer exploded when set down for the drive by Cisco and won going away by two lengths in a 1:55.1 tour. It was the fourth win on the year for Cycle Power, who established his 1:52.3 career standard over this layout during the spring.

Ivegotwhatuneed is gunning for some revenge after holding a clear advantage at mid-stretch and getting overpowered by Cycle Power as the 4-5 public choice. The 8-year-old son of Givemewhatineed is owned by Bob Johnson and Marty Garey, is trained by Johnson and will again have Lemoyne Svendsen handling the lines. He has $280,000 in his account and a 1:52 mark that was set two years ago.

Ivegotwhatuneed has prevailed in 10 of his 22 trips to the post this season with a pair of snapshots to his credit at this meeting. He was the easiest of winners on opening week with Rich Wojcio guiding, and looked very strong getting the job done on September 17 with Svendsen in the sulky. He made a big first-over move to the lead in the lane last time, but was no match when Cycle Power came calling. Haggin Oaks, At Last, Stanza and Thedeadliestcatch complete the field.

AMIGO DE GARCIA GETS HIS PICTURE TAKEN AT CAL EXPO

Sometimes you’re the windshield and sometimes you’re the bug, as the saying goes, and the 4-year-old pacer Amigo De Garcia has been a prime example in his last two appearances for trainer Matias Ruiz.

Two weeks ago, Amigo De Garcia sat a stalking trip to the lane, but was caught in traffic and never got a chance to do his thing. In his most recent try, however, he was able to avoid trouble caused by a breaking leader and streaked home in :27.3 for Steve Wiseman while recording his sixth victory on the year.

“I got him when the spring meet ended,” Ruiz related. “He’s the type of horse who wants to sit back and come from off the pace, and sometimes that means you’re going to have trouble. He was boxed in and had no room two back, then got his chance last time and really came home strong for Steve.

“I know Tim (Maier) had some high hopes for this horse when he started out, but he pulled when he was younger. Now he’s getting a little more mature and he’s learned to relax, which really helps him.”

Amigo De Garcia is by Little Steven out of the Precious Bunny mare Jethica Tandy and was originally raced by his breeder Alan Kirschenbaum. Jethica Tandy has had two other foals to reach the races in the $140,000 multiple stakes winner Little Bit Country and the hard-knocking Little Gary Perry. Alan also has a 2-year-old out of the mare named Littlest Mermaid who is scheduled to qualify in the next few weeks.

“Amigo De Garcia was named after my good friend Greg Garcia,” explained Kirschenbaum. “He created ‘Yes Dear’ with me and then went on to create ‘My Name Is Earl’ and ‘Raising Hope’. His production company is called Amigos de Garcia, and the production card at the end of each of his shows features a photo of a different member of the crew, cast or production family wearing a sombrero.”

Last week, it was the four-legged Amigo De Garcia who was featured in a winner’s circle photo with Matias Ruiz and Steve Wiseman after turning on the afterburners and getting the job done.

***********

In an effort to produce the best wagering program possible, Cal Expo has requested and received approval from the California Horse Racing Board to continue its two racing day per week schedule for the first two weeks of October. The three racing day per week program which was scheduled to begin on Thursday, October 6 will now begin on Thursday, October 20, 2011.

“Currently, we do not have enough available racehorses to adequately fill a three racing day per week program while continuing to offer the wagering opportunities we offer now,” said David Elliott, Director of Racing. “Our field size average is steadily increasing each week but we are not quite where we need to be yet for a three day per week schedule.

“A handful of out of state trainers have committed to shipping their horses to Cal Expo and should arrive in mid October. These additional horses will help shore up the field size average providing the great wagering opportunities we offer when we begin the three racing day per week schedule.”

Live racing resumes at Cal Expo on Friday (September 30) & Saturday (October 1) at 6:00 p.m. (PDT). On Friday, Cal Expo offers Happy Hour between 6:00-8:30 p.m., where $2 Beer, $2 Wine & $2 Buffalo Wings an order is offered. On Saturday, its Dollar Night, on which hot-dogs; beer, soda, and wine will be sold for one dollar from 6:00 to 8:30 p.m.

A reminder that every Saturday finds a reduced 15 percent takeout rate for both Pick 4’s. In addition, the late Pick 4 will come with a $15,000-guaranteed pool and there will be a 0% takeout on successful Late Pick 4 tickets made on track or at Twinspires.com.

by Mark RATZKY

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