Day At The Track

Razor-sharp mares putting on a show

07:59 AM 05 Apr 2018 NZST
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Watch and Wager LLC, harness racing
Watch and Wager LLC

The pacing mares Cenalta Call Girl and Delightfully Wild come into this week's action at Cal Expo with significant winning streaks in tow.

Cenalta Call Girl has put together four straight wins for driver/trainer Rene Goulet in the conditioned ranks, while Delightfully Wild has posted back-to-back victories in the Distaff Open for trainer Lino Pacheco and regular pilot James Kennedy.

Cenalta Call Girl is co-owned by Goulet with Myrna Empey and has been saving her best for last in her four scores. She cut it a little too close for comfort in last week's mile, as she was shuffled during the middle stages of the race but was able to shake loose in deep stretch and was up by a head in a lifetime-best 1:53 1/5 mile.

Meanwhile, Delightfully Wild has established herself as the top pacing mare on the grounds with four wins from the last five Filly and Mare Opens for Pacheco, Kennedy and co-owners Richard Morita and David Yamada.

In her March 16 victory that was contested over a good track, she got the job done by a length and a quarter and lowered her mark to 1:53 2/5 in the process.

"We bought Delightfully a little over a year ago at the Delaware sale and Gretchen Smith picked her out for us," said Morita. "It was on the final day of the sale and sometimes the 'best buys' are the ones you don't get, and we were lucky to get her after missing out on some of our earlier bids.

"Lino has kept her sharp and has been impressed with how strong she has become. She's matured and can now better use her speed."

Shark Festival has top billing in headliner

Shark Festival, who has a powerful finish and gets some class relief; looms the one to beat in Friday night's featured Filly and Mare Open II Pace.

There will be 11 races under the Watch and Wager LLC banner with first post set for 6:10 p.m. There will also be two California Sire Stakes decided as a non-betting events prior to the regular action.

Shark Festival is a 7-year-old daughter of Shadow Play out of the Cam's Card Shark mare Shark Fest who competes for Medinah Racing and Scott Ehrlich with Kathie Plested training and Mooney Svendsen at the controls.

The long-fused distaffer has made two trips to the winner's circle from 12 starts on the season, the most recent coming in a conditioned affair on March 9 where she ignited when it counted for Steve Wiseman and was up by a neck as the 9-5 choice.

In last week's outing at the Open level, bay miss put in her usual generous finish, coming home in :26 4/5 to complete the exacta behind current division queenpin Delightfully Wild while once again coming that final quarter in :26 and change.

One of her strongest challenges could come from stablemate Boozer Bruiser, who recorded back-to-back wins here earlier in the meet for owner/trainer Plested with Wiseman at the helm. She was sixth in last week's Open after finding herself well back turning for home.

Completing the field are Kiss On The Lips from the Gerry Longo shedrow; the George Reider-conditioned Getter Queen Flush; and Moonshinemonkeys, who hails from the Rick Bertrand barn and will leave from the rail slot.

By Mark Ratzky, publicity - Cal Expo Harness

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