Three year-old harness racing colts & geldings, on both the trot and pace, were featured at Cal Expo on Saturday (April 28) in a pair of $12,000 California Sires Stakes.
In the first division, this for the trotters in a non-wagering event held before the betting card, driver Luke Plano driving Rite After Disbeer had a handful to deal with, and with an eighth of a mile past the start after starting from post-three in the field of five.
"When I had him in tight-quarters going into the turn and tried to get him ducked into the hole - - he wouldn't go for it because he had horses on both sides of him and as a result was pretty rank," stated Plano. "So I opted for Plan-B, which was to head to the front, which was more to his liking."
Moving forward after 3-16ths of a mile with cover into a :30.1 opening quarter, the sophomore was left first-over a good ways past the 5-16ths mile pole before clearing to the lead just past the 7-16ths mile marker. Was the lead tough?
"I don't know if it was overly tough, but I did use him a little. Ironically, when I stopped fighting with him when I decided to go to the front - - he stopped fighting with me. Then he became a little bit lazy and a bit green - - so I just kind of eased him to the front, but he was traveling good and comfortably."
Now having reached the top, Plano slowed the pace down to the half-mile juncture, timed in 1:01.3, or did he?
"As far as the pace slowing, he kind of did it himself, but we were going into a bit of a headwind. Once he made the lead, he basically was trotting greenly, but I still thought he'd be good from there, but I was still thinking that I didn't know how good he'd be on the front because now he wasn't following anybody."
With the field now midway through the final-turn, Plano encouraged his trotter via two minor wheel-disc urges.
"He felt good when I asked him and I thought he had plenty of trot, but I didn't know if he knew how to fight somebody off if they came to him - - so I kept after him.”
Leading by 2-3/4 lengths to the three-quarter mile station, timed in 1:33.2, Rite After Disbeer soon opened up a little more with less than 3-16ths of a mile to go.
"Through the stretch and all the way through the wire, he was solid and responded to me showing him the whip and a few wheel-discs just to keep his attention - - but I never really had any doubts all the way."
Bred & owned by Mary Harris, and trained by Kennedy Lindsey, the son of New Age Outlaw-Judi's Jewel-Tabor Lobell wouldn't be caught while four lengths to the good at the wire in a final time of 2:02, a lifetime mark. Loose Cannon (Steve Wiseman) finished in second, and Lees Persuader (Scott Cisco) finished 6-3/4 lengths farther back, in third.
"He's a real nice colt that raced very well and obviously will get better with experience. He's a pleasure to drive," finished Plano.
In the wagering feature for the pacers, Bee Gee (Steve Wiseman) was placed first ($13.00). Bloom N Doom (Jim Lackey) finished 29-1/4 lengths back in third, but was placed second, and Artability (Alberto Pacheco) finished in fourth, but was also placed up, thus closing off the trifecta.
Favored Ra Ra Steven (Rich Wojcio) finished in first by three-lengths in 1:58.4, but was disqualified by the stewards and placed sixth and last after interfering with Looks Don't Count (James Kennedy) on the final-turn.
Live racing resumes at Cal Expo on Friday (May 4) & Saturday (May 5) at 6:00 p.m. (PDT). On every live card, Cal Expo offers free parking & free admission after 4:30 p.m. On Friday, Cal Expo offers Happy Hour from 4:00-7:00 p.m. on which Beer; Well Drinks & Wine are offered at $4 each, while a Burger with fries is offered at $5.
Cal Expo currently offers a reduced 15 percent takeout rate on all Pick 4’s. Additionally, all Late Pick 4’s now come with an increased $20,000-guaranteed gross pool. Also, the Friday Late Pick 4 will offer a 0% takeout on all winning wagers made on track or at Twinspires.com, while the Saturday Late Pick 4 will be broadcast on TVG.
by Scott EHRLICH