Day At The Track

Robert Staats matches pacing distaffers

06:14 AM 09 Jan 2021 NZDT
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Cal Expo harness racing
Cal Expo

The $9,600 Robert Staats for pacing fillies and harness racing mares and a pair of Open II events are the main attractions on Saturday night's program at Cal Expo.

First post for the 14-race card is 4:50 p.m. The Staats occupies the fourth race slot on the evening, while the Open II Pace goes as the second and the Open II Distaff Pace is the eighth on the program.

On the wagering front, there is a $4,400 carryover in the 20-cent Hi Five on the twelfth race with a $20,000-guaranteed gross pool. There are also three wagers offered each night with a reduced 16 percent takeout rate - the 20-cent early and late Pick 5 and the 20-cent Pick 4, with the latter featuring a $25,000-guaranteed gross pool.

Looking at the Open II Pace, Proof went a long mile last week in his California debut and finished well back as the even-money favorite with stablemate Allmyx'sliventexas taking the bow. With the race under his belt and a cleaner trip, he could easily make amends this weekend.

Like Allmyx'sliventexas, Proof races for Wayne and Rodney Knittel with Bob Johnson conditioning and Nick Roland has the assignment. He is closing in on $500,000 in earnings with a 1:48 1/5 career standard that was set two years ago at Pocono Downs.

Following a sensational qualifier here on December 11 in which he waltzed home with 17 lengths to spare in a 1:52 4/5 tour, Proof had the No. 9 slot in his first start since early October and ended up hung the mile and tired.

Hoo Nien A looms large for his owner/driver/trainer Gerry Longo and should appreciate getting away from Allmyx'sliventexas for this go-around. The dark-hued 9-year-old has $190,000 in his bank account and a 1:50 4/5 mark and completed the exacta in last week's Open while coming from last.

Delightfully Wild Reaches new plateau

Hats off to the 8-year-old pacing mare Delightfully Wild, who reached the $200,000 mark in earnings with her upset victory in last Sunday night's opener.

The daughter of Bettor's Delight races for Richard Morita and David Yamada with Jessie Pacheco the conditioner and Cordarius Stewart was in the sulky.

Stewart guided Delightfully Wild more like the favorite than a 15-1 shot, brushing to command at the half and taking complete control of the mile from that point, reporting to the wire with three and a half-lengths to spare.

It was the 36th lifetime snapshot for the mare, who sports a 1:51 1/5 lifetime standard that was established three years ago over the five-eighths Pocono Downs oval.

"David and I got Delightfully Wild out of the Delaware sale at the end of her 3-year-old campaign," Morita related. "She showed some speed but was erratic and definitely had a mind of her own.

"Lino and Jessie (Pacheco) turned her into a nice race mare and she's proven to be tough on both the five-eighths and mile tracks, but I think her best game as five-eighths if you look at her overall record at Running Aces and her lifetime mark in Pennsylvania.

"We look forward to racing her for another couple of years and then expect she will make someone a special broodmare at some point. Those Bettor's Delight mares have been very good producers and seem to be in demand.

By Mark Ratzky, publicity - Cal Expo Harness

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