The second leg of the Bronte Epilepsy Research Foundation Amateur Series, with a pair of $10,000 finales looming next week; and a simulcast of the complete Breeders Crown harness racing program from Woodbine are on tap at Cal Expo Saturday night (October 29).
The Amateur series is being sponsored by Lou Pena and some of his owners. Between their generosity and the driver fees, a total of $7,000 beyond the purse monies will go to the Bronte Foundation. In addition, driver George Brennan has pledged an additional donation which will significantly augment that figure.
There is one event for males and one for distaffers, going in two divisions each. The first leg of the series found the pacers sporting $3,000 base claiming prices, while they will have $4,500 claiming tags this time around. The top eight purse earners from each group will compete in the respective $10,000 finales and there will be no claiming in that affair. It was also recently announced that there will be an on-track 500 T-shirt giveaway on that Saturday, November 5.
Last week’s opening leg saw Dave Siegel accounting for three of the four races, capturing both contests for the males with Rude Awakening and Serious Art and one of the distaff events with OG’s Si Bon. Amanda Fraser guided the other mare victress in Incredible Gambler.
Four of the pacers changed hands via the claiming box, including the aforementioned Serious Art who was taken after a six-way shake. Also claimed were Kamoda’s Fantasy, Sterling Chris and Just Plum Lucky. It will be interesting to see how much claiming takes place this weekend.
Meanwhile, the complete 12-race Breeders Crown card from Woodbine will be simulcast on Saturday. The outstanding card features $6 million in purses and a pair of $100,000-guaranteed Pick 4s.
Thursday night’s (October 27) main event at Cal Expo is a $4,500 trot that brings out Franks Best and Putoneonnetformom. Franks Best is a 4-year-old homebred son ofand the mare Inside Edition who is bred, owned and trained by Bob Johnson and will once again have Lemoyne Svendsen in the sulky. He comes into this assignment with $108,000 in his account and a 1:57.1 mark that was established in his most recent appearance.
The Johnson representative, who is gunning for a hat trick, kicked off his winning streak on September 23, coming from well off the pace with live cover to hang a head on Putoneonnetformom. He tracked that rival on October 7 and got the advantage at the wire by three-quarters of a length, then sat a perfect pocket journey in that last mile and was up by a length and a quarter while shaving three ticks off his career standard in the process.
Putoneonnetformom is looking to turn the tables on his archrival for owner/breeders Gerald, Jeff and Diana Cimini, trainer Rocky Stidham and pilot James Kennedy. The 7-year-old Trot For Joy offspring has won three of his six starts at this meet, settling for the exacta completion behind Franks Best on the other three occasions. Aston Boko, Carpathian Hooray, D Man and Noble Waycomplete the field.
A TROTTER, FOR BETTER OR FOR WORSE AT CAL EXPO
As wedding gifts go, the 4-year-old Franky Provolone has to be pretty unique. Rick Plano gave the trotter to son Luke and bride Nikki when they got married last year, and last week found the son ofgetting his picture taken for the sixth time on the season.
Franky Provolone, who gave announcer Scott Ehrlich a high fastball to hit out of the park when he battled with Bobby Baccala through the stretch in that score, is a workmanlike trotter who likes to play the stalking role.
“Franky went a good race last time and he’s one of five horses I’ve got here,” Luke informed. “The plan is to stay at least through the stakes races, and then we’ll see what happens. My dad is at Vernon Downs right now, then he’ll be going to Florida.”
Luke, who won a 2-year-old Sire Stakes last weekend with Littlest Mermaid for trainer Denise Maier, will be a heavy favorite to do the same with his barn’s Shamderock on Saturday in the first big-money clash of the fall for the 3-year-old pacing males.
The D & E Racing homebred has made a clean sweep of the stakes events for his division to this point, with enough trophies to fill a room. He’s captured half of his 32 lifetime appearances with a 1:52 standard that was established this summer at Vernon Downs and his stakes rivals this weekend have their work cut out once again.
Live racing resumes at Cal Expo On Thursday, (October 27) at 5:30 p.m. (PDT), and continues on Friday (October 28) & Saturday (October 29) is at 6:00 p.m. On Thursday and every live card, Cal Expo offers free admission, as well as free preferred & general parking after 4:30 p.m.
Also on Thursday night from 6:00 p.m. to 8:30 p.m., Cal Expo offers a complete Lasagna dinner, which includes salad and bread, for just $3.00. Additionally on Thursday, beer & wine can be purchased for $3.00 each as well.
Cal Expo, in partnership with the USTA Strategic Wagering Committee, will offer the Thursday Pick 4's with a 15% takeout and a $10,000 Guarantee on the Late Pick 4. On Saturdays, Cal Expo will continue to offer a reduced 15 percent takeout rate on both Pick 4's.
In addition, the late Pick 4 will come with a $10,000-guaranteed pool with a 0% takeout on successful Late Pick 4 tickets made on track or at Twinspires.com.
Beginning this Thursday, October 27, Cal Expo will offer a reduced 15 percent takeout rate on both Thursday Pick 4's. Cal Expo will continue to offer the reduced 15 percent takeout rate on both Saturday Pick 4's as well.
In addition, on both Thursday/Saturday nights, there will be a $10,000-guaranteed Late Pick 4 pool. I know this is a LATE notification, but the deal to make this a go wasn't secured until late Monday afternoon.
by Mark RATZKY