Second leg of Richard Staley trotting series

10:56 PM 06 Feb 2013 NZDT
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Tim Maier
Tim Maier

The second leg of the Richard Staley Trotting Series; the Rebecca Floyd Memorial and a pair of $10,000 California Sire Stakes for 4-year-old harness racing mares hold the spotlight at Cal Expo on Friday evening.

Twice The Ruckus heads the cast for the Staley after posting a sharp victory last week in the third on the 15-race program, while the Rebecca Floyd Memorial is scheduled as the eighth event and the two Sire Stakes will go as non-betting races prior to the regular program.

Twice The Ruckus is a 9-year-old son of Ilooklikemymom who is owned by Denise Maier, trained by Tim Maier and has James Kennedy at the controls. He was first-over in last week's opening leg of the Staley and dug in gamely through the stretch to show the way home by three-quarters of a length over even-money favorite Dreaming Of Amy and Chiselled, who dead-heated for second.

Dreaming Of Amy has Luke Plano in the sulky and Mooney Svendsen guides Chiselled. Completing the field are Bobby Baccala, who will have the services of Chip Lakcey; and Earls Dreamofglory with David Siegel giving directions.

Looking at the Sire Stakes, Vari Forgetful and Silverlode have divided up many of the big-money events for their trotting division, while La Madawna De Rosa seeks a stakes encore in the trotting end for owner/breeder Cynthia Tupper, trainer Robert Bell and driver Luke Plano.

The Rebecca Floyd Memorial honors the horse enthusiast who passed away in Anderson, Indiana on January 23, due to complications arising from pneumonia at the age of 65. She was an avid gardener and animal lover and in her home one could always find a menagerie of dogs, cats and riding horses. In addition to her at-home pets, most of which were strays or rescues, she owned a number of talented harness horses, including $100,000 earner Shock and Awe.

Rebecca hailed from Philippi, West Virginia but made her way west with her family and was a 1965 graduate of the Air Force Academy at Colorado Springs. She loved the outdoors and the lively arts and earned her bachelor's degree in Theater Arts from Humboldt State University in 1993, and went on to earn a Masters in the same field from Humboldt State in 1995. She traveled extensively in Europe teaching both English and dance and was also was a certified equine massage therapist and practiced primarily on Standardbred racehorses.

LIKE A LEXIS LOVES TO MOTOR HOME

Like A Lexis is riding a three-race winning streak for driver/trainer Bruce Clarke, using his patented late heroics to get the job done. Co-owned by Clarke, Jack Coffey and Patricia Waldeck, Like A Lexus has been doing the stalk-and-pounce to perfection of late, with last week's score coming after a long, first-over grind from last to prevail the hard way.

"I got him from Charley Norris about a year ago and he's a classy old guy," Clarke related, pointing out his $150,000-plus bank account and 1:56 1/5 mark. "I don't really do a lot with him during the week, just jog him and he knows what he has to do out there."

It's no coincidence that the last time Like A Lexis tasted defeat was in his January 11 outing where he played the role of pacesetter and checked in third after getting some heavy pressure. "There's no question he's better when he can come from off the pace, but nobody was leaving at all that night and I took a chance," his mentor explained.

In his most recent tour, Clarke and partner found themselves sitting last at the half with main rival Viking Mia getting things all her own way up front. "I didn't have much choice but to pull early, because Luke (Plano) was really backing down the pace," Bruce said. "I was a little surprised that he fought me when I came up to him, instead of letting me go, but it all worked out at the end."

by Mark RATZKY

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