Day At The Track

Silverhill Volo has been "feeling his oats"

05:44 AM 16 Feb 2019 NZDT
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Jim Lackey, harness racing
Jim Lackey trains and drives Silverhill Volo

Silverhill Volo is feeling awfully good these days, coming off back-to-back scores in the Open Trot over something other than a firm surface.

The 8-year-old son of Muscle Hill is owned, trained and driven by Chip Lackey and has accounted for the last two clashes at the head of the class for the trotting set, one over a sloppy track and the other over a course labelled good.

"I've had him a little over two years," Lackey noted. "He's bred to be a good one. He's by Muscle Hill, his dam won the Hambletonian Oaks and he brought $170,000 as a yearling."

Things didn't get off to the smoothest of starts when Chip bought the gelding back in November of 2016, but he's been a solid performer in the interim.

"When I first brought him to Cal Expo from the Midwest, he had a real bad fever, but eventually he recovered and he's been a solid trotter for us.

"One of the things that used to make my stomach churn is when we would turn to come to the gate and he would switch from the pace to the trot," Lackey informed. "It wasn't always smooth, but eventually it wasn't a problem.

"Because of that, I was able to lighten him up front, which has allowed me to leave with him and gives us more options in the early part of the race."

And what about his prowess on off tracks?

"He's a strong horse. I think when the track gets tiring, it takes less of a toll on him and that's why he does so well."

Lackey also related that Silverhill Volo has a secret weapon, something you won't see in the pedigree or past performances.

"That would be his caretaker Fern Wald. She deserves a ton of credit for what this horse has been able to do here."

Duly noted, Chip.

Distaff Open Pace, Goudreau Prep featured

A $6,000 Filly and Mare Open Pace that brings out Brighten Your Life and the Shelly Goudreau Prep are the main events on Saturday evening's Cal Expo program.

Watch and Wager LLC will present 11 races, with the Open going as the third race and the Goudreau Prep occupying the seventh-race slot, and things get under way at 6:10 p.m.

Brighten Your Life is a 6-year-old daughter of Shark Gesture out of the Falcon Seelster mare Our Inheritance who is owned, trained and driven by Nate Sobey.

She came into last week's top dance for the pacing fillies and mares having finished second in six straight outings, including the Alan Horowitz Final, but returned to her winning ways with a huge effort over the sloppy going.

Leaving from the outside post, Brighten Your Life brushed to command for Sobey with a big move before the half, took complete control of things from that point and came home with four and half-lengths to spare.

The Kathie Plested shedrow will be strongly represented with Outrageiousdelightn and Dancingonthesand in the line-up. Steve Wiseman will chauffeur the former and Mooney Svendsen has the assignment behind Dancingonthesand.

Rounding out the cast for the Open are Misspanderosajones, who will have the services of Dean Magee; and Lookslikewemadeit, who leaves from the cozy rail slot with James Kennedy guiding.

By Mark Ratzky, for Cal Expo Harness

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