Stidham still holds a strong hand at Cal Expo

07:26 AM 31 May 2012 NZST
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Rich Wojcio
Rich Wojcio

Rocky Stidham's dynamic trotting duo of Putoneonnetformom and Shelby County is down to one, as the latter mare has departed for Minnesota (Running Aces), but that still leaves the harness racing barn in an enviable position in Friday night's (June 1) main event at Cal Expo.

Putoneonnetformom, who races for his breeders Jeff, Gerald and Diana Cimini, has his share of snapshots at the head of the class here this season and is working his way toward the $150,000 earnings plateau with a 1:57.2 career standard.

In his most recent appearance two weeks ago in the Jim Grundy Memorial, he had the difficult assigned No. 10 post position and checked in third behind Giles L S Hanover and his barn-mate after carving out all the fractions. It was a very game try under the circumstances.

“Putoneonnetformom and Shelby County are a lot alike around the barn,” Stidham explained when asked about the talented pair. “They both always have their heads out, like to check out what’s going on and love to have people come out and pet them.

“Once they get on the track, Shelby County is much more laid back, a bit too much at times, while Putoneonnetformom tends to get worked up and we have to keep him in the chute during the warm-up so he doesn’t get overly excited.”

Between them, the now departed distaffer and Putoneonnetformom have accounted for 10 of their 29 combined starts this season with many of those appearances coming in the same race at the top rung of the division.

“You can rough up Putoneonnetformom in a race and he bounces back quicker than she does,” Stidham explained.

PUTONEONNETFORMOM GETS FRIDAY MARQUEE TREATMENT AT CAL EXPO

Putoneonnetformom, who has gone more than his share of big miles over the Cal Expo layout; and Giles L S Hanover, who upset him two weeks ago in the Jim Grundy Memorial, loom the major players in Friday evening’s (June 1) $6,800 Winners-Over Trot at Cal Expo.

While the Rocky Stidham barn has been strongly represented in the top events for the trotters at this meet with both Putoneonnetformom and Shelby County, the latter has departed for Minnesota (running Aces) and will leave her former barn-mate to carry the torch.

The 8-year-old Trot For Joy homebred races for Jeff, Gerald and Diana Cimini and Jeff will in the sulky, and is looking to add to a $143,000 bank account with a 1:57.2 mark that was established here last season. His last tally was a nine and a quarter-length romp on April 13 in coast-to-coast fashion.

In his most recent trip to the post two weeks ago in the Jim Grundy Memorial; Putoneonnetformom had the challenging assigned No. 10 post position. He set all the fractions but had to settle for third that night with Giles L S Hanover and Shelby County getting past in the late stages.

Giles L S Hanover is a 7-year-old S J’s Photo offspring carries the banner of Martin Gary, Hank Wieseneck and trainer Bob Johnson. The May 18 win was the first of the year for the trotter, who had certainly been knocking on the door with 11 second and third-place finishes from his first 16 trips to the post on the season.

In the aforementioned Grundy with a cozy post-one draw, the Johnson representative stalked early and rallied with live cover to prevail by a length and three-quarters in a career-best 1:57.3 tour as a 7-1 shot. He returned last week to finish fourth as the odds-on choice in the Marvin Hannah Memorial.

Rounding out the field are Meringue, BK’s Stiff, Broadway Victory, Dreaming Of Amy and Alpine Hawk. They leave inside Putoneonnetformom and Giles L S Hanover, who have been assigned the outside post positions.

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Saturday night’s (June 2) action will include a simulcast of the $200,000 Dan Patch Invitational Pace from Hoosier Park, while the local action will find the red-hot Albion eyeing another trip to the charmed enclosure in the Winners-over Pace.

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Live racing resumes at Cal Expo on Friday (June 1) & Saturday (June 2) at 6:00 p.m. (PST). 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 Mark RATZKY

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