Day At The Track

Surprisingly Sweet saves best for last

05:40 AM 01 Feb 2019 NZDT
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Cal Expo
Cal Expo

When racing against the pacing mare Surprisingly Sweet, her harness racing rivals would be well served to heed the advice of Satchel Paige, who said, "Don't look back. Something might be gaining on you."

Surprisingly Sweet, an 11-year-old Indiana-bred daughter of Dontgetinmyway, carries the banner of Scott Ehrlich with Kathie Plested training and Mooney Svendsen at the controls and has used her powerful closing kick to capture four of her last five starts at Cal Expo.

The dark-hued performer, who sports a 1:52 3/5 mark from four years ago, has now pushed her bank account to the $190,000 plateau and is going in razor-sharp form at the moment over this mile layout.

"Surprisingly Sweet spent the summer at Al Sleva's farm instead of going to Running Aces or Hoosier," Ehrlich noted. "Kathie and Steve (Wiseman) would tell you how much giving her that time off helped her be as good as she is right now. That's also the plan again this summer.

"Kathie just loves this mare to pieces and they train her differently to make sure she doesn't tie up."

Svendsen has been guiding the long-fused mare with the expertise of a concert violinist as they have proven to be one of the most formidable horse/driver combinations on the grounds.

"Mooney jogs her most of the time and usually sits behind her in training miles," Scott explained. "She basically trains herself to almost the same exact time each time she trains - so much so that he rarely needs a stopwatch."

Open Trot brings out Its a Horse

Its a Horse, who has rattled off four straight wins including the last three dances at the head of the class, looks to keep the momentum going in Friday night's featured $6,500 Open Trot.

First post for the 11-race program under the banner of Watch and Wager LLC will be 6:10 p.m.

For the second straight appearance, Its a Horse will be asked to do his work from the demanding No. 10 post position as he goes about his business for owner Alan Miller, trainer Marco Rios and pilot Gerry Longo.

The Ohio-bred trotter made his local debut on December 28 and posted a facile five and a quarter length score at odds of 9-1 in an Open II affair, then moved up to the top level and did an encore from well off the pace while again motoring away in the final stages.

Its A Horse cut it much closer in the January 11 clash at the head of the trotting class, coming from far back at the top of the lane to collar pace-setting Silverhill Volo by a half-length.

In his most recent outing two weeks ago, the streaking performer left from the tough No. 10 post and prevailed as the 6-5 favorite, once again coming from well back to win going away by a length and three-quarters.

Completing the field are Silverlode, who captured last week's Open II Trot; the hard-hitting Silverhill Volo, Windsun Galaxe, One Chief and Franks Best.

By Mark Ratzky, publicity - Cal Expo Harness

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