The team from Cal-Expo managed a couple of upsets last night in the first two races of five to take the lead in the seventh annual harness racing East-West Amateur Drivers Challenge.
Under threatening skies, the track at the Sacramento oval was in excellent shape to greet the East Coast invaders. However, the 2012 edition of Team East featuring Steve Oldford, Tony Verruso, Peter Gerry and Joe Faraldo had their hands full. With the first two legs in the books, Team West leads the series 49-35.
The first leg featured a last to first victory by 12-1 shot and Bob Johnson trained Diamond Player. After a battle up front between Seventh Sin (Steve Oldford – East) and Aeronaut (Amanda Frasier – West), the race set up well for the trailers and eventual winner Dave Siegel. JC’s Lucky Dreamer (Karen Isbell – West) and You Girl Shirl (Tony Verruso – East) rounded out the top three which put the West in front 27-15.
The second race featured Easterners Joe Faraldo and Steve Oldford leading their charges around the oval 1-2 to the three-quarters pole where they were overcome by closer Feetdontfailmenow and West coast driver Dave Siegel.
His feet did not fail him as the second choice wore down favorite and second place finisher Youremyaddiction driven by Team East’s Tony Verruso. Team West netted an additional two points in their margin as Steve Oldford guided Barona Destiny to a third place finish and Amanda Fraser piloted Attitude Rules to secure fourth.
Action resumes tomorrow with the final three legs of the series with Team East taking dead aim at the Left Coasters and hope to erode the West’s modest lead early in the card.
Free programs and TrackMaster Greg selections for the Challenge races and all other races on the Cal-Expo cards are available for Saturday’s races at www.trackmaster.com/calx.