Day At The Track

Trotters, pacers return to Cal Expo Saturday

05:44 AM 09 Nov 2018 NZDT
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Saturday is opening night of the Watch and Wager LLC harness meeting at Cal Expo, with a 12-race program headed by a pair of $7,000 Open Paces.

First post is 6:10 p.m. and beginning next week there will be racing on Friday and Saturday evenings.

New at this meeting will be the Single 6, a 10-cent wager with a unique serial number jackpot winner. There will be 50 percent going to the consolation pool and 50 percent to the jackpot.

The first of the Open events goes as the eighth on the card and finds Gorgeous For Real going postward off a solid qualifying score last weekend. The 4-year-old races for Billie Schwartz, Junior Wilkinson and Ivan Axelrod with Wilkinson training and Luke Plano at the controls.

Gorgeous For Real has posed for pictures following 14 of his 58 lifetime outings with a career standard of 1:51 flat that was set at Hoosier Park on August 17.

Gravelsinmytravel is suiting up for veteran Dean Magee in this contest. The 7-year-old son of Veracious Hanover leaves from the cozy rail slot and will be gunning for his sixth victory of the season from 22 trips to the post.

Gravelsinmytravel recorded his most recent score at Running Aces on August 19, igniting when it counted to be up by a head and comes into this assignment with a 1:51 3/5 lifetime standard that was established two years ago at the Meadowlands. Rounding out the field are Dontdoubtthelakers, Mr Varsity, Last Dragon, Prodigal, Swagasaurusrex and Twomickeytrip.

I'm An Athlete back on the big track

I'm An Athlete will be gunning for his 40th lifetime score from 186 trips to the post when he suits up in Saturday night's ninth race for owner Ronald Rettig-Zucchi, trainer Jessie Pacheco and pilot James Kennedy.

The 8-year-old son of Art Major spent his summer at Running Aces, Pocono and Harrah's Philadelphia, and according to this trainer is happy to be home after a nice runner-up effort in a 1:56 25/ qualifier last weekend.

"He's just so-so on the smaller tracks around the tight turns, but he really likes it here at Cal Expo," Pacheco noted. "That qualifier was just to get him night and tight for this weekend."

I'm An Athlete has earned his $185,590 bankroll the old-fashioned way and established his 1:51 flat lifetime mark here earlier the season. He'll look to get back to his winning ways while leaving from the middle of the field.

"He's a real pro," Jessie related when asked about the veteran pacer. "You can jog him with two fingers and he doesn't need hopples to train. The only thing is, he's much better around the big turns like we have here at Cal Expo."

Pacheco currently houses 16 performers in the shedrow, with several more due in soon, and is looking to get things off to a fast start this weekend.

*******

There are two wagers offered here each night with a reduced 16 percent takeout rate. They are the 50-cent Pick 5 that begins on the first race and the 20-cent Pick 4 that will get underway with the ninth race.

By Mark Ratzky, for Cal Expo Harness

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