Day At The Track

California Rock is rolling at Cal Expo

09:46 AM 16 Nov 2019 NZDT
Comment (...) Tweet Share Email Print
Cal Expo.JPG

Jim Wilkinson has a good chance to be posing in the harness racing winner's circle following Saturday night's featured Bill Conlin Pace, as California Rock will be representing his shedrow.

Wilkinson trains and co-owns the sophomore and he made short work of the opposition at 70 cents on the dollar in one of last week's eliminations with Luke Plano guiding, coming to the line with plenty in the tank in a 1:55 4/5 performance.

"We bought him as a yearling and he was racing against some pretty stiff competition this summer at Hoosier Park," Jim related. "He paced in :51 and change there, but those were some tough horses.

"I think he's got a real good chance to climb the ladder here, he just needs some confidence." That climb begins with Saturday's Conlin, where he will face the other elimination winner Rue Hanover, who was also impressive for driver/trainer Chip Lackey.

The opening night card also saw Wilkinson sending out Gorgeous For Real in a coast-to-coast performance as the odds-on choice, with that 5-year-old pacer also going about his business for the Schwartz, Axelrod, O'Neill and Wilkinson partnership.

The son of He's Gorgeous, who was a 1:50 3/5 victor at Hoosier this year, is working his way toward $100,000 mark in earnings and never looked like a loser last week after flying from the gate from the outside post for Plano.

"He got some class relief from those Indiana races and found a real good spot," his conditioner noted. "He's won at the top level here and I'm looking forward to racing him." Gorgeous For Real was scheduled to suit up in Friday night's feature.

Rue Hanover, California Rock head Bill Conlin

The $8,900 Bill Conlin Pace heads the harness action Saturday night at Cal Expo, with last week's elimination winners California Rock and Rue Hanover getting the marquee treatment.

A 10-race card is on tap with first post set for 6:40 p.m.

California Rock is a 3-year-old son of Rockin Image out of the Bettor's Delight mare Tia Maria Hanover who is owned by Schwartz Wilkinson, Axelrod and O'Neill with Jim Wilkinson the conditioner and Jim Lackey at the controls.

In last week's elimination leg with Luke Plano at the helm, California Rock proved a punctual 3-5 favorite as he brushed to the lead past the quarter and was never seriously threatened after that, coming to the wire with three and a half-lengths to spare in a 1:55 4/5 tour.

Rue Hanover should have an equal amount of supporters Saturday night for driver/trainer Chip Lackey, who also co-owns the distaffer along with Kenneth Seastrom.

The 3-year-old Betterthancheddar filly was sent off the 8-5 second choice in her elimination and came home by two and a half lengths in a 1:55 3/5 performance after withstanding a strong challenge on the final turn while carving out the fractions.

Completing the field are Joltin Joe, Intrepid Byrd, Joker John, Budgie Smuggler, Lakota Law, Red N Hotallover and Custards Dungeon.

By Mark Ratzky, for Cal Expo Harness

 

 

 

 

 


 

Comment (...) Tweet Share Email Print

Read More News About...

Stallion Name

Next article in USA: