Friday program features sophomore pacers

06:01 AM 24 Mar 2016 NZDT
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Allmyx'sliveintexas and Moonstone Beach, who have made clean sweeps of their respective stakes divisions this year for the team of owner/breeders Wayne and Rod Knittel and harness racing trainer Bob Johnson, look to continue their dominance in Friday night's two $10,000 California Sire Stakes for 3-year-old pacers at Cal Expo.

A special 12-race card is on tap Friday with first post set for 6:15 p.m. The trotting and pacing action will continue Saturday night, with no live racing on Easter Sunday. Next week will find a return to the regular Saturday and Sunday programs.

Allmyx'sliveintexas is son of Hi Ho Silverheel's out of the Distinguishedbaron mare Annie Get Your Gun and he will once again be handled by Mooney Svendsen. He comes into this assignment having won four of his eight starts, with a victory in the opening leg of the Lonnie Beck Series to go along with his trio of stakes decisions.

The Knittel homebred did the stalk and pounce to get the job done in the first two Sire Stakes in February, then proved a sloppy track was in his wheelhouse as he romped home by 10 lengths in the most recent big-money gathering for his group.

Lining up against him this weekend are Midnight Adventure, to be handled by Chip Lackey; Rock Of Ages with Mike Jarvis; Mathachussetts, Steve Wiseman; and One More Chance with Luke Plano in the sulky.

Meanwhile, Allymx'sliveintexas' stablemate Moonstone Beach has been just as dominant among the fillies for the Knittel/Johnson/Svendsen team. A daughter of Crisis Situation, she has captured the last two Sire Stakes by a combined 13 lengths, the most recent coming over an off track on March 12.

Little Emma (Luke Plano) and Plain Awesome (James Kennedy) will tak

Frankthebank continues to make deposits

Frankthebank showed he still has the right stuff at age 14 when he posted an 8-1 upset over a sloppy track on last Sunday night's program.

Racing for Rick and Marlene Thomas with George Reider his longtime conditioner and Luke Plano at the controls, the old guy sat patiently in the pocket and then came when it counted to be up by a neck for his second victory on the season from 11 tries.

The victory pushed Frankthebank's bankroll over the $460,000 plateau with a 1:51 lifetime standard and Reider noted he will go to Hawthorne this summer and then return here in the fall here before reaching the mandatory retirement age of 15.

"He has his senior moments, but he's all class," trainer Reider noted after last Sunday's win.

"Frank is the gift that just keeps on giving. Luke got off him and said he's a good old horse very set in his way, but when he gets behind the gate he's all business and can still get the job done."

George admits that being the senior citizen around the barn does come with its privileges. "One thing about him being 14 now is that I kind of spoil him. Every time he sees me he uses me as a scratching post for his head. He will literally rub his head on me for five minutes if I let him.

"Two months ago, somehow he got his stall guard down at night. I keep a big bag of carrots next to my office and he knows exactly where they are. It was about two-thirds full, and when I came in the next morning the bag was empty and his morning breakfast and the two horses next to his was gone and he was lying down in the stall.

"Most mornings he has seniority and he's the first to go out, but this time he was the last to go out after his big breakfast."

This summer Frankthebank is headed back to Illinois where he was born. "I'm pretty sure if he could talk," Reider said with a smile, "he would be saying going to Chicago is nice for a visit, but I want to retire in California"

And so it shall be for the veteran pacer who has brought so much joy to Rick and Marlene Thomas and his trainer/scratching post George Reider.

By Mark Ratzky, publicity - Cal Expo Harness

 

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