Day At The Track

Sire Stakes action at Cal Expo

06:10 AM 27 Feb 2021 NZDT
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A pair of $14,000 California Sire Stakes for the 4-year-olds and a $6,700 Filly and Mare Open Pace are the featured harness racing attractions on Saturday night's Cal Expo program.

There will be 13 races presented under the Watch and Wager LLC banner with first post set for 4:50 p.m., with one of the Sire Stakes events going as a non-betting contest prior to the regular program.

The distaff Sire Stakes goes as the fourth race and Prom Queen is coming off a victory in a dead-heat last weekend and should be well backed for owners Desomer Stables, trainer Quentin Schneider and driver Nick Roland. Taking her on are Debit or Credit, Winhavetime, Akanay and Le Montrachet.

Looking at the co-featured Filly and Mare Open Pace, Alwaysalittlemore and Velocity McSweets get a rematch after putting on quite a show in last week's clash at the head of the division.

Alwaysalittlemore is a 7-year-old daughter of Always A Virgin out of the Cole Muffler mare Whatiftheresmore who is owned by Maria Alvarez and Terrence Smith and is reined and trained by Luke Plano.

Sent off at 9-2 in last week's Distaff Open while leaving from the rail slot, Alwaysalittlemore was able to work out a pocket trip, moved to the lead at midstretch and then had enough to hold safe over the fast-closing favorite Velocity McSweets.

The latter accounted for the Joe Alto Pace in December and has a pair of Open scores to her credit this season. Jennifer Sabot owns and trains the 6-year-old McArdle mare and Cordarius Stewart has the return assignment.

Completing the field are Delightfully Wild with Doug Chappell; Bertha Vanation, Nick Roland; Paloma Ruiz for Jacob Cutting and Marys Pretty Girl, who leaves from the rail with Tony Kerwood.

Plano guides talented distaffers 

Last Saturday night was a good one for Luke Plano as he piloted four performers into the winner's circle, including Doubletherocks in the first Sire Stakes of the year for the sophomores and Alwaysalittlemore in the Filly and Mare Open Pace.

Doubletherocks is a homebred daughter of Lettherockbegin who carries the banner of Nikki Hudson and is reined and trained by husband Luke. She sat the pocket behind heavily-favored Cookiesncream and streaked home for the easy decision.

"I actually claimed the mare and it turned out she had some issues, but I thought she would make a good broodmare and we bred her to a Minnesota sire," Luke related.

"We got her ready in Indiana and Minnesota, and she had the one start at Running Aces, but she had a heath issue and we backed off and pointed for these races. I've been very happy with her two wins here."

Alwaysalittlemore is a Maria Alvarez and Terrence Smith colorbearer who was picking up her first Open score at this session while ending up on the right end of a head photo with even-money favorite Velocity McSweets.

"This is a real nice mare with a great mind," her mentor noted. "She wasn't having any luck at the Meadowlands at the end of last year, so they decided to bring her back here.

"We gave her some time, so she was a little bit behind these other mares, but she's come around really well and it didn't hurt to get a nice trip the other night."

It will be interesting to watch both of these talented distaffers going forward, with the next round of stakes action for the 3-year-olds coming up next week.

By Mark Ratzky, for Cal Expo Harness

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