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With the implementation of the 10 p.m. California curfew beginning Saturday, the adjusted harness racing post time at Cal Expo Harness is now 4:35 p.m.   Players will have something immediate to shoot at when Cal Expo kicks off their meeting Saturday, with a $9,819 carryover in the Hi Five and a $61,678 carryover in the Single 6. Cal Expo Harness has also added a third low-takeout wager to their menu from last season. In addition to the reduced 16 percent takeout rates on the 20-cent Pick 4 and early 20-cent Pick 5, the 20-cent Late Pick 5 will now also feature that value 16 percent takeout rate. The Pick 4 also comes with a $25,000-guaranteed gross pool. James Kennedy will be back to defend his driving title from the previous stand, where he edged out Mooney Svendsen with 101 trips to the charmed enclosure, giving him a half-dozen more than veteran Svendsen. Luke Plano has several driving titles to his credit and also figures to make his share of winner circle appearances this season. In the training ranks, the Kathie Plested barn ran away with the crown at the last meet with Gordie Graham, Bob Johnson and Leon Smith also getting plenty of snapshots. Curtain goes up on Cal Expo harness meet   The trotters and pacers return to Cal Expo Saturday night under the Watch and Wager LLC banner with a 12-race card that finds a pair of $5,000 Open III contests commanding the spotlight. Racing will be conducted on Friday and Saturday evenings throughout the 44-day session and with the implementation of the 10 p.m. California curfew beginning Saturday, first post will now be 4:35 p.m.  The Open III event for pacing fillies and mares looks like a good spot for the hard-knocking disaffer Delightfully Wild, who has gone a number of big races over this course in her career. Delightfully Wild is a 7-year-old daughter of Bettor’s Delight who carries the banner of Richard Morita and David Yamada and sports a 1:51 1/5 career standard that was established two years ago at Pocono Downs.She has plenty of back class in her corner. The Jessie Pacheco trainee comes out of the fastest of eight qualifiers that were held here last Sunday afternoon, finishing third behind Pecorino in a solid 1:55 3/5 mile with Luke Plano in the sulky. Taking her on, from the rail to the outside, are Getter Queen Flush, Relentless Dancer, Nightgirl, Brooklyn Moonshine, La Diva De Rosa, Royal Mistress and Bertha Vanation. Looking at the co-featured Open III Trot, Silverhill Volo is among the solid players in that affair and will be challenged by Teachmehowtotry, Glenferries Dreamer, Bringthegold, Major Al-Mar, Md Magic and Twilight Tinker. The Trot will go as the second race on the night, while the Distaff event will occupy the fifth race spot on the program. by Mark Ratsky, for Cal Expo Harness

LARKSPUR, CA. (November 20, 2020)--The board of Webis, the Group specializing in pool wagering and the operators of WatchandWager Cal Expo, the Californian harness track, is pleased to announce that its Advanced Deposit Wagering ("ADW") business, WatchandWager.com LLC ("WatchandWager") received its two-year license approval from the California Horse Racing Board ("CHRB") on November 19, 2020. The two-year ADW license renewal from the CHRB is for the years 2021-2022, and it allows WatchandWager to continue to accept online pari-mutuel wagers from residents of California on its range of global content. The license renewal from the CHRB is strategically important to the company, not only for its access to the biggest population in the United States and one of the largest economies in the world, but also for the potential of offering sports betting to California residents when the state legislature passes this into law. As shareholders are aware, the license sits alongside our long-term lease of the Cal Expo racetrack, adding an important physical, as well as on-line, presence in the state. In addition to the California license renewal, WatchandWager executives have also renewed, or are in the process of license renewals, in Colorado, Kentucky, Minnesota, New York, North Dakota, and Washington. The company does not foresee any expected issues that would delay or prevent them from being approved. Ed Comins, President of WatchandWager, commented: "We are pleased to receive this key license renewal from the California Horse Racing Board for WatchandWager. We believe that the tax, revenue, and jobs generated from this license will have an important benefit to the state of California, especially in light of the economic difficulties caused by the California wildfires and the COVID-19 virus. With this important license and our physical presence at Cal Expo in Sacramento, we believe that the passage of legalized sports betting will result in even more new jobs, duties, and tax revenue to the state. WatchandWager stands ready to be an active partner in supporting not only the state's racing and gaming industry, but also supporting the recovery of the state as a whole." From Watchand Wager.com atchandWager is available at:  

Harness racing qualifiers are set for noon Sunday at Cal Expo Harness in advance of the opening night of the 2020-21 meeting that gets underway on Saturday, November 21. The trotters and pacers will be in action on Friday and Saturday evenings through April 24 with a first post of 6:10 p.m , and opening night will feature a $9,814 carryover in the Hi Five and a $61,650 carryover in the Single 6. In addition to the existing reduced 16-percent takeout rates on the 20-cent Pick 4 and early 20-cent Pick 5, the 20-cent Late Pick 5 will now also feature that value 16-percent takeout rate. By Mark Ratzky, for Cal Expo Harness

The California Horse Racing Board conducted two separate meetings on Thursday, March 26, by teleconference. The public participated by dialing into the teleconference and/or listening through the audio webcast link on the CHRB website. Both meetings were chaired by Dr. Gregory Ferraro, joined for the first meeting by Vice Chair Oscar Gonzales and Commissioners Dennis Alfieri, Damascus Castellanos, Wendy Mitchell, and Alex Solis. Commissioner Mitchell did not participate in the second meeting. The audios of these two meetings are available on the CHRB Website (www.chrb.ca.gov) under the Webcast link. In brief, during the first, regular meeting: Chairman Ferraro opened the meeting by welcoming Commissioner Castellanos to his initial meeting as a member of the Board. Governor Gavin Newsom appointed Commissioner Castellanos on March 10. In two separate but related actions involving both emergency and permanent rules, the Board voted to re-establish the 48-hour restriction on the administration of medications or other substances to horses entered to race unless otherwise authorized by regulation. The change to the emergency regulation went into effect immediately, while the permanent rule was approved for 15-day public notice. The Board approved a regulatory amendment prohibiting the administration of the anti-bleeder medication furosemide to 2-year-olds. The amendment also reduces by half the level that can be administered to horses permitted to race with furosemide. The Board put over to the April 22 meeting further discussion of a regulatory amendment clarifying that racing veterinarians are under the direction of Official Veterinarians, allowing racing associations input, as requested by The Stronach Group. The Board approved for public notice an amendment to the rule governing penalties that makes veterinarians and other licensees who violate shock wave therapy regulations subject to the same penalties as trainers. The Board approved a regulatory amendment requiring individuals to hold an assistant trainer's license in good standing for one year as a qualification for a trainer's license. The Board approved a requirement for practicing veterinarians to use an electronic on-line form prescribed by the Board when submitting their required veterinarian reports to the Official Veterinarian. The Board approved a regulatory amendment requiring trainers to maintain treatment records of all medications they administer to horses in their care at facilities within the CHRB's jurisdiction. The Board authorized the Del Mar Thoroughbred Club to distribute $90,839 in race day charity proceeds to nine beneficiaries and another $13,744 to four beneficiaries. The Board designated the 2020 fair racing sessions in Pleasanton, Sacramento, Ferndale, and Fresno as a combined meet for pari-mutuel purposes. The Board approved an industry agreement.to use a designated portion of Advance Deposit Wagering revenue that would ordinarily go to horsemen's purses and racetrack commissions to be used to fund a California co-op marketing program. After the conclusion of the first, regular meeting, the Board reconvened the teleconference to hold a special meeting to address a single agenda item. The Board approved a change to the license application of Watch & Wager LLC, allowing harness racing at Cal Expo to switch race days from Fridays and Saturdays to Tuesdays and Wednesdays.   Reprinted with permission of The Paulick Report

Capitol Hill and Virgin Eyes, two hard-knocking performers, get top billing in Saturday night's $5,400 filly and mare harness racing pacing feature. Watch and Wager LLC will present 10 races with first post set for 6:10 p.m. Capitol Hill is a 9-year-old daughter of Badlands Hanover who goes about her business for George McChrystal and Kathie Plested with Steve Wiseman training and Jacob Cutting in the sulky. A lifetime winner of $143,000 with 25 wins from her 164 starts and a 1:53 2/5 mark that was set here three years ago, Capitol Hill is coming off a solid runner-up finish where she ignited late but was unable to catch upsetter Surprisingly Sweet under these conditions. Virgin Eyes has been doing all her work in the Open ranks and should appreciate the class relief in the headliner. Her most recent trip to the charmed enclosure came on February 29 at the top level. The Always A Virgin mare carries the banner of Aleksandra Karl, is conditioned by Robert Corbin and will once again be guided by Dean Magee while departed from the No. 5 slot in the cast of six. Rounding out the field are Along Came Jane, Relentless Dancer, Brian's Magic Girl and Place At The Beach. Heza Real Diamond continues to shine Heza Real Diamond recorded his fourth straight victory at the head of the class last weekend, with all of those victories coming from the demanding No. 10 post position. The 4-year-old son of All American, who is owned by Orlando Nevarez and conditioned by Edwin Quevedo, has been sensational with Nick Roland giving directions with all of those victories coming in handy fashion. In last week's score, he was parked to the lead by the quarter, took complete control of things from that point and came to the line with two and three-quarrter lengths to spare. His 1:51 1/5 clocking in his previous tally equaled his lifetime standard. *** There are two wagers offered here each night that come with a reduced 16 percent takeout rate - the 20-cebnt Pick 5 and the 20-cent Pick 4. The Pick 5 starts with the opening race, while the Pick 4 is decided over the final four races on Saturday's program. The Pick 4 features a $40,000-guaranteed gross pool on Saturday and a $30,000 guarantee on Friday. To give an example of the value added with the lower takeout, last Friday night's Pick 4 returned $988 for each correct 20-cent investment. That would have been $895 using the regular rate, a difference of $93 for each winning ticket. By Mark Ratzky, publicity - Cal Expo Harness  

Royal Mistress figures to get plenty of support in Friday night's harness racing feature at Cal Expo, a $5,400 conditioned event for pacing fillies and mares. Watch and Wager LLC will present 10-race cards on both Friday and Saturday this week with first post set for 6:10 p.m. Royal Mistress is the 9-5 favorite on Trackman Marty Bridges' morning line. A 6-year-old daughter of Jk Royal Flush, the bay miss is owned by Kevin Anderson, hails from the Gordie Graham barn and will have the services of James Kennedy while leaving from No. 6 slot in a field of seven. Royal Mistress has four wins from her 10 starts on the season, with the most recent coming in a February 7 Distaff Open where she sat the pocket journey for Kennedy and ignited when it counted to be up by a neck. Sing Along is listed as the 7-2 second choice and her best effort will certainly make her dangerous. Edwin Quevedo owns and trains and Luke Plano pilots the Rock N Roll Hanover mare, who is coming off back-to-back sharp efforts. Taking them on will be Lookslikewemadeit with Mooney Svendsen; Velocity Layla, Jacob Cutting; Hi Fidelity, Braxten Boyd; Getter Queen Flush, John Roberts; and Kiss On The Lips with Nick Roland at the controls. Single 6 carryover, low takeout bets featured There will be a $40,644 carryover in the 10-cent Single 6 wager on Friday night at Cal Expo. The sequence begins with the fifth race on the program. A single (unique) winner in the wager receives 100 percent of the net pool plus the carryover. Otherwise the pool is divided equally into the minor share and the carryover. In addition, there is a reduced 16 percent takeout rate in both the 20-cent Pick 5 and 20-cent Pick 4. The Pick 5 starts with the opening race, while the Pick 4 is decided over the final four races on Friday's program. The Pick 4 features a $40,000-guaranteed gross pool on Saturday and a $30,000 guarantee on Friday. To give an example of the value added with the lower takeout, last Friday night's Pick 4 returned $988 for each correct 20-cent investment. That would have been $895 using the regular rate, a difference of $93 for each winning ticket.   By Mark Ratzky, publicity – Cal Expo Harness

As Yogi Berra so eloquently put it, "Irony can be pretty ironic at times." Take horseracing, for example. It was only a few months ago it would have been voted #1 most likely sport to vanish from America, and right now it's pretty much the only one standing. In other twist, California (the epicenter of shut down racing movement) has four of those courses still putting on a show. Even among this small group of tracks, Cal Expo is unique as it is the only harness racing currently operating in North America. If you are the least bit familiar with the history of harness racing in California, their survival since the knockout blow they suffered in the early 90's is nothing short of miraculous. In Spanish, I believe, the word is cucaracha. Now this virus of possible biblical proportions hits and Sacramento has harness racing scheduled for this Friday and Saturday night. Of course, this is a day-to-day situation as everything is pretty much that way in this Twilight Zone-like world we currently inhabit. Maybe I'll wake up tomorrow and Auntie Em will tell me I got struck in the head by something and this was all just a bad dream. Come to think of it, I'll be happy just to wake up tomorrow and bet on some Fonner Park.   Mark Ratzky

Harness racing will be conducted this Friday and Saturday at Cal Expo, with first post at 6:10 p.m. and 10-race cards presented each night. There is a $40,644 carryover in the 10-cent Single 6 on Friday, and there are two wagers offered with a reduced 16 percent takeout rate - the 20-cent Pick 5 and 20-cent Pick 4. The Pick 4 features a $30,000-guaranteed gross pool on Friday and $40,000 on Saturday. The California Horse Racing Board denied Watch and Wager LLC's request to run cards on Tuesday and Wednesday with a 3:30 p.m. post and those programs were switched to the usual Friday and Saturday evening slots. By Mark Ratzky, publicity - Cal Expo Harness

After five closure announcements in the past 48 hours, a track in Sacramento, California, is the last with plans to remain open of the 18 in the United States that had harness racing prior to the coronavirus pandemic. Chris Schick, the general manager of Cal Expo harness racing, told ESPN three hours before its 6 p.m. Pacific post time Friday that its plan was to have racing without fans in attendance. Earlier in the day, thoroughbred racing continued with no spectators at California's Santa Anita Park and Golden Gate Fields. Schick said Saturday that Cal Expo plans, subject to California Horse Racing Board legal review, to shift from holding races Friday and Saturday nights to Tuesdays and Wednesdays at 3:05 p.m. Pacific, effective March 24. The meet is scheduled to run through late April. The reason? "There are no tracks running in the 6-10 p.m. Eastern time zone on those days," Schick said, as it leaves Cal Expo that simulcast window on TVG to itself. Tracks in Saratoga, New York, and Northfield, Ohio, suspended harness racing Friday. Saratoga's suspension is to begin after Sunday's racing card, with Saturday's schedule canceled. John Matarazzo, Saratoga's director of racing operations, said Saturday the restrictions it had placed on shipping horses in to race necessitated picking one day to run this weekend instead of two, in order to put together a card with an acceptable number of races with full fields. "I hate to see the closures -- they will hurt a lot of people -- but the nation's priority has to be containing and stopping the spread of the virus," Mike Tanner, CEO of the U.S. Trotting Association, told ESPN. "Our sport knows that firsthand and in a very painful way," Tanner said, adding, "We'll work to help be part of the solution." Harness racing trainers and brothers Carmine and Vincent Fusco and former trainer John Brennan all died in the past two weeks after contracting the virus. The Fuscos' mother and sister also died after contracting the virus and other siblings remain hospitalized. By William Weinbaum Reprinted with permission of ESPN

Pridecrest, Mandeville and Its a Horse, who have each had victories at the top rung at this harness racing meet at Cal Expo, square off in Saturday night's featured $6,700 Open Trot. The headliner will go as the fifth contest on an 11-race Watch and Wager LLC program and things will underway at 6:10 p.m. Pridecrest scored three straight Open victories between January 24 and February 15, then had to settle for third after a first-over trip while leaving from the demanding No. 10 slot in last week's get-together at the head of the class. An 8-year-old son of Angus Hall, Pridecrest is owned by Heather Mathews, is conditioned by Steve Wiseman and has Mooney Svendsen guiding from the outside post in the field of seven. He comes into this assignment with 38 wins from his 150 lifetime trips to the post, with $318,000 in his bank account and a 1:53 2/5 standard that was established here three years ago. Mandeville got the job done with these last week in coast-to-coast fashion with Gerry Longo in what marked his third start back since a slight vacation. Longo owns and trains and Nick Roland will drive the Majestic Son gelding this weekend. Its a Horse packs a big punch in the stretch and deserves plenty of respect for owner Ray Alan Miller, trainer Marco Rios and pilot Dean Magee. His most recent victory came in the Joe Lighthill Trot on December 13 over a sloppy track. Dougs Hobby Horse, Majestic Lady Jo, Windsun Galaxie and Big Hero complete the field. Veteran Mandeville back in the spotlight After a couple of runner-up finishes following some time off, Mandeville returned to his winning ways last week in the Open Trot. With his owner/trainer Gerry Longo in the sulky, Mandeville went right to the top, withstood a strong challenge from Pridecrest turning for home and went on to a length victory over the sloppy track. He will be guided by Nick Roland for this weekend's assignment. It was the 24th lifetime tally for the Majestic Son gelding and pushed his career earnings over $226,000. He set his 1:54 2/5 lifetime mark last season at Saratoga. "I bought him in Kentucky late last year after he won back-to-back Opens at that new track," Longo explained. "When I first got him, his feet were in pretty bad shape and he was racing with glue-on shoes. Between myself, the blacksmith Louie and my groom Oscar, we did lots of work with him and his foot finally grew out." In addition to Its a Horse, who was runner-up in last week's Open, Mandeville will have to deal with Pridecrest. That one peeled off three straight victories at this level going into last week's tour, where he left from the challenging No. 10 post and did his work in first-over fashion. By Mark Ratzky, publicity - Cal Expo Harness

Heza Real Diamond, who has rattled off an impressive hat trick at the head of the class, looks to add another score to the harness racing streak as heads the field for Friday night's $6,700 Open Pace at Cal Expo. There will also be a $6,700 Filly and Mare Open Pace that finds a rematch between Alwaysalittlemore and the mare who upset her last week in Bertha Vanation. There will be 11 races contested under the Watch and Wager LLC banner with first post set for 6:10 p.m. Heza Real Diamond is a 4-year-old son of Allamerican Native who is owned by Orlando Nevarez, takes his lessons from Edwin Quevedo and will once again have the services of Nick Roland while leaving from the assigned No. 10 post position. The hard-knocking performer has posed for pictures following five of his last six outings, with the only setback being a nose defeat at the hands of Allmyx'sliventexas, who will be among his rivals on Friday. In his most recent appearance two weeks ago, Heza Real Diamond also did his work from that demanding No. 10 slot and proved a punctual 2-5 favorite as he made two moves to the lead at the half and took complete control of things from that point. The Nevarez colorbearer had three and three quarter lengths on runner-up Bestinthebusiness that night and equaled his lifetime standard with the 1:51 1/5 clocking. In addition to Allmyx'sliventexas and Bestinthebusiness, Heza Real Diamond will line up against Queenace Blue Chip, Almost Cut My Hair and Bettor's Promise. $31,188 Single 6 carryover spices the Friday action There is a $31,188 carryover going into Friday night's 10-cent Single 6 wager, with the sequence getting underway in the fifth race. There are also two wagers offered here each night that come with a reduced 16 percent takeout rate - the 20-cent Pick 5 and the 20-cent Pick 4. The Pick 4 comes with a $40,000-guaranteed gross pool on Saturdays and a $30,000 guarantee on Fridays. To show the added value of the low takeout bets, two weeks ago there was a Pick 4 sequence that returned $1,008 for each correct 20-cent ticket. Using the old takeout, it would have returned $907, a difference of $101 for each winning prognostication. *** In addition to the 11-race program on Friday, there will be a pair of California Sire Stakes for 3-year-olds going as non-betting affairs prior to the regular card. Both Its Pointless among the males and Prom Queen with the fillies have swept their respective divisions to this point and will look to continue their dominance for trainers Gordie Graham and Robin Clements, respectively. By Mark Ratzky, publicity - Cal Expo Harness                

A pair of harness racing Opens headline the Saturday night action at Cal Expo, with Pridecrest leaving from the assigned No. 10 slot in the $7,000 Open Trot and Alwaysalittlemore doing her work from the same challenging post in the $6,700 Distaff Open. Watch and Wager LLC will present 11 races with a first post of 6:10 p.m., with the Filly and Mare Open as the second race and the Open Trot occupying the third-race spot on the evening. Alwaysalittlemore has posed for pictures following four of her last six trips to the post and is now being asked to keep the momentum going while leaving from the extreme outside post in the Distaff Open. A 6-year-old daughter of Always A Virgin, Alwaysalittle more carries the banner of Maria Alvarez and Terrence Smith, hails from the Edward Hernandez shedrow and will once again have the services of Luke Plano. The bay miss has actually crossed the finish line first in five of her last six starts, but was set back to second by the stewards on February 29 after racing inside two pylons. Alwaysalittlemore rebounded last week with a victory as the 7-5 choice, opening a large lead turning for home and then holding safe by a head over a hard-charging Bertha Vanation that evening. The latter is a Voracious Hanover mare who is coming off back-to-back big efforts for owner Cathy Dessert and driver/trainer Nick Roland. Bertha Vanation flew home to handle a conditioned crew two weeks ago, then came home smartly once again in last week's Open to just fall short. Low takeout wagers, Single 6 featured There are two wagers offered here each night with a reduced 16 percent takeout rate in the 20-cent Pick 5 and the 20-cent Pick 4. In addition, the Pick 4 comes with a $40,000-guaranteed gross pool on Saturdays and a $30,000 guarantee on Fridays. There was a Single 6 carryover of nearly $24,000 going into Friday's program, so if that went unhit, it would be a worthwhile stab on Saturday at only 10 cents a ticket for the shot at a nice prize. To show the value in the lower takeout, last Saturday night's 20-cent Pick 4 returned $1,008 for each correct 20-cent ticket. Using the regular takeout rate, it would have paid $907, a difference of $101 for each winning prognostication. The only favorite in the aforementioned sequence was the victory by Blue Star Maverick at 7-5 odds. The Lorne Duffield-owned, Steve Wiseman-trained and Luke Plano-driven son of As Promised obviously enjoyed the class relief as he responded with a clear-cut score in coast-to-coast fashion. Things got off to an auspicious start in that Pick 4 when the Gerry Longo owned/trained/driven Key Word posted a $30 upset, with Free Radical ($9) rounding out the sequence. By the way, the victory behind Blue Star Maverick was the fourth on Saturday's card for Plano, who had a triple on Friday and padded his lead in the driver standings. by Mark Ratzky, for Cal Expo Harness

There will be harness racing Friday and Saturday night at Cal Expo Harness with only essential employees and licensees allowed, and everyone will enter through Gate 12. by Mark Ratzky, for Cal Expo Harness      

Allmyx'sliventexas and Bestintehbusiness, who have been chasing home the razor-sharp Heza Real Diamond of late, get away from that rival and head the cast in Friday night's $5,100 Open II Pace at Cal Expo Harness. There will also be a pair of $7,000 California Sire Stakes for the 3-year-old pacers, with Prom Queen getting top billing in the filly division, while Its Pointless is strictly the one to beat in the male section, with the latter race going as a non-betting affair prior to the regular card. There are 11 races on tap under the Watch and Wager LLC banner with first post at 6:10 p.m. Allmyx'sliventexas comes into the Friday assignment with some impressive credentials, as the 7-year-old son of Hi Ho Silverheel's has won 36 of his 119 starts, has $214,000 in his bank account and sports a 1:50 lifetime standard that was established two years ago at Hoosier Park. The hard-hitting veteran is owned and was bred by Wayne and Rod Knittel, he's conditioned by Bob Johnson and Mooney Svendsen will be in his usual position in the sulky. Allmyx'sliventexas recorded his most recent tally on January 25, when he sat the pocket behind the aforementioned Heza Real Diamond and nailed him right on the money in a 1:50 2/5 tour. Bestinthebusiness is in fine form at the moment with a conditioned victory and back-to-back runner-up finishes at the Open level. He campaigns for Brett Boyd Racing Inc., hails from the Leon Smith barn and has Braxten Boyd once again giving direction. Almost Cut My Hair, Part Time and Queenace Blue Chip complete the field. Prom Queen, Its Pointless look to continue dominance Prom Queen and Its Pointless cemented their positions at the head of their respective sophomore California Sire Stakes divisions with clear-cut victories in last week's second round of action and will be back seeking more trophies on Friday night. Prom Queen is a daughter of Little Steven who has captured both of her stakes dances in impressive come-from-behind style while not being favored on either occasion, while Its Pointless has dominated his male rivals while going off the solid choice in both appearances. Racing for owner/trainer Robin Clements and co-bred with Desomer Stables Inc, Prom Queen has shown a real affinity for coming home in a hurry with Nick Roland giving directions. She had four and a quarter lengths on favored Debit Or Credit in last weekend's tour while lowering her mark to 1:58 1/5 in the process. "I love this filly and she is fast," pilot Roland related after the score. "She is still green and learning to race," added Clements, "but she's getting there. She is a bit of a princess in that if you change her equipment and she doesn't like it, she will throw a tantrum." It seems the name Prom Queen fits this 3-year-old filly perfectly and it also appears as though many more winner's circle appearances are in her future. As for her male counterpart, Its Pointless just goes to the front and widens from there, with the Mark Anderson-owned, Gordie Graham-trained, James Kennedy-driven son of Kent's On Nuke currently too much for his rivals. By Mark Ratzky, for Cal Expo Harness

Fox Valley Hoss, coming off a near-miss last week; and Mystic Ruler and King Of The Crop, one-two in a solid heat at most recent asking, are among the major players in Saturday night's wide-open harness racing pacing feature at Cal Expo Harness. There will be 11 races under the Watch and Wager LLC banner with things getting underway at 6:10 p.m. Fox Valley Hoss is a 6-year-old son of Sportsmaster who is campaigned by Shane Bertrand and Doug Flores, and hails from the Richard Bertrand shedrow. A 1:52 4/5 victor here last year, he has captured two of his nine starts this season and came within a neck of pulling off a 14-1 upset in last week's appearance under these conditions with Luke Plano at the helm. King Of The Crop likewise just missed to a game Mystic Ruler as the 4-5 favorite in his most recent trip to the post while leading until very late in the game. He races for Don and Barbara Arnstine and Tyler Wiseman with Steve Wiseman training. A lifetime winner of 29 of his 166 starts, King Of The Crop recorded his career standard of 1:50 4/5 three years ago at Pompano Park and will be looking to add to a $212,000 bank account this weekend. Mystic Ruler will look to an encore in the main event while gunning for his fourth win from his last five trips to the post. The 8-year-old Canadian-bred is owned by Qks Racing and takes his lessons from Quentin Schneider. California Rock rolling for Wilkinson Trainer Junior Wilkinson continues to be a sharpshooter at this session, greeting 11 of his last 26 starters in the winner's circle, and California Rock has been a big part of that impressive batting average. A 4-year-old pacing son of Rockin Image, California Rock is owned by Billie Schwartz, Ivan Axelrod, Richard O'Neill and Wilkinson and has been a gem of consistency at this session with Luke Plano giving direction. California Rock has made seven trips to the charmed enclosure since the meet got underway, with his biggest win coming in the Bob Gordon Final back on January 3. In that affair, he brushed to command on the backside and took complete control of things for Plano, coming home with three lengths to spare while lowering his career standard to 1:53 3/5 in the process. Last week saw the hard-hitting performer getting the job done as the odds-on favorite for the second time in a row, igniting when it counted to prevail by two and a quarter-lengths in a 1:54 tour. By Mark Ratzky, for Cal Expo Harness          

A $6,700 filly and mare Open Pace and a pair of $7,000 California Sire Stakes for the 3-year-olds get the marquee treatment Friday evening at Cal Expo. Watch and Wager LLC will present 11 races and first post is 6:10. The Sire Stakes are the first and fifth events on the evening, while the Distaff Open occupies the sixth-race slot. Alwaysalittlemore will look to get back to the winner's circle after being disqualified from victory last weekend for going inside the pylons in the stretch in that clash at the top for the female pacers. A 6-year-old daughter of Always A Virgin, she carries the banner of Maria Alvarez and Terrence Smith with Edwin Hernandez training and Luke Plano at the helm. Alwaysalittlemore has posed for pictures following three of her seven starts this season, including a 1:52 3/5 lifetime best performance, and two of those scores have come at this Open level. Looking at the Sire Stakes, Its Pointless is a standout in the male division after dominating his rivals in coast-to-coast fashion in the initial stakes dance two weeks ago. The Mark Anderson homebred is by Kent's On Nuke, hails from the Gordie Graham barn and will once again be piloted by James Kennedy. Prom Queen accounted for the first distaff Sire Stakes two weeks ago, upsetting favored Debit Or Credit that night. Prom Queen is a daughter of Little Steven who was bred by Robin Clements and Desomer Stables Inc., is owned by Clements and has Nick Roland on a return assignment. Its Pointless leaves little doubt Its Pointless got right to the point in the first California Sire Stakes of the year for the sophomore pacing males, motoring directly to the front for James Kennedy and reporting home with five and three-quarter lengths to spare in a snappy 1:57 4/5 debut. A Mark Anderson homebred who hails from the Gordie Graham barn, Its Pointless had showed some promise in his two qualifiers and this was not lost on the crowd, who bet him down to 1-5 in what proved to be an overlay. The son of Kent's On Nuke was on cruise control from the very beginning, never having less than a two and half-length lead once the gate rolled and widened when the field hit the stretch. "For this being his first start, he was very professional," Kennedy related. "He's pretty smart and I was very impressed with his effort." Its Pointless is back to work Friday night in hopes of landing another Sire Stakes trophy on the mantle for the Anderson/Graham combination. There is a carryover of $19,269 in 10-cent Single 6 Friday night, with the sequence beginning on the fifth race. There are also two wagers offered here with a reduced 16 percent takeout rate, the 20-cent Pick 5 and 20-cent Pick 4, and the Pick 4 comes with a $40,000 guaranteed gross pool on Saturdays and $30,000 on Fridays. by Mark Ratzky, for Cal Expo Harness        

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