James Kennedy had never driven the 4-year-old trotter Inside Broadway prior to opening night here at Cal Expo, but in the ensuing three weeks they have formed a solid partnership that resulted in a win at the head of the class last weekend. Inside Broadway, who is owned, trained and was bred by Bob Johnson, checked in fourth in his first start at this stand after making an extended first-over move at the half, then was hard-used early in his next appearance and garnered the show money. In last week's tour, the trotter flexed his muscles with Kennedy's guidance and motored away to an impressive two and a half-length score. "Bob really didn't give me any instructions for that first start," James related when asked about the October 5 outing. "I came first-over with him out of last, he gave it a good try to deep stretch and then I got the impression he was a little short. "I played it by ear for the second start and decided to leave with him. He had to be used pretty hard in that opening quarter and I was happy with the effort. It set him up nicely for last time." Sent off at 9-2 from the No. 5 post for his most recent appearance, Inside Broadway was able to take a three-hole tuck around the first turn while tracking Running Aces invader Rich Dessert. He was out to engage the leader turning for home, took a clear advantage soon after straightening for home and left little doubt in a powerful mile. "I though it would be in our best interest to leave strong and make the top, at least for a little while," Kennedy noted. "That didn't happen, but fortunately I was able to duck in and drop third. He felt really strong when I pulled him and he made the lead into the stretch. To be honest, I was surprised he won that easily. Surprised, but very happy." Will James Kennedy be pleasantly surprised again? We'll find out after Saturday night's second race where Inside Broadway leaves from the No. 4 slot in the field of six. Hoping to spoil a curtain call are Axle and Franks Best to this outside and Alpine Hawk, Rich Dessert and Sharpshootennorris to his inside. Top pacers, top trotters sharing the spotlight Inside Broadway was a game first-over winner in last week's clash at the head of the division and eyes an encore in the Open 2 Trot, while Phantom Dan and One And Only are among the leading players in the co-featured Open 2 Pace at Cal Expo Saturday night. A 13-race card is on tap with first post set at 6:10 p.m. A 4-year-old son of Broadway Hall out of the American Winner mare Inside Edition, Inside Broadway is owned, trained and was bred by Bob Johnson and will once again have James Kennedy giving directions. It had been a rather lean season for the trotter coming into last week's action, with just one victory to show from 22 trips to the post on the year, but the Johnson representative made 9-2 look like a gift. He left for third-place tuck for Kennedy, was first-over going into the final bend to put away the leader and drew off by two and a half-lengths in a 1:58 3/5 tour. Axle was a solid runner-up at 9-1 that evening and is coming off back-to-back big tries here, having taken the measure of a softer group in his previous outing. George Reider trains and co-owns the son of Hard Rock N Roll, who was claimed for $5,000 at Running Aces in August. David Siegel will be at the controls once again and he co-owns the trotter with Reider, Bob Thronson and Greg Robinson. Alpine Hawk is a fan favorite with many victories over this layout and has to be respected with Rich Wojcio in the sulky. He is on the verge of going over the $200,000 earnings mark and was an easier-than-looks winner at this level two weeks ago. Jim Winske owns and he hails from the Gordie Graham barn. Franks Best gives the Bob Johnson barn another solid look at the outcome. A multiple stakes winner at this layout with $176,000 in the bank, he is looking to make amends after checking in third last weekend as the 9-5 choice. The son of Armbro Scribe can really roll home in the lane and always makes it interesting. The Open Pace looms a contentious affair and they will line up as follows from the rail: Thedeadliestcast for trainer Gordie Graham; In Confident for the Bob Johnson barn; Giant Sculpture for driver/trainer Gene Vallandingham; the Lino Pacheco-conditioned One And Only and Phantom Dan for pilot/conditioner James Kennedy. by Mark Ratzky for Cal Expo Harness
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After winning the first four legs of the East-West Challenge on Friday Night and holding a commanding lead, the amateur squad from Cal-Expo managed to rebound after losing some of that lead in leg five and ultimately defeat the Eastern team comprised of some of the top harness racing Billings drivers with a final score of 179-112.
The harness racing team from Cal-Expo managed a clean sweep of four races last night to take a commanding 99-39 lead in the eighth annual East-West Amateur Drivers Challenge.
With March Madness well in the rear view mirror, the eyes of the harness racing world will be on Sacramento, California for the two-day, East versus West, Amateur Driving Challenge.
Michelle Ruvola and George Bonomo will be hopping a plane to the left coast this week to participate in the 8th annual East-West Challenge for harness racing 'Amateur Drivers'.
One veteran and relative newcomer to the amateur harness driving ranks will draw swords (actually whips) against eastern combatants in next week's East-West challenge.
Dein Spiggs is no stranger to the harness racing winner's circle. But he has not been up close and personal to it in our country's largest state since 2006.
The brainchild of former Californian harness racing secretary, Dave Goldschmidt, is now going into its eighth year. The 2013 installment of the East-West Amateur Driving Challenge will take place on April 12th and 13th at Cal-Expo in Sacramento, California.
With sights set squarely on next month's Lloyd Arnold Pace, Military Stratcom made his seasonal harness racing debut last week for owner/trainer Jennifer Sabot and scored a convincing length decision with Dave Siegel in the sulky.
Team Pompano consisting of professional harness racing drivers Bruce Ranges and Wally Hennessey and amateur drivers Dein Spriggs and Joe Pennachio will try to defeat counterparts from Cal-Expo in the second annual installment of the Sunshine Pro-Am Challenge.
The second annual installment of an innovative pro-am series hosted by Pompano Park is only days away.
The $12,150 Bill Conlin Pacing series and the $11,100 Michael Corley Pacing series finales and a $10,000 California Sire Stakes for 3-year-old pacing colts are the featured harness racing events on Saturday night's (February 15) 15-race Cal Expo program.
The second legs of the Michael Corley and Bill Conlin Pacing series, the Kevin Tisher Memorial and two $10,000 California Sire Stakes headline Saturday night's Watch and Wager LLC harness racing program at Cal Expo.
Two divisions of the opening leg of the Joe O'Brien Pacing Series hold the spotlight Sunday night at the Watch and Wager LLC meeting at Cal Expo. A 12-race harness racing program is on tap with first post at 5:10 p.m.
Big Better Best certainly lived up to his name in his division of last week's opening leg of the Bob Gordon Pacing series at Cal Expo, doing the track-and-attack to perfection for harness racing driver Dave Siegel. The 3-year-old son of Pro Bono Best goes about his business for owner Bernie Wolin and trainer Raul Escobedo and was making his second Cal Expo appearance after shipping in from Indiana.