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The California Harness Horsemen's Association is proud to announce that Robin Burns and the late pacer Hi Ho Silverheels will be inducted into the California Harness Racing Hall of Fame on Sunday. "What a terrific honor," said Burns. "To be mentioned in the same breath as Joe O'Brien, Pres Jenuine, Jim Dennis and the other members is really beyond comprehension. "I can't thank enough the members of the selection committee for their unanimous vote." A native of Niagara Falls, NY, Robin attended the University of Miami (Fla.) and The Columbia School of Broadcasting. Burns first came to the attention of California fans as the announcer at Hollywood Park and also handled those duties at Los Alamitos and here at Cal Expo. He has also been the voice at harness tracks The Meadowlands, Freestate Raceway, Rosecroft Raceway, Louisville Downs, The Red Mile and Midwest Harness. His thoroughbred announcing has seen him calling the races at Laurel Park, Pimlico and currently Presque Isle. Burns estimates he has called over 80,000 races, including several broadcast on ESPN and CBS, including the Breeder's Crown, Maryland Million and Washington D.C. International. Robin's extensive resume has seen him serve as director of racing, director of simulcasting, consultant to the Macau Trotting Club, steward, starter, morning line maker and simulcast host. He helped launch the TVG Network while serving as director of traffic and simulcasting and as on-air host and analyst. His other television credits include hosting Racing from The Meadowlands on the Madison Square Garden Network; Winning at Rosecroft on Home Team Sports in Washington, D.C. and Harness Hoofbeats on Channel 9 in Los Angeles. In addition, Robin has lent his voice to the Hollywood movies "On the Right Track" and "Little Miss Marker". Robin Burns Also being inducted this year into the Hall of Fame this week is the late pacer Hi Ho Silverheels. Hi Ho Silverheels was a brilliant racehorse, earning just shy of $1.2 million with a 1:49 4/5 mark, and also proved to be one of the more influential harness racing stallions in the history of California breeding. A member of the class of 1991, Hi Ho Silverheels was by Walton Hanover out of the Abercrombie mare Armbro Caprice. "He wasn't bred in California, but he was foaled here and he's the best we've ever produced," said Wayne Knittel, who stood the stallion. In his racing days, Hi Ho Silverheels was scintillating to watch. Rick Kuebler drove him in all his California starts and was also at the controls when he competed in the Dan Patch at Indiana Downs. "He was the most gifted equine athlete I ever sat behind," Kuebler stated. "He had the unique combination of high speed and the capability to carry it. He routinely paced miles in 1:51 and change at Los Alamitos and I felt that on a good day he would break the 1:50 barrier. "There was a period in his career where you could have matched him up against the nine other best horses in the world and he would have been the odds-on favorite. He was that impressive." Robert Staats Final, Open Pace headline Lickcreek Speedway looms the overwhelming favorite in Saturday night's $9,600 Robert Staats Final, while Icy Blue Scooter gets top billing in the in the co-featured $7,000 Open Pace. Watch and Wager LLC will present 12 races and the action gets underway at 6:10 p.m with the Staats going as the sixth event and Open Pace occupying the eighth race slot on the evening. Lickcreek Speedway was sent off the 3-5 chalk in last week's Robert Staats Prep and made it look like a belated Xmas gift as she romped home by four and a half-lengths over the sloppy track. A 4-year-old daughter of Sand Shooter, the bay mare goes about her business for owner Jennifer Scarberry with James Kennedy reining and training. Her other victory at the meeting came in the Annette Funicello Prep in late November. Taking her on Saturday, from the rail out: Dancer's Fancy with Dean Magee; Glad to Meet Ya, Luke Plano; Lookslikewemadeit, Steve Wiseman; Damoricdalesno, Nathan Sobey; and Brigitte Bordeaux, who will be guided by Mooney Svendsen. Icy Blue Scooter is coming off a pair of dominating Open Pace scores for driver/trainer Nathan Sobey, who also co-owns the 6-year-old son of Blue Burner with Diane Bertrand and Robert Gilhespy. Sent off the 8-5 chalk in last week's top dance, Icy Blue Scooter came first over at the half, engaged the leader into the lane and then came home smartly in :27 1/5 to seal the deal by two and a quarter-lengths with Sobey at the helm. By Mark Ratzky, publicity - Cal Expo Harness

Love Live Laugh (Jimmy Whittemore) wins the featured fillies and mares pace ($6,500) at Vernon Downs on Friday (August 7). Love Live Laugh ($9.90) went right to the front and controlled all the fractions (:27.3, :57.2, 1:25.2, 1:53.1) Owned by Diane Whittemore and trained by Jimmy Whittemore, the race was still close after three-quarters but when she drove down the stretch she turned it into a laugh-er. Calbay (Dan Harvey) was a distant second. Jaclyn Hanover was third best. Love Live Laugh is an 8-year-old mare by Hi Ho Silverheel's. It was her eighth win of the season and career victory number 35. Jimmy Whittemore drove two more winners on the night. His other wins came with Hanrahan ($4.80) and Lets Go Get Em ($14.40). Namje (Gates Brunet) captures the trot feature ($6,000). Cash N Chrome (Claude Huckabone III) went right to the front and controlled the early fractions (:27.4, :57.3, 1:27.1). Namje ($5.80) was third after three-quarters. Owned by Crawford Farms Racing and trained by Brunet, she charged down the stretch to win by three lengths in 1:56.3. Deak's Cici Barr (Truman Gale) finished second. First Call (Homer Hochstetler) was third best. Namje is a 3-year-old gelding by Lucky Chucky. He won for the seventh time this season and his career. Vernon Downs returns to live racing on Saturday (September 8) with a 12 race card starting at 6:10 p.m. For more information go to by John Horne, for Vernon Downs

Love Live Laugh (Jimmy Whittemore) wins the harness racing featured fillies and mares pace ($4,500) at Vernon Downs on Thursday (August 2). Dangerousprecedent (Claude Huckabone III) put up all the early fractions (:27.4, :56.3, 1:25.0). Love Live Laugh ($11..20) was fourth just before three-quarters. Owned by Diane Whittemore and trained by Jimmy Whittemore, she went three wide in the stretch and wrestled the lead away from Dangerousprecedent to win in 1:53.0. Heart Crusher (Josh Kinney) came flying late to finish second. Dangerousprecedent held on to get the third spot. Love Live Laugh is an 8-year-old mare by Hi Ho Silverheel's. It was her sixth win this season and the 33rd win of her career. Whittemore also drove Parkhill Horton ($6.00) to a victory. Whittemore leads all Vernon drivers with 63 wins so far this season. Jay Hochstetler and Leon Bailey each had driving doubles as well. Hochstetler's wins came with Video Chic ($4.60) and Son Of Liberty ($7.90). Bailey picked up victories with Ms Casey Mac ($16.60) and Southwind Vixen ($3.50). There will be no live racing at Vernon Downs on Friday (August 3). Live racing returns on Saturday (August 4) with a 13 race card starting at 6:10 p.m. For more information go to by John Horne, for Vernon Downs

Love Live Laugh (Jimmy Whittemore) took the harness racing featured fillies and mares pace ($9,000) at Vernon Downs on Saturday night (September 16). Love Live Laugh (Hi Ho Silverheel's) would go gate-to-wire putting up all the fractions :28.0, :57.2, 1:24.3, 1:53.0. Owned and trained by Dennis Whittemore, the 7 year-old mare would hold off a late charge by second place finisher Drea's Good Powow (John MacDonald). Tiger Boudoir (Truman Gale) was third. Love Live Laugh ($7.70) won her fourth race of the season and got career victory number 26. It was Deja Vu for John MacDonald. He won six races last yesterday and six more tonight. He got wins tonight with Steuben Magic Ride ($30.20), Silver Arrow ($2.10), Major Starlight ($4.40), Machmemackie ($2.80), On The Big Swing ($2.70), and A Fool For Mark ($3.00). Vernon Downs returns to live action on Thursday (September 21) starting at 6:45 p.m. For more information go to John Horne for Vernon Downs  

The Sunday night May 28 Running Aces harness racing card featured the $12,000 Open Handicap Pace with a talented field of 9 squaring off, and it was AllmyX’sLiveNTexas who stole the show. Driven confidently by Mooney Svendsen for trainer Bob Johnson, the duo posted a sharp front-running score in 1:51.4, just one tick off of the track record for 4 year old pacing geldings. Sent hard from post six, the impressive son of Hi Ho Silverheels battled to clear the lead past the opening quarter mile (26.4), then repelled a strong challenge from race favorite SF Donttellonme (J. Casagranda) through the middle fractions of the race (55.4, 1:22.3) and had enough left in the tank to hold the rest of the field at bay and pick up his 6th win in 16 starts this year. Easy Again (R. Magee) picked up second, with SF Donttellonme home in third. With tonight’s triumph AllmyX’sLiveNTexas expanded his seasonal bankroll to $28,778 for owners Wayne & Rodney Knittel. The $10,000 Open Trot was also part of the Sunday card, and it would be the return of Banker Volo to the Running Aces winner’s circle, a familiar place for this talented 8 year old Stallion by Yankee Glide who was runner up in this event last week and was making just his 2nd start of the year. Driver Luke Plano guided Banker Volo out to an easy lead from post 5 and was never in doubt, controlling the affair and strolling through moderate fractions of 28.2, 58.4 and 1:27.1 before coasting home in 29.3 to hold off Leave Your Mark (N. Roland) by ¾ of a length in 1:56.4. Banker Volo is owned by Daniel Roland and trained by Jenni King. The $13,000 Minnesota-Sired 3 year old trotters also squared off this evening, with a full gate of 10 contestants. Imapixieatmidnight (N. Roland) set all the fractions in the affair, but was gunned down late by pocket-sitter Al Mar Foxyeclipse (Joe Casagranda), with Al Mar Money Glide (T. Maier) home in 3rd in the 2:02.1 mile. Tonight’s win was the 3rd lifetime tally for Al Mar Foxyeclipse in 18 starts, and boosted his bankroll to $22,910 for owner Mark Holtan with Joel Mc Danel doing the conditioning. Drivers Nick Roland, Steve Wiseman, and Mooney Svendsen all picked up driving doubles on the program. Live Racing returns to Running Aces this coming Tuesday, May 30 with a first post of 7:00 pm CDT. By Darin Gagne, Running Aces Track Announcer

Army Of One and Western Devil, who have dominated the division this season, go at it once again in Saturday night's harness racing featured $6,500 California Sire Stakes for the 3-year-old pacing males. An 11-race card is on tap under the Watch and Wager LLC banner with first post at 6:15 p.m. There will also be a California Sire Stakes for the sophomore fillies to be decided as a non-betting affair prior to the regular card. Army Of One is a homebred son of Hi Ho Silverheel's and the Artsplace mare Aftermatch who races for Wayne and Rod Knittel, takes his lessons from Bob Johnson and will as usual have Mooney Svendsen guiding. The Knittel performer accounted for the first four Sire Stakes of the season in impressive fashion on the frond end, but had to settle for second in the most recent big-money clash on April 8 as Western Devil overpowered him in the final stages that evening. The latter is a Power Of Art homebred who races for Frank Nevarez, is conditioned by Edwin Quevedo and has Luke Plano giving directions. After checking in second behind arch-rival Army Of One in the three of the first four stakes gathering, he was able to turn the table in that last one while coming home smartly. Taking them on are Muscle Beach, who also hails from the Johnson barn and will have Steve Wiseman in the sulky; and Firstdibbs, who will have the services of James Kennedy. Next week will feature the final two nights of the current meet, with programs slated for Friday and Saturday, May 5 and 6. Harness racing is scheduled to return to Cal Expo in late October Arnold, Bergstein lived up to the billing Last week's Stan Bergstein Trot and Lloyd Arnold Pace showcased some top performers, with Zoraze scoring a decisive win in the former while I'm An Athlete hung a nose decision on favored Barbarian in the Arnold. Despite not having seen evening action since January 13, Zoraze was certainly ready to rock and roll in the Bergstein off a pair of qualifiers for the team of owner Jamie Marra, trainer Sparky Clarke and pilot Luke Plano. Zoraze left into a perfect pocket trip from his No. 2 slot, took command on the final bend and then left the field in his dust once straightened for home in a 1:56 peformance. At the wire, it was some three and three-quarter lengths back to the hard-hitting mare My Little Susie, with favored Flameon checking in third. The Clarke/Plano team looked poised to pull off the Bergstein/Arnold double with Barbarian the following night, or at least that's what the public thought as they sent Robert Orr colorbearer off at 40 cents on the dollar. I'm An Athlete had other ideas, however, as the Lino Pacheco trainee proved ultra game on the front-end for James Kennedy and prevailed by a nose over Barbarian in a 1:53 2/5 tour. It was the fourth victory in the last five starts for the 7-year-old son of Art Major, who carries the banner of Ronald Rettig-Zucchi and pushed his career bankroll close to the $140,000 mark with that decision. By Mark Ratzky, publicity - Cal Expo Harness

The combination of owner/breeders Wayne and Rod Knittel, trainer Bob Johnson and pilot Mooney Svendsen are well represented on Saturday's harness racing program at Cal Expo with Allmyx'sliventexas in the Open Pace and Army Of One heading the Sire Stakes for sophomore pacing colts. Allymx'sliventexas is a 4-year-old by Hi Ho Silverheel's out of the Distinguishedbaron mare Annie Get Your Gun who has dominated his Sire Stakes rival this season, including a sizzling 1:51 4/5 romp by 11 lengths in the February 4 big money dance for the division. Army Of One is another Hi Ho Silverheel's for this team who has been the big man on campus in the previous four Sire Stakes decided for the 3-year-old pacing males. He is definitely following in his stablemate's footsteps in that regard. Allymyx'sliventexas really turned some heads in that aforementioned February stakes win where he blew the doors off his rivals in front-end fashion and established his lifetime standard in the process. "Usually when I let him roll he relaxes perfectly and I can drive him with two fingers," Svendsen related, "but that night he was like a rocket. I grabbed that bit and did all I could to just hold on. He was unbelievable." Allmyx'sliventexas has also proven himself with Open company this season, and has the advantage of the rail draw for Saturday's re-match with the red-hot Barbarian. Meanwhile, Army Of One will look to add another trophy to his case in the Sire Stakes. "He's got potential," Svendsen noted. "He might turn out to be just as good as Allmyx'sliventexas." Pair of Open Pacing events head card An Open Pace featuring the streaking Barbarian and a DistaffOpen that brings out Shark Festival and Hare To Eternity are the highlights on Saturday evening's program at Cal Expo. Twelve races are on tap under the banner of Watch and Wager LLC with a first post of 6:15 p.m. There will also be a pair of California Sire Stakes for 3-year-old pacers going as non-betting events prior to the regular card. In the Open Pace, Barbarian is fresh from four straight victories at the head of the class, with the most recent coming from the demanding No. 10 post. He will leave from the outside slot in a field of five this weekend. Barbarian is a 6-year-old son of Somebeachsomewhere out of the Western Ideal mare Righteous Renee who races for owner Robert Orr, takes his lessons from Sparky Clarke and will once again have the services of Luke Plano. The hard-hitting pacer has been unbeatable in his those last four appearances, and in the process has been putting his versatility in full display. He went coast-to-coast in the first three of those scores, then came from last at most recent asking when asked to his work from this No. 10 post assignment. Doc's Deal is an 8-year-old son of Sportsmaster out of the Broadway Express mare Crystal Trip who is owned by Windy City Farm and is reined and trained by Chip Lackey. He recorded his most recent victory at the Open III level on February 24, coming from well back to be up by a half-length that evening. He has a second, a third and a fourth-place finish in the interim. Completing the field are Allymx'sliventexas with Mooney Svendsen guiding from the cozy rail slot; I'm An Athlete, James Kennedy; and Buddy's Hope, who will have the services of Steve Wiseman. By Mark Ratzky, publicity - Cal Expo Harness

Saturday night's Keith Willey Memorial Trot is named for the popular horseman who passed away last September at the age of 81 following a three-month battle with cancer. Willey resided in Sacramento County for 43 years, 26 of which were spent in Herald. He served as a full-time military officer in the California National Guard from 1953 until his retirement in 1992, reaching the rank of Colonel. He also served as air defense commander and comptroller with the California State Military Department. One of his true loves was harness racing and he was a driver, trainer, owner and breeder while an extremely popular member of the fraternity. He was recalled as "A self-taught computer guru, photographer, pilot, lover of old country music, a Mr. Fix-it and a cowboy at heart who liked challenges." Keith was survived by his wife Deborah and son Kenneth, plus numerous dogs, cats and horses. Nathalie Tremblay said, "Keith was a great friend and business partner for both me and my dad Nicol. We used to love to go his farm in the summer and train over his half-mile track. "Keith loved every animal that was born and raised on his farm, and there was always a place for them." As far as performers go, Nathalie remembers a special place in Willey's heart for the trotter KD Justice. "Both Keith and my dad won with him. I also remember a time when KD Justice broke Keith's leg, and he didn't even realize it at the time!" Jim Perez said, "Keith always supported California harness racing. He was on the Sire Stakes board of directors for many years and always loved his Cal-breds. He was a big part of the Sire Stakes program and is truly missed." Keith Willey Memorial, Sire Stakes headline The Keith Willey Memorial Trot featuring Flameon and a pair of $10,000 California Sire Stakes for 3-year-old pacers are the main events on Saturday night's program at Cal Expo. There will be 11 races on tap with first post set for 6:15 p.m. The Keith Willey Trot will go as the fourth race, while the Sire Stakes for pacing colts occupies the sixth-race slot and the pacing fillies stakes will be a non-betting event prior to the regular program. In the two Sire Stakes, owner/breeders Wayne and Rod Knittel and trainer Bob Johnson will look to continue their domination with homebreds Allmyx'sliveintexas and Moonstone Beach and Mooney Svendsen will once again guide both performers. Allmyx'sliveintexas is a son of Hi Ho Silverheel's out of the Distinguishedbarn mare Annie Get Your Gun who has captured five of his nine starts, including the opening leg of the Lonnie Beck Series and all four Sire Stakes decided for the sophomore pacing colts. In the most recent big-money clash for this group two weeks, Svendsen sent the 1-5 favorite right to the front and he widened in the stretch, reporting home with seven lengths to spare while missing his lifetime mark by two ticks with the 1:55 flat final clocking. Moonstone Beach has likewise dominated the 3-year-old pacing fillies for the Knittel/Johnson/Svendsen combination. She is by Crisis Situation out of the Beach Towel mare Bj's Beach Fire and has prevailed in five of her seven outings, with four of those scores resulting in stakes trophies. By Mark Ratzky, for Cal Expo Harness

Hi Ho Houdini may have gotten off to a late start, not making his first trip to the post until December, but he's certainly making up for lost time having won six of his seven starts with sights set squarely on Sunday's Sire Stakes for the harness racing 4-year-old pacing males. The son of Hi Ho Silverheel's, who races for Lujuanna Lopez, takes his lessons from Gordie Graham and is regularly piloted by Luke Plano, was an impressive winner of the first stakes dance of the season for the division a month ago and has captured the Marvin Shapiro and a conditioned event in the interim. "It's a dream come true to have a horse like this," Lopez related. "This is beyond what I could have ever hoped for with Hi Ho Houdini." Lopez , who currently has five horses, first became involved with the sport when she was rescuing horses some nine years ago and started to meet members of the harness racing community. "The more people I met, the more interested I became," she explained. Lujuanna's farm was home to the Park Place mare Holls Park Place while she was carrying Hi Ho Houdini, so she has been involved with the pacer from the very beginning. "He's quite the athlete, but he can also be very mischievous," she noted. "The day he was born, that night there was a ruckus coming from the barn and I went out with my rifle, thinking it might be a fox or a coyote. It turned out he was he was racing back and fourth and it was causing Holls Park Place to throw a fit." At the moment, the only ones who are throwing a fit are Hi Ho Houdini's rivals. Sire Stakes, pair of Opens head marquee A $10,000 California Sire Stakes for the 4-year-old pacers featuring Hi Ho Houdini and Uringoodhands; an Open Trot headed by Northern Stormont and an Open Pace featuring I'm An Athlete head the Sunday program at Cal Expo. There will be 12 races presented by Watch and Wager LLC and the action gets under way at 5:05 p.m. The Open Pace is the third event on the evening, the Open Trot occupies the sixth-race slot and the Sire Stakes goes as the eighth race. In the first stakes dance for the 4-year-old males one month ago, Uringoodhands was the 1-5 favorite , but it was Hi Ho Houdini who prevailed while turning in a lifetime best 1:53 1/5 performance with a sparkling :26 3/5 final quarter. Uringoodhands is a Kent's On Nuke homebred who races for Mark Anderson, hails from the Gordie Graham barn and will be guided by James Kennedy. Hi Ho Houdini is another Graham trainee who represents Lujuanna Lopez with Luke Plano once again handling the lines. Since that Sire Stakes score, Hi Ho Houdini has added two more victories, including a handy decision in the Marvin Shapiro Pace two weeks ago. Sent off the 1-9 favorite in that contest, came out late on the final bend, took command early in the drive and went on to a two-length score. Suiting up for a conditioned affair last week, the sharp performer once again rewarded the chalkplayers to the tune of $4 as did the track-and-attack to perfection for Plano and won going away by two and a quarter lengths. Taking on this dynamic duo, from the rail out: Lodi Machete Man from the Pierre Girard barn; the Vickie Desomer-conditioned Musician, Sounion for Edwin Quevado; the Sal Wenceslao-trained Laissezmoipicoler and Hi Ho's Little Rev from Bob Johnson's shedrow. By Mark Ratzky, Publicity - Cal Expo Harness

After settling for second in the first California Sire Stakes for her division two weeks ago, Little Emma looks to correct that oversight in Saturday night's second big-money dance for the harness racing 3-year-old pacing fillies at Cal Expo. A homebred daughter of Little Steven, Little Emma races for the partnership of breeders Rick and Marlene Thomas, Dave and Rob Haness and George Reider, with Reider doing the training. She comes off a sharp conditioned victory last weekend in the first teaming with Luke Plano that should set her up perfectly for Saturday's main event. "She's got the right name, that's for sure," said Reider. "She's very little, just like her dam, who was a hard-trying New Zealand mare that I trained for awhile for the Thomas family. "She was a feisty little thing to break, and even though she's little, she has a lot of power and spunk. She's still learning, but she's definitely getting better with each start. It's interesting when you train down a baby and see the characteristics of the mother come through like they do with this filly." George added that while both Little Emma and her dam Elegant Emma were feisty on the racetrack, they were both complete sweethearts around the barn. "I'm happy for all the connections as far as how things have gone to this point, and I also want to give credit to Alex Alaga at Hawthorne Ranch, who does a breat job and brings them back looking fantastic. "As far as the spring goes, it's going to be exciting to see how much more she can progress. If I could ask for one thing, it would be that gets just a little taller," Reider added with a smile. Sophomore Sire Stakes get marquee treatment A pair of $10,000 California Sire Stakes for 3-year-old pacers head the Saturday program, with Allmyx'sliveintexas and Midnight Adventure leading the colt division, while Little Emma and Moonstone Beach square off in the filly contest. There will be a 12-race card on tap under the Watch and Wager LLC banner with a first post of 6:15 p.m. The colt stakes will go as the third event on the evening, while the filly stakes will be contested as a non-betting race prior to the regular program. Looking at the stakes for the males, Allmyx'sliveintexas won the initial stakes for this group on February 13 over Midnight Adventure, who was the 4-5 favorite that evening. The former is a homebred son of Hi Ho Silverheel's who races for Wayne and Rod Knittel, is conditioned by Bob Johnson and will once again have Mooney Svendsen guiding. Sent off the 9-5 second choice in that first Sire Stakes, Allmyx'sliveintexas was used early for the lead by Svendsen, was covered up on the backside, then came with a nice kick in the stretch to win going away by a length and a half in a sharp 1:54 3/5 performance. Midnight Adventure is a son of Kent's On Nuke who is owned and was bred by Mark Anderson and Debra McCarthy, hails from the Gordie Graham barn and has James Kennedy back at the controls. He accounted for the Lonnie Beck Series finale on January 30. Moonstone Beach captured the first stakes get-together for the sophomore pacing fillies for the team of owner/breeders Wayne and Rod Knittel, trainer Bob Johnson and pilot Mooney Svendsen. She rallied with cover that night and proved a punctual 3-5 choice. Little Emma was her most immediate victim in that mile, but came back to win a conditioned event last weekend in a solid come-from-behind effort. George Reider trains the Little Steven offspring and co-owns along with her breeders Rick and Marlene Thomas and Dave and Rob Haness and Luke Plano guides. Plain Awesome completes the cast with James Kennedy in the sulky. By Mark Ratzky

Allmyx'sliveintexas, who has turned in three solid efforts at this Cal Expo meeting including a romping score in the first leg, gets top billing in Saturday night's Lonnie Beck Series final for the 3-year-old pacers, while a contentious field is set for the co-featured Open I Pace. There will be 13 races on tap with first post set for 6:15 p.m. The Lonnie Beck goes as the third event on the evening and the Open I Pace occupies the 12th-race spot on the card. A homebred son of Hi Ho Silverheel's out of the Distinguishedbaron mare Annie Get Your Gun, Allmyx'sliveintexas races for Wayne and Rod Knittel with Bob Johnson the conditioner and Mooney Svendsen once again in the sulky. The bay performer made his debut on January 10 and finished a promising second, then suited up for the first leg of the Lonnie Beck the following week and made 4-5 look like a gift with a five and a quarter length romp with a 1:57 1/5 tour of the oval. Allmyx'sliveintexas suited up in a conditioned event at most recent asking and finished third behind the 1-5 Hi Ho Houdini, earning a 1:56 individual clocking. He looms strictly the one to beat off those first three outings. Mattachusetts gives the Knittel/Johnson team another strong look at the outcome with Steve Wiseman at the controls. He put in a strong late move to earn his graduation papers last weekend and the son of Crisis Situation appears to be headed in the right direction. Completing the field the Junior Wilkinson-trained One More Chance with Chip Lackey handling the lines and Midnight Adventure, who hails from the Gordie Graham shedrow and will have James Kennedy in the sulky. Hi-Five carryover with 25K guarantee set A $7,839 Hi-Five carryover will add some intrigue to Saturday night's 10th race, courtesy of several double-digit performers filling out those spots in last Sunday evening's nitecap. The Hi-Five is a 20-cent wager that challenges players to pick the first five finishers across the line and Saturday night there will be a $25,000-guaranteed gross pool. That task proved to be too difficult a task for the players on Sunday when As Hot As Hall and Luke Plano stormed home to a $27 upset over the 29-1 I'm Confident, with 10-1, 6-1 and 15-1 shots right behind them. Looking at Saturday's 10th race, it's a Open III contest for pacing fillies and mares with a field of nine set to face starter Ken Fowler. Racing secretary Robin Schadt has basically divided the field into two parts, with four of the distaffers drawing for the inside slots, while the other five drew for the outside post positions. Steve Wiseman conditions two of the major players, as he will guide Part Time Lady from the No. 5 slot, while David Siegel has the assignment behind Surprisingly Sweet, who does her work from the No. 8 post. A reminder that there are two wagers offered here each night with a reduced 16 percent takeout rate. They are the 50-cent Pick 5, which this season features a 25 percent minor pool payout; and the 20-cent Pick 4, which comes with a $30,000-guaranteed gross pool on Saturdays and $25,000 guarantee on Sundays. ********** Next week will find the trotters and pacers in action on Friday and Saturday, February 5 and 6, with no live racing on Super Bowl Sunday, February 7. By Mark Ratzky    

Hi Hos Little Rev has had a good meeting for owner Vanessa Gilliam, trainer Bob Johnson and regular pilot Mooney Svendsen, with a harness racing stakes trophy on the mantle and a sharp conditioned score to his credit last weekend at Cal Expo. The son of Hi Ho Silverheels will be suiting up in Saturday evenings California Sire Stakes, where he will take on a couple of familiar foes in Uringoodhands, who is the pro-tem leader of the 3-year-old male pacing division; and another tough customer answering to the name of Lodi Machette Man. Hi Hos Litle Rev recorded his stakes decision on January 31 in a 1:57 1/5 performance, then knocked three ticks off that career standard with a game decision last Saturday that should set him up nicely for the final stakes clash of the meet. In between, he has been picking up second and third-place checks behind the aforementioned Uringoodhands and Lodi Machette Man in the Sire Stakes while never missing a dance. Rev has had a great first season and I couldnt be any happier with his performance, Gilliam said. He has such a big heart and he truly loves job. My vet and trainer have made several comments about how easy hes been to work with since he arrived for training and I take this as a compliment, because I raised him since birth. Vanessa was asked about plans for Hi Hos Little Rev when this session concludes in two weeks. Im bringing him back to Second Wind Rescue, Inc. for the summer. Hes going to get a month off to be a horse with his buddies in the pasture. I plan on cross training him by ponying him in the riverbed and might start him under saddle if time permits. He needs to grow some and has definitely earned some much needed R and R. Uringoodhands eyes another Sire Stakes score Uringoodhands, who has posed for pictures following five of the seven added-money contests decided for the division at this meet, looks to add another in Saturday nights $10,000 California Sires Stakes for the 3-year-old pacing colts. A 10-race card is on tap under the Watch and Wager LLC banner with first post set for 6:55 p.m. In addition to the Sire Stakes, there is a $5,500 Distaff Open II Handicap Pace featuring Rag Doll and High Bet Hanover. Looking at the Sire Stakes, Uringoodhands is a homebred son of Kents On Nuke out of the Surmo Hanover mare Sparks Will Fly who is owned by Mark Anderson, hails from the Gordie Graham barn and will as usual have James Kennedy in the sulky. After having to settle for second behind upsetter Lodi Machette Man in the March 28 stakes clash, the Anderson colorbearer returned this perch at the head of the class in the most recent Sire Stakes. Kennedy guided him to a coast-to-coast tally in that affair, with the 1:55 clocking equaling his career standard. Lodi Machette Man was the runner-up in that last stakes after leaving into a pocket journey and was picking up his first trophy when he got the job done in that March 28 gathering. Mary Harris and Pierre Girard own the Little Steven homebred with Girard training and Luke Plano doing the honors. Hi Hos Little Rev is the other member of the cast with a Sire Stakes decision, getting that win back on January 31. The son of Hi Ho Silverheels races for Vanessa Gilliam with Bob Johnson the conditioner and Mooney Svendsen handling the lines. He has been third in the last two stakes get-togethers. Completing the field are Laisszemoipocler, who hails from the Sal Wenceslao stable and leaves from the cozy rail slot with Williams Hernandez guiding; and Shutgun Rider, who gives the Johnson barn a second look at the outcome and has Steve Wiseman at the controls. By Mark Ratzky, Publicity Cal Expo Harness

It took him 12 stabs and he waited until the last big dance, but Tony Cheesecake got his overdue stakes trophy last weekend with harness racing driver James Kennedy in the sulky behind the Junior Wilkinson trainee. Coming into the final Sire Stakes for the 4-year-old pacing males, the Little Steven homebred had racked up a second, a third and nine fourth-place finishes while taking on the likes of Rikybrnthegaragdwn and King Of The Crop, but he showed revenge is a dish best served cold with last Saturdays score. It was really a case of his not being quite as good as a few of those pacers up until this year, related Wilkinson, who co-owns Tony Cheesecake with Billie Schwartz and David Rachford. Hed even been favored a couple of times in those stakes, which kind of surprised me, and he had to settle for minor awards on those nights. Hes a better horse now, and it certainly helped that he got a great trip. Kennedy left into the garden spot behind odds-on King Of The Crop, was able to sit behind a spirited duel with that rival and Rickybrnthegaragdwn, then came a sizzling :26 3/5 final quarter to post the 10-1 upset and earn his initial stakes decision in the last scheduled added-money event for this division. The one thing I told James was we couldnt be on the front end, Wilkinson explained. He was able to float out of there and drop into a perfect spot and got the trip. I have a lot of respect for the other horses, but it was his night. Tony Cheesecake is an example of that old adage if you dont succeed at first, try, try again. Sire Stakes, Open Pace and Trot featured A $10,000 California Sire Stakes for sophomore pacing males that matches Uringoodhands and Hi Hos Little Rev; an Open Trot headed by El Azteca; and a contentious Open Pace are the main events on Saturdays 14-race Watch and Wager LLC program at Cal Expo. Uringoodhands is a homebred son of Kents On Nuke out the Surmo Hanover mare Sparks Will Fly who is owned by Mark Anderson, hails from the Gordie Graham barn and will once again have James Kennedy at the controls. The dark-hued performer has accounted for three of the four stakes races decided for this group, the most recent coming in coast-to-coast fashion on February 28 as the 1-5 choice. He prevailed by a neck that night over the pocket-sitting Hi Hos Little Rev while equaling his mark with the 1:55 1/5 clocking. Hi Hos Little Rev has a stakes trophy and has been runner-up in the other three big-money dances. Vanessa Gilliam owns the son of Hi Ho Silverheels with Bob Johnson the conditioner and Mooney Svendsen handling the lines. He held off Uringoodhands by a neck in the January 17 stakes clash. Completing the field are Laissezmoipocouler, who leaves from the cozy rail slot with Williams Hernandez; Sounion, who has the services of Tim Maier; Lodi Machette Man for Pierre Girard; and Musician with Luke Plano. *********** Saturdays card features a $57,226 carryover in the Jackpot 6. The Jackpot 6 is a 10-cent minimum bet and is one of four wagers on the program with a reduced 16% takeout rate. The other reduced takeout wagers are the Hi-5, which is conducted on the final race and like the Jackpot 6 is a 10-cent minimum; the 50-cent Pick 5; and the 20-cent Pick 4, which comes with a $25,000-guaranteed pool. By Mark Ratzky, Publicity Cal Expo Harness

Live Love Laugh, fresh from two powerful victories for Tim and Denise Maier, looks to keep the momentum going in Sundays nights Open II Pace for fillies and mares. She will do her work from the assigned No. 10 post position. An 11-race program is on tap Sunday and things will get underway at 4:50 p.m. There will also be a pair of $10,000 California Sire Stakes that will be decided as non-betting events prior to the regular card. Live Love Laugh is a 5-year-old daughter of Hi Ho Silverheels out of the Little Steven mare Prettylittlerebel who is owned and trained by Denise Maier with husband Steve handling the lines. She was a 1:52 2/5 winner at Pocono Downs last season. The bay mare proved in the January 30 Open while doing her work from the No. 7 slot that evening. She was hard used to the early lead, did the give-and-go by the half and went on to a two and a quarter-length score. Wheeled back with this group last week, Live Love Laugh was bet down to 50 cents on the dollar and did not disappoint her many backers. Maier left into a tracking trip with his protege, attacked once straightened away for the drive and proved clearly best while once again coming a :27 1/5 final quarter. Looking for an upset this weekend are Blue Gem, who leaves from the cozy rail slot for trainer Harold Herrera; Internal Check, who gives the Maier barn two looks at the outcome; My Little Bit and Someislandsomewhere from the Gene Vallandingham shedrow; the Lino Pacheco-trained Lexies Delight; High Bet Hanover from Tim Browns barn and the Steve Wiseman-trained Part Time Lady. ******* For this week and the next, the trotters and pacers will be in action on Friday, Saturday and Sunday nights, Feb 13-15 and 20-22. Antoniades lends expertise On Windy City simulcasts Mike Antoniades, who was a Cal Expo visitor last month, is the racing analyst at both Balmoral and Maywood Park and was asked for some handicapping tips when it comes to navigating the Chicago simulcasts. Balmoral is a mile track like Cal Expo, while the other harness racing in the area is conducted over the sister half-mile track Maywood Park. Both are offered to Cal Expo players as part of the simulcasting package. As far as Balmoral and Cal Expo are concerned, they are very similar when it comes to handicapping the races, Antoniades explained. Balmoral is one of the few East Coast tracks where you dont have a distinct speed bias and you can close from far back in the six or seven path and win. Thats something the track has in common with Cal Expo, where speed isnt always golden. Mike also had a handicapping tip when it comes to comparing horses who are racing at Balmoral and those who are doing their work on the smaller Maywood Park layout. Generally speaking, the horses who are racing at Balmoral have to be athletic, because they have to race the entire mile, while the Maywood races are more about racing early and late. Having said that, Antoniades tends to give horses moving from Balmoral to Maywood an extra look. They get extra credit, and conversely, those who last raced at Maywood Park have a bit more to prove to me when they come to Balmoral. ****** A reminder that there are four wagers offered here each night with a reduced 16% takeout rate. They are the 50-cent Pick 5; the 20-cent Pick which comes with a $25,000-guaranteed pool; and the Jackpot 6 and Hi-5, which are both 10-cent minimum bets. By Mark Ratzky        

Vanessa Gilliam is the owner of the promising 3-year-old pacing colt Hi Hos Little Rev, the Bob Johnson trainee who was runner-up in the first stakes race for his division earlier this month and will suit up once again in Saturday nights harness racing opener. She is also the operator of Second Wind Rescue, Inc., doing a terrific job giving horses the second chance they deserve. I didn't grow up with horses, Vanessa explained. I was a competitive volleyball player, and my parents encouraged me to pursue athletics instead of equines, because they felt horses were not only dangerous, but wouldnt pay for college. Gilliam ended up playing college volleyball for five years and for a short period some professional volleyball in Greece, eventually buying her first horse in 2007. It was a 4- year-old Overo APHA mare, she related. In March of 2008, I starting rescuing by purchasing three unbroken 2 year olds Quarter Horse type horses for $150 apiece. Fast forward to the summer of 2010, when Vanessa met veterinarian Dr. Audrey Clifton in Paso Robles at a restaurant where she was working a couple of nights a week. She vacations at Lake Nacimento every summer with her family. We got to talking about our occupations and instantly become friends. She offered to help me with dental work and stock me with essential medical supplies at cost when she was down here. We stayed in touch and I went up to Cal Expo to visit her in 2011. During my visit, I got to jog two horses around the track on a Saturday morning and I was hooked! Later that year she called me to see if I had room for three pregnant mares at my ranch. I was able to take two of them, Prettylittlerebel and Sharps and Flats. Both mares were bred to Hi Ho Silverheels. Hi Ho's Little Rev, who is out of Prettylittlerebel, was born at Second Wind Rescue, Inc. in 2012. When he was getting close to turning 2, Gilliam contacted Clifton to help her get the ball rolling with his harness training. Audrey has been very instrumental in making this journey possible, Vanessa noted. She got him a spot in Leon Smith's barn for the first half of training. With all the groundwork I did with him at my place, Rev was ground driven his first day there and hooked up to a cart by the end of the week. It also goes to show the great minds that this breed possesses. Being part of this process has been a huge learning experience which will help me better understand the industry and also the horses that are involved. It's stressful being a racehorse owner, but I'm enjoying the excitement of the journey. As for Second Wind, it has been a 501(c)3 non-profit organization since 2011. Vanessa has had 62 horses, representing 20 different breeds, come through the rescue facility over the last seven years. After owning a few Standardbreds, she noted, I'd put them as one of my top three favorite breeds, along with Friesians and Mustangs. In addition, she currently owns a cleaning business called Mo Betta Cleaning Services, waits tables a couple nights a week, and runs the rescue. I care for 15 horses, four llamas, two sheep, two goats, a potbelly pig, three dogs, two cats, nine chickens and 14 ducks, pretty much all by myself. On occasion, I have volunteers here helping with ranch chores and training. Our goal at Second Wind is to take unwanted, abused, and/or neglected horses, get them healthy, add value to them with training, and adopt them out to forever homes. Noble work, indeed. Introducing Second Wind Rescue Open Pace, sophomore Sire Stakes in spotlight An Open Pace that rematches St Lads Lotto and China King and a $10,000 California Sire Stakes for the 3-year-old pacing colts get the marquee treatment Saturday night at Cal Expo. The Sire Stakes goes as the first and the Open Pace as the fourth event on a 14-race card that is scheduled to get underway at 6:10 p.m. Four wagers are offered at a reduced 16% takeout rate, including the Pick 4 that comes with a $30,000-guaranteed gross pool. Looking at the Sire Stakes, Urungoodhands, a powerful winner of the first added-money event for the 3-year-old males pacers; and Hi Hos Little Rev, his most immediate victim that evening, loom the major players. Uringoodhands is a homebred son of Kents On Nuke who campaigns for Mark Anderson, is trained by Gordie Graham and will once again have the services of James Kennedy.After finishing second in his debut, the dark-hued performer suited up for the first stakes engagement for the division two weeks ago. He sat a tracking trip for Kennedy, exploded off the final bend and won going away by three lengths in a 1:57 1/5 mile. Hi Hos Little Rev is a son of Hi Ho Silverheels who is owned by Vanessa Gilliam with Bob Johnson the conditioner and Mooney Svendsen in his usual position in the sulky. He was a powerful winner of his second trip to the post on January 4, then had to settle for second in the aforementioned January 17 Sire Stakes after looming large at midstretch. Racing will be conducted this week on Friday and Saturday nights, with no racing on Super Bowl Sunday, February 1. Next week, there will be Saturday and Sunday night programs, February 7 and 8. Following that, there will be back-to-back three-night weeks with cards on Friday through Sunday, February 13, 14, 15; and Friday through Sunday, February 20, 21, 22. Mark Ratzky

The way Hi Ho’s Little Rev has been picking up his game with each start, he’s likely a force to be reckoned with when the first Sire Stakes for the 3-year-old pacing males rolls around next week. The son of Hi Ho Silverheel’s races for Vannessa Gilliam, takes his lessons from Bob Johnson and has been handled in each of his appearances by Mooney Svendsen, who is high on the gelding. “He’s a little guy, but he’s growing and he’s definitely got the right attitude,” said Svendsen. Hi Ho’s Little Rev went a mile in 2:04 1/5 in his first qualifier, took a second off that time in his second practice mile, was third with a 2:01 4/5 clocking in his first official start and then romped home by five and a half lengths at most recent asking while stopping the clock in a snappy 1:57 1/5 that evening. “Bob wanted us to go about 2:04 in that first qualifier and that’s what we did,” Mooney noted. “He was green that day and also pretty much all over the track in the second qualifier when he cut out all the pace. “For the first start under the lights, Bob put some cheater cups on him and he went right to the front, got covered up and then finished real well. We were real happy with the effort.” In last week’s tour, Hi Ho’s Little Rev sat a pocket journey, ignited in the stretch and shaved a full four and three-fifths seconds off his standard in a race where he admittedly had some trouble behind him. “He was absolutely flawless that night,” his pilot related. “He couldn’t be coming up to next week’s first stakes any better.” With a few other newly-turned sophomores showing some promise of late, it figures to be interesting. Guarantee increased on low-takeout Pick 4 Watch and Wager LLC, the operator of Cal Expo Harness, has increased the guarantee on the 16% takeout Pick 4 from $20,000 to $30,000 for the remainder of January. A 10-race card is on tap Friday with first post set at 6:40 p.m. Racing is now being conducted three nights a week with the trotters and pacers in action on Friday, Saturday and Sunday nights.  The Pick 4 is one of four wagers offered on each program with that reduced 16% takeout rate. In addition to the 20-cent Pick 4; there is the 50-cent Pick 5; the 10-cent Jackpot 6 and the 10-cent Hi-Five on the nightcap. To help players get a head start, announcer Gary Seibel and handicapper Dave Brower do an informative and entertaining simulcast seminar prior to the Pick 4 that has proven to be very popular. Friday’s feature is a conditioned pace that finds the multiple stakes-winning King Of The Crop from the Gordie Graham barn taking on a strong field while doing his work from the No. 7 post with Bruce Clarke at the controls. Looking ahead to Saturday, El Azteca and Its Not Over, who have divided up all the top dances for the trotting set at this meeting, go at it once again in the featured Open Trot. El Azteca is a 6-year-old son of Panama Hanover who comes into this assignment with three victories from the seven Open Trots during this stand, while arch-rival Its Not Over has posed following the other four. El Azteca is owned, trained and was bred by Marco Rios and James Kennedy once again has the assignment. By Mark Ratzky, for Cal Expo Harness

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