Day At The Track
Search Results
1 to 16 of 249
1 2 3 4 5 Next »

Arguably the most impressive performance on the Tuesday evening harness racing program at Running Aces came in The $10,000 Open Trot, when Banker Volo ($3.60) re-bounded tonight off of his 3rd place finish last week to post his 3rd win in his last 4 starts, this one a sharp gate-to-wire romp from post six. Driver Luke Plano sent the superstar trotter fast off the gate and they never looked back, and even if they had, there was no one in sight. Banker Volo was home first by 6 ¼ lengths in 1:55.4, his Owner Dan Roland of DanJer Farms invited any fans interested in joining his trotting star in the winner’s circle for the photo, and many excited race-goers both young and old marveled at the chance to do so, making for a fun winner’s circle with Banker Volo tonight. The $10,000 Mares Open Pace also went to post tonight, and another Superstar did not disappoint her many fans in tonight’s top pace as Best Of Jenna ($2.80) also posted a great gate-to-wire display of horsepower, stopping the clock tonight in 1:52.4 with Trainer/Driver Rick Magee aboard. Best of Jenna is owned by Dr. Ken and Jana Lee Rucker and this was her fourth straight win. Firedrake ($8.00) was ultra-sharp again tonight, in a nice $6,000 conditioned pace, Trainer/Driver Nick Roland got him away quickly from post 7, and they were second in the pocket at the quarter, where they remained before finding room in the homestretch and firing past the field to post a ¾ length tally in a lifetime best 1:52.4, for his third straight tally. He is owned by Jessica Johnson. Fancy Creek Link ($3.00) also delivered another sharp performance, as she found her way to the front early in her $6,400 conditioned pacing event, and drew away from her rivals to pick up her fourth consecutive win for her owner Jim Ballinger and Trainer Brett Ballinger, and she was driven tonight by Nick Roland in the 1:54.3 victory. Nick Roland led all drivers this evening with 5 big wins on the program, the first driver to complete the 5-bagger so far this season. His other scores came with Rockin Jimmy ($12.80) for Trainer Justin Anfinson, The Lehigh Legend ($14.20) for Trainer Kathie Plested, and Jabas Luck ($11.40) again for Anfinson.  The next card of live Harness Racing at Running Aces Casino & Racetrack will go to post on Saturday night, June 24 at 6:00 pm CDT, with a carryover in the .20 cent Jackpot Pick-5 wager of $17,314.65. By Darin Gagne, Running Aces Track Announcer

Banker Volo went to the gate for just the third time in 2017 on the Saturday night Harness Racing program at Running Aces , headlining the $10,000 Open Handicap , and he put together a dazzling performance to lower both his own previous track mark for older trotting stallions (1:55.2 last July) and the overall track standard of 1:54.4 (by Celebrity Hercules in 2013) as he hi-stepped the Minnesota oval in a swift 1:54.3 this evening. Starting from his assigned outside post in the talented six pack, he bolted to the front of the field and from there, frankly the rest of the field could only watch him do his thing. Driver Luke Plano had him fired up for the quarter (27.4) and was able to throttle the speed through the second panel (57.1) before turning on the afterburners and posting 1:24.4 at three quarters, then coasting home to easily post the new track mark. Banker Volo paid just $2.80 as the public’s overwhelming choice no doubt based on his current form and his 23 lifetime wins and $298,013 career bankroll. He is by Yankee Glide, and is owned by Daniel Roland and trained by Jenni King. Also on the program, the $8,000 3 year old open trot was contested, and Tap My Feet ($7.80) took the bow in the winner’s circle after posting his 2nd win in a row, and lowering his mark by over 4 seconds to 2:00 in the process. Tap My Feet is by Broadway Hall, and is owned by Mikaela Delgiudice. Trainer/Driver Rick Magee sent him quickly off the gate from post 8 in the 9 horse affair, where they secured the pocket position before sweeping to the lead just past the ¼ pole. From there Tap My Feet was never in doubt and is now a perfect 2-for-2 on the season. The Charlie Hare Trotting Series also got underway , with two divisions going to post in the first leg. In the first division it was odds-on favorite Lettinthenightroll ($3.00) with Luke Plano aboard for Jenni King in an eye-opening 1:56.2, and then Americas Game ($10.20) topped the field in the second division with Dean Magee driving for trainer Rick Bertrand owner Glen Wilson, with a new lifetime record of 1:57.3 The next card of Live Harness Racing at running Aces goes to post on Sunday, June 4th at 6:00 pm CT. By Darin Gagne, Running Aces Track Announcer

Pompano Beach, FL…May 5, 2017…When Rick Plano won the third race at Hoosier Park on Thursday night (May 4), it marked a harness racing milestone for the Plano family as Rick and son, Luke, now have a combined 10,000 career wins. The 65 year-old Plano has 6,836 of those wins (along with 3,728 career training wins) while Luke, who recently turned 37, has amassed 3,165 wins in his career dating back to 2000. Ironically, Plano reached the milestone 10,000th win by driving the three year-old Well Said filly, Flirtswell, to her maiden win over a sloppy oval in 1:56.2. Flirtswell is a homebred filly bred and owned by Lawrence Keethe and John Darrah. Immediately after the race, Plano said, “Well, now that we have achieved 10,000, it’s time to start on the next 10,000.” Two races later, he did exactly that. Driving Secretsoftheknight, owned by wife Maryann along with Michael Guest, the classy eight year-old son of Mach Three scored in 1:53.4 over the rainy oval. Plano reflected on the milestone win by saying, “I have been blessed to be able to compete successfully for over 40 years. This sport has been great to our family and, as a breeder, owner, trainer and driver, we have been blessed. “I am very proud of Luke and his accomplishments and, with his help and a little more longevity, maybe we’ll add a few thousand more. “This is a great sport and our breed of horse, in my eyes, is the greatest in the world.”

After having to settle for minor awards in the first four Sire Stakes races for the harness racing 3-year-old pacing colts this season at Cal Expo, Western Devil got his chance to shine last weekend and picked up his initial added-money score. Able to work out a perfect trip behind the aforementioned Army Of One, Western Devil ignited when the question was asked by Luke Plano to overpower that rival by a length and a half while shaving four ticks off his career standard with the 1:55 3/5 final clocking A homebred son of Power Of Art out of the Incredible Finale mare Credible Preciosa, Western Devil races for Frank Nevarez and is put through his paces by Edwin Quevedo. Plano has been his pilot for the last three appearances. "I started training for Mr. Nevarez at this meet and I've got six horses for him right now," Edwin noted after Western Devil's victory. "It was nice to get a stakes win with this colt for him. "Luke knows him now and they make a good team. He gave him a great drive to get a pocket trip and then he had a nice kick in the stretch." Quevedo noted that Western Ideal is wise beyond his years and that's part of what makes him such a solid performer. "He's the smartest baby I've ever had and acts like an older horse. On top of that, he tries hard and gives his best." You can't ask for more than that. Pace lures Eastender, Why Ask Why Why Ask Why, who has been doing all his recent work at the Open level; and Eastender, coming off a smashing victory, figure to get much of the attention in the headline Pace at Cal Expo on Saturday night. There will be 12 races presented by Watch and Wager LLC with post time set for 6:15 p.m. The feature will be decided as the third contest on the evening. Why Ask Why is a 7-year-old son of No Pan Intended who carries the banner of Windy City Farm with Chip Lackey reining and training. He has spent the majority of this season at the top level, taking on the likes of Barbarian and Anderlecht, and should appreciate the class relief this weekend. He has registered two victories here this season and comes into Saturday's assignment with a 1:52 2/5 lifetime mark that was established as a 5-year-old. Eastender suits up after posting a lifetime-best 1:53 2/5 score in his most recent trip to the post two weeks ago. The 6-year-old races for Maryann Plano and Nikki Hudson with Luke Plano driving and training. In that March 31 tally, Eastender was sent off the 9-5 choice and did not disappoint his backers. He made a powerful move to command at the half, then continued on strongly to prevail by two and a quarter lengths while coming a sharp :27 flat final quarter in the process. Taking them on are Bettor's Promise and One And Only, who both hail from the Lino Pacheco barn; and Manhattan Benny, who will be sent out by George Reider. By Mark Ratzky, publicity - Cal Expo Harness

Ray's Rayzer has been the darling of the longshot players of late, getting the job done at 29-1 two weeks ago and 9-1 at most recent asking for trainer Edwin Quevedo. Considering that leading driver Luke Plano has been in the sulky for both those scores, it becomes even more interesting that this 13-year-old pacer has been allowed to go off at such long odds. "I bought him about four years ago in Minnesota," Quevedo related. "If you saw him around the barn, you would say he acts more like a 4 or 5-year-old. He loves to pony, he loves to train and he loves to race." The long odds on Ray's Rayzer were a result of his three starts between February 4 and February 25, where he was beaten double digits on each occasion and appeared to be off his game. Joining forces with Plano on March 3, he rode a second-over trip to the a neck score and the $60 mutuel, then came right back last weekend with a deja-vu mile while rewarding his backers to the tune of $21 with Plano once again doing the honors. "He had some problems behind that we had to take care of," his trainer noted. "I also think the warmer weather and faster track helps him. I've had a lot of success with Luke, and with a horse like this who likes to come from off the pace, the trip is always important." Silverlode puts winning streak on the line Silverlode, who has been the dominant player in the trotting ranks this year, once again will be asked to overcome the demanding assigned 10 post as she heads the field for Saturday evening's Open Trot. The main event will go as the second event on a 12-race program presented by Watch and Wager LLC. First post is set for 6:10 p.m. Silverlode is an 8-year-old homebred daughter of British Sterling out of the Website mare Charlotte's Web who is owned by Desomer Stables Inc, trained by Vickie Desomer and will have Luke Plano handling the lines. Silverlode comes into this assignment with $152,000 in her bank account and a 1:55 1/5 mark that was established over this track last season. She is perfect in three starts on the year, putting her versatility and class on display in the process. The Desomer colorbearer left into a pocket journey in the January 13 Open and overpowered favored arch-rival Flameon that evening. She has been 1-5 in her last two outings without that foe in the line-up and has not disappointed her many backers. Silverlode looped the field to prevail by four and a half-lengths on February 11, then captured the most recent Open clash on February 24 while doing her work from this same assigned No. 10 post position in game fashion. Completing the cast are My Little Susie with Mooney Svendsen; Kickitinwithkohler, James Kennedy; Lodi Dorian Blues with Steve Wiseman; Silverhill Volo, Chip Lackey and Blue Spark, who will leave from the rail with Sean Smithpeters in the sulky. By Mark Ratzky for Cal Expo Harness

Harness racing driver Luke Plano was posing for pictures after both Opens at Cal Expo last week, guiding Barbarian to victory in the Open Pace for Sparky Clarke and prevailing in the Open Trot with Silverlode for Team Desomer. Barbarian went coast-to-coast in the Open Pace as the 7-2 third choice, leaving his nearest rival four and a quarter lengths in his wake while polishing off a 1:52 4/5 mile. "It was actually the first time I've ever driven him," Luke related. "Sparky told me he was a Cadillac, which you hear quite a bit when you're a catch driver, but in this case it was true because he has great manners. "He left it up to me as far as strategy is concerned and he was push button away from there and just cruising up front. They gave him a lot of respect and he came home great." Silverlode was capturing her third straight Open Trot, this time doing her work from the demanding No. 10 post position. It didn't matter, as she sat last early, made a steady move to the leaders by the half and got the job done by a length to go over the $150,000 mark for Steve and Vickie Desomer. "She was real relaxed behind the gate and I saw a couple of them being aggressive, so I just let her drift back at the start," Plano explained. "The previous mile she had raced so strong from behind, it gave me a lot of confidence. "She was coming from what would seem to be an impossible start, bit I actually think the slower fractions helped her because she was able to advance quickly when I swung her out and she even picked up a little unexpected cover on the turn. She's a real nice mare." Pair of Sire Stakes atop the marquee A pair of California Sire Stakes for 4-year-olds headline the Saturday night Cal Expo card, with Allyx'sliventexas getting top billing into the male division and Kissed The Boys seeking another added-money score in the distaff end. There will be 12 races presented under the Watch and Wager LLC banner and the action gets under way at 6:15 p.m. The Sire Stakes will go as the first and third races on the evening. Allymyx'sliventexas is strictly the one to beat in the Sire Stakes for the boys. The homebred son of Hi Ho Silverheel's and the Distinguishedbaron mare Annie Get Your Gun races for Wayne and Rod Knittel with Bob Johnson and the conditioner and Mooney Svendsen in the sulky. In the first stakes dance of the year on February 4, Allymx'sliventexas was sent off the 1-9 favorite and looked every bit the part, as he romped home by 11 lengths over stablemate Mathachusetts while lowering his lifetime mark to 1:51 4/5 in the process. Taking him on this weekend are stablemate Mathachusetts; Midnight Adventure from the Gordie Graham barn; the Edwin Quevado-trained West For Gold; and Rock Of Ages from the Sal Wensceslao shedrow. Looking at the Sire Stakes for the mares, Kissed The Boys is a converted trotter who is owned and bred by Desomer Stables with Vickie Desomer training and husband Steve handling the lines. A stakes winner on the trot, Kissed The Boys made her first start as a pacer in the February 4 Sire Stakes and got the job done, albeit with some trouble behind her in the stretch. Set to line up against her Saturday are Plain Awesome, Be My Lucky Lady, Little Emma and Feeling Fancy Free. By Mark Ratzky, publicity - Cal Expo Harness

Delta Breezeoflodi owned the Jim Grundy Trot, narrowly capturing the Grundy Prep over a sloppy harness racing track and then scoring a definitive victory in last weekend's Final while once again catching an off track that she obviously enjoys. A 4-year-old daughter of Little Steven out of the multiple stakes-winning Spicy Charlie mare Magna Kay, Delta Breezeoflodi is actually bred to be a pacer. She is owned by Mary Harris and Pierre Girard with Girard the conditioner and Luke Plano has been handling the driving duties. Last year was a frustrating one for mare, as she had to settle for just one victory from her 26 starts with 13 place and show finishes, but this season she's already made four trips to the winner's circle from her eight appearances, including the two Grundy scores and a tally in the Gary Budahn Prep. "She was a 2-year-old when we switched her over to trotting," Girard explained. "We couldn't get her to pace at all, but when we took off the hopples it was a different story. "As far as last year goes, I wasn't disappointing because trotters often need more time, and even though she wasn't winning very much, she was developing with every race and putting in a real good finish almost every time. "Luke Plano has been very important to her success this year, because he does a great job with her. I knew she would like the off tracks, because we get a lot of them at the farm and she always trains well in the mud. "The plan now is to give her a week off and then come back for the next Sire Stakes. Hopefully she can continue to race well with those horses." Contentious cast set for Filly-Mare Open A well-matched field of distaffers in the $6,600 Filly and Mare Open Pace and a pair of California Sire Stakes for the 3-year-old pacers and trotters are the highlights on Saturday night's Cal Expo program. Watch and Wager LLC will present 13 races and the action is set to get underway at 6:15 p.m. The Distaff Open goes as the ninth race on the evening, while the two Sire Stakes will be decided as non-betting events prior to the regular card. Trainer Kathleen Plested is strongly represented in the Filly and Mare Open with Party Hangover Two and Shark Festival giving the barn two solid looks at the outcome in the field of seven. Party Hangover Two is owned by the trainer, Arnstine and Chambers and will have Steve Wiseman once again doing the honors. The Party At Artsplace mare captured the most recent clash at this level two weeks ago, surging when it counted to prevail by a length at the 3-2 favorite. Shark Festival is a 6-year-old Shadow Play mare who carries the banner of Medinah Racing and Scott Ehrlich and will have Mooney Svendsen in his usual spot in the sulky. The long-fused performer has a pair of Open victories to her credit this season, the most recent coming on January 28 in a very game mile. McFoolery is going in sharp form for owner John Obert and trainer Jennifer Sabot and looms a major player with Chip Lackey handling the lines. She parlayed a conditioned victory to an Open win on February 3 and finished strongly when runner-up to Party Hangover Two at most recent asking. Completing the field are Window Wiper with David Siegel; Magnifique, who will have the services of Luke Plano; Directing Traffic with James Kennedy; and Blue Gem, who leaves from the cozy inside slot with William Hernandez. By Mark Ratzky, publicity - Cal Expo Harness          

After a string of runner-up finishes, the classy One And Only captured last week's harness racing Open Pace at Cal Expo in coast-to-coast fashion with Luke Plano, polishing off a 1:53 1/5 mile in the process. The 9-year-old son of Bettor's Delight, who is owned by Richard Morita and David Yamada and takes his lessons from Lino Pacheco, pushed his career bankroll over the $245,000 mark with the score. "It was great to see One get his win after so many second place finishes in 2016," Morita related. "We've been so spoiled with his many wins over the years. After shipping back from Pennsylvania, Lino asked us if he could race him a few times before we gave him a rest after his tough campaign back East. "One has a special place in our stable since he has made every one of his lifetime starts for us and Lino has a great time with him. After one of his recent training trips, Lino came off smiling and said 'You know what a Cadillac feels like? That's him!' He also says he can tell that One and Only knows he's home, because he just acts so happy around the barn. "He is a one of a kind horse for Dave and me, racing good horses all over the country. Lino has said you don't see many like him, such a fast racehorse with little in the way of physical problems and he's never raced on Lasix. He just races with hopples and an open bridle. We're also very fortunate that Luke drives him for us. They also have a special relationship as Luke knows him so well and gets the most out of him." There was a time a couple of years ago when One And Only went through a very trying period, but the veteran recovered and is back winning races. "He got very sick after shipping east in 2015," Morita explained. "We have to thank Lou Pena, who helped us connect with our east coast trainers, Jennifer Sabot and Matias Ruiz. Lou called us right away, got him shipped to the clinic, and made sure he got aggressive treatment immediately. As you know, respiratory infections can end a horse's racing career." Distaff Open, Grundy Prep atop marquee A Filly and Mare Open Pace headed by Shark Festival; the Jim Grundy Trot Prep and a California Sire Stakes for 4-year-old trotters headline the Friday night action at Cal Expo. Watch and Wager LLC will present a 13-race card with first post set for 5:55 p.m. The Distaff Open will be the third race; the Grundy Prep goes as the fourth event and the Sire Stakes will be a non-betting affair prior to the regular program. Shark Festival is a 6-year-old daughter of Shadow Play who is owned by Medinah Racing and Scot Ehrlich, hails from the Kathleen Plested barn and will have Mooney Svendsen at the controls. She has a powerful stretch kick and is gunning for her third straight victory. Looking at the Grundy, Delta Breezeoflodi is a 4-year-old daughter of Little Steven and the Spicy Charlie mare Magna Kay who is owned by Mary Harris and Pierre Girard, is conditioned by Girard and will have Luke Plano in the sulky. The bay miss has two wins and two seconds from her last four trips to the post, including a victory in the opening leg of the Gary Budahn Trot two weeks ago. She made the winning move at the half in that affair and went on to a length and a half-score over a "good" track. Wheeled back in last week's Budahn Final, Delta Breezeoflodi was sent off the 5-2 second choice. She made a powerful brush to command down the backside, showed the way to the stretch with a clear advantage but was unable to hold safe over a hard-charging Talkin Tootsie and had to settle for the place money. Completing the field for the Grundy Prep are Helen Noel, JK Journey, Broadway Jose, Every Day Hanover, Swift Cougar, Hatfield and McCoy and Manley Stanley. By Mark Ratzky, publicity - Cal Expo Harness

A contentious field headed by last week's upset winner Delta Breezeoflodi, Franky Provolone and Big Baller is set for Friday night's $8,500 harness racing Gary Budahn Final. Watch and Wager LLC will be presenting 13 races on Friday with first post set for 5:55 p.m. The co-feature is a $6,600 Open Pace headed by I'm An Athlete, who leaves from the assigned outside slot in the field of seven. Last week's Budahn Prep winner Delta Breezeoflodi will likely get more respect at the windows after posting a 9-1 surprise in that contest. A 4-year-old daughter of Little Steven, she is owned by Mary Harris and Pierre Girard, is conditioned by Girard and will once again have Luke Plano giving direction. The bay miss left from the cozy rail slot last week and used a big move past the half to take command. She held a two-length advantage to the stretch and hit the wire with a length and a half to spare over a good racetrack. The popular veteran Franky Provolone put in a solid effort to complete the exacta that evening from the No. 9 post and looms large again. Robin Clements owns and trains the $208,000 earner and Steve Wiseman has the return assignment. Big Baller had to settle for third as the 4-5 favorite in the Budahn Prep and will be gunning for some revenge. The Panama Hanover offspring, who sports a 1:56 1/5 mark, is closing in on a $290,000 bankroll and goes about his business for the partnership of Siegel, Robinson, Thronson and Reider with George Reider training and David Siegel in the sulky. Completing the field are Katie Mouse, Swift Cougar, Tour Guide, Lodi Bank Robber and Talkin Tootsie. Race honors memory of Gary Budahn Friday's Gary Budahn Trot is named for a mainstay of California harness racing for more than 30 years, who passed away in April 2009. Dr. Budahn served on the Board of Directors of the California Harness Horsemen's Association for more than 12 years, including President of the CHHA for three terms. He was a strong voice in California harness racing for many years and was always there for the horsemen, helping them in any way he could. Dr. Budahn was well known in harness racing for being one of the best veterinarians to grace the backside and was well respected throughout the country. Along with his wife Debbi, Dr. Budahn started The Gusty Stable, sending out some of the best horses to ever race in California, including Doodlin and Claude's Last Lady. Each represented The Gusty Stable in Breeders Crown events and were two of the best mares to ever campaign in the Golden State on the pacing and trotting side. Along with those two outstanding mares, The Gusty Stable raced many more top performers such as Wilder Echo, Alfa Star, Amazing Glide and Claudius Augustus and was the breeder and developer of Direct Flight. "Gary Budahn was a man of integrity and probably the best horseman I ever met," said former driver Rick Kuebler, who guided many top performers for The Gusty Stable over the years. "When it came to diagnosing the problem of a horse, he had no equal. He had an intimate knowledge of the Standardbred and harness racing in that he was a top trainer and even spent time in the sulky. He is very much missed." By Mark Ratzky, publicity - Cal Expo Harness  

It's been some time since we've seen as heated a Cal Expo rivalry as the one at the top of the trotting ranks between Silverlode and Flameon, with the pair splitting the six Open Trots decided at this harness racing meeting. Silverlode got the best of the battle when the pair met last week, leaving into a pocket journey for Luke Plano and overpowering the pace-setting Flameon when push came to shove. Silverlode is an 8-year-old daughter by British Serling out of the multiple stakes-winning Website mare Charlotte's Web who was bred and is raced by Steve and Vickie Desomer. She is working her way toward the $150,000 earnings mark with a 1:55 1/5 mark that was set last year over this strip. "I think the rivalry stands out because the field is usually short and a top-class event," Vickie noted after Silverlode's most recent photo session. "Steve and I don't remember ever being involved in such a rivalry in the past. "I don't think the post position is too important in this case, because both Silverlode and Flameon can each benefit from the other if not used too hard early. "I guess the most surprising thing to us is that Silverlode, like Steve, seems to be defying her age!" Well stated, Vickie. *** There are two wagers offered here each night that come with a reduced 16 percent takeout rate. They are the 50-cent Pick 5, which is decided on the first five races; and the 20-cent Pick 4, which covers the penultimate four races on the program. Marvin Shapiro Final heads the marquee The $8,800 Marvin Shapiro Final for fillies and mares holds the spotlight Saturday night, with last week's elimination winners Dickies Motel and A Wish for Wings getting the top billing. First post is 6:15 p.m. The feature is named for Marvin Shapiro, who was the son of L.K. Shapiro, who owned the Hall of Fame thoroughbred and California-bred champion Native Diver. He was the president of Western Harness Racing Inc. in the 1960s and spearheaded legislation that sanctioned night racing in California. He died in 2003 at the age of 83. Dickies Motel is a 9-year-old daughter of Camystic who is owned and trained by Richard Schneider and will have Luke Plano in the sulky. She will do her work from the No. 5 post in the field of 10. Sent off the mild 5-2 favorite in his elimination heat, the bay miss left into a stalking trip for Plano, ignited when the question was asked in the stretch and drew off to a three and a half-length victory in a lifetime best 1:55 3/5 clocking. A Wish For Wings is a 5-year-old Roayl Mattjesty offspring who is owned and trained by Stephen Crump with James Kennedy at the controls. She is perfect in two starts on the year, on both occasions tracking the leaders to the lane and then doing her best work when things got serious. The even-money choice in her elimination, the Crump colorbearer left little doubt as she inhaled the leader into the stretch and waltzed home with four lengths to spare while lowering her career standard to 1:56 2/5 in the process. Completing the field are Soul Diva, Moonshinenmonkeys, Duet, Blue Gem, Perfect Pitch, Blue Note, Speak English and Mystery Affair. By Mark Ratzky, publicity - Cal Expo Harness

Nobody likes a forced retirement, but the rules of the game say Frankthebank will be making his final start in Friday night's 13th race as the harness racing pacer officially turns 15 years old on Sunday. A son of Sportsmaster out of the Incredible Finale mare Go Go Coco, Frankthebank has made 443 starts in his career, with $470,000 in his bank account and a 1:51 mark that was established five years ago. Frankthebank is owned by Rick and Marlene Thomas and will be sent out for the final time in his racing career by longtime conditioner George Reider. Luke Plano will be in the sulky. Reider has trained Frankthebank for 125 of his trips to the post, and that includes 11 wins, 23 seconds and 17 third-place finishes. Bernie Wolin had the most starts with the pacer, sending him out for 191 starts. "It's going to be a sad day when he leaves for his retirement, like saying goodbye to a good friend and a good buddy," Reider said. "We've traveled a lot of places together and I'm pretty sure he's going to miss being at the barn. Hopefully he'll adjust to his new life quickly. "Frankthebank is the definition of an iron horse, especially when you think of all the places he's been and all the different barns. As we're getting close to the end of his career, it makes me kind of sad." Instead of giving Frankthebank a gold watch, George has something more practical in mind for the pacer. "On the first day of 2017, he'll be eating a 25-pound of carrots - just not all at the same time. I'll ration them. "When he heads to his home just outside of Yosemite Valley, I'll have the fondest memories of my boy." Cal Expo salutes Frankthebank and wishes him the best in his retirement! Pair of Carryovers, Goudreau Prep on tap A $10,140 carryover in the Pick 5, a $1,523 carryover in the Pick 6 and the prep for next week's Shelly Goudreau Final are among the main attractions on Friday night's Cal Expo program. The card is conducted under the Watch and Wager LLC banner with first post at 5:55 p.m. The Pick 5 is a 50-cent bet encompassing the first five races on the card and comes with a reduced 16 percent takeout rate. The 20-cent Pick 4 also comes with the 16 percent takeout rate and is decided on the four penultimate races of the evening, while the Pick 6 is a 50-cent wager. The Goudreau Prep has lured a full and contentious cast. Eastender figures to be one of the major players in the line-up for driver/trainer Luke Plano and owners Maryann Plano and Nikki Hudson. A 5-year-old son of Cheyenne Rei, Eastender was runner-up and a close third in his first two starts after coming in from Hoosier Park, then put it all together at most recent asking while posting a two and a quarter-length score as the 1-5 favorite. Total Classic is a Ron Rettig-Zucchi-owned, James Kennedy reined-and-trained performer who fits well in the Goudreau. He scored a 14-1 upset here on December 3 and was hard used in his last start before checking in fourth in a tight finish. There will be no Saturday racing this week, with a special Sunday program that will have a first post of 4:45 p.m. The trotters and pacers will return to the regular Friday and Saturday night schedule next week. By Mark Ratzky, publicity - Cal Expo Harness

Driver Luke Plano wasted no time finding the Winner's Circle on the Tuesday night harness racing program at Running Aces, after sweeping the late Daily Double on Sunday night, Plano was sitting on career driving win #2,999, and I spoke to Luke just after he notched number 3000 in tonight's opening race, and he told me " When you reach the edge of one of these big milestone numbers, it's easy to get stuck in that "one-away" holding pattern, so I was very happy to be able to get it right away in Race 1 tonight." Indeed that was the best way to get it done, and for good measure he added another win a few races later to get a jump start on the next 1,000. The big milestone came in Race 1 tonight with Majorley($5.80), a 9 year old Art Major gelding, Owned and Trained by Edwin Quevedo. Plano, currently 4th in the Aces dash winning standings this season, got away in the pocket from post one, then quickly brushed to the lead just past the quarter pole, and was never in doubt with Majorley, scoring by 1 length in 1:55.1. Luke Plano was born in Ohio, and is the son of another great horseman and top driving talent Rick Plano. He makes his home in Sacramento, California and is one of the most sought-after drivers at Cal-Expo Harness each season. The 36 year old driver was a runaway winner in the driver's standings this past season at the west coast track, which is where he started his driving career back in 2000. Since then he has steadily become a very talented reinsman, picking up at least 150 wins every year since 2005. His best year to date was in 2011, when he piloted 269 winners and racked up $660,354 in purses. He has been campaigning at Running Aces during summers for the past several years now, and has been among the Top 5 Drivers at the Minnesota Oval since his arrival. Last season, while competing here at Aces, Luke surpassed the $10 million dollar purse earnings threshold. In addition to being a sought after catch-Driver, Luke also trains a small stable of horses as well, and his trainees have had 14 wins and 42 top-3 finishes in 105 races so far on the Running Aces Meet. By Darin Gagne, Running Aces Track Announcer  

Sunday, July 3, 2016 COLUMBUS,MN - The Sunday night Harness Racing card at Running Aces featured the $11,000 Open Pace, and a talented field of six squared off in the top contest, Jazzmanian Devil with Moonie Svendsen in the bike was looking for his 4th straight open win, he got away from the gate 3rd and made a first-over bid past the three-quarter pole, and had a head of the stretch lead before being out-paced late by closers Buddys Hope with Luke Plano in the sulky and Gotta Dream Big with Nick Roland. Buddy's Hope was fastest to the wire, taking the winner's prize in the 1:53.2 mile, Gotta Dream Big was a half a length back in second, and Jazzmanian Devil held third. Buddy's Hope is owned by Jerome Bouvier and trained by Sean Lancaster. It was his 20th lifetime victory, He paid $20.80 at the windows, and the win tonight pushed his career purse tally to $121,668. The amazingly sharp 3 year old gelding Freedom Reigns, with Steve Wiseman in the sulky, extended his winning streak to 5 tonight, pacing in 1:54.4 and holding off a strong challenge from pocket-sitter Whatchastarinat (Gerald Longo). Wiseman sent his charge quickly from the gate from post 7 and found early opposition from FoxValleyRichRokr (Rick Magee) who also left sharply from the outside, Freedom Reigns cleared to the lead past the 3/8 pole after a contested 28.0 quarter, he then led the rest of the way posting 57.1 and 1:25.4 fractions. Whatchastarinat came charging from off the pace but was unable to get past the winner. Holla At Ur Boy (Dean Magee) was third. The Molgaard-Jensen owned and trained Freedom Reigns paid $2.80 as the hot favorite. Driver Luke Plano picked up a Hat-Trick for the second consecutive program, as he also scored with Chew Tobacco Spit ($13.80) in 1:59.2 for Trainer Robert Lems, and he piloted his own trainee Barbosa ($7.80) to victory in 1:56.1. Drivers Nick Roland and Steve Wiseman both posted driving doubles on the card as well. The next card of live Harness Racing at Running Aces Casino & Racetrack will go to post on Tuesday night, July 5th at 7:00 pm CDT.

Harness Racing Driver Luke Plano caught fire on Tuesday Night, starting in Race 3, where he guided his own trainee Winsom Kelly to a sharp Win from first-over, trotting away from her rivals in the stretch to win by 1 ½ lengths in 1:57.2 for owner Nikki Hudson, of California.  In Race 4 he sent his pacing charge Buddy's Hope out quickly from post 5 to establish a strong lead that went unchallenged to the wire, posting a 3-length tally in 1:54.4 for Trainer Sean Lancaster and Owner Jerome Bouvier, of British Columbia, Canada. In the 5th race he was back at it, this time with his trainee Secret Alibi, a pacer who broke behind the gate in her local debut last time out, but was perfect tonight in another gate-to-wire performance in 1:55.4, for her owner Heather Mathews, of California. The Tuesday night feature was the $9,000 Fillies & Mares upper-level conditioned pace, and it was Part Time Lady with Trainer/Driver Steve Wiseman aboard, who charged home fastest in the stretch to just beat Flick a Fly's (Rick Magee) inside rally, with the sharp mare Windsun T Bird (Tim Maier) a close third, in the 1:55.3 mile. Part Time Lady is a 7 year old mare by Jereme's Jet, and is owned by Ron and Tammy Wells, of California. Tonight's victory was her 4th win in 16 starts this year, and boosted her seasons bankroll to $19,540. The next card of live Harness Racing at Running Aces Casino & Racetrack will go to post on Saturday night, June 4th at 6:00 pm CDT, with a carryover in the .50 cent Jackpot Pick-6 wager of $2,100.20, and a carryover in the .50 cent Hi-5 wager of $1,471.92 Darin Gagne, Running Aces

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

There was a lot more to Winsom Kellys harness racing victory in a conditioned trot last week than meets the eye. The 10-year-old Egocentric gelding, who carries the banner of Nikki Hudson and KC Carvalho and is reined and trained by Luke Plano, was putting a happy ending to what could have been a tragedy last spring. We were taking him to Running Aces for the summer meet and he got what they call shipping fever, Plano explained. He had pneumonia with lots of fluid in his lungs and he had to be rushed to the University of Minnesota. He was there for several weeks and it was actually touch and go there for a while. I want to thank Mike Minnella, who really stepped up when we needed it. Winsome Kelly, who was claimed by Plano a year and a half ago for a bargain $4,000 before working his way up to the Open level, got back into training late last year and was making his fourth start on the comeback trail when he clicked in that last appearance. I was a little concerned when he first came back, because hed always been very aggressive in his training and he was acting a little on the lethargic side, Luke related. I raced him a little conservatively in his first couple of starts, then he showed me in his race two back that he was getting to his old self when he came a :27 and change final quarter. He put it all together last week, and it was a very satisfying win all the way around. Northern Stormont heads marquee in Open Trot The Steve Wiseman-trained Northern Stormont, who has accounted for two of his last four appearances in impressive fashion, heads the cast for Sunday evenings $6,000 Open Trot. A field of six will face the starter with Northern Stormont leaving from the assigned outside post. Taking him on are the James Kennedy-trained pair of Commandergalleon and Bankers For All; the Robin Clements-conditioned Frank Provolone and Winsom Kelly from the Luke Plano shedrow. There will be 12 races Sunday night with first post of 4:55 p.m. and the headliner will occupy the eighth-race slot on the program. Northern Stormont is a 5-year-old son of Earl Of Stormont who carries the banner of George McCrystal, Mark Kremen and Scott Ehrlich. He has captured 11 of his 62 lifetime starts and set his 1:54 4/5 mark last year at Hoosier Park. The bay sidewheeler was an easy winner of a conditioned event on December 12, then had to settle for a third and a fifth-place in his next two starts with conditioner Wiseman at the controls while taking on the likes of hard-hitters El Azteca and Flameon. He last suited up on January 3 in an Open III affair with Plano guiding and returned to his winning ways with a perfect stalk-and-pounce trip while adding Lasix. Northern Stormont should be tough in this spot no matter how things shake out early. Winsom Kelly is fresh from a facile conditioned tally over a sloppy track and looks like a major threat right back for Plano. Nikki Hudson and KC Carvalho own the 10-year-old son of Egocentric, who was a 1:56 1/5 victor here last season for his career standard. By Mark Ratzky

1 to 16 of 249
1 2 3 4 5 Next »