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Bunkerhill Bill and China King, winners of their respective elimination divisions last week, head the cast for Saturday night's harness racing featured $8,700 Shelly Goudreau Final. First post for the Watch and Wager LLC 12-race program is 6:10 p.m. Bunkerhill Bill looks like the Goudreau favorite after posting a coast-to-coast decision last weekend in a snappy 1:53 2/5. The 9-year-old son of Veracious Hanover is owned by Haness, Haness and Reider with George Reider the conditioner and Dean Magee back at the controls. After facing tougher competition in his first two starts of 2020, Bunkerhill Bill was dispatched as the 7-5 choice in last week's Goudreau elimination and made every pole a winning one, holding safe by a half-length over Mystery Dragon. He has the rail for this go-around. Mystery Dragon sat the pocket journey and was trying hard to end in a solid effort last week. The 6-year-old gelding is owned and trained by Richard Schneider with Nick Roland once again doing the honors. China King accounted for the other elimination last week and this classy veteran comes into the final with 36 wins, $341,000 in the bank and a 1:50 lifetime standard. Gary and Jennifer Sabot own, Jennifer trains and Luke Plano has the return assignment. Completing the field are Murder Mystery with Braxten Boyd; Burntisland Billy, Gerry Longo; Ethan Hanover for Jacob Fox; Gene Eugene, James Kennedy; and Jazzmanian Devil, who leaves from the outside slot with Mooney Svendsen guiding. Welcome USTA members; Race honors John Pawlak Cal Expo welcomes all United States Trotting Association members, who are here for the joint USTA/ California Harness Horsemen's Association meeting. The meeting will take place at 11:30 a.m. Sunday in the Cal Expo Clubhouse and all members are welcome with a free brunch being offered. *** Saturday night's co-feature is named for John Pawlak, the former USTA Director of Publicity who passed away on December 27 at the age of 71. Mr. Pawlak joined the USTA in 1985 as the director of publicity. For his work at the USTA, he was well known for both his writing and editing as well as his broadcasting. He retired in 2013. He was responsible for compiling and editing The Trotting & Pacing Guide, the definitive annual f The Trotting and Pacing Guide act book on North American harness racing and the historical USTA Directors book. With his television background, Mr. Pawlak was the face of the USTA and led the organization into the age of online video and served as the host of the USTA's popular "Eye on Harness Racing" series Mr. Pawlak was ever present at many harness racing events including the Little Brown Jug, the annual USTA Board of Directors meetings, district meetings and county fairs. He also was known world-wide for his work coordinating the biennial World Driving Championship and the World Trotting Conference. By Mark Ratzky, publicity - Cal Expo Harness  

With no winning tickets last Saturday night, there will be a carryover of $6,146 in Friday night's harness racing 20-cent Hi-Five with a $20,000-guaranteed gross pool. In addition, a reminder that both the 20-cent Pick 4 and 20-cent Pick 5 come with a reduced 16 percent takeout rate each night. On Saturdays there is a $30,000-guaranteed gross pool, with a $40,000 guarantee on Fridays. There are 12 races on tap Friday night under the Watch and Wager LLC banner with first post set for 6:10 p.m. The main event is the $8,100 Open Trot headed by Mandeville and Its a Horse. Mandeville is an 8-year-old son of Majestic Son who is owned, trained and driven by Gerry Longo. He comes into this assignment with 23 wins from his 120 lifetime appearances with $219,000 in the bank and a 1:54 2/5 standard. After encountering tough journeys in his previous three outings, including the Joe Lighthill Trot, Mandeville had smoother sailing in the most recent mile and one-half clash at the top rung as he prevailed by a length over favored Its A Horse, who was doing his work from the demanding No. 10 slot. Its A Horse is having an outstanding meet for owner Ray Alan Miller, trainer Marco Rios and pilot Dean Magee. He recorded a three-bagger between November 23 and December 13, including a convincing victory in the Lighthill and is always reliable for a strong finish. Horsemen remember Shelly Goudreau Saturday evening's Shelly Goudreau Pace is named for one of the most talented drivers to ever ply the trade. He passed away in a racing accident at Hollywood Park in 1982 at the age of 34. Steve Desomer drove with Goudreau during the six years that he raced in California and was competing with him in that fateful race at Hollywood Park. "I had the utmost respect for Shelly as both a great driver and a kind and personable man," Desomer said. "His brilliant career was cut way too short." Trainer George Reider will send out likely favorite Bunkerhill Bill in Saturday's headliner and recalls being impressed with Shelly Goudreau. "I was just a groom back then, but Shelly was a true gentleman and treated me as an equal. "He drove one horse I was taking care of by the name of Dalmead who was trained by Chip Lackey, and he beat the best horses on the grounds by open lengths." George also has another story to tell that still brings tears to his eyes all these years later. "The night before that terrible race, I had a horse racing named Kiwi Jane and I borrowed a piece of equipment from Joe Anderson called a jawbreaker, which goes through the bridle to help control the horse. "After the race, I gave it back to Joe. It turns out (trainer) Frank Ferrante borrowed the same bit the next night and used it for Reagan's Lad, which is the horse Shelly was driving. It broke and he fell off the back of the cart. It was so sad for everybody." By Mark Ratzky, publicity - Cal Expo Harness  

When the Open Trotters last got together a couple of weeks ago for a mile and one-half tour, it was Mandeville and veteran Gerry Longo who got the cheese at 9-1 that evening at Cal Expo Harness.. It was the first local score for the 8-year-old Mandeville after making some menacing noises at the head of the class, including a tough trip in the Joe Lighthill Trot in his previous outing. "I bought him in Kentucky late last year after he won back-to-back Opens at that new track," Longo related. "When I first got him, his feet were in pretty bad shape and he was racing with glue-on shoes. Between myself, the blacksmith Louie and my groom Oscar, we did lots of work on him and his foot finally grew out." In that last Open here on January 3, Mandeville made a brush to the lead midway and was then covered up by favored Its A Horse. Longo tracked that rival to the drive and then got the response he wanted when Mandeville motored by for the length decision. "As far as the mile and a half goes, everybody is in the same boat so that wasn't really a factor," Gerry said. "This horse is coming around now and it looks like we might have some fun with him." Saturday night's third race is named for longtime horseman and former racing official Jack Williams. Happy 90th birthday, Jack! Contentious distaff Pace has the spotlight A wide-open $6,200 Filly and Mare Open II Pace heads the Saturday night program with a full field of 10 set to face the starter. Watch and Wager LLC will present 12 races with the action getting underway at 6:10 p.m. There are several ways to go in the main event, with trainer Kathie Plested appearing to hold a strong hand with Dancingonthesand and Capitol Hill representing the shedrow. The former is a long-fused daughter of A Rocknroll Dance who is owned by Alan Cooper and will have Mooney Svendsen doing the honors, while Capitol Hill is owned by the trainer and George McChrystal and has Steve Wiseman giving directions. Dancingonthesand comes into this assignment with 14 wins from her 57 appearances and established her 1:53 mark over this track last season. She should be coming strong at the end and will appreciate getting away from Brighten Your Life, who has won three straight at the head of the distaff pacing class. Capitol Hill has over $136,000 in her bank account and a 1:53 2/5 standard as she eyes the 25th snapshot of her career. She should be able to drop into a good stalking position this weekend and is always dangerous with her best mile. Taking on the Plested duo are Shock N Awe, Virgin Eyes, Royal Mistress, Exsqueezeme, Brian's Magic Girl, Marilyn, Hi Fidelity and Alwaysalittlemore. By Mark Ratzky, for Cal Expo Harness

Harness racing pacer Allmyx'sliventexas, who returned to his winning ways last week, heads the cast in Friday night's featured $7,200 Open Pace at Cal Expo Harness. A 12-race card is on tap under the Wager and Wager LLC banner with first post set for 6:10 p.m. The main event goes as the ninth race of the evening. Allmyx'sliventexas is a 7-year-old homebred son of Hi Ho Silverheel's who is owned by Wayne and Rod Knittel with Bob Johnson conditioning and Mooney Svendsen in his usual position in the sulky. They depart from the outside slot in the field of eight. The hard-hitting California-bred comes into this assignment with 35 wins from his 114 appearances, $206,000 in his bank account and a 1:50 mark that was established two years ago at Hoosier Park. Allmyx'sliventexas started the meet with a string of impressive victories, but was then upset as the heavy favorite in the December 14 Dave Goldschmidt and suffered two more setbacks before returning to his winning ways in last week's clash at the top level. Sent off the 9-5 second choice in that affair, the Knittel colorbearer left from his outside post into a stalking position, attacked on the final bend and went on to a two-length score in a 1:52 1/5 tour. Taking him on Friday are Part Time with Gerry Longo; King Of The Crop, Steve Wiseman; Almost Cut My Hair, Chip Lackey; Senga Nitro for Braxten Boyd; Merced Magic, Dave Magee; Mr. Varsity with Luke Plano; and Heza Real Diamond, who leave from the rail with Nick Roland at the helm. Low Takeout wagers Offer true value There are two wagers offered here each night that come with a reduced 16 percent takeout rate - the 20-cent Pick 5 on the first five events and the 20-cent Pick 4. The Pick 4 now comes with a $40,000 guaranteed gross pool on Saturdays and a $30,000 guarantee on Fridays. To see the true value these bets offer, you need go to only to last Friday night's Pick 5 that kicked off proceedings and that $1,504 return for every correct 20-cent investment. The middle three winners were 6-5 Cenalta Gory, 9-5 Brighten Your Life and 8-5 Hagginatthebeach, with the sequence being completed by Fire Dance, who returned $12 to her backers. The catalyst, of course, was the first race victory by Lodi Eat My Dust, who posted a $66 surprise while giving owner/trainer/driver Pierre Girard his initial victory of the meeting. The 4-year-old homebred, co-owned by Mary Harris, had been failing to menace over off tracks, but got fast footing for this assignment and rode a second-over trip to the length decision. Be sure to take a long look at both the Pick 4 and Pick 5 each night, with that added bonus of the reduced 16 percent takeout and the chance to make a nice score by stringing together the winning sequence. By Mark Ratzky, for Cal Expo Harness

Braxten Boyd is one of the new names on the Cal Expo harness racing program, as the 19-year-old Michigan native is getting his first taste of California racing. "I grew up around the horses on my father's farm, and I knew I wanted to be in racing from about the time I was in Kindergarten," Braxten related. Boyd recorded his first victory as a 17-year-old on the Michigan fairs, with his initial pari-mutuel score coming this past summer at Running Aces behind his father Brett's top performer Bestinthebusiness After getting his initial racing education from his dad, Braxten apprenticed under Gene Miller in Minnesota. Ed and Willie Hernandez were two of the most encouraging people when it came to his decision to give California a try. "They said this track was a great place to learn," Braxten related. "On a mile track, you have the chance to wait for the last quarter, which isn't usually the case on a half-mile or five-eighths track." Boyd is currently working here with the Nick Roland shedrow and looking to pick up as many catch drives as he can. So far he's made a half-dozen trips to the Cal Expo winner's circle and is looking forward to more. (use as a reverse box with no headline) There are two wagers offered here each night with a reduced 16 percent takeout rate - the 20-cent Pick 5 and the 20-cent Pick 4. The Pick 4 comes with a $30,000 guaranteed gross pool on Fridays and a $40,000 guarantee on Saturdays. Open Pace brings out contentious cast The last four clashes at the head of the pacing class have seen four different winners, with last week's upsetter Almost Cut My Hair looking to do an encore in Saturday's $7,200 Open Pace. The headliner goes as the fourth event on a 12-race card that is presented under the banner of Watch and Wager LLC and things get underway at 6:10 p.m. Almost Cut My Hair is a 6-year-old son of Barber Pole who is owned by Hank Wieseneck, Martin Garey and Bob Johnson with Johnson the conditioner and Chip Lackey back at the controls. He rattled off a hat trick versus softer company in November, had to settle for minor awards in the next two appearances, then pulled off the 33-1 surprise in last week's top dance for the pacing set. Leaving from the cozy rail in that large cast, Almost Cut My Hair tracked to the lane, then ignited when the question was asked by Lackey to be up by a neck over fellow longshot Senga Nitro. With Senga Nitro going off at 42-1 and 16-1 Marced Magic rounding out the Trifecta, it returned a whopping $1,669 for each correct 20-cent ticket. Senga Nitro and Marced Magic will once again be in the line-up along with Buzz Light, Timetoplaythegame and To The Limit, while Allmyx'liventexas has the outside post as that classy performer looks to get back on the winning track. By Mark Ratzky, for Cal Expo Harness

La Diva De Rosa finished up the 2019 harness racing season in style at Cal Expo Harness, as the mare did the track-and-attack to perfection on December 27 to record her 22nd lifetime victory for owner/breeder Cindy Tupper, trainer Richard Bertrand and pilot Jacob Cutting. The newly-turned 9-year-old distaffer has over $90,000 in earnings and sports a 1:53 career standard. She starts from post seven in the first on Saturday. "She's turned out to be my lucky number three," said Cindy when asked about the bay homebred. "She's the third foal out of Keystone Rosedale, who we call Rosie, by Little Steven. "She was born on June 3, 2011 and has been performing very well. She set her lifetime mark here on April 2, 2018, with Ryan Grundy driving." La Diva De Rosa prefers to save her best for last, which was the case in that victory two starts back over a good track. "Jacob said she's a pleasure to drive, doesn't do anything wrong and gives her all," said a proud Tupper. "She's a small mare, but she's mighty when she races!" There are two wagers offered here each night with a reduced 16 percent takeout rate - the 20-cent Pick 5 and the 20-cent Pick 4. The Pick 4 comes with a $30,000 guaranteed gross pool on Fridays and a $40,000 guarantee on Saturdays. Brighten Your Life eyes a hat trick Brighten Your Life, fresh from back-to-back scores, looks to keep the momentum going in Friday night's featured $6,700 Filly and Mare Open. Watch and Wager LLC will present 12 races with first post at 6:10 p.m. The main event goes as the third contest on the evening. Brighten Your Life is a 7-year-old daughter of Shark Gesture who is owned by Tyler Gunderson and Jenna Cornelison with Cornelison training and James Marshall IV once again doing the honors. In last week's assignment, Marshall shot right to the front with the dark-hued mare and the issue was never in doubt as she came to the wire with three lengths to score as the 7-2 third choice. Brighten Your Life did her work from the No. 5 slot in a seven-horse field that night and is now asked to depart from the outside post in a field of six.' Danciningthesound put in her usual strong finish in last week's clash at this level, but had to settle for the place money for the second straight time. The Alan Cooper colorbearer is conditioned by Kathie Plested and will once again have Mooney Svendsen guiding. Completing the line-up are Virgin Eyes with Jacob Fox; Capitol Hill, Steve Wiseman; Shock N Awe, who will have the services of Nick Roland; and Brian's Magic Girl, who leaves from the cozy rail with Gerry Longo giving directions. By Mark Ratzky, for Cal Expo Harness

Jacob Cutting is one of the new faces at Cal Expo Harness, hailing from Alberta, Canada and he is also one of the youngest at just 18 years old. Jacob has ventured down with seven horses, including a couple of babies, and his first two Cal Expo victories have come with his 3-year-old pacing mare Paloma Ruiz. She was 50-1 when she dead-heated for the score on December 6, then was a much more reasonable price when she came right back with a score as a 5-2 shot. Paloma Ruiz returned last weekend to post a solid runner-up finish and Jacob added another snapshot to his resume last weekend when he guided La Diva De Rosa to a $14 victory for owner/breeder Cynthia Tupper and trainer Richard Bertrand. "A lot of my family, including my dad, is involved in harness racing," related Cutter, who recorded his first trip to the winner's circle this past August up in the Great White North. "I've always been into sports, and I pretty much knew from an early age that I wanted to be in harness racing." And the main reason Jacob came down to Cal Expo? "The warm weather," he said without missing a beat. "Right now, it's 20 below back home." As far as his impressions of the Sacramento track, Cutting has nothing but nice things to say. "The people have been very welcoming, the track is great and so is the backside." Right back at you, Jacob. King Of The Crop gets class relief King Of The Crop, who captured the Dave Goldschmidt Pace on December 14, drops into a cozy conditioned spot and heads the cast for Saturday night's $5,000 pacing feature. There will be 12 races presented by Watch and Wager LLC and things get underway at 6:10 p.m. King Of The Crop is a now 9-year-old son of Little Steven who campaigns for Don and Barbara Arnstine, Steve Chambers and Kathie Plested, is conditioned by Plested and will once again have the services of Steve Wiseman. The hard-hitting performer comes into this assignment with 28 wins from his 159 trips to the post, he has banked $206,000 and he established his lifetime mark of 1:50 4/5 two years ago at Pompano Park. Sent off at 8-1 in the Goldschmidt three weeks ago over a track labelled "good", King Of The Crop was ultra-game as he came first over and wore down heavily-favored Allmyx'sliventexas that evening to prevail by a half-length. Lining up against him this weekend, from the rail out: Some Playa, Blue Star Maverick, Bestinthebusiness, Mystic Ruler, Pancetta, Contemporary Legend, Dependlebury A, Vicious Aloicious and Mister Hat. There are two wagers offered each night with a reduced 16 percent takeout rate - the 20-cent Pick 5 and the 20-cent Pick 4. The Pick 4 will now feature a $40,000-guaranteed gross pool on Saturdays and a $30,000 guarantee on Fridays. By Mark Ratzky, for Cal Expo Harness

California Rock, a winner of five of his seven starts at the harness racing meet, looms the overwhelming favorite in Friday night's featured $9,700 Robert Gordon Pace at Cal Expo Harness. The main event is named for the noted driver/trainer and track executive who passed away at the age of 65 in 2006. A 13-race card is on tap under the Watch and Wager LLC banner with first post set for 5:50 p.m. There will also be an Open Pace featuring a full field and a mile and one-half Open Trot headed by Its a Horse. California Rock is a now 4-year-old son of Rockin Image who competes for Schwartz, Wilkinson, Axelrod and O'Neill with Junior Wilkinson the conditioner and Luke Plano at the controls. In last week's Robert Gordon Prep, he proved a punctual 4-5 favorite over the track labelled "good" as he was used to the lead past the quarter and took control of things from that point, reporting to the wire with four lengths to spare. Taking him on Friday are Rue Hanover with Chip Lackey; Lickcreek Speedway, James Kennedy; Cenalta Dragster, Mooney Svendsen; Explainotcomplain with Nick Roland; and Platinum Time, who leaves from the outside slot with Steve Wiseman at the helm. There are two wagers offered each night with a reduced 16 percent takeout rate - the 20-cent Pick 5 and the 20-cent Pick 4. The Pick 4 will now feature a $40,000-guaranteed gross pool on Saturdays and a $30,000 guarantee on Fridays. Part Time turns into overtime Part Time came from left field both literally and figuratively when he flew home with veteran Gerry Longo to post a $45 upset in last week's Open Pace. He goes about his business for owner Scott Ehrlich and trainer Kathie Plested. "Back in 2015, I would always watch the races from one of my old stomping grounds, Balmoral Park, and every week, Part Time would be closing fastest of all," Ehrlich noted. "So, I put him in my virtual stable so I could follow him, which included Hawthorne, where he would also close well. Since I love to own closers, I wanted to have him for myself, but he was never in a claiming race. "When I did check into purchasing him privately, I was told the owner, who was also the breeder, wouldn't sell. As a result, the horse would be forced to move up in class, which resulted in his being overmatched a good amount of the time." Fast forward to early January of 2019, where Part Time shows up in a $4,000 claimer at Pompano. "Okay, why, after all these years, is he in the lowest claimer he can be?" Scott mused. "He finished third, and the next week he's in for a $5,000 tag, so we didn't claim him. The following week, he's back in for $4,000, and we did." In May the decision was made to send him from Hoosier Park to Running Aces, into the Kathie Plested/Steve Wiseman stable. After a well-deserved rest and a change of scenery, he became the closer that had caught Ehrlich's eye a few years earlier, included three wins where he dramatically came from last over that five-eighths mile oval with a stretch that isn't that long "With Cal Expo on the horizon, Steve suggested I not race him the last three weeks of Running Aces, for two reasons," Scott explained. "First, we heard he was going to get claimed and second, Steve wanted me to not only see this horse on the mile track where we all knew he'd excel, but he also wanted me to get to know him, as Part Time is a very sweet animal. "And now, I'm lucky enough have a horse who has won the Open. I can't be thankful enough to Kathie, Steve, and their solid crew of dedicated hard workers." By Mark Ratzky, for Cal Expo Harness  

If you're keeping track, that's three straight wins at the head of the class for Its a Horse, including the Joe Lighthill Trot two weeks ago at Cal Expo Harness.  Ray Alan Miller's colorbearer, who takes his lessons from Marco Rios and has been guided in each of those scores by Dean Magee, had no trouble with the sloppy going in the Lighthill and reported home with two and three-quarter lengths to spare that evening. "The owner bought this horse last year and turned him out for sixth months, then I got him," Rios related when asked about the soon-to-be 7-year-old Ohio-bred. With his last tally, he is closing in on the $100,000 earnings plateau. Its a Horse likes to relax early and save his best for last, although in his last two wins he made his moves earlier than usual and actually had the lead by the time they hit the stretch on both occasions. "If you look at the races going back to when he was at Northfield Park, he was racing on the lead, but we were able to teach him a different style and it's worked very well," Marco noted. "As far as the sloppy track last time, I was a little concerned, but he had trained so well all week I still had a lot of confidence." Rios acknowledged that having veteran Magee at the controls is a major plus. "He knows all about the flow of the race, and if he feels he has to move early, he does it. The horse is very sharp right now and it's been very satisfying." Virgin Eyes seeking encore in main event Virgin Eyes, fresh from a game win over a sloppy track two weeks ago, attempts a curtain call in Saturday night's $6,200 Filly and Mare Open II Pace. The headliner will go as the eighth of 12 races presented under the Watch and Wager LLC banner with first post at 6:10 p.m. A 4-year-old daughter of Always A Virgin, Virgin Eyes has turned in two big efforts since arriving from the East for owner Aleksandra Karl and Jacob Fox. In a needed local debut on November 29 she rallied smartly for the place spot despite suffering poor cover. In her most recent assignment over the wet going, Virgin Eyes brushed to the lead for Fox past the quarter, withstood a strong challenge on the final turn and prevailed by a length as the 5-2 choice. Marilyn was a strong runner-up that evening after posting nice tallies versus softer competition in her previous two appearances. Mark Anderson owns, Gordie Graham trains and James Kennedy has the return assignment. Dancingonthesand is a long-fused mare who will certainly have her share of backers off her two solid victories with this group last month. The Alan Cooper-owned, Kathie Plested-trained disaffer has Mooney Svendsen guiding from the No. 7 slot in the field of nine. Completing the cast are Shock N Awe, Capitol Hill, Magnifique, Brighten Your Life, Morgangetsherway and Cenalta Glory. By Mark Ratzky, for Cal Expo Harness        

While most harness racing fans at Cal Expo were conceding the Dave Goldschmidt Free-for-All Pace to heavily-favored Allmyx'sliventexas, apparently somebody forget to tell King Of The Crop. Sent off at 8-1 in that contest two weeks ago, the soon-to-be 9-year-old son of Little Steven stalked the 1-5 choice and gamely got the job done for owners Don and Barbara Arnstine and Steve Chambers, trainer Kathy Plested and pilot Steve Wiseman. "We were thrilled with King and his brave win," said Barbara Arnstine. "He's pretty special to us because he was so darn hard to get. "We've been following him ever since Wayne Short entered him in claimers, and when he finally got to the tracks in Pennsylvania and New York where we could make a claim, we kept losing the shake. "We tried three times, and each time we lost him to someone else. Then the next week he would be claimed for a higher price. By the time we got him at his highest price, we were the only ones left. If you would have seen him got off the truck after being in five different barns in two months, you would be wondering if we were crazy or just obsessed." Following a needed race here on November 30, King Of The Crop was ready to rock and roll in the Goldschmidt while recording his 28th lifetime score and pushing his career bankroll to the $207,000 mark. "After a couple of weeks with Kathy and Steve, you would have seen what we saw," Barbara noted. "A fine, big-hearted Cal-bred who needed to come home. And he thanks us every time he races." Open Pace gets the marquee treatment Allmyx'sliventexas, who had his local winning snapped in the Dave Goldschmidt Pace two weeks ago; and King Of The Crop, who provided the upset, get another chance to settle the score in Friday night's $7,200 Open Pace. There will be 12 races presented by Watch and Wager LLC with first post set for 6:10 p.m.. The program will also feature the Robert Gordon Prep for pacers. Allymx'sliventexas is a soon-to-be 7-year-old son of Hi Ho Silverheel's who is owned and was bred by Wayne and Rod Knittel, takes his lessons from Bob Johnson and will have Mooney Svendsen at the controls. A winner of 34 of 111 starts, the bay performer went over the $200,000 mark with his most recent appearance and sports a 1:50 lifetime mark. After starting the meet with three straight Open victories, Allymx'sliventexas was dispatched as the 1-5 favorite in the December 14 Dave Goldschmidt, but was unable to contain King Of The Crop when that rival came calling in the lane and was beaten a half-length over the track labelled good. King Of The Crop is an 8-year-old Little Steven offspring who carries the banner of Don and Barbara Arnstine and Steve Chambers with Kathy Plested conditioning and Steve Wiseman handling the lines. Sent off at 8-1 in the Goldschmidt, King Of The Crop tracked the favorite to the drive and then dug in gamely to pull off the upset. It was the 28th lifetime tally for the hard-hitting pacer and pushed his bank account to $207,000 mark with a 1:50 4/5 career standard. Taking on this pair are Bettor In The Bank, Part Time, Almost Cut My Hair, Senga Nitro, Marced Magic and Some Playa. By Mark Ratzky, publicity - Cal Expo Harness

The $9,900 Robert Staats for harness racing pacing fillies and mares, headed by Rue Hanover; and the rescheduled $10,000 Dave Goldschmidt Free-for-All Pace featuring Allmyx'sliventexas are the main events on Saturday night's Cal Expo Harness program. There will be 12 races presented under the Wager and Wager LLC banner with things getting underway at 6:10 p.m. The Staats is the fifth race and the Goldschmidt will be the sixth contest and there will be mandatory payouts on all wagers. Allmyx'sliventexas, who has rattled off three straight impressive victories to kick off this meet, looks to keep the streak going as the heavy favorite in the Dave Goldschmidt Free-for-All. Allmyx'sliventexas is a 6-year-old son of Hi Ho Silverheel's out of the Distinguishedbaron mare Annie Get Your Gun who is owned and was bred by Wayne and Rod Knittel, takes his lessons from Bob Johnson and will once again have Mooney Svendsen. The hard-hitting bay performer is just shy of the $200,000 mark in career earnings and recorded his lifetime mark of 1:50 last season over the seven-eighths Hoosier Park oval. After leaving from the assigned No. 10 post in last week's Open Pace, Allmyx'sliventexas will do his work from the No. 4 slot in the field of six, Sent off the 1-2 choice in his last appearance despite the post handicap, Svendsen took an early tuck with the Knittel colorbearer before brushing to command before the half over the sloppy going. The issue was never in doubt thereafter, as Allmyx'sliventexas came home with two and three-quarter lengths to spare. Completing the Goldschmidt field are Almost Cut My Hair with Luke Plano; Bettor In The Bank, James Kennedy; Bestinthebusiness for Braxten Boyd; King Of The Crop with Steve Wiseman; and Part Time, who leaves from the outside with Nick Roland. The Robert Staats looks wide open with Rue Hanover getting the slender edge for owners Chip Lackey and Kenneth Seastrom with Lackey doing the driving and training. Two races back, Rue Hanover was a convincing winner of the Bill Conlin Final on November 16, doing the stalk-and-pounce to perfection for Lackey as the second choice in the wagering. Thats How It Goes is coming off a 20-1 upset in the Annette Funicello two weeks ago and figures to get more respect at the windows this time around. The Mr. Saratoga mare is owned and tried by Richard Schneider with James Kennedy once again doing the honors. The remainder of the field finds Tabbat Morey with Rene Goulet; Lakota Law, Braxten Boyd; Bertha Vanation for Nick Roland; Red N Hotallover, John Roberts; Flash Me Baby with Luke Plano; Casey N Grinegan, Jacob Cutting; and Sand and Rocks, to be guided by Tony Succarotte Mandatory payout for all wagers Saturday There will be mandatory payouts on all wagers Saturday night, including the two low takeout bets that are offered here each night. The two reduced 16 percent takeout wagers are the 20-cent Pick 5, which is conducted on the first five races on each program; and the 20-cent Pick 4, the latter featuring a $30,000-guaranteed gross pool. By Mark Ratzky, for Cal Expo Harness

The $10,000 Joe Lighthill Free-for-All Trot headlines Friday night's Cal Expo card with Its A Horse and Scramble Camp among the major players. Watch and Wager LLC will present 12 races with first post set for 6:10 p.m. The Joe Lighthill Trot is named for the outstanding driver/trainer who was a mainstay in California for decades and passed away at the age of 78 in 2006. Lighthill, who began his career in the mid-1940s, drove 2,272 winners for purse earnings just shy of $7 million and reined and/or trained some of the most outstanding performers of their generation. Included in that illustrious group were Meadow Skipper, Countess Adios, Tender Loving Care, Hickory Pride, Peter Lobell, Try Scotch and BC Count. It's A Horse is a 6-year-old son of Full Count who is owned by Ray Alan Miller, trained by Marco Rios and will be guided by Dean Magee. The long-fused trotter stormed from well back to get the job done on November 23 while registering his 15th victory from 77 career outings. Scramble Camp accounted for his Cal Expo debut last month in a coast-to-coast performance for owner Jeralene Roland and driver/trainer Nick Roland. The Iowa-bred sidewheeler was a 1:54 4/5 winner earlier this year at Hawthorne. Taking on this pair, from the rail out: Majestic Lady Jo, Flameon, Kristy'sgingergal, Windsun Galaxe, Pridecrest and Mandeville. Looking ahead to Saturday's program, the rescheduled Dave Goldschmidt Free-for-All Pace headed by Allmyx'sliventexas and the Robert Staats for pacing fillies and mares featuring Rue Hanover will be in the spotlight. A tip of the cap to Ed Burgart Cal Expo is proud to name Friday night's 10th race for Ed Burgart, who is retiring after being the voice of Los Alamitos for the past 39 years. Ed's final call will be the Los Alamitos Two Million on Sunday night. In addition to calling Arabians, Thoroughbreds, Mules and of course Quarter Horses at Los Alamitos, Ed was also the announcer for harness racing at the Orange County oval for one season. "I called harness racing at Los Alamitos in 2000, which was the final year it took place here," Burgart related. "Going from 350 yards to a mile required a different tempo and I quickly learned that harness racing had its own terminology. "What I found most interesting about harness racing was the strategy involved, especially over a five-eighths mile track like Los Alamitos. Top drivers knew when to make the proper brushes and how to take advantage of inside and outside post draws." Cal Expo salutes Ed Burgart and wishes him and his wife Marsha the very best in his retirement. There will be mandatory payouts in all wagers on Saturday night, including the reduced 16 percent takeout 20-cent Pick 5 and 20-cent Pick 4, with the latter featuring a $30,000-guaranteed gross pool. By Mark Ratzky, for Cal Expo Harness        

Allmyx'sliventexas, who has rattled off three straight impressive harness racing victories to kick off this meet, looks to keep the streak going as the heavy favorite in Saturday night's $10,000 Dave Goldschmidt Free-for-All Pace at Cal Expo. The Goldschmidt will go as the sixth event on a 12-race card presented by Watch and Wager LLC and things get underway at 6:10 p.m. Allmyx'sliventexas is a 6-year-old son of Hi Ho Silverheel's out of the Distinguishedbaron mare Annie Get Your Gun who is owned and was bred by Wayne and Rod Knittel, takes his lessons from Bob Johnson and will once again have Mooney Svendsen in the sulky. The hard-hitting bay performer has reached the $200,000 mark in career earnings and recorded his lifetime mark of 1:50 last season over the seven-eighths Hoosier Park oval. After leaving from the assigned No. 10 post in last week's Open Pace, Allmyx'sliventexas will do his work from the No. 4 slot in the field of six, Sent off the 1-2 choice last week despite the handicap, Svendsen took an early tuck with the Knittel colorbearer before brushing to command before the half over the sloppy going. The issue was never in doubt thereafter, as Allmyx'sliventexas came home with two and three-quarter lengths to spare. Bestinthebusiness was runner-up in that affair and will leave from just inside his main rival on Saturday. The son of Another Mile carries the banner of Brett Boyd Racing Inc. with Edward Hernandez the conditioner and Braxton Boyd returning in the sulky. Completing the Goldschmidt field, from the rail out: Almost Cut My Hair with Luke Plano at the controls; Bettor in the Bank, James Kennedy; King of the Crop, to be handled by Steve Wiseman; and Part Time, who leaves from the outside with Dean Magee guiding. Low takeout wagers offer true value There are two reduced-takeout wagers offered here each night - the 20-cent Pick 5 and 20-cent Pick 4 - and you need only look back to last Saturday night's program to see the added value. The Pick 5 is offered on the first five races and despite the streaking Allymx'sliventexas coming through as the 1-2 choice in the Open Pace, the sequence returned $970 for each 20-cent investment. Sandwiching Allymx'sliventexas were the early daily double of Mystic Wonder ($13.80) and Windsun Galaxie ($19.60), followed in the fourth race by Lickcreek Speedway ($5.40) and Vicious Alocious ($13). As far as last Saturday's Pick 4 was concerned, the fireworks came early when That's How It Goes upset the Funicello/Holt Final at 20-1 with James Kennedy doing the honors for owner/trainer Richard Schneider over the sloppy track. Things settled down in the final three legs with 2-1 Al's Brief capturing the Alan Horowitz elimination; Cenelta Dragon clicking as the 6-5 favorite and Beamer N Bud rounded out the sequence with an $8.60 payoff. When the smoke cleared, each 20-cent ticket returned $593 to the correct prognosticators. Be sure to check out Saturday's 20-cent Pick 5, which kicks off the card, and the 20-cent Pick 4, the latter being offered with a $30,000-guaranteed gross pool. By Mark Ratzky, for Cal Expo Harness

The $20,000 Alan Horowitz Final headlines the Friday night harness racing action at Cal Expo, with last week's elimination winners Giggle Monster and Al's Briefs figuring to get plenty of attention. Watch and Wager LLC will present 12 races with first post at 6:10 p.m. The Horowitz Final will go as the eighth event on the program. Giggle Monster was extremely impressive winning his division last Saturday night in the slop, storming home for the easy win. Edwin Quevedo owns and trains and Nick Roland will once again be in the sulky. Al's Briefs is a 4-year-old son of Party At Artsplace who is owned by Nikki Hudson and reined and trained by Luke Plano. After finishing second in his previous two outings, he broke through with his first Cal Expo victory in last weekend's Horowitz elimination. Sent off the 2-1 second choice that evening, Plano made two moves to the lead at the half, took complete control of things from that point and came home with two lengths to spare over the sloppy going. Dewaydiddonegood had to settle for the exacta completion as the even-money favorite in that contest off back-to-back victories here for owner Fredi Herrera and trainer Quevedo, who has two nice looks at the outcome. Mooney Svendsen takes the assignment. Rounding out the field are Wildcat Bobby with Dean Magee; Fly Away with Steve Wiseman; Mystic Ruler for James Kennedy; Youroldlovletter, Jacob Fox; Rocknroll Jewel, also with Magee named; and Rolling Sea, who will have John Roberts at the controls. Horowitz, Goldschmidt remembered with races Cal Expo is proud to present the Alan Horowitz Final on Friday night and the Dave Goldschmidt Free-for-All Pace on Saturday, honoring these two individuals who meant so much to the sport in California. Alan Horowitz was a major force in California harness racing over the last several decades and a member of the California Harness Horsemen's Association (CHHA) Hall of Fame who passed away in 20017 at the age of 72. Dave Goldschmidt, who passed away of natural causes last year at the age of 62, was born in New York City and developed a love of harness racing in his early teens. More on his career follows in this article. Alan Horowitz, who wore many hats in the business, started out as a partner with longtime friends Donald and Barbara Arnstine and Steve Desomer with a $25,000 claimer named Quaker Byrd. Quaker Byrd won his first race for the partners and Alan was hooked. Moving on, Alan would eventually become a board member and president of CHHA. In 1994, Mr. Horowitz was instrumental in bringing harness racing back to Cal Expo in the form of Capitol Racing and was also its successful general manager. He was serving as the Executive Secretary of the CHHA at the time of his retirement in 2013 and continued to stay in touch with the sport that he loved so much. "It is impossible to overstate Alan's importance to the harness racing industry in California," said David Neumeister. "Simply put, if it were not for Alan, the sport would no longer exist in this state. "Between his time as executive director of Western Standardbred Association (now CHHA) and owner/ manager of our only yearling sale company when racing was flourishing in California, and his decision to retire from CHHA a few years ago, against all odds and some very powerful adversaries, Alan almost single-handedly took us from the brink of extinction in the mid-90s and formed and led Capitol Racing in Sacramento to several very successful years of harness racing in that city. "Were it not for his quiet determination and tactical brilliance, we would not be racing here today," said Neumeister. Dave Goldschmidt, who passed away of natural causes last year at the age of 62, was born in New York City and developed a love of harness racing in his early teens. He attended the University of Denver where he was a sports writer on the newspaper, but after hearing about the new Race Track Management Program at the University of Arizona, he knew he had to transfer to that school and was in that first graduating class. Among Dave's extensive resume in the sport, he was racing secretary at Los Alamitos and Cal Expo and co-racing secretary at Bay Meadows; assistant racetrack manager at Hollywood Park and a founder, president and major financial backer of the Premier Harness Meet at Los Alamitos in the 1990s. After his retirement, Dave concentrated on betting on the trotters and pacers and occasionally quarter horses while also developing a keen interest in politics. Dave met his wife Suzy in the late 1990s and they began dating in 2006. They completed building their dream house in 2014 and were married that year. Among their shared passions were a love of tennis, world travel and volunteer work. Eunice Morrow, who worked closely with Dave at the Premier Harness Meet, explained how important he was to harness racing in California in the early 1990s "Harness racing was in trouble maintaining a meet at Los Alamitos and thankfully Dave came to our rescue with a large monetary donation needed to keep harness racing active," Eunice said. "A few months later the industry found more funds were necessary and again Dave came to our rescue. He did not want it known that he had donated these deposits and volunteered the information that his mother in New York had loaned the organization funds. "Later, when Premier II Harness Racing was formed, Dave became Racing Secretary, spending many hours in several positions helping the sport he loved stay alive. Without Dave, I wonder if harness racing would have been able to continue." Eunice added, "There is no doubt David Goldschmidt will now be in Heaven with so many other of the great Harness Racing enthusiasts." Joel Lesser was best friends with Goldschmidt for over 40 years, playing hours and hours of tennis and golf, and also worked alongside Dave at the Premier Harness meets. "When he was president of Premier, he said that the fans and the horsemen came first, and management came last," Joel recalled. "I can say Dave Goldschmidt is the fairest and most honest person I have ever known in my life and wanted everyone to do well." By Mark Ratzky, for Cal Expo Harness          

Tabbat Mcrey, who came from out of the clouds to record her first Cal Expo harness racing victory last week, gets the top billing in Saturday night's $8,500 Funicello/Holt Final for pacing fillies and mares. Watch and Wager LLC will present 12 races Saturday with first post at 6:10. The co-features will be a $7,200 Open Pace featuring the streaking Allmyx'sliventexas and two divisions of the Alan Horowitz Eliminations. Getting back to the Funicello/Holt, Tabbat Mcrey is a 5-year-old daughter of McArdie who goes about her business for owner David Watson and is reined and trained by Rene Goulet. After closing for the place spot in her local debut two weeks ago, the long-fused came back to get the job done by two lengths in last week's Prep for this event at 7-1 odds. Lakota Law completed the exacta in that affair and will be looking to turn the tables this weekend for owner Peter Jesh and driver/trainer Nick Roland. She was a 1:54 3/5 victress last season at Hoosier Park and fits very nicely with this group. Casey N Grinegan had to settle for a fourth-place finish as the 3-2 choice last week after being parked first-over to the lead in the stretch. Darryl Cutting conditions the Alberta-bred miss for Melinda Smith and Steve Wiseman will be at the helm. Completing the field are LLuli, Palmona Ruiz, That's How It Goes, Nightgirl, June Morning and Brooklyn Moonshine. Saturday night's third race is named for the Orangutan Foundation International. Nick Roland hoping to lay down the Law Nick Roland is making his presence felt here as both a driver and trainer with another California invasion, with his most immediate concern being Lakota Law in Saturday night's Funicello/Holt Final. The 5-year-old mare, who carries the banner of Peter Jesh, spent her summer at Running Aces and was runner-up behind Tabbat Mcrey in last week's Prep. She will be looking to turn the tables with conditioner Roland guiding from middle of the nine-horse line-up. "She's getting better," her mentor noted. "She had some soundness issues when she first got her, but we've been able to work on those and she's improving." Nick arrived with 16 racehorses and two babies, and is expecting six or seven more youngsters to join the barn shortly. He tips that some of the better performers are set to turn up in the entries, including the trotter Scramble Camp, who was scheduled to suit up on Friday night. In the meantime, Roland enjoys getting involved in the evening frays and is always open to catch drives. "It's always nice to have people put you up behind their horses. When the weather is nice, I certainly don't mind being out there every race. On the other hand, when it's colt and rainy, I have no problem sitting out some races." Nick hopes to stay here for most of the meet, which runs through April, with one caveat. "If the weather back home turns nice sooner rather than later, that could mean we leave a few weeks earlier than planned." In the meantime, look for Nick Roland to make his share of appearances in the Cal Expo winner's circle. By Mark Ratzky, for Cal Expo Harness                        

Bettor In The Bank became the first three-time winner at the Cal Expo harness racing meet when the 9-year-old pacer made short work of his conditioned rivals last week with James Kennedy at the controls. Despite leaving from the outside post in the field of nine, Bettor In The Bank got the job done once again by saving his best for last, looping the leaders into the lane to win going away by four and a quarter lengths. A son of Better Tuwin who is owned by Debra McCarthy and conditioned by Gordie Graham, Bettor In The Bank was winning for the 46th time from 185 starts and pushed his career bank account to $236,000 in the process. He established his 1:51 3/5 standard here last season. "He's just too classy for the horses he's been racing against here," said Kennedy of the McCarthy colorbearer. "He definitely likes to come at the end, so even though he had the outside post last time, I was worried about it. At some poinI he'll come out and make his move." Bettor In The Bank will attempt to keep the streak going in Friday evening's fourth race, leaving from the much more advantageous No. 3 post in the field of seven. The victory with Bettor In The Bank last Friday was one of four tallies on the card for Kennedy, who is looking to repeat as the leading driver at this meeting. His other scores came with Joltin Joe, Relentless Dancer and Marilyn. As far as repeating as leading pilot at this stand, James acknowledges this is one of the strongest driving colonies in recent memory. "I don't know if I can repeat this year, but some people wait their whole lives to get a title and I was very proud to do it at the last meeting." Trot, Distaff Pace head the Friday night marquee An Open II Filly and Mare Pace featuring Dancingonthesand and an Open II Trot that brings out Its a Horse and invading Scramble Camp are the main attractions on Friday night's program at Cal Expo. There will be 12 races presented under the Watch and Wager LLC banner with first post set for 6:10 p.m. Dancinginthesand will be gunning for her third straight victory in the Distaff Pace while being asked to leave from the outside slot in the field of 10. Alan Cooper owns, Kathie Plested trains and Mooney Svendsen will be in the sulky. After a romping score here on November 9, Dancinginthesand did her work from the No. 9 slot in last weekend's clash at this level and came from double digits off the pace to post a length and a half score with Svendsen. Looking ahead to Saturday's program, the $8,500 Funicello/Holt Final, an Open Pace headed by Allmyx'sliventexas and two divisions of the Alan Horowitz Elimination will headline the evening's action. Tabbat Mcrey, who came from out of the clouds to record her first Cal Expo victory last week, gets the top billing in the Funicello/Holt Final, which is for pacing for fillies and mares. There are two wagers offered here nightly that come with a reduced 16 percent takeout rate. They are the 20-cent Pick 5, which begins on the first race; and the 20-cent Pick 4, which comes with a $25,000-guaranteed gross pool. By Mark Ratzky, for Cal Expo Harness

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