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Opening night harness racing victor Gorgeous For Real and the classy returnee Allmyx'sliveintexas head the cast for Friday night's featured $6,700 Open Pace at Cal Expo Harness.. Racing will now be conducted on Friday and Saturday evenings and first post for Friday's nine-race card will be 6:40 p.m. Allmyx'sliveintexas and Gorgeous For Real have been assigned the outside two posts in the field of six and figure to attract a majority of the betting action. The former is a son of Hi Ho Silverheels who carries the banner of Wayne and Rod Knittel with Bob Johnson training and Mooney Svendsen at the controls. He spent the summer at Hoosier Park, where he set a new lifetime mark of 1:50 3/5, and comes into this assignment on the verge of going over the $200,000 earnings plateau. Gorgeous For Real proved a punctual 1-5 favorite on the opening night card and will leave from just inside his main rival with Chip Lackey guiding. He is owned by the partnership of Schwartz, Wilkinson, Axelrod and O'Neill with Jim Wilkinson training. Looking ahead to Saturday's program, the $8,900 Bill Conlin Pace will hold the spotlight with last week's elimination heat winners Rue Hanover and California Rock among the major players. California Rock proved a punctual 3-5 favorite as he brushed to the lead past the quarter and was never seriously threatened thereafter in his score, while Rue Hanover was sent off the 8-5 second choice in her elimination and came home by two and a half-lengths after withstanding a strong challenge on the final turn while carving out the fractions. George Reider eyeing charmed enclosure Trainer George Reider is back at Cal Expo after what he describes as a nice summer up in Minnesota and is looking forward to making his share of winner's circle appearances. "Every year I try to bring some new horses back to California and you should see three or four coming out of the barn," he related. Saturday's Bill Conlin Pace will find Reider sending out the 3-year-old mare Brooklyn Moonshine, who was fourth in one of last week's elimination heats while making her Golden State debut. She competes for George and longtime clients Dave, Rob and Kimberly Haness, while the conditioner is also looking forward to sending out performers for two other stalwarts of his barn in Rick and Marlene Thomas. Tiyaga has qualified for Reider and could make some noise, according to the trainer. "I had him here last year and it just took him some time to mature." George is also looking forward to a promising yearling filly whose brother is the multiple Sire Stakes winner Pride of the Sierra. That, as they say, is the stuff dreams are made of. "A safe and fulfilling meet," is George's hope for the session. By Mark Ratzky, for Cal Expo Harness          

Harness racing under the Watch and Wager LLC banner returns to Cal Expo Saturday night with a 12-race program headed by the opening leg of the Bill Conlin Series. First post will be 6:10 p.m. and beginning next week there will be Friday and Saturday action each week. The wagering menu includes the return of the low 16% takeout Pick-4 and Pick-5 wagers. Last season's Pick-4 pool averaged over $46,000 nightly. In addition to the Pick-4, fans will able to wager on the Pick-5 this season in 20-cent denominations. The Bill Conlin will go as the fourth race on the program with a field of seven set to face the starter and a solid case can made for each of the pacers. California Rock has been facing tougher company at Hoosier Park this summer and had a solid tune-up in a qualifier last week with Luke Plano at the controls. The son of Rockin Image is owned by Billie Schwartz, Jim Wilkinson and Ivan Axelrod with Wilkinson the conditioner. Red N Hotallover has the cozy rail post for owner Edmund Martin Knapp and driver/trainer Nick Roland and this 4-year-old mare looms a major player. Completing the cast are Custards Dungeon, Fox Valley B Gump, Brooklyn Moonshine, Nightgirl and Lakota Law. On track fans will be treated to a special Family Value night on Saturday. Hot Dogs, Beer, Wine, and Soda are each $2 from 6 to 9. As always, parking and admission are free after 4:30. Rebuilding process for Robin Clements Robin Clements sent four performers to Running Aces this summer, eventually selling two and retiring the other pair, and now starts off this meet with a new quartet under her direction. "I claimed Crusin For You for $10,000 in Minnesota because he's a hard-knocking little horse who seems to do well both at Running Aces and Cal Expo," Clements related. A familiar name in the barn is Shock N Awe, who has been with trainer Bruce Clarke for many years back east. "I just happened to call him and say I was looking for a mare to race at Cal Expo and he had her for sale. She was a barn favorite of Bruce's wife Megan, so they were a little fussy about her going to someone they knew would take good care of her." Using an on-line auction site called On Gait, Robin was able to find a mare named Plain Old Jane who she felt would be a good addition to the barn. "I went into her past history and noticed she seemed to like the bigger track, having taken her 1:53 1/5 mark at The Meadowlands as a 3-year-old." Looking for a gelding to round out the shedrow proved to be a more difficult task for Clements. "I didn't really see anything worth claiming until I found Marced Magic," she noted. "He had been racing at Yonkers. I reached out to a friend of mine who owns a full brother and he loved the horse and told me to check out the history. Being an Iowa-bred, he fits into the DHA program and I was able to buy him because they were dissolving a partnership." Robin added she was pleased with the way each pacer qualified last weekend and is looking forward to finding out more about her new proteges on the opening night program. By Mark Ratzky, for Cal Expo Harness

Watch and Wager LLC kicks off their 8th season of harness racing at Cal Expo with a strong 12-race card Saturday night. Beginning next week, the trotters and pacers will be in action on Friday and Saturday evenings with a 6:10 p.m. post time. The wagering menu includes the return of the low 16% takeout Pick-4 and Pick-5 wagers. Last season's Pick-4 pool averaged over $46,000 nightly. In addition to the Pick-4, fans will able to wager on the Pick-5 this season in 20-cent denominations. The strong on-air broadcast team returns intact. Hall of Fame announcer Gary Siebel will anchor the broadcast, while Jenn Bongiorno and Wendy Ross will do the popular Pick-4 analysis on Friday and Saturday, respectfully. Derick Giwner is back with his nightly insightful Pick-5 opinions and Garnet Barnsdale will return each Friday with his expertise on the Woodbine Mohawk circuit for our California simulcast patrons. On track fans will be treated to a special Family Value night this opening Saturday. Hot Dogs, Beer, Wine, and Soda are each $2 from 6 to 9. As always, parking and admission are free after 4:30.   By Mark Ratzky for Cal Expo Harness

Watch and Wager LLC will present its eighth season of harness racing at Cal Expo beginning Saturday, November 9. Beginning the following week, the trotters and pacers will be in action on Friday and Saturday evenings with first post each night set for 6:10 p.m. Purses for the meeting have been raised 6 percent, after being having been raised 8 percent during the 2018-2019 session. The horse population looks solid for the upcoming season and qualifying races will be held this Saturday, November 2, beginning at 10:30 a.m. By Mark Ratzky, for Cal Expo Harness

Allmyx'sliventexas, fresh from a victory in the Lloyd Arnold Pace, looks to close out the Cal Expo harness racing meet with another score in the featured $7,000 Open Pace. Watch and Wager LLC will present 10 races to bring down the curtain with first post at 7:10 p.m. and the main event is scheduled as the seventh contest on the evening. A 6-year-old homebred son of Hi Ho Silverheel's out of the Distinguishedbaron mare Annie Get Your Gun, Allmyx'sliventexas carries the banner of Wayne and Rod Knittel, is conditioned by Bob Johnson and will as usual have Mooney Svendsen in the sulky. The hard-hitting performer comes into this assignment with 30 wins from his 87 lifetime trips to the post, a $168,00 bank account and a 1:50 flat mark that was established last year at Hoosier Park. Sent off the 1-5 favorite in last week's Arnold, Allmyx'sliventexas brushed to command on the backside, held a clear advantage to the drive and prevailed by a length and a half over I'm An Athlete. The latter will be looking to turn the tables for owner Ronald Rettig-Zucchi, trainer Jessie Pacheco and pilot Luke Plano. He recently went over the $200,000 earnings plateau with a 1:51 standard that was set over this track last year. Completing the field are King Of The Crop, Blue Star Maverick, Better In The Bank and Coz and Effect. Meet finale features mandatory payouts With this being closing night of the meet, there will be mandatory payouts for all wagers. A reminder that a reduced 16 percent takeout rate is offered on the 50-cent Pick 5, which covers the first five races of the evening; and the 20-cent Pick 4, which comes with a $40,000-guaranteed gross pool. Congratulations to Kathie Plested, who long ago locked up the training title here, while it looks like the driver's crown may come right down to the wire with James Kennedy holding a one-length advantage on Mooney Svendsen. Plested put the training race on ice long ago and comes into the final weekend of racing having made 77 trips to the charmed enclosure. While Gordie Graham is a distant second, it should be noted his 40 wins have come from just 138 starters. Kennedy had a clear advantage in the driver's race going into last weekend, but Svendsen is coming a fast last quarter and has really tightening things up going into the last two programs. *** Said Cal Expo general manager Chris Schick, "Despite some tough weather conditions, and the early on loss of a weekend due to smoke from the Paradise fire, the meet was very safe and successful. "The legislation enabling the International signal importation beginning January 1 has been a nice boost. Overnight purses were raised eight percent coming in to the meet, and we are happy to announce a further six percent increase beginning opening night of our next meet on November 9. "The industry has also come together on a monumental Stakes program beginning in 2021. This plan has been extremely well received by our owners, breeders and horseman. Our next big challenge is to make sure we have a seat at the table for the anticipated coming of sports wagering to California. We are excited about the industry's future." By Mark Ratzky, publicity - Cal Expo Harness

A well-matched field of top-class pacing fillies and mares will take center stage Friday night at Cal Expo in the $10,000 Kirk Breed Pace. A 10-race program is on tap under the Watch and Wager LLC banner with first post at 7:10 p.m. and the main harness racing event will go as the sixth contest on the evening. Trainer Kathie Plested looks to have a strong hand in the race with Capitol Hill and Dancingonthesand representing the shedrow. The former is owned by the trainer and George McChrystal with Steve Wiseman guiding, while Dancingonthesand races for the trainer and Alan Cooper with Mooney Svendsen at the controls. As has often been the case at the head of the distaff pacing class, last week's Open saw an upset as Capitol Hill sat a pocket trip for Wiseman and came home smartly to get the job done by a length and a half as a 15-1 shot. Dancingonthesand has recorded six wins from her 10 trips to the post on the season and the long-fused mare looms large. Her most recent tally came on April 6, as she did the stalk-and-pounce to perfection to win going away. Legio X Equestris is going in very sharp form at the moment for owner David Shell and trainer Luke Plano with a win and two seconds from the last three clashes at the top rung here. Ryan Grundy guides the daughter of Roll With Joe and she was a 1:53 victress two back in a handy coast-to-coast decision. Completing the field are Lickcreek Speedway, Brighten Your Life, Delightfully Wild and Magnifique.   Kirk Breed, Tony Miller remembered with races Friday's Kirk Breed Pace is named for the man who served as executive director of the California Horse Racing Board from 2008 until his death at the age of 73 in 2013; while the Tony Miller Memorial is in honor of the harness valet here at Cal Expo who passed away recently at age 56. Mr. Breed was appointed as general manager at Cal Expo during the first term of Gov. Jerry Brown in 1979, and was credited with turning around the event's financial fortune during lean times. He later became a lobbyist on behalf of the racing industry and also served for eight years on the Cal Expo board of directors. The Oklahoma native loved horses and worked tirelessly to reduce equine fatalities and improve track safety for horses, jockeys and drivers. Tony Miller was a third-generation horsemen who was an owner, thoroughbred valet and most recently harness valet here at Cal Expo for the past 12 years. He passed away after a battle with colon cancer. *** The 14-year-old pacing mare Blue Note will be making the final start of her career Friday evening when she suits up in the evening's fifth race and there will be a special ceremony prior to that start in the winner's circle to honor this popular performer. Rick Cisco owns and trains the daughter of Little Steven, who is out of the Denali mare Romantic Music. She comes into her final assignment with 37 wins from her 321 appearances, $155,000 in her bank account and a 1:54 1/5 mark that was set here two years ago "She's a gem, and always tries her heart out," Cisco said. "I want to be sure to credit Luke Plano, because he's had a lot of success driving her over the years. The plan is to send her to Minnesota, where she'll be bred to Wind Me Up."     By Mark Ratzky publicity – Cal Expo Harness

Allmyxsliventexas, who made his seasonal debut last week, could hold the aces this time around in a strong renewal of the $10,000 Lloyd Arnold Pace that headlines Saturday night's Cal Expo harness racing card. Watch and Wager LLC will present 10 races with things getting underway at 6:10 p.m. and the main event is scheduled as the seventh event on the program. Allmyx'slivntexas was making his first start of the year as the 4-5 favorite in last week's Open and found himself with too much work to do in the stretch from last, settling for the fourth-place check. He closed out 2018 with four straight victories, including the Dave Goldschmidt, and competes for his owner/breeder Wayne and Rod Knittel with Bob Johnson training and Mooney Svendsen at the controls. He was a 1:50 victor at Hoosier Park last season. Coz and Effect was runner-up in last week's open at 25-1 after capturing a conditioned contest in his previous tour. James Kennedy reins and trains the son of Mystery Chase for Jose Castillo and he was a 1:54 winner here earlier in the season. Bettor In The Bank has accounted for seven of his 13 appearances on the year and the long-fused 9-year-old has to be given plenty of respect. Chip Lackey handles the dark-hued performer for owner Debra McCarthy and conditioner Gordie Graham. Rounding out the field are I'm An Athlete, King Of The Crop, To The Limit, Bettor's Promise and Gorgeous For Real. Kennedy has sights on driving title We don't want to jinx James Kennedy, but he comes into these last two weeks of the Cal Expo meet leading the driver standings while holding a seven-length advantage. While James has done well with the two pacers in his shedrow - the mare Lickcreek Speedway and this week's Lloyd Arnold participant Coz and Effect - he has recorded the majority of his victories as a catch driver. "It's been a fantastic meet," Kennedy related. "I really want to thank all the drivers and trainers who have given me some great opportunities. "Coming into the meet, I was pretty confident I would be in the top five, but I never really saw being the leading driver," he noted. "It's really been awesome." One of the highlights of the session for Kennedy has been handling the 9-year-old pacer Bettor In The Bank for Gordie Graham, recording seven Open victories behind the hard-knocking veteran. "He's been spectacular," his pilot related. "He always gives you everything he has and there's that big punch in the stretch you can always count on." Because they are both suiting up in the aforementioned Arnold on Saturday evening, for the second straight week James will be racing against Bettor In The Bank with his trainee Coz and Effect. "His last two races have been super," his mentor added, hoping for an upset this weekend. By Mark Ratzky, publicity - Cal Expo Harness

Silverlode, who is having an outstanding year, looms the one to beat in Friday night's harness racing featured $10,000 Stan Bergstein Trot. A nine-race card is on tap under the Watch and Wager LLC banner with first post set for 6:10 p.m. The Bergstein occupies the fifth-race slot on the program. Silverlode is a 10-year-old daughter of British Sterling who comes into this assignment with five wins from her eight starts on the year, $246,000 in her bank account and a 1:54 3/5 standard that was established last year at Running Aces. The hard-hitting performer is owned by Medinah Racing and Kathie Plested, is conditioned by Plested and will as usual have Steve Wiseman in the sulky. Silverlode has made her last two starts from the demanding No. 10 post position, but has been unfazed by that handicap while reporting home a punctual odds-on favorite with Wiseman. Last week's outing was her first in nearly a month, but she was razor sharp. Last of the half-dozen to the final bend, she followed the cover of One Chief to the lane and prevailed by a half-length over that rival. One Chief is a 6-year-old son of Lucky Checky who gives the Plested barn another strong look at the Bergstein. He carries the banner of Don and Barbara Arnstine, Steve Chambers and Tyler Wiseman with Luke Plano at the controls. Completing the field are Its a Horse, Winsun Galaxie, Majestic Lady Jo and Franks Best. By Mark Ratzky, publicity - Cal Expo Harness

There was a harness racing rarity at Cal Expo Friday evening as 14-year-old pacers Allamerican Solo and Blue Note accounted for the late double on the 11-race program. Allamerican Solo is a son of Western Hanover who goes about his business for Edward Del Ponte Jr., takes his lessons from Earl Kennedy and was guided by James Kennedy. He came first over at the half and responded when it counted to prevail by a neck as the public choice. Blue Note is a Little Steven mare who is owned and trained by Rick Cisco, was handled by Luke Plano and pushed her career bankroll over the $155,000 plateau with a coast-to-coast score while earning her fourth snapshot from 15 trips to the post on the season. Racing continues at Cal Expo with Friday and Saturday night action through April 27.   By Mark Ratzky

This meet has been a homecoming of sorts for David Shell's California-bred Legio X Equestris and she has turned in some big efforts while racing with the top distaff pacers on the grounds. The 5-year-old harness racing daughter of Roll With Joe, who was a 1:52 flat victress at Pocono last year, dominated conditioned rivals here in 1:53 2/5 last month for Luke Plano, and is coming off back-to-back solid tries in the Filly and Mare Open. "She'd been racing in Indiana, New Jersey and Pennsylvania and David wanted to bring her home for the winter," said Plano. "Even though I was racing her for the first time at this meet, I trained her a bit as a 2-year-old before she made her first start." Plano admits it's been a bit of a rollercoaster return to California for Legio X Equestris, she has shown her ability more often than not. "When she came out, she shipped from New York to Indiana, then on to here, and I don't think we realized how much it had taken out of here. There were also a few health issues along the way, but now everything seems to be fine." In last week's top dance for the distaff set, Legio X Equestris brushed to the lead at half for Luke, putting up solid fractions of :55 3/5 and 1:23 4/5 before being overpowered in the late stages by Dancingonthesand. "I'll tell you one thing about this mare - she loves to play the hard way," Plano added.   Dancingonthesand, Silverlode among top players An Open Trot that sees the return of Silverlode and an extremely contentious Filly and Mare Open Pace are the main attractions on Cal Expo's Saturday night program. Watch and Wager LLC presents 11 races with first post at 6:15 p.m. Silverlode is a 10-year-old daughter of British Sterling out of the Website mare Charlotte's Web who comes into this assignment with $243,000 in earnings and a 1:54 3/5 mark that was established last season. The hard-hitting mare, who is owned by Medinah Racing and Kathie Plested, with Plested training and Steve Wiseman in the sulky, has posed for pictures following four of her seven trips to the post in 2019. She suits up this weekend riding a three-race winning streak while making her first start since March 16, when she crushed her rivals by four a half-lengths as the prohibitive 2-5 favorite while doing her work from the No. 10 slot, which will again be the case this time around. Looking at the Distaff Open, Dancingonthesand is a 4-year-old daughter of A Rocknroll Dance who goes about her business for Alan Cooper and Kathie Plested with Plested training and Mooney Svendsen handling the lines. The bay miss has returned to greet her connections in the winner's circle following six of eight appearances this season and shaved a second and two fifths off her lifetime record with last week's sparkling 1:53 score. Sent off at 9-2 from her outside post in the field of seven, Dancingonthesand was unhurried in the early stages following strong fractions, swung off cover into the drive and went on to the length and a half decision.   By Mark Ratzky Cal Expo Harness

Things we're going pretty much according to form in the first four harness races of last Saturday night's Pick 5, but then Hot Dandy came along and blew up the toteboard with a $95 score for owner Emilio Cisneros, trainer Rick Bertrand and pilot Mooney Svendsen. As a result, the 50-cent Pick 5 went from a modest payoff to a $1,850 return for every winning ticket. The Pick 5 is one of two value bets offered here at Cal Expo on a nightly basis, featuring a reduced 16 percent takeout rate. The 50-cent Pick 5 is conducted on the first five races, while the 20-cent Pick 4 comes attached with a $30,000-guaranteed pool on Fridays and $40,000 on Saturdays. To give you some idea of the value added, using the old takeout rate, last Saturday night's Hot Dandy-infused Pick 5 payout would have been $1,652 instead of $1,850, a difference of $198 per ticket. Getting to back to Hot Dandy, the 5-year-old son of Hot Pans was a little hard to find on paper in the conditioned pacing event, having just a show finish from his half-dozen trips to the post on the year while racing at or about this same level. He turned things around nicely with a sweet stalking trip under Svendsen's guidance, getting up by a head over Cenalta Dragster for the initial snapshot of 2019.   Open Pace brings out solid line-up Bettor In The Bank has his sights on a hat trick in Friday evening's featured $7,000 Open Pace at Cal Expo as he faces a strong cast in the headliner. Watch and Wager LLC will present 11 races with things getting underway at 6:15 p.m. and the main event will go as fifth event on the program. There are also three California Sire Stakes going as non-betting events prior to the regular card. Bettor In The Bank is a 9-year-old son of Better Tuwin who races for Debra McCarthy, is conditioned by Gordie Graham and will once again have James Kennedy doing the honors. He has $230,000 in his account and a 1:51 3/5 mark that was set her last year. The dark-hued performer comes into this assignment have landed in the charmed enclosure following seven of his 12 trips to the post on the season, including back-to-back scores at the head of the class. In both of those tallies, Kennedy has kept Bettor In The Bank in reserve through the early stages, then flew home in the late stages to prevail by three-quarters of a length and a head, respectively. After rattling off three straight wins between March 8 and 12, Icy Blue Scooter has had narrow misses in his last two tries, including last week's clash at this top rung where Bettor In The Bank nailed him on the money. A 6-year-old son of Blue Burner, Icy Blue Scooter is reined and trained by Nate Sobey, who also co-owns the hard-hitting pacer with Diane Bertrand. He recently went over the $100,000 earnings plateau with a 1:52 standard that was established over this layout.   By Mark Ratzky Cal Expo Harness

A $6,500 Open Pace that brings out the likes of King Of The Crop, Icy Blue Scooter and Bettor In The Bank; and a $7,000 Distaff Open featuring stablemates Capitol Hill and Dancingonthesand headline Saturday night's Cal Expo action. There will be 10 races presented under the Watch and Wager LLC banner with first post set for 6:10 pm. King Of The Crop is an 8-year-old son of Little Steven who has returned to pose for pictures following four of his 10 trips to the post this season. He has $175,000 in earnings and a 1:50 4/5 mark that was set two years ago. King Of The Crop is campaigned by Don and Barbara Arnstine, Steve Chambers and Tyler Wiseman, hails from the Kathie Plested barn and will as usual has Steve Wiseman in the sulky. In last week's Open, he went right to the front, withstood a strong challenge from a first-over Icy Blue Scooter and held safe by a head over that rival in a 1:52 3/5 performance. Icy Blue Scooter is shooting for his sixth win from 12 trips to the post this year and had a three-race win streak going into that last mile, where he returned to the top level and put in a huge first-over effort to just miss. Nate Sobey reins and trains and also co-owns the pacer with Diane Bertrand. Bettor In The Bank is a 9-year-old son of Bettor Tuwin who is owned by Debra McCarthy, hails from the Gordie Graham shedrow and will once again have James Kennedy at the controls. From 11 starts on the year, the dark-hued performer has come away with six victories, including his most recent start at this top rung. Low takeout wagers offer great value There are two wagers offered here each night that come with a reduced 16 percent takeout rate - the 50-cent Pick 5 on the first five races of the evening and the 20-cent Pick 4. The Pick 4 comes with a $30,000-guaratnteed gross pool on Fridays and a $40,000 guarantee on Saturdays. In last Saturday night's Pick 5, the winning combination was worth $840 for each 50-cent ticket, despite the fact the sequence ended with a $5 winner in Timetoplaythegame and a 1-2 favorite in Crash and Burn. To give you some idea of the value, using the old takeout rate, the payoff would have been $750, a difference of $90 for each winning ticket. *** The 11-year-old pacing mare Nutmegs Desire actually made two trips to the winner's circle last week as she bid farewell to racing and began her new career as a broodmare. Prior to her start in last Friday night's fourth race, Nutmegs Desire was feted in the charmed enclosure in her new blanket and a special ceremony took place in her honor. Not long after that, she suited up and closed out her career with a coast-to-coast victory for Steve Wiseman, once again joining owners Don and Barbara Arnstine, Steve Chambers and Tyler Wiseman and trainer Kathie Plested in the winner's circle. She retires with 56 wins from 244 starts, $244,000 in earnings and a 1:53 1/5 mark   By Mark Ratzky Cal Expo Harness

Among the harness racing warriors suiting up here Friday evening are the 9-year-old pacer I'm An Athlete, who competes in the ninth race; and the 12-year-old trotting stalwart Franks Best, who will doing his thing in the featured second event on the card. I'm An Athlete is a son of Art Major who goes about his business for Ronald Rettig-Zucchi and takes his lessons from Jessie Pacheco. He recently went over the $200,000 earnings plateau with a 1:51 career standard that was established last season. Off the class drop in last week's start, the hard-hitting pacer was hammed down to 30 cents on the dollar and did not disappoint his many backers, making every pole a winning one with James Kennedy at the helm. "He's just so-so on the smaller tracks around the tight turns, but he really likes it here at Cal Expo," Pacheco noted. "He's just a pro. You can jog him with two fingers and he doesn't need hopples to train." Franks Best is also a real pro, slowly but surely closing in on a $300,000 bank account for his owner/trainer/breeder Bob Johnson. "There's no question, he's one of my all-time favorites," related Johnson. "He just loves to go out there and race." For the record, Franks Best will be making his 261st trip to the post and has recorded 48 wins, 47 seconds and 37 thirds, with his 1:55 4/5 mark coming three years ago. Good luck to both these veteran performers as they look to close out the final month of the current meeting in style.   One Chief eyes encore in featured Trot One Chief, fresh from back-to-back solid efforts, looks to be the one to beat in Friday night's featured $5,500 Trot at Cal Expo. Watch and Wager LLC will present an 11-race card with the action set to get underway at 6:10 p.m. The main event will go as the second event of the evening. One Chief is a 6-year-old son of Lucky Chucky out of the Credit Winner mare Chippewa who competes for Don and Barbara Arnstine, Steve Chamber and Tyler Wiseman with Kathie Plested training and Luke Plano back at the controls. Sent off the even-money choice in last week's assignment, One Chief was unhurried early before coming first over at the half to engage the leader. He opened a clear advantage once straightened for home and went on to a three and three-quarter length score for his first snapshot of the season. Franks Best was up for the exacta completion in that affair and always has to be respected for the team of owner/trainer/breeder Bob Johnson and regular pilot Mooney Svendsen. The 12-year-old son of Armbro Scribe comes into Friday night's assignment with $283,000 in his account and a 1:55 4/5 mark that was established three years ago. He is looking for his second win from 12 appearances on the season. Completing the field are Majestic Lady Jo, who leaves from the rail with Nate Sobey; Dougs Hobby Horse, who will have James Kennedy at the controls; and Windun Galaxe, departing from the outside slot with Chip Lacey in the sulky.   By Mark Ratzky publicity - Cal Expo Harness

Getter Queen Flush came calling when it counted last week to capture the Alan Kirschnbaum Pace with James Kennedy joining forces with the 7-year-old harness racing mare. Getter Queen Flush was shuffled at the midway point, but ignited when the question was asked by Kennedy to prevail by a half-length while proving a punctual 2-1 favorite. The bay miss carries the banner of Richard Thomas, Dave and Rick Haness and trainer George Reider, with the victory being a special one for all concerned as the race was named after the longtime owner and breeder and past president of the CHHA who died in 2012. "Getter Queen Flush has been a gem of consistency ever since I claimed her in Minnesota for $6,000," said Reider. "I was so happy for the connections. "She was a little nervous when she didn't have too much room in the stretch, but James did a nice job shaking free and getting up in time. "It was very gratifying to win the Alan Kirschenbaum, since he was a good friend of mine. We played golf every chance we got when he came up to Sacramento and he was a great guy - funny and smart, not to mention a pretty good golfer "I like to think he was smiling down at us during the race."   Capitol Hill heads cast in Distaff Pace Capitol Hill, coming off back-to-back victories at the head of the class, looks to keep the momentum going in Saturday night's featured $6,000 Filly and Mare Open Pace. Watch and Wager LLC will present an 11-race program on Saturday with things getting underway at 6:10. The headliner goes as the third contest on the evening. An 8-year-old daughter of Badlands Hanover from the No Pan Intended mare Champale Blue Chip, Capitol Hill races for George McChrystal and Kathie Plested with Plested training and Steve Wiseman at the controls. For her recent success, the bay miss has been assigned the No. 10 post position in the field of five, which should make things a bit more interesting. On March 1, Capitol Hill made every pole a winning one in the clash at this level, holding a clear advantage from the outset and then holding safe by three-quarters of a length over Bettor Lady. In her most recent appearance on March 9, the hard-knocking performer played cat-and-mouse with Bettor Lady on the front end and proved best by a half-length with Mooney Svendsen at the controls. Completing the field are Dancingonthesand, who gives the Plested barn two looks at the outcome and has Svendsen guiding; a pair from the Luke Plano barn in Magnifique with his trainer at the helm and Legio X Equestris with Ryan Grundy; and last week's Alan Kirschenbaum victress Getter Queen Flush, to be handled by James Kennedy.   Mark Ratzky Cal Expo Harness

Following start No. 244 in Friday night's fourth race, Nutmegs Desire will begin a new career as a broodmare, but not before Cal Expo gives her a special sendoff. The 11-year-old daughter of Real Desire comes into Friday's final harness racing assignment with 55 wins, 42 seconds and 30 thirds, $241,614 in her bank account and a 1:53 1/5 career standard that was set six years ago. Nutmegs Desire goes about her business for Don and Barbara Arnstine, Steve Chambers and Tyler Wiseman with Kathie Plested conditioning and Steve Wiseman back at the controls. In last week's tour, the hard-knocking pacer sat the pocket early for Wiseman, responded when the question was asked in the stretch and proved clearly best for her fifth snapshot from 11 starts on the season. Nutmegs Desire is scheduled to be make her special appearance on Friday following the running of the second race and everyone is invited to come down and join in the ceremony. "We like the idea of bringing Nutmeg down to the Winner's Circle before her race," said co-owner Chambers. "Mostly we're doing it this way because after she races, she's pretty full of herself and will not be very interested in standing still for a picture with a group. "We intend to make the ceremony short and sweet, so Nutmeg can get back to the paddock and get dressed for her final race." Nutmegs Desire will be presented with a new blanket and her owners will also be giving a check to the California Standardbred Rescue Fund representing last week's earnings from her victory. Said Barbara Arnstine, "As much as we love and appreciate Nutmeg, this isn't just about her. It's a small chance to educate the public about harness horses - their sociability, their love for their 'jobs' and their longevity, which leads to another career in many cases." Plans call for Nutmegs Desire to join Ricky Schneider's broodmare band in Alberta following Friday night's curtain call and she will be bred to Vertical Horizon. An 11-race card is on tap Friday evening under the Watch and Wager LLC banner with first post set for 6:10 p.m. Low takeout wagers offer great value   There are two wagers offered here each night that come with a reduced 16 percent takeout rate - the 50-cent Pick 5 on the first five races of the evening and the 20-cent Pick 4. The Pick 4 comes with a $30,000-guaratnteed gross pool on Fridays and a $40,000 guarantee on Saturdays. To give you some idea of how sweet the reduced takeout can be, last Saturday night's 50-cent Pick 5 returned $2,381 for each winning ticket. Using the old takeout, the payoff would have been $2,126, a difference of $255 for each ducket.   By Mark Ratzky Cal Expo Harness  

It was apparently worth the wait with the 4-year-old pacer This Dog Wont Hunt, who made his belated debut last weekend and came from out of the clouds to win going away as the even-money choice. A 4-year-old son of Voracious Hanover who is owned by Mark Anderson and hails from the Gordie Graham harness racing barn, This Dog Wont Hunt was some double digits off the early pace for James Kennedy, then circled rivals with a rush turning for home to post the two and a quarter-length decision to the delight of the chalkplayers. The dark-hued performer showed signs of having ability here last spring, turning in a pair of sharp qualifiers with Kennedy at the controls, then was scratched from a race in late May at Running Aces and didn’t surface again officially until a February 1 qualifier here that he won going away without urging. After being scratched from a February 9 race here, he finally got to the races last Saturday night and did not disappoint his many backers with the impressive come-from-behind score that saw him hit the wire in 1:57 3/5. This Dog Wont Hunt was scheduled to make his second trip to the post on Friday night, and it will be interesting to see just how much impact this pacer came make as he attempts to climb up the ladder A reminder there are two wagers offered here each night that come with a reduced 16 percent takeout rate – the 50-cent Pick 5 on the first five events and the 20-cent Pick 4. The Pick 4 comes attached with a $30,000-guaranteed gross pool on Fridays and a $40,000 guarantee on Sundays.   Plano pair loom large in featured Pace The Luke Plano-trained duo of Magnifique and Legio X Equestris should have a big say in Saturday night’s main event, a $6,000 Open II contest for pacing fillies and mares. The headliner will go as the 10th contest on an 11-race program under the Watch and Wager LLC banner and things will get underway at 6:10 p.m. Plano will be guiding Magnifique, who is owned by Nikki Hudson and will leave from the outside post in the field of seven, while Legio X Equestris is campaigned by David Shell and will have the services of Ryan Grundy from the No. 2 slot. Magnifique is an 8-year-old daughter of Tell All who is coming off a runner-up effort behind favored Bettor Lady under these same conditions last week after making a strong move by the quarter and showing the way to deep stretch. She recorded her most recent victory in a conditioned affair on March 1, riding live to cover to a three and a quarter-length tally, and has come back with a third-place finish behind Capitol Hill in the March 9 Open and last week’s exacta completion. Legio X Equestris is a 5-year-old Roll With Joe mare who is coming off an eye-catching 1:53 3/5 score last week and looks ready to climb right back up the class ladder. She was a 1:52 victress at Pocono last season. Rounding out the field are Delightfully Wild from the Lino Pacheco barn; the Kathie Plested-trained pair of Totally Racy and Outragesoudelightn; Along Came Jane from the Jessie Pacheco shedrow; and the Gerry Longo reined-and-trained Rush And A Brush.   Mark Ratzky

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