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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

Frankthebank hasnt been around forever, it just seems that way. Last week the pacing son of Sportsmaster celebrated his 14th birthday, which means this will be his final year of harness racing, and judging by his performance in the finale of the Shelly Goudreau Final he appears to be set to make the most of it. Frankthebank is owned by Richard and Marlene Thomas and conditioned by George Reider. They actually lost the veteran via the claim box on December 5, but reached right back in the next week and he returned to the cozy confines of the Reider barn. Frankthebanks bank account coming into 2015 was just shy of $455,000 and he established his career standard of 1:51 flat five years ago while turning in a 1:54 3/5 tally at Running Aces during the summer. He finished second in the Goudreau Prep while coming from last that evening to conclude last years campaign, then was sent off at nearly 12-1 in last weeks final. James Kennedy was aggressive from the gate and made the top, then Frankthebank was covered up by odds-on favorite Real Attitude on the backside. The Thomas colorbearer dug in gamely and once again finished second, beaten a half-length by the late heroics of Sheer Desire in that event. He may not reach the half-million dollar mark before hes forced to social security, but it certainly wont be for lack of trying. A reminder that there are two wagers that come with a reduced 16 percent takeout rate. They are the 50-cent Pick 5, which this season features a 25 percent minor pool payout; and the 20-cent Pick 4, which comes with a $30,000-guaranteed pool on Saturdays and $25,000-guaranteed on Sundays. Jazzmanian Devil eyes repeat in Open Pace Jazzmanian Devil and One And Only, first and second in last weeks battle at the head of the class, top the cast for Sunday nights featured $6,600 Open I Pace. A 12-race card is on tap at the Watch and Wager LLC meeting with first post set for 4:55 p.m. The headliner goes as the eighth event on the evening. Jazzmanian Devil is a 5-year-old Indiana-bred son of Sand Shooter who carries the banner of William Condon, hails from the Steve Wiseman shedrow and will once again have Mooney Svendsen giving directions. Sent off at 8-1 in last weeks clash at the top rung, Jazzmanian Devil sat in a tracking position for Svendsen until the stretch, ignited when the question was asked and prevailed by a head over One And Only while coming a snappy :26 3/5 final quarter. One And Only comes into Sundays assignment on the verge of going over the $200,000 earnings plateau for owners Richard Morita and David Yamada and trainer Lino Pacheco. He established his 1:51 2/5 mark two years ago and will have the services of James Kennedy this weekend. A winner of back-to-back races to close out his 2015 campaign, One And Only moved back up to the Open I level for his most recent outing and lost a heartbreaker after a game, first-over effort with Kennedy in the sulky. Rounding out the field are Bettors Promise, who will give trainer Pacheco two looks at the outcome; Surprisingly Sweet, a second entrant for Wiseman; the Luke Plano-conditioned Rikybrnthegaragdwn; Endeavors King from the Gene Vallandingham barn; and Stable Eyes for Tim Clevenger. By Mark Ratzky, Publicity Cal Expo Harness

When this most recent weekend of two nights of harness racing  at Cal Expo was completed, horses owned all or in part by Scott Ehrlich had wrapped up their second triple in less than a month. Back on December 12 and 13, the Steve Wiseman trained charges from the Ehrlich stable that were victorious were Northern Stormont (Scott owns a third), Surprisingly Sweet (owned by Scott and wife Lisa), and Put To The Test. This past weekend, add Ideal Smile (Scott and Lisa) to the list, and take out the unlucky Put To The Test, who arguably most likely would have won had he not been blocked until late, then flew to be second. Shining most recently from their small stable is the smallest of them all, Surprisingly Sweet, or Sweet, as she is affectionately known. The 8-year-old mare comes off a romping first-over five-length victory in 1:52 4/5 versus all boys in the Open lll this past Saturday. How Scott acquired her, and what he has done to keep her, have made for a nice love story that extends not only to humans, but to other equines. In the fall of 2013, my family and I made our annual trip to New England, noted Scott. Mike Eaton and his wife, Belinda, who I met when through a mutual friend when they visited Cal Expo in 2011, invited us to his farm to jog some horses. I got to jog Ideal Smile, and expressed to Mike my fondness for him, which I acquired when I saw him race at Cal Expo for Mike in 2012. Fast-forward about a month later when the mutual friend calls me and tells me Mike likes a horse (Surprisingly Sweet) he has in at Plainridge Racecourse, but only if he can get some pace in the race because she drew post eight. I download the program and determine theres no pace in the race, so I didnt bet. Of course she wins, while three-wide most of the last half, circling the field at 11-1. Fast forward another month when Mike calls me. The other owner (Bob Mc Hugh) of Smile didnt want to pay the cost of wintering him during the five month off time, so Mike wanted to know if I was interested, which I was. He also mentioned he had this mare named Surprisingly Sweet, also co-owned by Mc Hugh, that he didnt want to winter. I had completely forgotten about her, and told Mike Id review her races on video, and call him the next day. When I saw the race where she circled the field, the light bulb went off on who she was and how great she closed. Combine that race with very similar closes in races before that, along with the fact that I love closers, plus shed now be on the mile track at Cal Expo, and it was a no-brainer to include her, thus we agreed to throw her in to the deal. The move by the Ehrlichs has certainly paid off as their little girl has raced 65 of her next 70 starts for them, recording 17 wins, 16 seconds, and 5 thirds, with earning in excess of $50,000. This past summer, however, something happened that they didnt expect. She got claimed, Scott related. Shes an Indiana bred, and I sent her to Hoosier Park with Rick Plano, who did well with her, and also, given the racing style at Hoosier, changed her (and Put To The Test) from being a one-move closer into a two-move closer. When they announced she was being claimed, my heart sank. Not so much because of my feelings for her, but because Kathie Wiseman and Sweet have a love affair with each other. Perry Smith claimed her and put her right back in for the same $5,000 tag. There was another claim on her that night, but we won the shake. In her next race, which was the same class, I put her in for $6,000 instead of $5,000. Sure enough, she got claimed again. I figured for sure Id never have her again. As luck would have it, she was now being trained by Walter Haynes Jr. Junior and I have good history with each other, as he drove and won with horses I had at Balmoral, The Red Mile, and Thunder Ridge. I called him and told him how much she meant to my family, and my trainers wife, Kathie, and that Id be very interested to buy her back after a series at Hoosier. He suggested I call one of the owners, Brian Carsey. I did, and explained to Brian how much she meant to us. Brian immediately said we could buy her back after the series was over. I cant tell you how grateful I was that Brian was so accommodating. He showed a lot of class, especially about how much she meant to my family, and that means a ton to me. As mentioned earlier, Sweet has two love affairs going. Kathie Wiseman and Sweet are crazy about each other, Ehrlich noted. Theres no doubt about two things. One, that Steve Wiseman knows exactly what Sweet needs, training wise. And two, care and love wise, theres no doubt that Kathie makes Sweet a very happy girl. But theres also another cog to this wheel, his name is Jimmy Shin, a 12-year-old trotter also trained by Wiseman. Steve calls me one day in early April of 2014 and asks me to call Mike Eaton to ask how Sweet and Jimmy got along. Steve had just claimed Jimmy, who at one time was also trained by Eaton. I asked why. He informed me that when he turned out Jimmy in their paddock ring, that hed just stand right in front of her stall, as they stared at each other, while Sweet went crazy, squealing and nickering. Then when he put her in the ring, shed stare at him and Jimmy would go just as crazy from his stall. I called Eaton and barely got out the words when you had Sweet and Jimmy, and he interrupts and say, they were totally crazy about each other, inseparable. Now think about this! Theyre 3,000 miles away from where they met, plus they havent seen one another for roughly six months. Yet they instantly knew each other! It should come as no surprise when they shipped to and from Running Aces, that Kathie Wiseman, to keep them busy, had them next to each other on the transporting, not to mention side by side in their stalls at the two tracks. Words cant express how grateful we are of the fantastic job Steve, Kathie and their daughter Tyler, and their crew do with the horses they take care of. Were very lucky, finished Scott. This has turned out to be a sweet story all the way around. Party Hangover Two, Secret Alibi do battle Party Hangover Two, who finished up 2015 with nine wins from her 15 trips to the post; and Secret Alibi, who has the conditioning edge over her main rival, get the marquee treatment in Saturday nights featured $5,000 Open II Pace for fillies and mares. The main event will go as the fifth on the 13-race Watch and Wager LLC card with a first post of 6:10 p.m. The trotting and pacing action will continue with a Sunday evening program. Party Hangover Two is a 5-year-old daughter of Party At Artsplace who is owned by Kathleen Plested and is reined and trained by Steve Wiseman. She comes into her 2016 debut with $110,000 in her account and a 1:52 4/5 mark that was established over this layout last season. The bay mare was last seen in evening action on December 12, digging in when it counted for Wiseman to post a half-length decision under Open I Distaff conditions. She should be right there no matter how things shake out early in this affair while leaving from the assigned outside slot in the field of six. Secret Alibi is a 7-year-old daughter of The Panderosa who is owned by Heather Matthews with Luke Plano doing the driving and training. She accounted for an Open III filly-mare event on December 26 and was third versus males in her most recent trip to the post. Secret Alibi is looking to add to a $129,000 bankroll and has a 1:52 2/5 career mark that she set as a sophomore. She figures to be up-close-and-personal from the outset for Plano with this group. Completing the field are Part Time Lady, who gives the Wiseman barn two looks at the outcome; Place at the Beach for Gerry Longo; La Madawna De Rosa from the Leon Smith shedrow; and the Junior Wilkinson-trained Ladys Art, who leaves from the cozy rail with Chip Lackey giving directions. By Mark Ratzky

Driver Steve Wiseman, involved in a season-long back-and-forth battle with Nick Roland for meet dash leader, scored a hat trick on Saturday night at the harness racing meeting at  Running Aces, including two of the three feature races. The three trips down victory lane gave Wiseman 68 wins in the first 49 nights of the 53-night meet. Roland, who was winless on Saturday, still leads with 70 triumphs. As Running Aces enters the final week of the 2015 season, the Top Ten Drivers list looks like this: Nick Roland 70, Steve Wiseman 68, Tim Maier 57, Luke Plano 54, Gerald Longo 46, Rick Magee 33, Travis Bowman 22, Lemoyne Svendsen 21, Dean Magee 20 and Tony Succarotte 16. Wiseman started his hot night by capturing the $9600 Fillies and Mares Open pace with Part Time Lady, who sped to a 1:53.2 score over Keep The Dream (Bowman) and Kiss On The Lips (Longo). With her stablemate Party Hangover Two sidelined, Part Time Lady took full advantage to garner her tenth win on the year and increase her seasonal earnings over $35,000 for owners Ron and Tammy Wells. Da Terror gave Wiseman his other feature win when the blue-and-white clad reinsman gave the six-year-old gelding a patient and masterful steer in the $7800 Open II pace. Despite starting from the rail, Wiseman was content to watch all the action develop in front of him during early fractions of :26.2, :54.4 and 1:23, while saving ground and moving up the inside as competitors moved to the outside passing lanes. Da Terror was eighth in the full nine-horse field at both the quarter and halfway stations before starting to pass horses while still along the pylons. The winner was sixth at the three-quarters and fifth at the head of the stretch before angling out for an available seam and rushing to a half-length lifetime best 1:52.2 win (including a :28.3 final panel) over Thebestofjoel (Maier) and Headsup Yankee (Roland). Banks Standardbreds owns Da Terror and entrusts the training to Justin Anfinson. Swagasaurusrex was Wiseman's other win as the two-year-old Minnesota-sired son of Voracious Hanover lowered his record to 1:56.1 in a $3600 non-winners event, beating three-year-olds Whatchystarinat (Longo) and Cowgirl Unleashed (Svendsen) by four lengths. Richard Davelaar owns Swagasaurusrex, who is expected to be one of the favorites in the $21,000 freshman colt pacing division as part of $201,000 Minnesota State Championships Night at Running Aces to close the season on Saturday, September 12. Luke Plano and Rick Magee both fashioned winning driving doubles on the Saturday program. Gregg Keidel

COLUMBUS, MN. - Party Hangover Two and Toatsmygoats were repeat winners in a pair of co-featured races at Running Aces on Saturday night (August 29); while a pair of hard-hitting condition horses sped to the quickest winning miles in seasonal-best performances. Pary Hangover Two (trainer-driver Steve Wiseman) continued her total domination of the best pacing mares racing in Minnesota this summer winning for the seventh time in ten tries in the $9600 Distaff Open. Her 1:55.1 clocking bettered De Valeria (Tim Maier) and Bad Feeling (Dean Magee). Toatsmygoats (Rick Magee) captured the $16,000 event for the best Minnesota-sired three-year-olds for the third consecutive time, topping Moonshinenmonkeys (Tim Maier) and Relentless Spirit (Luke Plano) in an identical 1:55.1 clocking. Trainer Dave Flinn has the sophomore son of Relentless Yankee in peak form with the $21,000 Minnesota State Championship race scheduled for September 12. Outlawdangruswatrs (Tim Maier) upset the $7800 Open II male pacers with a 1:53.1 front-stepping score over stablemate Red Pine (Steve Wiseman) and Da Terror (Nick Roland). Sent off as the longest shot in the race at 21-1, the winner shaved two-fifths of a second off his best 2015 effort for trainer George Reider and returned $45.60 to his $2 to win backers. Fastest mile of the night was recorded by Native's Revenge (Lemoyne Svendsen) who beat a full field of conditioned and optional claiming horses, chasing a $6600 purse, in 1:52.2. It was the eighth win in twenty tries this year for the Bob Johnson-trained five-year-old who is rapidly approaching the $100,000 earnings plateau. Gregg Keidel  

COLUMBUS, MN. - Quality Sport pulled a mild upset in the $9600 Open Pace at Running Aces on Tuesday night, besting Thebestofjoel (Tim Maier) and Headsup Yankee (Nick Roland) in 1:54.4 over a rain-soaked harness racing strip. Driver Steve Wiseman elected to sit fourth in the seven-horse field through the first half, then secured the second-over position behind Bunkerhill Bill (Gerry Longo) until the top of the stretch where he swung widest of all to the one-length victory. It was the 16th lifetime triumph for the seven-year-old Sportsmaster gelding, owned by Ronald and Tammy Wells. The feature race win was one of three on the program for Wiseman, which pushed him back into a slim lead in the Running Aces' dash derby, 56-55, over Roland. There are 14 programs remaining in the 2015 summer meet which runs through September 12. Gregg Keidel  

Driver Nick Roland regained the lead in the Running Aces' dash derby with four trips to the winner's circle on Sunday night's harness racing card. Following Californian Steve Wiseman's driving triple on Saturday night, Roland, a 33-year-old Iowa native, trailed for the first time in almost two months by a 52-51 margin after 37 nights of the 53-night meet. Wiseman managed one win on Sunday, but Roland's four put him back on top by a 55-53 count. Luke Plano has moved up to third in the standings with 42 triumphs, followed by Tim Maier with 41 and Gerry Longo with 38. Roland captured the $9600 Open Trot with Silence Son, who topped Thekeptman (Plano) and El Azteca (Longo) in 1:56.2 for owner-trainer George Reider. With the victory, six-year-old Silence Son eclipsed the $100,000 earnings plateau. Roland also guided Reider's Country Jewel to a 1:56 score in a conditioned pace for mares, tallied with Becky Badger Baby from his own stable in a $6000 three-year-old open trot, and steered Liberty Flyer to a 1:56.2 score in a $7200 conditioned pace for conditioner Justin Anfinson. Wiseman's win came behind Imfasterthanu in a $7200 top distaff conditioned pace. The 1:55.3 victory was the second in four nights for the ten-year-old Cammibest mare owned and trained by Edwin Quevedo. Gregg Keidel

Party Hangover Two gave owner Kathie Plested and her partners quite a thrill winning the $8000 Fillies and Mares Open Handicap Pace at the harness racing meeting at Running Aces on Saturday night, her fourth consecutive score in the class. "My husband (trainer-driver Steve Wiseman) got me a nice piece of jewelry for my birthday," Plested related, "but having your horse win an Open on your birthday is like icing on the cake!" Despite sitting out a week after her first three Open triumphs and being assigned the outside post upon her return, Party Hangover Two cruised home a 1:54.2 winner by a scant nose over Keep The Dream (Travis Bowman) and Imfasterthanu (Nick Roland). It was just the tenth career victory for the four-year-old Party At Artsplace mare from only 37 lifetime starts. Native's Revenge (Lemoyne Svendsen) captured a $6500 Open II for males with a gate-to-wire score in 1:53.1 over Art Genta (Steve Wiseman) and Major Hottie (Kim Pluta). Bob Johnson trains the five-year-old son of Allamerican Native for Harold Actkinson. It was the seventh win of the year for Native's Revenge, four at Cal-Expo and three at Running Aces. Quickest mile of the night was turned in by Mattox's Spencer (Nick Roland) who stunned a field of conditioned pacers in 1:51.3 for lessee and trainer Patricia Minnella. A ten-year-old son of Cambest, the winner missed his entire nine-year-old season but has returned to the races in 2015 and posted six wins in 26 starts, half of those victories in Minnesota. In his distinguished career, Mattox's Spencer has won 29 times in 179 tries and earned $235,856. A pair of Minnesota-sired three-year-old races were also presented with Gooch's Hod Rod (Dean Magee) upsetting the $6600 'A' division; and Relentless Spirit (Lemoyne Svendsen) copping the $4400 'B' split. Both winning miles were clocked in 1:55.4. Gregg Keidel

A pair of $8000 Opens, a $7500 mini-series final and an $11,000 open Minnesota-sired three-year-old trot shared the spotlight on Sunday night at the harness racing meeting at Running Aces. The open trotters were the first of the four featured races to go postward and second choice Franky Provolone prevailed as he has so many times at Running Aces over the past three seasons. Robin Clements' pride and joy used his customary closing kick to pass Jailer (Tim Maier) and Silence Son (Nick Roland) in the final eighth of the 1:56.2 mile Trained and driven by Steve Wiseman, Franky Provolone extended his streak of first or second place finishes to seven including four wins in his six starts this summer season in Minnesota. Shadow's Image (Gerry Longo) extended his win streak to four in the mini-series final for non-winners of 2 pari-mutuel races or $10,000 lifetime through July 2nd. Since moving to the Longo barn in early June, Gary Liles' sophomore Shadow Play gelding has caught fire. He equaled his 1:54.4 lifetime mark beating Super Son Of Sandy (Lemoyne Svendsen) and Liberty Flyer (Kim Pluta) in the lucrative championship leg. The best Minnesota-sired three-year-old trotters squared off next with the diminutive filly Becky Badger Baby (Nick Roland) triumphing for the third straight outing and sixth of the season in eight starts for owners Royal and Barbara Roland and partner Dale Hein. Roland stablemate Go See Lo Go (Steve Wiseman) finished second with Sweet Nola Kate (Brett Ballinger) getting the show dough.   Party Hangover Two (Steve Wiseman) kept the theme of extended win streaks going when the top pacing mares took center stage. The four-year-old daughter of Party At Artsplace captured her third straight for owners B. & D. Arnstine, Steve Chambers and Kathy Plested. Overcoming an assigned outside post position, the 'Party Girl' partied with De Valeria (Tim Maier) and Rev Me Up (Mark P'Pool) for most of the mile before throwing a :29 final panel to seal her 1:53.3 success. Racing resumes Tuesday night at Running Aces with an $8000 open pace and the first $11,000 Minnesota-sired freshman trot share top billing. Gregg Keidel

COLUMBUS, MN. - With the repeat winner (Show Runner) of the first two $8000 Mares Opens of the Running Aces summer harness racing season relegated to taking on the boys Wednesday (July 1), Party Hangover Two (Steve Wiseman) took full advantage with a come-from-behind 1:54 victory over Free Girl (Luke Plano) and De Valeria (Tim Maier) on Tuesday night. In just her fourth start of the year, the four-year-old daughter of Party At Artsplace notched her second victory-the first coming in an Open II affair at Cal Expo. Following a break leaving the gate last week, Wiseman cautiously placed Party Hangover Two in sixth in the early going, but was out and racing third-over by the :57.2 halfway point. After advancing to fourth with an aggressive three-wide move at the three-quarters station, the winner flew home in :28 flat to open up a 3-1/2 length lead at the wire. Owned B & D Arnstine, Steve Chambers and Kathy Plested, Party Hangover Two now sports seven career victories and $77,541 in earnings. In a pair of qualifying races prior to the regular program, two drivers got their first wins ever at Running Aces. For 19-year-old qualifying driver Brady Jenson, in his first season in the sulky, it was quite a thrill to guide the trotter DD's Tiger to a neck victory in 2:02. In the pacing qualifier Tony Morgan, one of the winningest drivers in harness history with 15,094 scores, got his first-ever Running Aces triumph as well. Morgan was in town to test-drive Shadow's Image, who responded with a nine-length 1:56 mile, for a prospective new owner. Gregg Keidel  

COLUMBUS, MN. - Franky Provolone (Steve Wiseman) earned the opportunity to say "Cheese" in the Running Aces winner's circle for the third time in the first four weeks of the current summer harness racing meet. The eight-year-old gelding captured the $8000 Open Trot on Sunday (June 28) night, overtaking frontrunning Silence Son (Nick Roland) with a closing :28.3 quarter at the end of a 1:56.3 mile. El Azteca (Rick Magee) recovered from an early break in stride to finish third. This is the third consecutive year that Franky Provolone has fared well at Running Aces, winning multiple open class events with regularity since 2014. The son of Armbro Scribe is owned by Robin Clements of California and trained while in Minnesota by Steve Wiseman. Wiseman had a driving-training triple on the 11-race program, also winning with claimers Asgoodasioncewas and Wild About Eagle from his own stable. Becky Badger Baby (Nick Roland) also won for the third time in four tries thus far at Running Aces this season. The diminutive three-year-old filly copped a $6600 'Class A' trot for the best state-sired sophomore trotters in 1:59.2. She is seeking to defend her freshman season Minnesota State Championship for owners Royal and Barbara Roland in partnership with Dale Hein. Go See Lo Go (Wiseman) and The Wire (Dean Magee) got the place and show dough respectively. Quickest mile of the night was put in by Acting Captain, who captured a $3000 condition race in 1:54.2 for owner Sharon Dalke, trainer Rick Lake and driver David Lake. The five-year-old son of Somebeachsomewhere gave the Lake Stable, relocated recently to Minnesota for the first time this summer, their initial Running Aces win. Veteran driver Lemoyne 'Moonie' Svendsen crafted a driving double on the Sunday card, winning with a pair of Bob Johnson trainees. Someislandsomwhere triumphed in 1:55.3 in a $4000 condition race for distaff pacers; while Dream Roll was victorious in a $3000 mares event in 1:55.1. Both mares are owned by Little Bapa, LLC of California. For Svendsen, the wins were particularly gratifying as his daughter Kaitlyn Knox Svendsen was able to join him in the winner's circle pictures for the first time since her kidney transplant just four weeks ago. Gregg Keidel

A $24,192 carryover in the Jackpot 6 and a $30,000-guaranteed gross pool for the Pick 4 are among the wagering highlights on Fridays harness racing program at Cal Expo. The Jackpot 6 and the Pick 4 are both offered with a reduced 16% takeout rate, along with the Pick 5 and the Hi-5. The Jackpot 6 and Hi-5 are 10-cent wagers; the Pick 5 is a 50-cent bet and the Pick 4 comes with a $30,000 guaranteed pool and can be purchased in 20-cent increments. Going into Fridays program, the carryover on the Jackpot 6 stands at just shy of $25,000. The 10-cent minimum wager pays out 70% of the net pool to the tickets with the most winners, with the remaining 30% designated for the carryover on those nights. When there is only one unique winning ticket selecting on all six winners, the entire net pool for that night and the carryover is paid to the holder of that ticket. There was a mandatory payout when the last meet completed on December 21, with a carryover of $22,655 going into that program. A total of $45,33 was wagered that evening and the payout was $2,106 for each 10-cent ticket. Racing will be conducted this week on Friday and Saturday nights, with no racing on Super Bowl Sunday, February 1. Next week, there will be Saturday and Sunday night programs, February 7 and 8. Following that, there will be back-to-back three-night weeks with cards on Friday through Sunday, February 13, 14, 15; and Friday through Sunday, February 20, 21, 22. Open Trot, Distaff Pace, Sire Stakes set An Open Trot headed by El Azteca and Its Not Over; a Distaff Open Pace and a trio of $10,000 California Sire Stakes are on tap Friday night at Cal Expo. First post for the 14-race card is 6:10 p.m. Looking at the 4-year-old Sire Stakes Trot, Placer, Ahh Panama and Bank Of Lodi are the major players after finishing in that order in the most recent stakes clash for this division two weeks ago. Placer is a homebred son of Panama Hanover out of the Website mare Charlottes Web who races for Desomer Stables Inc. with Vickie Desomer the conditioner and husband Steve in the sulky. He prevailed by a neck over Ahh Panama in that last added-money clash on January, adding another trophy to his display case. Ahh Panama is a daughter of Panama Hanover who races for Hank Wieseneck, Marty Garey and Bob Johnson with Johnson training and Steve Wiseman doing the honors. A stakes victress last season, she is looking for some revenge after just missing in that stakes two weeks ago. Bank Of Lodi has been a stakes winner at 3 and 4 for his owner/breeders Mary Harris and Pierre Girard, with Girard training and Luke Plano in his usual spot in the bike. The New Age Hanover mare accounted for the December 14 stakes clash in coast-to-coast fashion, and then carved out the fractions in that last stakes get-together and was no match for Placer and Ahh Panama in the stretch. The 3-year-old pacing filly stakes will be a rematch between Avila Beach and Smash, who were one-two in the initial big-money affair this division, while the Sire Stakes for the 3-year-old trotters goes as a non-betting affair prior to the regular program. The Open Trot is set as the third race on the evening and should provide another great battle between El Azteca and Its Not Over, who have dominated things at the head of the class during this meeting. James Kennedy guides the former for owner/breeder/trainer Marco Rios, while Chip Lackey will be in his usual spot behind Its Not Over for trainer Bob Johnson. By Mark Ratzky, publicity Cal Expo Harness

Racing expands to three nights a week with the trotters and pacers now competing under the Watch and Wager LLC banner on Friday, Saturday and Sunday evenings. A $5,500 Open Pace heads the Friday action. St Lads Lotto, who has rattled off five straight victories while steadily working his way up the class ladder here, looks to keep the momentum going in that main event. A 12-race card is set with a first post of 6:10 and the Open Pace goes as the third event on the program. A 4-year-old Ontario-bred son of Stonebridge Regal, St Lads Lotto races for Ferne and Jack Frydman with Mark Winacott the conditioner and Steve Wiseman at the controls. He leaves from the assigned outside post in the field of six. The dark-hued performer began his winning streak while racing in a conditioned event on November 9 and has been unbeatable since that night. While he raced up close and personal in one of those tallies, he has used a powerful late kick to get the job done in the other decisions, the last four having coming with Wiseman in the sulky. St Lads Lotto established a new career standard when he accounted for the November 6 Open by an impressive four lengths and stopped the timer in 1:52 3/5. Sent off the 4-5 chalk in his most recent outing, he came from far back to be up by a half-length, coming his final quarter in :26 3/5 and stopping the clock in 1:52 4/5 that evening. China King was his most immediate victim in that affair while going off at 22-1 and will be making his third start since coming in from Pocono Downs, where he was a 1:51 2/5 victor last month. Gene Vallandingham conditions the son of American Ideal for Gary and Jennifer Sabot and Chip Lackey will again do the honors. Completing the field from the rail out are J C Onthebeach with Dave Siegel; Mar Dream, Mooney Svendsen; Cenalta Power for Ryan Grundy; and A Real Miracle, who will have Luke Plano giving directions. Brewski is doing her mother proud After capturing the first Sire Stakes of the meeting for the sophomore pacing fillies two weeks ago, Brewski came right back and proved a punctual odds-on favorite in a conditioned affair last weekend for owner/breeders Billie Schwartz and Junior Wilkinson and pilot Luke Plano. Wilkinson conditions the daughter of Little Steven and she is out of the Tulane mare Wooski, who was also a stakes winner for the Schwartz/Wilkinson combination and is enjoying some pretty good success with her first to the races. “This is the second generation for Billie and I,” Wilkinson noted. “We bred Wooski and now we have Brewski. We’ve also got a 2-year-old out of her named Couldbe Dancing who is getting ready to qualify. “Wooski was a real talented mare,” Junior related. “Unfortunately, she kicked a wall when she was 3 and missed a lot of stakes opportunities. She did come back and race at 4 with a 1:54 mark, but she really wasn’t the same.” As for Brewski, she only raced once last year and has posed for pictures following five of her 20 trips to the post this season. She lived up to her heavy back in that December 7 Sire Stakes assignment, then came right back with a solid decision at most recent asking while lowering her career standard to 1:57 1/5 in the process. “She’s getting better with each start,” her mentor said. “There are three more stakes races for her early next year and then we’ll go from there.” In the meantime, Brewski will suit up in Friday’s first race as she continues to stay on her toes for the next stakes assignment the chance to add even more trophies to her mantle. By Mark Ratzky, for Cal Expo Harness              

The first Sire Stakes of the meeting saw King Of The Crop picking up right where he left off during the spring, posing for pictures as he added another harness racing trophy to the mantle for his owner/breeder Frank Nevarez. The 3-year-old pacing son of Little Steven, who is now conditioned by Gordie Graham, was driven for the first time in evening action by Bruce Clarke and got the job done in game, first-over fashion despite making his initial start since late June at Balmoral Park. I got King Of The Crop at the end of August, Graham informed. Hes a nice, quiet and laid back horse with a touch of class. I was able to get two qualifiers into him and then he was going to make a start before the stakes, but he had a little mucus and we had to scratch. Despite missing a start that could have had him nice and tight for the stakes engagement, King Of The Crop did not disappoint his many backers while prevailing by a length over Tony Cheesecake in last weeks stakes clash. I was actually surprised so many horses fired out of there at the start, but the quarter was only :29, Gordie said. Bruce said he didnt want to go to the front, so he was pretty patient with him in the early going. It all worked out. Graham, who currently has 10 performers for Nevarez, is looking ahead with this pacer and likes what he sees. There are three more Sire Stakes races, but theyre somewhat spread out so well be racing him sparingly. I think he could turn out to be a very nice horse down the road. In the meantime, there are three more big-money races for this division to be contested, and theres no question the one they have to beat. Open Pace brings out St Lads Lotto St Lads Lotto, who has rattled off three straight victories while steadily working his way up the class ladder, puts that streak on the line in Saturday nights $6,000 Open Pace at Cal Expo. A 12-race card is on tap with first post set for 6:10. A reminder that the trotters and pacers are now in action on Saturday and Sunday nights, with Friday racing being added to the schedule beginning on December 26. St Lad Lotto is a 4-year-old Ontario-bred son of Stonebridge Regal who carries the banner of Ferne and Jack Frydman, is conditioned by Mark Winnacott and will have Steve Wiseman at the controls while doing his work from the No. 6 slot in a field of 10. A 1:52 winner last season at Mohawk, the dark-hued performer had to settle for minor awards in his first two starts at this meet, but has had his picture taken three times in a row since. The most recent came two weeks ago when he rallied from last to get the job done over a sloppy track with Wiseman giving directions. Set to line up against the razor-sharp Winnacott trainee are Paydaze on the Way; Stable Eyes; China King; Mar Dream; P H Jackpot; No Gin; Rusty Skip; Cenalta Power; and A Real Miracle. Cenelta Power captured the November 15 Open Pace in an 11-1 upset in his local debut. The Alberta invader is owned, trained and driven by Ryan Grundy. He sat a tracking trip in last months score and ignited when it counted to be up by a half-length that evening for his fifth score on the season. There are now four wagers here each night that feature a reduced 16% takeout rate. They are the 50-cent Pick 5; the Jackpot 6: the Pick 4 and the Hi-5 on the nitecap. By Mark Ratzky, publicity Cal Expo Harness

One of the best races of the meet could be for the driving crown, with Luke Plano, Steve Wiseman and James Kennedy staking a claim for the title through the first six weeks of this stand. Plano came into this week atop the standings with 20 trips to the charmed enclosure, bringing his lifetime total to 2,644 with $9.5 million in earnings. Luke is following in the footsteps of his father Rick, who was a leading driver and trainer in California for many years. There are some new horsemen here and that adds to the competitiveness of the racing, Plano said. Ill have a few horses in my barn, but I prefer to concentrate on the driving. Steve Wiseman is currently second with 18 victories to his credit at the meet, while leading the trainer stands with 15 of his representatives returning to have their picture taken. His total driving wins now stands at 2,136 with $8.2 million in earnings. Being the leading driver and trainer was the goal coming into the meet, Steve explained. Ive never won a training title before, so that would be nice, and Ive got a great crew to help me. James Kennedy is also off to a good start here with 13 snapshots and figures to be right in the hunt through the close of business in early May. Kennedy, who recorded a number of driving and training victories with the popular mare Haggin Oaks, currently sits with 866 sulky scores on his resume. (use as a reverse box) A reminder there are four wagers offered here every night with a reduced 16% takeout rate. They are the 50-cent Pick 5; the Jackpot 6; the Pick 4 and the Hi-5 on the nitecap. Featured Pace brings out A Real Miracle A Real Miracle, victorious in three of his five appearances at the meet, looks to keep the momentum going when he heads the cast for Saturday nights $6,000 Open Pace at Cal Expo. A 12-race card is on tap with first post set for 6:10 p.m. There is now Saturday and Sunday racing under the Watch and Wager LLC banner with first post on Sunday at 4:40 p.m. Beginning December 26, Friday action will be added to the mix. A Real Miracle is a 4-year-old son of Real Desire who is owned by Junior Wilkinson, Billie Schwartz and Ivan Axelrod, is conditioned by Wilkinson and is guided by Luke Plano. He established his 1:52 1/5 career standard this summer over the seven-eighths Hoosier Park oval. The Wilkinson trainee has clicked three times from five stats at this meet, including a dominating victory in the main event on opening week. After tiring in his next two tries, he returned to his winning ways last week as he made what proved to be the winning move for Plano on the backside and went on to a length score. In the most recent clash at the top of the class, A Real Miracle was dispatched as the 3-5 favorite and did not disappoint the chalkplayers. Plano buzzed the bay performer right to the front, moderated the pace and then held safe by a neck over the pocket-sitting longshot Mar Dream. The latter put a score into the favorite last week, as he sat the pocket journey and missed by only a neck while two and a half-lengths clear of the rest of the field A 6-year-old son of Cambest, Mar Dream is owned by David Neumeister, is trained by Bob John and will again have Mooney Svendsen at the controls. He has a 1:50 2/5 mark and over $171,000 in his account. Rounding out the field from the rail out are Cenalta Power for Ryan Grundy; Lifetime Louie with Dave Siegel; Ideal Smile, Steve Wiseman; and Pointsman, who will have the services of Chip Lackey. The headliner goes as the fourth race on the program. A reminder that there are four wagers offered here every night with a reduced 16% takeout rate. They are the 50-cent Pick 5; the Jackpot 6; the Pick 4 and the Hi-5 on the nitecap By Mark Ratzky, for Cal Expo Harness    

Bruce Clarke has returned for another winter stay in California, bringing along his top trotter I Love New York and a dozen other assorted performers. You can say that Im hoping to rebuild, said Clarke, an accomplished driver/trainer who has driven over 2,900 winners in his career and recently went over the $12 million mark as a chauffeur. I Love New York is owned by Clarke along with longtime clients Jack Coffey and Patricia Waldeck and the 6-year-old Broadway Hall homebred is nearing $250,000 in earnings while sporting a 1:54 3/5 career standard that was established here last season. His most recent victory came in late August over the five-eighths Tioga Downs oval in the state hes named after and the dark-hued trotter has gone some big miles for Clarke since his introduction to the game. Im out here for the winter and its nice to get away from the cold, Bruce related. This wasnt the best of summers for the barn, because we had a lot of bad luck, but Ive got some young ones here that Ill be getting ready. The one thing missing from his arsenal this year would be some Sire Stakes performers, which has been a mainstay of the shedrow over the years, but Clarke still figures to make his presence felt during the course of this meeting. A reminder that there are now four wagers here that feature a reduced 16% takeout rate. They are the 50-cent Pick 5; the Jackpot 6; the Pick 4 and the Hi-5 on the nitecap.    High Bet Hanover High Bet Hanover, who has fired nothing but bullets at this meet in five appearances, heads the cast for Sunday evenings featured Open III Pace for fillies and mares. An 11-race card is on tap under the Watch and Wager LLC banner with a first post of 4:45 Pacific. The headliner will go as the second race on the evening with a field of six set to face the starter. High Bet Hanover has recorded two victories and three seconds from her five starts at the stand for owner Kc C Cavalho, trainer Tim Brown and driver Luke Plano. Overall, she is going for her eighth snapshot on the season from 41 trips to the post. The 6-year-old Bettors Delight established a new lifetime mark three starts back when she captured the finale of the Annette Funicello Series on October 18 in 1:53 4/5. She came back to be the runner-up in a conditioned affair and then returned to her winning ways in her most recent tour. Sent off the even-money choice in that contest, High Bet Hanover sat a tracking trip for a half, then attacked to the final bend and went on to a two and three-quarter length score with Plano This time around, Director of Racing Robin Schadt has assigned the mare the outside post. Dont Hurry Love completed the exacta behind High Bet Hanover last week and will be looking to turn the tables. The 5-year-old daughter of Dontgetinmyway races for Ed Actkinson, takes her lessons from Bob Johnson and will be guided by Mooney Svendsen. She boasts $135,000 in earnings and a 1:54 1/5 career standard. Completing the cast are Free Girl, who gives the Brown barn two looks at the outcome; the Steve Wiseman-trained duo of Surprisingly Sweet and Razzle Be Dazzled; and Rag Doll, who hails from the Lino Pacheco barn and leaves from the inside slot. Mike Ratzky - Cal Expo Harness

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