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The featured event on the Saturday night Harness Racing program at Running Aces was the $10,000 Open Handicap Trot, and My Little Susie would steal the show this evening, by storming down the center of the track to get home first in the top trot, and establish a new track record of 1:55 for 4 year old mares, adding to the record she set here as a 3 year old last season of 1:56.4, she now sports 2 current track records here at the Minnesota oval. Driver Steve Wiseman floated My Little Susie quickly off the gate to find a pylon position in third, and waited patiently in that spot as race-favorite Banker Volo (Luke Plano) set all the fractions (27.1, 56.3 and 1:25) before My Little Susie came charging up the inside passing lane in the stretch to overtake the leader and hold off the pocket sitter Leave Your Mark with Nick Roland who took second, with Banker Volo checking in third. Tonight’s big win was the 20th lifetime tally for the talented mare, who is owned by A Piece of The Action LLC and trained by Kathie Plested. Whatevershesgot ($3.60) with Gerald Longo aboard, picked up the winners share of the second leg of the Charlie Hare trotting series tonight in a lifetime best mile of 1:57.1 after converting the pocket trip into a 1 ¾ length score. It was the first win of the season and 5th lifetime victory for the 4 year old mare by Sos Lunar Eclipse, who is owned and trained by Jenni King. Ideal Jesse ($3.20) a 3 year old colt by Jailhouse Jesse was sharp in winning the $8,000 3 year old Open Trot tonight in 1:57.4 with part owner/trainer/driver James Yoder in the bike. It was the 3rd lifetime win in 18 starts for Ideal Jesse who is also owned by Jesse Yoder. Drivers Rick Magee and Nick Roland both picked up driving doubles this evening at Running Aces. The next card of live Harness Racing at Running Aces Casino & Racetrack will go to post on Sunday night, June 11 at 6:00 pm CDT, with a carryover in the .20 cent Jackpot Pick-5 wager of $7,908.32. By Darin Gagne, Running Aces Track Announcer

The long-fused harness racing trotter Lodi Dorian Blues continued his every other race a winner pattern last week, doing the track-and-attack to perfection to score going away with Steve Wiseman in the sulky at Cal Expo. The 8-year-old California-bred son of New Age Hanover goes about his business for Scott Ehrlich and George McCrystal with Kathleen Plested the conditioner and Lodi Dorian Blues was shaving a full second off his lifetime mark with the 1:56 1/5 clocking. "I've owned horses since 1988," said McCrystal. "From the very first time I started playing the races, I always liked closers, especially trotters that could close. He caught my eye early on because he always seemed to try hard. "Since my association with Steve and Kathie, I've had a lot of success. When looking for a trotter, this little guy seemed to fit the bill. "I've owned faster horses, but in the 29 years I've been an owner, I've never had one that tries as hard as he does every time he gets to race. Because of that, he's my favorite horse." As for Wiseman, who has been at the controls for two of Lodi Darian Blues' last four victories, he notes the trotter is a workmanlike individual with the right attitude. "He's an honest little horse who gives his all on the track He's a pleasure to be around and great in the barn." Can the Ehrlich/McCrystal colorbearer make it two straight trips to the charmed enclosure? Stay tuned. Barbarian eyes encore in Open Pace Barbarian, fresh from a coast-to-coast score at the head of the class, looks to keep the momentum going in Friday night's featured $6,600 Open Pace. There will be 13 races presented under the Watch and Wager LLC banner with first post set for 5.55 p.m. The feature will go as the eighth race and there will also be a non-betting California Sire Stakes for 3-year-old trotters decided before the regular program. A 6-year-old son of Somebeachsomewhere out of the Western Ideal mare Righteous Renee, Barbarian is owned by Robert Orr, takes his lessons from Sparky Clarke and will be handled by Luke Plano. Plano climbed behind the pacer for the first time two weeks ago and it proved to be a great combination. Sent off as the 7-2 third choice, Barbarian zipped right to the front and rattled off modest fractions of :28 3/5 and :57 4/5 without pressure before picking up the pace. The Orr colorbeared turned things on in the stretch, motoring away by four and a half-lengths over Why Ask Why while stopping the timer in 1:52 4/5 that evening. He set his lifetime mark of 1:51 3/5 as a 3-year-old. Why Ask Why has been knocking on the door with runner-up efforts in the last two dances at the head of the class for the pacers. The 7-year-old son of No Pan Intended races for Windy City Farm and is reined and trained by Chip Lackey, with his most recent victory coming in an Open II event here on January 21 as the 6-5 choice. Completing the field are Jazzmanian Devil, Doc's Deal, Bettermeboy, China King, Pancetta and McFoolery, with Barbarian leaving from the outside slot in the field of eight. By Mark Ratzky, publicity - Cal Expo Harness

Shark Festival has rattled off back-to-back impressive harness racing victories here at Cal Expo for Medinah Racing and Scott Ehrlich, with Kathie Plested and Steve Wiseman taking care of business on the training and driving end. "Medinah Racing is the partnership of George McChrystal and Mark Kremen," related Ehrlich. "We're all Chicago born and raised guys who met up at the Chicago harness tracks. For me and George, it was in the early 80s, which also included Fairmount Park." After a couple of needed efforts to start off the meet, Shark Festival has been all Jaws as she has done the stalk-and-pounce to perfection for Wiseman while working her way closer to the $100,000 mark in career earnings. "George and I watch races from everywhere in hopes of finding a diamond in the rough," Scott explained. "One of the tracks George was watching was Century Downs in Alberta. What caught his eye was her breeding, her 'look of a real horse', her spurts of talent and that she was using an older race bike. "He called me one day asking me to watch the replays of her most recent races. After I did, we felt if he we could obtain her and get her into the Wiseman stable and their program, that between Steve and Kathie and their fine crew, that would be a good fit. "Since we've gotten her, especially here at Cal Expo, she's gained quite a bit of weight and really looks the part. And from that has come two straight wins. We know she gets her toughest test stepping up to the filly and mare Open this week, but she did win the filly and mare Open at Century over some quality mares and did it handily in first-over fashion." Ehrlich added, "We have high hopes for her." So far, so good. Open Trot brings out Silverlode, Flameon A $5,500 Open Trot that finds Silverlode and Flameon continuing their rivalry and a $6,000 Filly and Mare Open Pace that has lured some very sharp distaffers headline Saturday night's program at Cal Expo. There will be 12 races on the Watch and Wager LLC card with first post set for 6:10 p.m. In addition to the two Opens, there will be an elimination heat for next week's final of the Robert Staats Series. The Open Trot will go as the third race on the evening with Silverlode doing his work from the assigned outside post in the field of five, while arch-rival Flameon departs from just to his inside. Zoraze, Windsun Galaxe and Winsom Kelly complete the cast. Silverlode and Flameon have met three times at this meeting, with the former capturing the first and third meetings which were contested over off tracks, while Flameon prevailed in between those two races on a fast track. Silverlode is a 7-year-old homebred daughter of British Sterling and the Website mare Charlotte's Web who is owned by Desomer Stables, takes her lessons from Vickie Desomer and will have Steve Wiseman giving directions after Luke Plano did the honors in the first three outings at this session. Flameon is 6-year-old son of Angus Hall who carries the banner of Mark Anderson with Gordie Graham the conditioner and Chip Lackey handling the lines. He is looking for his 11th win on the year from 21 trips to the post and will be drawn inside Silverlode for the first time at the meeting. The Filly and Mare Open brings out a solid field of eight with Strings, Shark Festival, Directing Traffic and Stable Eyes among the major players in what shapes up as a very interesting contest. By Mark Ratzky, publicity - Cal Expo Harness

The $12,000 Open Handicap Pace for Horses & Geldings was the Featured event on the Sunday night harness racing program at Running Aces, and the ultra-sharp 5 year old gelding Dry Ice (by Badlands Hanover) posted another impressive win at the top level, with a 1:51.4 score charging home first from the pocket trip. The Steve Wiseman trainee was sent out sharply from post 7 by Wiseman, and the duo quickly secured the pocket behind Headsup Yankee (Nick Roland) who also fired from post 6. Roland controlled the fractions with his 19-1 longshot, posting up 27.1, 56.0, and 1:23.3 before Dry Ice launched his attack from the pocket, pacing by the pace-setter to register a 2¼ length tally in 1:51.4, a new lifetime mark. Headsup Yankee and Roland held second, while OfficerNagentelman (Tim Maier) checked in third. It was the 19th lifetime win for Dry Ice ($4.20), and padded his career bankroll to $125,625 for his owners A Piece of The Action, LLC. Dakota Jack and Firedrake once again squared-off in another ding dong battle this night, and after trading blows throughout, Dakota Jack would just out-kick Firedrake to the wire in 1:55.2 this evening, with a ½ length tally, delivering as the favorite and paying a $2.80 mutuel. Dakota Jack picked up his 6th win in 10 starts this year, with Trainer/Driver Steve Wiseman aboard. Viva La Voracious (by Voracious Hanover) picked up her second impressive win in a row tonight, in a $4,500 conditioned pacing event for trainer Brady Jensen and Driver Jim Marino, she posted a 1 length score in 1:57.3 establishing a new lifetime mark with her 3rd lifetime win for owner Nancy Jenson. She paid $7.80 at the windows. Driver Steve Wiseman had another huge night at Running Aces, with a Grand Slam on the program, boosting his win total to 63 for the Running Aces season, despite having missed almost 2 weeks at the beginning of the meet due to a back injury, Wiseman has had another terrific summer here in Minnesota. Running Aces is now Racing 4 nights a week with Live racing on Tuesdays and Wednesdays going to post at 7:00 pm CDT, and Saturdays and Sundays offer a 6:00 pm CDT starting time. The .50 cent late Pick-4 Wager on Tuesday night is Guaranteed at $5,000.00. By Darin Gagne, Running Aces Track Announcer

The Featured Event on the harness racing card at Running Aces tonight was the $6,000 2 Year old Open pace, and it was another display of talent from the filly WhatitdoBabyBoo (by Voracious Hanover), as she put forth a come-from-behind winning effort this night with Steve Wiseman in the bike. Wiseman was in no particular hurry with his filly off the gate and settled away seventh from the gate during the 29.2 quarter mile, they began their rally from 7th on the outside at the very soft 1:01.2 half and continued to rally on the outside from 4th at the ¾ pole , and drove past the leaders to post a ¾ length tally with a 27.3 last quarter and an eye-opening 55.2 final half - stopping the clock at 1:58.1. This was the 3rd straight win and a new lifetime mark for this talented filly, owned by Van Oterloo Stables and trained by David Flynn. She paid just $2.80 as the race favorite. The sharp pacing mare MJ's Last Dance was also razor sharp tonight, posting her second dominating performance in a row in a $6,000 conditioned pace for fillies and mares. Trainer/Driver Luke Plano sent her right to the lead again this evening from post four, and she was never in doubt with a commanding performance in 1:54.2, pacing her final stanza in 28.1 to keep her rivals at bay. The final margin was 1¾ lengths, and she paid $6.20 at the windows. Dakota Jack (A Piece of The Action LLC) also shined on the Tuesday card, posting his 3rd local win in 4 local starts, in 1:54.4 tonight with Trainer/Driver Steve Wiseman in tow, they dominated the proceedings with a gate-to wire score by 2¾ lengths, throwing down a 27.0 final quarter, paying just $2.20 as the very heavy chalk, with Grey Bell (Rick Magee) second, and Polar Vortex (Ryan Lems) home third. The next card of Live Harness Racing at Running Aces goes to post Wednesday, August 10 at 7:00 pm CDT. By Darin Gagne, Running Aces Track Announcer

The Tuesday night Feature Race on the harness racing card at Running Aces was the $13,000 Mares Open Handicap Pace, and the "Party Girl" Party Hangover Two did not disappoint tonight with a dominating performance in the contest. Assigned post 8 in the 9 horse affair, Trainer/Driver Steve Wiseman used his mare's tactical speed to sprint from the gate and they found the lead just after the 27.2 quarter clocking. From there it was never in doubt for the talented 5 year old by Party At Artsplace, who is now 8 for 12 on the season, after the 1:54.2 mile. She now has$44,070 in the bank this season for Owners Kathy Plested, Barbara and Donald Arnstine, and Stephen Chambers. Party Hangover Two returned just $2.40 as part of a two-horse entry in the wagering. Tonight's performance adds to a laundry list of her big wins here at Running aces over the past 2 years, all of them at the top level. Firedrake, a 3 year old gelding pacer by Dragon Again, was an absolute monster tonight, posting a scintillating performance in a $5,500 conditioned event, he started from post 7, and Trainer/Driver Nick Roland sent him storming out of the gate to an immediate lead, from there he posted fractions of 28.2, 58.0 and 1:25.3 before motoring home in 27.3 to post a two length win. Race favorite Dakota Jack (Steve Wiseman), sat in the pocket and tried to mount a stretch rally, but there would be no getting to Firedrake tonight, as he absolutely paced away from his closest rival and stopped the clock in 1:53.1, a new lifetime mark, with the last half mile in a very impressive 55.1. This super nice pacer is owned by Set The Pace Racing, LLC and has now won 6 of 12 lifetime starts. Whatitdo BabyBoo posted another sharp win tonight as well, with a come-from-behind and pulling away score in 1:58.3 a lifetime best mile, in the $8,000 2 Year old Filly Pace tonight with Steve Wiseman in the sulky for Van Otterloo stables and Trainer David Flynn. She was the big favorite and paid just $2.10 after the 4 ½ length win. Steve's Hot Rod (by Voracious Hanover) pulled an 11-1 upset in the $8,000 2 year old geldings pace, with a 1:58.1 lifetime mark win from gate to wire with Rick Magee in the bike, paying $25.40. He is owned by Kati Sokolowski and also trained by David Flynn. Mint To Cruise (by Up Front Brad) also posted a huge winning mile tonight, with a sweeping win from well off the pace in a $4,500 conditioned pacing event, he stormed home in 28.3 to post a 5¾ length win in 1:56.1, a lifetime best mile with Trainer/Driver Nick Roland, again for Owners Set The Pace Racing LLC. He paid $4.40 to win. Driver Steve Wiseman had a big night with a Hat-Trick, and Nick Roland and Luke Plano both posted driving doubles. By Darin Gagne, Running Aces Track Announcer  

COLUMBUS,MN - The 5 year old trotting mare, Majestic Lady Jo (by Abra), posted a new lifetime mark tonight at Running Aces Casino & Racetrack, shaving a full second off her previous best, but she also established a new track record in the process, besting the previous track mark set almost exactly 3 years ago by Shelby County and driver John Delong (1:56.1). In tonight's contest, a $8,000 conditioned event with a talented field, she was dismissed by the public at 11-1 on the board as the longest odds horse in the field, apparently somebody forgot to tell her that she had little chance to win, because She and Driver Steve Wiseman had a different opinion about her chances tonight. The duo stepped quickly off the gate from post 6, opening up a commanding early lead at the 28.4 quarter mile, and then widening their lead to more than 3 lengths past the half in 58.2, Majestic Lady Jo was still leading by nearly 5 lengths at the ¾ pole in 1:26.3, and she then coasted home in 29.2 to trip the tele-timer and nab the track record in 1:56 by two full lengths at the wire. It was a commanding performance for this very nice Trotting Mare, who is owned by Amy Grunwald and Trained by Rick Bertrand. It was her 6th winning effort this year, in her 28th start of the season, and it bumped her lifetime summary to an impressive 12-13-13 from 77 starts, and she now sports a career bankroll of $51,604. Flashy Lady (Tim Maier) was second, and French Eclipse (Gerald Longo) was third in the record mile. By Darin Gagne, for Running Aces  

On the Sunday harness racing card at Running Aces, the 6 year old gelding Ideal Art ($20.20) paced to a new 1:52.2 lifetime best in a talented field of conditioned pacers, he is owned by Kathy Plested, Mark Benvenga, and Tyler Wiseman, and was driven to victory by his trainer Steve Wiseman. The talented son of American Ideal got away from the gate sharply from post four and found the two hole early, waited patiently until the stretch and converted the pocket trip into his 4th win of the season and pushed his seasonal bankroll to $15,316. The featured $11,000 Open pace was another sharp win at the top level for Jazzmanian Devil ($4.60) pacing in 1:53.1 with Lemoyne (Moonie) Svendsen aboard, for Owner William Condon and Trainer Steve Wiseman. This was his second win in a row and 9th win in 19 starts this year. Comes Home First (Jim Marino) was second best tonight, while Del Rio Seelster (Nick Roland) checked in third. The $7,500 Minnesota-Sired 3 year old filly Trot went to Whatevershesgot (by Sos Lunar Eclipse) driven to a 2:00.4 new life’s mark by Gerald Longo for Owner/Trainer Jenni King, she paid $3.40 to win. The $7,500 Minnesota-Sired 3 year old Gelding Trot went to The Winnin Dollar (Nick Roland), for his second consecutive score, this one in 1:59.4. He paid $6.80 to his backers, and is Owned by Jesse DeLong and trained by Justin Anfinson. Steve Wiseman had a driving double on the card, and three training wins as well, and Gerald Longo posted his second double of the season. The next card of live Harness Racing at Running Aces Casino & Racetrack will go to post on Tuesday night, June 14 at 7:00 pm CDT, with a carryover in the .50 cent Jackpot Pick-6 wager of $8,323.10. By Darin Gagne, Running Aces Track Announcer

Veteran driver Steve Wiseman, who missed the first 5 nights of the season at Running Aces with a back injury, has been razor sharp since his return to the sulky, winning his first start back with his only drive on May 29th, then picking up at least one win every night since, including a double on June 4th, and now a very impressive four-bagger on the Tuesday night harness racing card. The Tuesday night feature at running Aces Casino & Racetrack was the $11,000 Fillies and Mares Open Handicap pace, and Party Hangover Two came in to the race looking for her 4th straight win overall, and second straight locally. Sent off as the even money choice from post 8, Trainer-Driver Steve Wiseman sent her straight to the lead, then yielded to let Windsun T Bird (Tim Maier) take over past the 28.2 quarter, brushed 1st over quickly to retake past the 3/8 pole, and lead every step of the mile from there (through fractions of 57.4 and 1:26.1) including the last step to just hold off a late charge from the resilient Windsun T Bird, and a charging Flick A Fly (Rick Magee). It was her 6th win in 7 starts this year, and the white-hot 5 year old mare by Party At Artsplace paid $4.20 to win. She is owned by Kathy Plested, Barbara and Donald Arnstine and Stephen Chambers. The 3 year old pacing filly Polar Vortex, by Rocknroll Hanover posted her first lifetime win, in just her 3rd lifetime start, pacing to a 1:58.2 win with driver Ryan Lems in the sulky for trainer Robert Lems and owners Alan & Cheryl Sandbulte, of Iowa. Completing the four-bagger for Wiseman were wins with his trainees Gram Rules ($6.00) in 1:55.1, and Summons ($4.20) in 1:55.0 and Hot on The Pace ($9.20) in 1:56.4 for trainer Alexia Kehl. The next card of live Harness Racing at Running Aces Casino & Racetrack will go to post on Saturday, June 11th at 6:00 pm CDT, with a carryover in the .50 cent Jackpot Pick-6 wager of $5,261.60 By Darin Gagne, Running Aces Track Announcer  

The Sunday night harness racing feature at Running Aces was the $11,000 Open Handicap pace, and it was Jazzmanian Devil with Moonie Svendsen in the bike who charged out of the gate from post four to the early lead, before yielding to Bunkerhill Bill (Gerald Longo) past the ¼ in 27.3, then sitting the pocket through the middle half in 56. and 1:23.4, before charging by in the stretch to draw away by 2 lengths in 1:53.2, with Bunkerhill Bill second best, and Bettor In The Bank (Dean Magee) finishing 3rd. Jazzmanian Devil is owned by William Condon, of California, and trained by Steve Wiseman. This was the 8th win of the year for the 5 year old gelding by Sand Shooter, and it boosted his seasonal bankroll to $ 31,937. He paid his backers $11.40 at the windows. In the $7,000 Minnesota-sired 3 year old geldings Trot, it was The Winnin Dollar (by Sos Lunar Eclipse), who did the winning and paid $9.00, he is owned by Jesse Delong of Wisconsin, trained by Justin Anfinson, and was driven to the 1:59 lifetime mark by Nick Roland. The very nice 6 year old gelding Buddy's Hope (Luke Plano) picked up another impressive win, for Sean Lancaster and Jerome Bouvier, in a nice field of conditioned pacers, stopping the clock in 1:53.4 and paying $7.20 to win. Driver Nick Roland scored a hat-trick on the card, while Lemoyne (Moonie) Svendsen picked up a driving double and Rick Magee all scored doubles on the Saturday night card. The next card of live Harness Racing at Running Aces Casino & Racetrack will go to post on Tuesday night, June 7 at 7:00 pm CDT, with a carryover in the .50 cent Jackpot Pick-6 wager of $3,193.51 By Darin Gagne, Running Aces Track Announcer

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

The Tuesday night harness racing card at Running Aces featured the return of Party Hangover Two at the Columbus, Minnesota Oval for the $11,000 Mares Open in race 3. Since she had dominated the Open-level pacing mares here in 2015, fans were certainly aware of her capabilities, and sent her off as the 7-5 choice. Driver Lemoyne (Moonie) Svendsen found 4 other mares leaving sharply from the gate, and opted to take Party Hangover Two to the back of the pack through the blistering 26.4 opening quarter, he then decided to get the party started by brushing last-to-first at the 3/8 pole, and taking firm control from there, through middle panels of 57.0 and 1:25.2,  before pacing home in 29.3,  gamely  holding off a strong late charge from Flick A Fly (R.Magee)  and stopping the clock in 1:55.2, with Just One More (J.Marino) finishing third. The victory was her fifth tally in six starts this year, as the razor-sharp 5 year old mare by Party At Artsplace from Maura Hanover now sports a bankroll of $130,836 from her 52 lifetime starts. She paid $4.80 to win to her many backers. Party Hangover Two is owned by Kathy Plested, Barbara and Donald Arnstine, and Stephen Chambers, and she is conditioned by Steve Wiseman. Veteran Driver Brian Detgen had a big night, picking up wins with his own pacing mare Captiva Bounty  in 1:55.2 ( $12.60 ) in race 5 , the Trotter Dapper Dan in 2:01.4 ( $8.40 ) for Owner/Trainer Dave Carter in race 6, and  completing the Hat-trick by capturing the Finale (race 9) with Ya Yu Betcha in 1:54.2 ($5.00) for Owner/Trainer Wendy Haberberg. The next card of live Harness Racing at Running Aces Casino & Racetrack will go to post on Saturday night, May 28 at 6:00 pm CDT, with a carryover in the .50 cent Jackpot Pick-6 wager of $919.85. By Darin Gagne, Running Aces Track Announcer

Jazzmanian Devil is paying the price for his recent success, as he has been assigned the No. 10 post position for Sunday night's Open Pace. William Condon's 5-year-old has reached the charmed enclosure following four of his last five appearances here, with the one setback being the time he was asked to leave from this handicapped post on Aril 3. It should be noted, however, that it wasn't the outside slot that likely did him in that evening, but an equipment break. He has returned from that outing to rattle off a pair of impressive victories for trainer Steve Wiseman and regular driver Mooney Svendsen. Meanwhile, Kissed The Boys is one member of the cast in Sunday's co-featured Sire Stakes who won't mind if the skies open up and rain comes down before this contest. The Desomer Stables homebred has won both her starts on off tracks, including the March 13 Sire Stakes which found divisional leader My Little Susie having to settle for the exacta completion. Kissed The Boys has had her main problems when the gate rolls, making miscues and being interfered with in two of her last three trips to the post. She made a huge brush to the lead in last week's stakes gathering, but could not match the favorite when push came to shove in the stretch. "Once she gets away from there, she's pretty reliable," Steve noted. "She has a lot of tenacity, especially on an off track." My Little Susie, Kissed The Boys clash My Little Susie, who has earned five stakes trophies at the meet: and Kissed The Boys, who has one and was runner-up in the most recent big-money dance, have top billing in Sunday's $10,000 California Sire Stakes for 3-year-old trotters at Cal Expo. Ten races are on tap Sunday with first post set for 6:25 and the Sire Stakes will be the third event on the evening. This is the penultimate week of the meeting, with the curtain coming down next Sunday, May 8. My Little Susie is a daughter of Claudius Augustus out of Sue's Photo who campaigns for A Piece Of The Action LLC, is conditioned by Gene Vallandingham and will once again have the services of Chip Lackey. Overall, she has posed for pictures following nine of her 19 lifetime appearances and she established her mark of 1:57 2/5 when winning a Sire Stakes here on February 28, one of five such added-money contests she has captured at this stand. In last week's foray, she proved a punctual 3-5 favorite as she did the track-and-attack to perfection for Lackey, heading Kissed The Boys at midstretch and going on to a length and three-quarters decision while stopping the timer in 1:58 flat. Kissed The Boys is also a daughter of Claudius Augustus from Charlotte's Web who is owned and was bred by The Desomer Stables and will have Steve Desomer giving directions. Rounding out the field are Lodi Bank Robber with Luke Plano; Sixstringsandapick, Mooney Svendsen; CW Raisinette, Steve Wiseman; and Delta Breezeoflodi, Pierre Girard. By Mark Ratzky, for Cal Expo Harness

The 6-year-old pacer Winonefordoug turned in a game mile last weekend with Steve Wiseman to pick up his first snapshot of the season for Doug Flores and Rick Bertrand, with Bertrand the conditioner. Flores and Bertrand also campaign the stakes-winning trotting mare Dougs Hobby Horse and have done very well with another trotter named Jailer, who has recorded some big miles over this layout. "My partner Doug is from California and retired a few years ago from a hobby shop that was owned by he and his wife Lorraine," related Bertrand. "He always enjoyed coming out to watch the races and some years ago asked if I wanted to go 50-50 on a horse. "Now we've had our share, including one that we had the chance to rename Winonefordoug, and then Dougs Hobby Horse, which he bred." Dougs Hobby Horse is scheduled to do battle in Saturday's second race, getting ready for next week's Sire Stakes, while Winonefordoug turns up in the seventh race. A reminder that there are two wagers offered here that come with a reduced 16 percent takeout rate. They are the 50-cent Pick 5, which features a 25 percent minor pool payout; and the 20-cent Pick 4, which comes with a $25,000-guaranteed gross pool on Saturdays and a $25,000 on Sundays. ******** This is the penultimate week of harness racing at the spring meeting, with the curtain coming down next week with cards on Saturday and Sunday, May 7 and 8. Allmyx'sliventexas, Moonstone Beach hold spotlight A pair of $10,000 California Sire Stakes for 3-year-old pacers have center stage Saturday at Cal Expo, with stablemates Allmyx'sliventexas and Moonstone Beach looking to continue a clean sweep of the big-money events for their respective divisions. An 11-race program is on tap under the banner of Watch and Wager LLC with first post set for 6:25 p.m. The Sire Stakes for the pacing colts goes as the third event on the evening, while the pacing filly stakes will be decided as a non-betting affair prior to the regular card. Allymx'sliventexas and Moonstone Beach are both owned and were bred by Wayne and Rod Knittle with Bob Johnson the conditioner and Mooney Svendsen in his usual position in the sulky. Allymx'sliventexas is a son of Hi Ho Silverheel's out of the Distinguishedbaron mare Annie Get Your Gun. He comes into this assignment having posed for pictures following seven of his 11 starts, including a leg of the Lonnie Beck Series and all six Sire Stake for the pacing males. In last week's gathering, the Knittel colorbearer was sent off as the 1-9 favorite and had little trouble making every pole a winning one, coming a :27 3/5 final quarter to seal the deal by two and three-quarter lengths. Completing the cast are Rock Of Ages with Mark Kennedy; One More Chance, Luke Plano; Mathachusetts, to be handled by Steve Wiseman; and Midnight Adventure, James Kennedy. Moonstone Beach is likewise putting her perfect Sire Stakes record on the line as the daughter of Crisis Situation shoots for her eighth win from nine appearances. Little Emma, who missed by a half-length to her last week; and Plain Awesome will round out the field. By Mark Ratzky, for Cal Expo Harness

If you're keeping track, when Cantoria proved a punctual favorite last week it was the seventh time at this harness racing meeting that the trotting mare has put in a winner's circle appearance. A 4-year-old daughter of Mr Cantab, Cantoria goes about her business for the partnership of Mark Benvenga, Larry Barker, Steve Wiseman and Kathy Plested with Wiseman doing the reining and training. The bay miss has shown a preference for sitting back and playing the role of stalker and doing her best work in the stretch, which was the case in last week's two and a quarter length decision in a lifetime best 1:58 clocking. Nobody is happier about the development of the sidewheeler than co-owner Benvenga. "It's been awesome to see her grow up since we purchased her last summer in Minnesota," he said. "She's filled out nicely, but still has a ways to go and is learning to be a real nice horse." As mentioned earlier, Cantoria hails from the Steve Wiseman shedrow, with that barn currently atop the standings at this meet. "Steve and Kathy have done a wonderful job with her, just as they have with all the horses," Benvenga noted. Cantoria gets a pretty stern test in Sunday's fourth race, as she moves up to the Open III level and is taking on some tough customers in Big Baller, Franks Best, Commandergalleon and Winsome Kelly. ******* A reminder there are two wagers here that come with a reduced 16 percent takeout rate. They are the 50-cent Pick 5, which features a 25 percent minor pool payout; and the 20-cent Pick 4, which comes with a $40,000-guaranteed gross pool on Saturdays and $25,000 on Sundays. Trotting Sire Stakes lures My Little Susie A $15,000 California Sire Stakes for the 3-year-old trotters is the main attraction at Cal Expo Sunday night with My Little Susie looking to pick up another trophy. The Sire Stakes will go as the fifth event on a 12-race card under the banner of Watch and Wager LLC. The action is set to get underway at 5:05 p.m. . My Little Susie is a 3-year-old daughter of Claudius Augustus who competes forA Piece Of The Action LLC, takes her lessons from Gene Vallandingham and will once again be guided by Chip Lackey from the cozy rail slot. The promising performer won three of her 10 starts last year, with a 1:59 mark over the Red Mile in Lexington. She made her seasonal debut finishing third here in the Alan Kirschenbaum, had a tough trip at next asking and then accounted for the first Sire Stakes for this group two weeks ago. Sent off the 9-5 second choice in that affair, My Little Susie sat a tracking trip to the stretch, ignited when Lackey asked the question and won going away by two lengths while lowering her lifetime standard to 1:58 1/5 in the process. Kissed the Boys was runner-up that evening after making breaks in her previous two outings. She accounted for the Alan Kirschenbaum Trot at 33-1 in an eye-catching debut back on January 17 for her owner/breeders Team Desomer and Steve Desomer will as usual be in the sulky. Lodi Bank Robber is looking to make amends after settling for third in the February 14 stakes after carving out all the fractions. Mary Harris and Pierre Girard own and bred the New Age Hanover gelding, with Girard training and Luke Plano handling the lines. Completing the field are Sixstringsandapick, Delta Breezeoflodi and CW Raisinette. By Mark Ratzky

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

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