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The harness racing Pick-5 went unsolved last Saturday night leaving a carryover for Friday of $10,100. Watch and Wager in conjunction with the USTA Strategic Wagering program have guaranteed the total Pick-5 pool at $40,000. The Cal Expo Pick-5 is a $0.50 base wager, with a 16% takeout, and is contested over the first five races. First leg post time is 6:15 pacific. Free program pages are available courtesy of Trackmaster. 

Saturday's Lloyd Arnold Pace is named for the famed harness racing owner and track operator of the highest caliber. He passed away in 2012 at the age of 83. Originally the owner of Arnold Cattle Co. in Iowa, Mr. Arnold raced hundreds of horses in Illinois and across the Midwest throughout the 1960s and early 1970s. During that era, Mr. Arnold raced horses like Warm Breeze, who earned more than $250,000 in two seasons of racing in the mid-1970s, and Dancing David, who earned more than $200,000 in the 1960s. Warm Breeze took Mr. Arnold to racings pinnacle for the first time when he set the all-age world record at over this track, then known as Golden Bear Raceway. His top horses in later years included the pacing mare Sanabelle Island, who earned $1.6 million lifetime and won 57 of 110 starts. Also of note was Bagel Beach Boy, who won the 2001 Messenger and Matron stakes. In August 2003, Mr. Arnold bought Chevie Duramax, who then went on to set world records for 2-year-old pacing geldings on both mile and half-mile tracks. The fastest 3-year-old pacer in North America in 2004 belonged to Mr. Arnold as Quik Pulse Mindale won in 1:48 at Balmoral. In addition to being a prominent standardbred owner, Mr. Arnold operated this track during those Golden Bear Raceway years and also bought Los Alamitos in the late 1980s, eventually selling the track to his partner, Ed Allred. Mr. Arnold was inducted into the California Harness Hall of Fame in April of 2008. He also enjoyed personal honors in 2001 when he was feted by the Delaware Sportswriters and Broadcasters at their annual awards dinner and received the Owner of the Year Award from the U.S. Harness Writers' Association. Chris Bardis said, "Harness Racing was one of Lloyd's great passions. He accomplished so much for the sport not only in California, but nationwide. He was Mr. Harness Racing. "He conducted race meetings at Cal Expo, Bay Meadows, Golden Gate Fields, Del Mar, Pomona, Hollywood Park and Los Alamitos. I know of no one else who has had a greater impact on the harness world." Barbarian headlines Lloyd Arnold Pace Barbarian, who has captured five of the last six top dances here, heads the cast for Saturday night's featured $10,000 Lloyd Arnold Pace. There will be 11 races presented under the banner of Watch and Wager LLC and the card will get underway at 6:15 p.m. There will also be a pair of California Sire Stakes for 3-year-old pacers decided before the regular program. Barbarian is a 6-year-old son of Somebeachsomewhere out of the Western Ideal mare Righteous Renee who races for owner Robert Orr, takes his lessons from Sparky Clarke and will once again be guided by Luke Plano from the cozy rail slot in the field of seven. He had a four-race winning streak snapped by I'm An Athlete two back, carving out all the fractions in that affair before being collared right on the money. He was very game in his previous four scores, including one from the demanding No. 10 post, putting his class and versatility on display in the process. Barbarian returned to his winning ways in last week's Open, as he sat back early and then exploded when asked in the stretch to be up by three-quarters of a length over Jazzmanian Devil in a sharp 1:52 1/5 tour, which is three ticks off his lifetime standard. I'm An Athlete is a 7-year-old son of Art Major out of the Cam's Card Shark mare Female Champs who is owned by Ronald Rettig-Zucchi, is trained by Lino Pacheco and will have the services of James Kennedy. He upset Barbarian two back in a strong performance over a track labeled good. Rounding out the field for the Arnold are Bettor's Promise with Tony Succarotte; Allymx'sliventexas, Mooney Svendsen; Anderlecht, who gives the Clarke barn two looks at the outcome; Jazzmanian Devil with Steve Wiseman; and the second Pacheco trainee in Pancetta, who will do his work from the outside post. By Mark Ratzky, publicity - Cal Expo Harness

Friday evening's Stan Bergstein Trot is named for the legendary figure in harness racing who passed away in 2011 at the age of 87. Mr. Bergstein was a harness-racing titan who advocated for cooperation between the Standardbred and Thoroughbred industries to solve the sports' common problems. He stepped down in 2011 after 50 years as the executive vice president of Harness Tracks of America, the Standardbred industry's trade association. He was immediately appointed as the organization's first executive emeritus, and continued to advise the association and write guest columns for the Daily Racing Form until the weeks before his death. The only person to ever be inducted into the Harness Racing Hall of Fame and its Communicators Hall of Fame, Mr. Bergstein worked in a wide variety of roles at racetracks, auction houses, announcer's booths, and racing publications, and he maintained extensive collections of harness-racing books and artwork. He was widely respected not only in the harness industry, but also in the Thoroughbred industry, and he served as a mentor to generations of young racing professionals through a close association with the University of Arizona Race Track Industry Program, located in Tucson, for the past 40 years. Mr. Bergstein was a forceful proponent of forging closer ties between the Standardbred and Thoroughbred industries, most notably in tackling medication abuse and problems with drug-testing. In dozens of commentaries, Bergstein maintained that the Standardbred industry's problems were, or would be those of the Thoroughbred industry, and that neglect of a problem in one sport would damage the other. Bergstein borrowed from the Thoroughbred industry early in his career, incorporating claiming races as a racing secretary while working at the Chicago tracks in the 1950's. At the time, the harness racing industry did not run claiming races, and they are now as commonplace in Standardbred racing as they are in Thoroughbred racing Bergstein also spearheaded the creation of Standardbred Investigative Services, a security agency modeled on the Thoroughbred Racing Protective Bureau. A native of Illinois, Bergstein attended harness races as a young man and received a journalism degree from Northwestern University. He was the former executive editor of Hoof Beats magazine, and the former vice president of publicity and public relations for the United States Trotting Association. Cal Expo trackman/program director Marty Bridges credits Stan Bergstein with bringing him into harness racing as a profession. "After college and two years in the Army, I was employed by the small business association. At night, after work, I was a regular patron at Sportsmans Park and Maywood in Chicago. "My supervisor, a former sportswriter for the Chicago Daily News, knew of my interest and called Stan to set up a meeting. Surprisingly, I was to meet him at Du Quoin on Hambletonian Day. Watching Stan call the races from a slightly elevated booth on the infield adjacent to the finish line was thrilling and between races we talked about racing, horses, drivers and trainers. "His knowledge of the sport was amazing and I had never met anyone like him, and still haven't. He introduced me to John Tinsley, the program director for all the Chicago tracks and John hired me on the spot. Its been a great ride, doing something I love." Gene Vallandingham first met Stan Bergstein in 1959 when he was working for the legendary Joe OBrien. "Stan came to Joe's farm every spring for the annual Camptown racing weekend, when all of Shafter would be there for a day of racing. Stan was the true voice of harness racing, he was liked by all and I miss him." Chris Schick said, "Stan was foremost a kind and compassionate person. He was a true visionary in the harness racing industry. In 1979 well before simulcasting, he so rightly stated the future of the industry was in how well we brought the product to the public. He was also very vocal of the industry for being reluctant to embrace change. Our industry lost a giant when he passed." Bergstein Trot, Sire Stakes, Pick 5 carryover The $10,000 Stan Bergstein Trot headed by Flameon; a California Sire Stakes and a $10,241 carryover in the Pick 5 are the highlights on Friday night's program at Cal Expo. There will be 12 races presented under the Watch and Wager LLC banner with first post set for 6:15 p.m. The Sire Stakes features Lodi Puppycat and will go as the sixth race, while the Bergstein is slated as the ninth event on the card. The Pick 5 is a 50-cent wager that is conducted on the first five races and there will be a $40,000-guaranteed pool. The Pick 5 also comes with a reduced 16 percent takeout rate, which is also the case with the 20-cent Pick4, which has a $30,000-guaranteed pool on Fridays and $40,000 guarantee on Saturdays. Looking at the Bergstein, Flameon will be making his first evening appearance since January 13 but sports a couple of sharp qualifiers under his belt in the interim and looms large in this cast for owner Mark Anderson, trainer Gordie Graham and pilot James Kennedy. A 7-year-old son of Angus Hall out of the Valleymeister mare Benn's Fire, Flameon has captured 20 of his 44 career appearances with $95,000 in his bank account and a 1:55 3/5 mark that was established two years ago. The hard-hitting performer has won three of his starts at this meet at the Open level, with the most recent coming on December 16. In his last start, he was second to Silverlode after carving out all the fractions that evening. Taking him on are Franky Provolone, Zoraze, Swift Cougar, My Little Susie, Cadet, Kickinitwithkohler, Shez So Sassy and Silverhill Volo. In the Sire Stakes, Lodi Puppycat will be challenged by Ldo Jazz Player, Gravel Girl, Indio Azteca, Bo Plenty and Never Onebadchange. By Mark Ratzky, publicity - Cal Expo Harness

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

There may have been a deluge here at Cal Expo last Friday night, but apparently Quentin Schneider's harness racing performers didn't mind at all. Five members of the shedrow braved the elements on that card and the Schneider barn came away with three wins and a second on a night that seemed more fit for Noah than harness racing. Thing got off to a fast start for Team Schneider when Tick Tick Kaboom got the job done in the opener with James Kennedy at the controls. It was the fourth victory in the last six trips to the post for the 3-year-old pacing filly and she made every pole a winning one to prove a punctual 4-5 favorite. After Herecomesthethunder checked in second in the evening's fifth race, Smoke Eater and Glamorgal stepped up to capture the eighth and tenth races, respectively, to complete the hat track. It was a déjà vu mile for Smoke Eater, who for the second straight week set all the fractions and held safe by a neck over a pocket-sitting Musician with Mooney Svendsen at the helm. For Glamorgal and Kennedy, a wide rally to the stretch proved the winning formula as the mare responded gamely at crunch time to prevail by a half-length while rewarding her backers with a $14 payoff. All in all, it was a good night for Team Schneider. Barbarian, I'm An Athlete do battle I'm An Athlete, who has rattled off three straight wins including an upset at the head of the class; and Barbarian, his most immediate victim in that last mile, head the field for Friday night's featured Open Pace. Watch and Wager LLC will present 12 races Friday with first post set for 6:15 p.m. I'm An Athlete is a 7-year-old son of Art Major out of the Cam's Card Shark mare Female Champs who is owned by Ronald Rettig-Zucchi, is trained by Lino Pacheco and will have the services of James Kennedy. After capturing back-to-back conditioned events, I'm An Athlete returned to the Open ranks for his most recent assignment with Kennedy at the controls. He stalked to the lane, ignited when the question was asked and prevailed by a head over 2-5 favorite Barbarian in a 1:53 1/5 tour over a track labeled good. Barbarian is a 6-year-old son of Somebeachsomewhere out of the Western Ideal mare Righteous Renee who races for owner Robert Orr, takes his lessons from Sparky Clarke and will once again be guided by Luke Plano. He had a four-race winning streak snapped by I'm An Athlete last time, carving out all the fractions in that affair before being collared right on the money. He was very game in his previous four scores, including one from the demanding No. 10 post, putting his class and versatility on display in the process. Rounding out the field are Buddy's Hope, who leaves from the cozy rail slot with William Hernandez; Jazzmanian Devil, to be handled by Steve Wiseman; and Allymx'sliventexas, who will have Mooney Svendsen in the sulky. By Mark Ratzky, publicity - Cal Expo Harness

The combination of owner/breeders Wayne and Rod Knittel, trainer Bob Johnson and pilot Mooney Svendsen are well represented on Saturday's harness racing program at Cal Expo with Allmyx'sliventexas in the Open Pace and Army Of One heading the Sire Stakes for sophomore pacing colts. Allymx'sliventexas is a 4-year-old by Hi Ho Silverheel's out of the Distinguishedbaron mare Annie Get Your Gun who has dominated his Sire Stakes rival this season, including a sizzling 1:51 4/5 romp by 11 lengths in the February 4 big money dance for the division. Army Of One is another Hi Ho Silverheel's for this team who has been the big man on campus in the previous four Sire Stakes decided for the 3-year-old pacing males. He is definitely following in his stablemate's footsteps in that regard. Allymyx'sliventexas really turned some heads in that aforementioned February stakes win where he blew the doors off his rivals in front-end fashion and established his lifetime standard in the process. "Usually when I let him roll he relaxes perfectly and I can drive him with two fingers," Svendsen related, "but that night he was like a rocket. I grabbed that bit and did all I could to just hold on. He was unbelievable." Allmyx'sliventexas has also proven himself with Open company this season, and has the advantage of the rail draw for Saturday's re-match with the red-hot Barbarian. Meanwhile, Army Of One will look to add another trophy to his case in the Sire Stakes. "He's got potential," Svendsen noted. "He might turn out to be just as good as Allmyx'sliventexas." Pair of Open Pacing events head card An Open Pace featuring the streaking Barbarian and a DistaffOpen that brings out Shark Festival and Hare To Eternity are the highlights on Saturday evening's program at Cal Expo. Twelve races are on tap under the banner of Watch and Wager LLC with a first post of 6:15 p.m. There will also be a pair of California Sire Stakes for 3-year-old pacers going as non-betting events prior to the regular card. In the Open Pace, Barbarian is fresh from four straight victories at the head of the class, with the most recent coming from the demanding No. 10 post. He will leave from the outside slot in a field of five this weekend. Barbarian is a 6-year-old son of Somebeachsomewhere out of the Western Ideal mare Righteous Renee who races for owner Robert Orr, takes his lessons from Sparky Clarke and will once again have the services of Luke Plano. The hard-hitting pacer has been unbeatable in his those last four appearances, and in the process has been putting his versatility in full display. He went coast-to-coast in the first three of those scores, then came from last at most recent asking when asked to his work from this No. 10 post assignment. Doc's Deal is an 8-year-old son of Sportsmaster out of the Broadway Express mare Crystal Trip who is owned by Windy City Farm and is reined and trained by Chip Lackey. He recorded his most recent victory at the Open III level on February 24, coming from well back to be up by a half-length that evening. He has a second, a third and a fourth-place finish in the interim. Completing the field are Allymx'sliventexas with Mooney Svendsen guiding from the cozy rail slot; I'm An Athlete, James Kennedy; and Buddy's Hope, who will have the services of Steve Wiseman. By Mark Ratzky, publicity - Cal Expo Harness

Rick Bertrand lit up the toteboard twice last Friday night at Cal Expo, sending out Winonefordoug and Lucky Ivan for major upsets on the harness racing program. Wineonefordoug, a 7-year-old son of Little Steven who is co-owned by Bertrand and namesake Doug Flores, was perfectly handled by Mooney Svendsen and prevailed by three-quarters of a length for the $53 surprise. Not to be outdone, stablemate Lucky Ivan went out four races later and posted a $100 shocker with owner Bertrand in the sulky. He was making his third start off a March 11 claim and came from next-to-last in the field of 10 to be up in the final strides. Lucky Ivan's upset rounded was the wow factor in a 20-cent Pick 4 that returned a cool $2,757, despite the fact that the sequence got underway with 2-1 Anderlecht taking the feature and an 8-5 I'm An Athlete showing his past class in a conditioned event. Following Lucky Ivan's triple-digit victory, it was 5-1 Hare To Eternity who rounded things out and secured that sweet payoff for a mere 20-cent investment. Speaking of the Pick 4, it's one of two wagers offered here each night that come with a reduced 16 percent takeout rate. It also has a $30,000-guaranteed pool on Fridays and a $40,000 guarantee on Saturdays. The other reduced takeout bet is the 50-cent Pick 5, which is decided on the first five races each evening. There is real value to be had in both these wagers, so take a closer look at the sequences and get your share. Anderlecht, Jazzmanian Devil in rematch Anderlecht and Jazzmanian Devil, one-two in a solid mile last week, get another chance to settle the score in Saturday night's featured pace. A field of eight will face starter Ken Fowler. A 12-race program is on tap under the banner of Watch and Wager LLC and things will get underway at 6:15 p.m. The headliner is set as the ninth contest and there will also be a California Sire Stakes for 3-year-old trotters to be decided as a non-betting race prior to the regular card. Anderlecht is a 12-year-old son of Cam's Card Shark who is owned by William Neumeister, hails from the Sparky Clarke barn and will once again have Luke Plano giving directions. In last week's Open II Pace, he was up close and personal from the outset and dug in gamely to hold safe in the stretch over Jazzmanian Devil, the slight 2-1 favorite in that affair and shuffled past the half. The latter pacer races for William Condon with Kathleen Plested training and Mooney Svendsen guiding. Rounding out the cast are Fly Away, who gives the Plested barn two looks at the outcome; the Gene Vallandingham-trained Mr. Pearl; the Lino Pacheco-conditioned duo of Bettermeboy and One And Only; V Mack from the George Reider shedrow and the Bob Johnson-trained Paydaze A Rockin. Looking at the Sire Stakes, Lodi Puppycat will look to complete his dominance of the division for owner/breeders Mary Harris and Pierre Girard with Girard the conditioner and Luke Plano once again doing the honors. The son of Eager Seelster has captured all four of the big-money events for the sophomore trotters, proving in his most recent stakes score that a sloppy track is also in his wheelhouse. He will be challenged by Lodi Jazz Player, Never Onebadchange and Indio Azteca. By Mark Ratzky, publicity - Cal Expo Harness

After failing to make the exacta in his first 11 starts this season, Gorilla Monsoon got the job done last weekend when ending up on the right end of a nose harness racing photo. Owned by Ron Rettig-Zucchi, trained by Lino Pacheco and handled by veteran Chip Lackey, the 5-year-old son of Cam's Card Shark was a 1:52 winner last year at Running Aces. You could say that at the wire in last week's assignment, this pacer got his foes in a submission hold Wresting fans with a few years on their driver's license will no doubt recognize the name Gorilla Monsoon, as he was one of the most popular participants in the sport for many years before becoming a commentator and backstage manager during the 1980s and 1990s. Known to his friends and family as Robert James Marella, he died on October 6, 1999 at the age of 62 but lives on through this Pennsylvania-bred pacer who got back to business in his most recent trip to the post. *** A reminder that there are two wagers offered here each night that come with a reduced 16 percent takeout rate, offering great value for the players. They are the 50-cent Pick 5, which is decided on the first five races; and the 20-cent Pick 4, which also features a $30,000-guaranteed pool on Fridays and a $40,000-guaranteed pool on Saturdays and is decided on the penultimate four races on the program. Trot brings out Lodi Dorian Blues Lodi Dorian Blues, who has been knocking heads with Silverlode and Fort Valley AS in his last two starts, gets some class relief and a cozy rail draw in Saturday night's featured Trot. The main event will go as the fifth event on an 11-race card under the Watch and Wager LLC banner with first post at 6:15 p.m. There will also be a pair of California Sire Stakes for 4-year-old pacers to be decided as non-betting events prior to the regular card. Lodi Dorian Blues is an 8-year-old son of New Age Hanover who races for Scott Ehrlich and George McChrystal, hails from the Kathleen Plested barn and will have Steve Wiseman doing the honors. The hard-knocking performer recorded his most recent victory on March 3, as he sat a tracking trip to the stretch and then put in his patented last move to win going away by two and a quarter lengths that evening. His last two starts have come at the Open level, where he finished fourth behind Silverlode two back and then checked in third behind Fort Valley As last week while competing over a sloppy track. In the Sire Stakes for the pacing males, the very talented Allymx'sliventexas will look add to another trophy to his mantle. A homebred son of Hi Ho Silverheel's, he races for Wayne and Rod Knittel, hails from the Bob Johnson barn and will as usual have Mooney Svendsen giving directions. He has dominated his Sire Stakes rival this season, including a sizzling 1:51 4/5 romp by 11 lengths in the February 4 big money dance for the division. He cruised home by nearly 10 lengths in the most recent Sire Stakes, and has since added a conditioned victory and a runner-up finish behind the red-hot Barbarian in last week's Open Pace. By Mark Ratzky, publicity - Cal Expo Harness

After a brief hiatus, the 10-year-old trotter Franky Provolone entered the winner's circle last weekend while returning $25 to his harness racing backers in the process. The veteran sidewheeler is owned and trained by Robin Clements and was given a perfect trip by Mooney Svendsen from the cozy rail start, igniting when it counted to post a two-length score over the sloppy going. "I figured Franky would run well, but I wasn't expecting to beat (4-5) Cadet as we were going up in class," Clements related after the win. "The race fell his way and Mooney gave him the perfect drive." The win pushed the son of Armbro Scribe over the $212,000 earnings plateau and he established his lifetime standard of 1:55 4/5 three years ago. "He's my all-time favorite horse and a pleasure to be around and work with," Robin noted. "He's got a great personality and is such a happy horse. Yet he does have a little playful side to him when he takes a nip at you and then looks the other way, as if to say I didn't do that." It's horses like Franky Provolone that make harness racing so much fun to follow, as they go out there each and every week and give everything they have. Here's hoping this guy makes a lot more trips to the winner's circle before he calls it a career. By the way, his upset last Friday night sparked some pretty nice payoffs in addition to this $25 win mutuel. The exacta paid $123 for a buck, the trifecta came back $85 for a mere 20-cent investment and the superfecta payout was $120 for each winning 10-cent ticket. Sire Stakes, Open II Pace headline card A California Sire Stakes for 4-year-old trotters featuring My Little Susie and an Open II Pace that brings out Jazzmanian Devil and Why Ask Why are the highlights on Friday night's program at Cal Expo. There will be 12 races presented by Watch and Wager LLC, with first post set for xxx. The Sire Stales goes as the third event, while the Open II Pace occupies the eighth-race slot. My Little Susie is clearly the one to beat in the Sire Stakes as this mare has dominated both big-money events for the division decided this year. The 4-year-old daughter of Claudius Augustus is owned by A Piece Of The Action LLC, is conditioned by Gene Vallandingham and will have Mooney Svendsen at the controls. The bay miss was a seven and a half-length victress in the initial Sire Stakes for his group on May 3, then played the role of stalker in the most recent clash on March 3 and drew off in the stretch by three and three-quarter lengths. No matter how things shake out early, she figures to be tough once again. Taking her on are Lodi Bank Robber for Pierre Girard; Breezani, Chip Lackey; Yes She Will, who will have the services of William Hernandez; and Delta Breezeoflodi with Luke Plano at the helm. In the co-featured Open II Pace, Why Ask Why is a 7-year-old son of No Pan Intended who carries the banner of Windy City Farm with Chip Lackey doing the driving and training. He was a sharp runner-up to Barbarian in the March 17 Open and will be looking for his third win on the year from a dozen trips to the post. Completing the field are Jazzmanian Devil, Bettormeboy, Anderlecht, Buddy's Hope and Rusty Carter. By Mark Ratzky, publicity - Cal Expo Harness

Barbarian, in razor-sharp form with a harness racing hat trick in tow, will now be asked to do his work from the assigned No. 10 post position in Saturday night's Open Pace at Cal Expo. There will be 12 races decided under the Watch and Wager LLC banner and things will get underway at 6:15 p.m. The Open Pace occupies the eighth-race slot on the card and there will also be a pair of California Sire Stakes for 3-year-old pacers going as non-betting contests before the regular card. Barbarian is a 6-year-old son of Somebeachsomewhere out of the Western Ideal mare Rightous Renee who carries the banner of Robert Orr, is conditioned by Sparky Clarke and will once again have Luke Plano at the controls. The hard-hitting performer was 7-2 when he made every pole a winning one in the February 24 Open as Plano was able to carve out the fractions without challenge and came to the line with four and a half-lengths on his nearest rival in a sparkling 1:52 4/5 mile. In his March 10 tally, Barbarian left from the outside slot in a field of seven and was dispatched as the 6-5 favorite. Once again they were able to set the tune up front, this time with fairly modest splits, and held safe by a neck over a fast-finishing Doc's Deal that evening. In his most recent appearance, the Clarke colorbearer was dispatched as the even-money choice and once again did no disappoint as he made every pole a winning one in a 1:53 2/5 mile. It will be interesting to see how things shake out now that he has the testing No. 10 slot. Taking him on this weekend are Allymx'sliventexas from the Bob Johnson barn, the Chip Lackey-trained pair of Why Ask Why and Doc's Deal; Lodi Machette Man from the Kathleen Plested barn; and the Lino Pacheco-conditioned Bettormeboy. Reduced takeout wagers offer great value There are two bets 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 on the penultimate four races on the program. The latter also features a $40,000 guaranteed gross pool. Last Friday night, despite the Pick 4 kicking off with Barbarian proving a punctual even-money favorite in the Open Pace, three nice-priced winners followed and the 20-cent ticket returned a whopping $32,756. To put things in perspective, using the normal takeout rate, the Pick 4 would have returned $29,246, a difference of a cool $3,510. Now that's value. Driver Chip Lackey had a lot to do with that healthy payoff, as he piloted Cenalta Diesel ($29) and Cantholdmebackmack ($17) for trainers Edwin Quevedo and Lino Pacheco, respectively in the two middle races. The icing on the cake came when David Siegel guided V Mack to a $46 upset for trainer George Reider in the final leg, also triggering a large exacta, trifecta and superfecta in the process. Whether favorites, longshots or a mix of those complete the Pick 4 and Pick 5, you are assured of getting maximum value with that reduced takeout in place. Jump right in, the pool is fine. By Mark Ratzky, publicity - Cal Expo Harness

Harness racing trainer Kennedy Lindsey compares his 5-year-old trotting mare Kickinitwithkohler to a locomotive when saying, "She doesn't have any gate speed, but she just keeps on building and building up as the races goes on and then comes at the end." The Illinois-bred daughter of Southwind Breeze races for Tonight's The Night and has been under Lindsey's care since he purchased her two years ago. She's earned over $40,000 in the interim and will be doing her work for the second straight time in the Open ranks on Friday at Cal Expo while racing against a familiar rival in Silverlode. "She's got a big heart," Lindsey related. "Let's just say her heart is bigger than her talent at this point. But don't get me wrong, if she ever learned to trot straight, she'd really be something." With James Kennedy at the controls, Kickinitwithkohler recorded back-to-back conditioned scores in February, on both occasions coming from well back to win going away. She is coming off a pair of thirds at the head of the class versus the aforementioned Silverlode and in between those two miles was the runner-up behind Lodi Dorian Blues in a solid March 3 contest. "If they go quick early, you know she's going to be pretty far back," her mentor noted. "But you also know she's going to be coming at the end." Open Trot brings out streaking Silverlode Silverlode, who has rattled off four straight wins at the head of the class with the last pair coming from the demanding No. 10 slot, once again has that assigned post as she heads the cast for Friday night's featured Open Trot. Watch and Wager LLC will present a 12-race program with a first post of 6:15 p.m. The headliner will go as the third event on the evening. There will also be a California Sire Stakes for 3-year-olds to be decided as a non-betting race prior to the regular card. Silverlode is an 8-year-old homebred daughter of British Sterling out of the Website mare Charlotte's Web who is owned by Desomer Stables Inc, trained by Vickie Desomer and will have Luke Plano handling the lines. Silverlode comes into this assignment with $155,000 in earnings and a 1:55 1/5 mark that was established over this track last season. She is undefeated this year with Plano handling the lines on each of those occasions. The Desomer colorbearer left into a pocket journey in the January 13 Open and overpowered favored arch-rival Flameon that evening. She has been odds-on in her last three outings without that foe in the line-up and has not disappointed her many backers. Silverlode looped the field to prevail by four and a half-lengths on February 11, then captured the February 24 Open while doing her work from this assigned No. 10 post position in game fashion. She changed tactics last week and made every pole a winning one, putting her versatility on display from the tough slot. Completing the cast are Agrestores Comet with Mooney Svendsen; Fort Valley As, David Siegel; Kickinitwithkohler, James Kennedy; and Lodi Dorian Blues, who will have the services of Steve Wiseman. By Mark Ratzky, publicity - Cal Expo Harness

We had a suspicion that Junior Rocks might be named for trainer Jim (Junior) Wilkinson, and it was confirmed last weekend by co-owner Billie Schwartz after the 4-year-old pacer made his second straight trip to the harness racing winner's circle with James Kennedy doing the honors at Cal Expo. Junior Rocks was proving a punctual 4-5 favorite that night while posing for pictures for the fifth time this season from eight trips to the post for Schwartz, Wilkinson and Ivan Axelrod. Billie explained, "Ivan and I felt that Junior did such a bang up job in Indiana for us with A Real Miracle, Clara Bea and Tony Cheesecake, we thought it would be a great way to honor him by changing the name of a yearling we purchased at auction as a surprise gift. "It was a way to let him know how we felt about him as a trainer and how much we liked having him as a trainer and partner." Schwartz admits that things didn't work out so well at first with Junior Rocks, but he seems to be hitting his best stride now, establishing his 1:55 1/5 mark with his January 28 score. "We felt badly when he didn't quite perform the way we expected, but now the name befits him," she said. "He grew into it and we couldn't be more pleased." Featured Pace brings out contentious cast There are several ways to go in Saturday night's main event at Cal Expo, with class droppers I'm An Athlete, Fly Away and One And Only taking on multiple Sire Stakes hero Allmyx'sliventexas. Watch and Wager LLC will present 12 races on Saturday and the action is set to get under way at 6:10 pm. The headliner is the fifth race and there will be two California Sire Stakes for the 3-year-old pacers going as non-betting races prior to the regular card. I'm An Athlete figures to appreciate the class relief this weekend and will be looking to make amends after being the beaten favorite in his last three appearances. The 7-year-old son of Art Major is owned by Ronald Rettig-Zucchi and is reined and trained by James Kennedy. I'm Athlete won nine times last year from 35 starts and established his 1:51 2/5 career standard over this layout in the process. He figures to be a major player Saturday evening no matter how things shake out early. Fly Away had a troubled trip in last week's Open II clash and was a sharp winner in his previous outing on the barn change. Scott Ehrlich and George McCrystal own, Kathleen Plested trains and Steve Wiseman will once again do the honors from the outside slot. One And Only has gone some huge races over this track in the past for trainer Lino Pacheco, while the Bob Johnson-conditioned Allmyx'sliventexas has dominated the 4-year-old Sire Stakes ranks, including a 1:51 4/5 tally over a "good" track on February 4. Completing the field are Fly Away's barnmate Lodi Machete Man; the Luke Plano trained-and-driven Mint To Cruise; and the Steve Nichols-trained, William Hernandez-guided Fire On The Water. By Mark Ratzky, publicity - Cal Expo Harness

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

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

Cal Expo harness racing driver Mooney Svendsen is currently piloting the leaders of both the 3 and 4-year-old Sire Stakes male pacing divisions in Allmyx'sliventexas and Army Of One. Both are homebred sons of Hi Ho Silverheel's who compete for Wayne and Rod Knittel and take their lessons from Bob Johnson. Allmyx'sliventexas is coming off one of the most sizzling races of the meeting, winning the first stakes of the season for his division by 11 lengths in a sparkling 1:51 4/5 front-end performance. "Bob and I felt he was sitting on a big race, because he'd been racing from off the pace and coming an amazing last three-quarters," Svendsen explained. "Even that with, I was surprised at the mile he went. "Usually when I let him roll he relaxes perfectly and I can drive him with two fingers, but that night he was like a rocket. He grabbed that bit and I did all I could just to hold on. He was unbelievable." Army Of One has accounted for both of the Sire Stakes for the 3-year-old colts, scoring an easy victory in the first and then just holding on by a head in the most recent big-money clash last week after carving out all the fractions. "He's got a lot of potential, and might turn to be as good as Allmyx'sliventexas," Mooney related. "He's only had five races and his problem is he's still pretty green. Featured Trot brings out well-matched field A conditioned Trot headed by Kickinitwithkohler, Big Baller and Lodi Dorian Blues gets the marquee treatment on Friday night at Cal Expo. First post for the Watch and Wager LLC program is 6:15 p.m. The main event will go as the sixth race, and there will also be a non-betting California Sire Stakes for the 4-year-old trotters to be decided prior to the regular card. Kickinwithkohler is a 5-year-old daughter of Southwind Breeze and the Go Get Lost mare Shove-off who races for Tonight's The Knight, is trained by Kennedy Lindsey and will have the services of James Kennedy. The hard-knocking mare rattled off back-to-back conditioned victories on February 10 and 18, using a strong closing kick to get the job done, then stepped up to the Open for last week's assignment. While not match for heavily-favored Silverlode and runner-up My Little Susie, Kickinitwithkohler did put in a solid rally for the show money that night and looms a major player in Friday's line-up. Big Baller is a 10-year-old son of Panama Hanover who goes about his business for the partnership of Siegel, Robinson, Thronson and Reider with George Reider the conditioner and David Sigel at the controls. Big Baller recorded his most recent tally on January 14, parlaying a pocket trip into a length and three-quarters decision. He subsequently finished fourth in the Gary Budahn Final and fifth in last week's Open and should appreciate the class relief for this assignment. By Mark Ratzky, publicity - Cal Expo Harness    

Window Wiper turned in a solid effort in her first start for Robin Clements and David Siegel, checking in a close third in the harness racing Filly and Mare Open after sitting a tracking journey. The 7-year-old daughter of Island Fantasy was claimed from her prior effort here and co-owners Clements and Siegel are looking forward to some good things with their new acquisition. "I had watched Window Wiper when she had been in the $6,000 claimers earlier and raced against Windsun T Bird and almost claimed her a month ago," trainer Clements related. "I loved how she was so versatile and could leave a first quarter and how she had a huge kick coming home. "I had previously lost a few horses either claimed or sold, and needed to replace them. I had talked to Dave and asked if he wanted to partner up with me as he is a great owner and we had just sold Every Day Hanover and Brandon's Colt had been claimed earlier from us. Dave loved the mare as well, so we claimed her." Window Wiper finished third the night she was red-tagged as the 3-2 favorite after having some traffic troubles, then followed with the nice try at the Open level in her initial try for the new connections. "She has a few issues and is a bull of a mare and needs to learn a few manners, but that will come in time. She is a big and beautiful mare and should fit well with my barn." Silverlode gets top billing in Open Trot Silverlode has been assigned the demanding No. 10 post position as she heads the cast for Friday night's featured $6,600 Open Trot. Silverlode is going in razor-sharp form for Steve and Vickie Desomer, and it will be interesting to see how driver Luke Plano navigates the extremely outside slot as the mare looks to continue her winning ways. Thirteen races will be presented by Watch and Wager LLC with a first post of 5:55 p.m. and there will also be a California Sire Stakes for 3-year-old trotters going as a non-betting event prior to the regular card. Looking at the co-featured Open III Pace, Sandestin Hanover gets the nod. The 6-year-old son of Somebeachsomewhere is owned by Little Bapa LLC, is conditioned by George Reider and like Silverlode will be guided by Plano. A 1:50 2/5 winner at a 4-year-old. Sandestin Hanover had one victory last season, a 1:52 4/5 score that was recorded at Philadelphia Park. He closed out his 2016 campaign by making his California debut in an Open II contest at this meeting on December 3, where he was no factor. The Little Bapa representative subsequently turned in a sharp qualifier on February 4 to get his new year rolling, then followed that tuner by finishing fifth at the Open level while chasing home China King in a tough February 10 contest. Ideal Art comes into this assignment having captured two of his last three outings and may very well handle the step up in class. The American Ideal gelding is owned by Kathleen Plested, Benvenga Racing LLC and Tyler Wiseman with Plested training and Steve Wiseman handling the lines. Mark Ratzky, publicity – Cal Expo Harness        

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