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

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

Saturday night's Filly and Mare Open Pace is named for Larry and Eileen Brodbar, recipients of the harness racing 2018 Lifetime Achievement Award by the California Harness Horsemen's Association. "This is truly an honor for us," said Eileen Brodbar. Larry and Eileen were married in 1980 and it was Larry, who cut his teeth on the trotters and pacers at New York's Monticello Raceway, who introduced his wife to the game up close and personal. "In 1987, there was harness racing at Fairplex Park and there was ad in the program for a seminar for potential new owners," Eileen related. "Ann and Jonn McGregor were there as well as Andy Perez, and that along with some advice from Alan Horowitz led us to buying into our first horse." The Brodbars became partners with the McGregors in a newly-turned 3-year-old named Pasadena Phantom and they were off and running, or more accurately in this case, pacing. Pasadena Phantom worked his way up the ranks and eventually became an Invitational winner, one of many outstanding performers who have joined Larry and Eileen in the winner's circle not only in California, but across the country. The best they ever bred was Iwannawinbets, while Eileen estimates the best they've ever campaigned in partnership is Show Runner. In between, they have been represented by the likes of Solid Bet and the New Zealand trio of Jay Bees Risk, Gifted Lobell and Bobby's Dream. "Risky Broad, who is a daughter of Jay Bees Risk, is currently our broodmare," Brodbar noted. One of Eileen's major contributions to the sport came at Los Alamitos in the 80's and early 90's when she was responsible for Clocker's Corner, which educated people about harness racing with drivers, trainers and handicappers on scene to make it a well-rounded and educational experience. "I'm very proud of the what we were able to accomplish with those seminars," she stated. Said CHHA Hall of Fame Committee Chairman Robin Clements, "The Brodbars have stuck with California through the good and the bad times and they still support and love the sport." Cal Expo congratulates Larry and Eileen Brodbar on this well-deserved recognition. Outrageousdelightn sets sights on another score Outrageousdelightn, who has accounted for two of the last three top dances at the meet, heads the cast for Saturday night's Larry and Eileen Brodbar Filly and Mare Open Pace. There are 11 races on tap, including the co-featured Robert Gordon Prep, with first post under the Watch and Wager LLC banner set for 6:10 p.m. Outrageousdelightn has captured two of the last three Distaff Opens since coming in from the East. The 10-year-old daughter of Bettor's Delight races for Don and Barbara Arnstine, Steve Chambers and Tyler Wiseman with Kathie Plested conditioning. In last week's clash at the head of the class, driver Steve Wiseman was able to work out a pocket trip behind favored Delightfully Wild, eased out for the drive and got the job done by three-quarters of a length. Capitol Hill accounted for three straight Filly and Mare Opens between November 10 and December 15 and gives the Plested barn two big looks at the outcome. The 8-year-old Badlands Hanover mare is owned by of George McChrystal and Plested. Rounding out the cast are Magnifique, Misspanderosajones, Along Came Jane, Bettor Lady, Burn My Villa and Getter Queen Flush. The Robert Gordon Prep will match a field of eight as they get ready for next week's Final. Urgointohearmeroar has won four of this five starts at the meet and looms large for owner Mark Anderson, trainer Gordie Graham and regular pilot Mooney Svendsen. By Mark Ratzky, publicity - Cal Expo Harness

The hard-hitting 12-year-old trotter Franky Provolone is making his final start in Friday night's fourth race and it's sure to be a bittersweet experience for his harness racing owner/trainer Robin Clements. "Franky has been a fan favorite here at Cal Expo and Running Aces for many years, but he's starting to tell me that it's time to retire," Robin noted at entry time. "After this last race he'll be sent to a friend of mine, Janet Scott and her two kids Carol and Cody in Wilton, where he will retire with another standardbred named Continental for company. "Franky has been good to me and he owes me nothing. It's my position that he deserves to be retired to a home where he will be safe and forever loved." For the record, Franky Provolone comes into this weekend's assignment with 297 starts on his card, sporting 53 wins, 68 seconds and 62 thirds, with $254,000 in his bank account and a 1:55 4/5 mark that was established five years ago. By Armbro Scribe out of the Donerail mare Simply Royal, he was bred on the Desomer Farm in Wilton and was originally owned and raced by Rick Plano. "I acquired Franky at the age of 5 in April of 2012 out of a claimer for $3,750," Clements said. "I raced him one more time here at Cal Expo and then sent him to Running Aces in Minnesota with Steve Wiseman and Kathie Plested." After racing once in a $4,500 claimer at Running Aces, Wiseman was approached about selling the trotter, but Robin didn't want to do that at the time. "We then put him in a $6,000 claimer that didn't fill," the story continued. "The only other class was the Open Trot in which he finished a strong third, and from that point on we knew we had an Open trotter." Franky Provolone went on to win 15 races that year while earning over $55,000 and was voted CHHA 2012 Horse of the Year for his accomplishments. "In 2017 and 2018, Franky was enrolled in the Summer Fling Racing League at Running Aces where fans can purchase a piece of a horse for the summer meet," she added. And how does Robin Clements sum up this popular performer who will attending his last dance this weekend? "He is a very sweet horse with a kind soul who gave 110 percent on the track every time he raced." You can't ask for more than that. Au Revoir, Open Trot command spotlight The Au Revoir Invite, which will be the final start for the popular trotter Franky Provolone; and an Open Trot featuring Its a Horse are the main events on Friday night's Cal Expo program. There will be 12 contests on the card, which is presented by Watch and Wager LLC, and things get underway at 6:10 p.m. The Au Revoir, in addition to being Franky Provolone's final start, is unique in that it will match a pair of trotters against four pacers, with Franks Best being the other trotter going up against pacers Nevermissabeat, McCedes, Bos So Hot and Whatchamacallum. The co-featured Open Trot will find Its a Horse gunning for this fourth straight victory while leaving from the assigned No. 10 post position in the field of seven. He is a 6-year-old son of Full Count who is owned by Ray Alan Miller, is trained by Marco Rios and will once again be handled by Gerry Longo. The Ohio-bred trotter made his local debut on December 28 and posted a facile five and a quarter length score at odds of 9-1 in an Open II affair, then moved up to the top level and did an encore from well off the pace while again motoring away in the final stages. Its A Horse cut it much closer in the most recent clash at the head of the trotting class, coming from far back at the top of the lane to collar pace-setting Silverhill Volo by a half-length. The latter performer has been runner-up in the last two top dances and accounted for the December 15 Open while rewarding his many backers as the 1-2 choice. Chip Lackey owns, trains and drives the 8-year-old son of Muscle Hill. By Mark Ratzky, publicity - Cal Expo Harness

The California Harness Horsemen's Association is proud to announce that Robin Burns and the late pacer Hi Ho Silverheels will be inducted into the California Harness Racing Hall of Fame on Sunday. "What a terrific honor," said Burns. "To be mentioned in the same breath as Joe O'Brien, Pres Jenuine, Jim Dennis and the other members is really beyond comprehension. "I can't thank enough the members of the selection committee for their unanimous vote." A native of Niagara Falls, NY, Robin attended the University of Miami (Fla.) and The Columbia School of Broadcasting. Burns first came to the attention of California fans as the announcer at Hollywood Park and also handled those duties at Los Alamitos and here at Cal Expo. He has also been the voice at harness tracks The Meadowlands, Freestate Raceway, Rosecroft Raceway, Louisville Downs, The Red Mile and Midwest Harness. His thoroughbred announcing has seen him calling the races at Laurel Park, Pimlico and currently Presque Isle. Burns estimates he has called over 80,000 races, including several broadcast on ESPN and CBS, including the Breeder's Crown, Maryland Million and Washington D.C. International. Robin's extensive resume has seen him serve as director of racing, director of simulcasting, consultant to the Macau Trotting Club, steward, starter, morning line maker and simulcast host. He helped launch the TVG Network while serving as director of traffic and simulcasting and as on-air host and analyst. His other television credits include hosting Racing from The Meadowlands on the Madison Square Garden Network; Winning at Rosecroft on Home Team Sports in Washington, D.C. and Harness Hoofbeats on Channel 9 in Los Angeles. In addition, Robin has lent his voice to the Hollywood movies "On the Right Track" and "Little Miss Marker". Robin Burns Also being inducted this year into the Hall of Fame this week is the late pacer Hi Ho Silverheels. Hi Ho Silverheels was a brilliant racehorse, earning just shy of $1.2 million with a 1:49 4/5 mark, and also proved to be one of the more influential harness racing stallions in the history of California breeding. A member of the class of 1991, Hi Ho Silverheels was by Walton Hanover out of the Abercrombie mare Armbro Caprice. "He wasn't bred in California, but he was foaled here and he's the best we've ever produced," said Wayne Knittel, who stood the stallion. In his racing days, Hi Ho Silverheels was scintillating to watch. Rick Kuebler drove him in all his California starts and was also at the controls when he competed in the Dan Patch at Indiana Downs. "He was the most gifted equine athlete I ever sat behind," Kuebler stated. "He had the unique combination of high speed and the capability to carry it. He routinely paced miles in 1:51 and change at Los Alamitos and I felt that on a good day he would break the 1:50 barrier. "There was a period in his career where you could have matched him up against the nine other best horses in the world and he would have been the odds-on favorite. He was that impressive." Robert Staats Final, Open Pace headline Lickcreek Speedway looms the overwhelming favorite in Saturday night's $9,600 Robert Staats Final, while Icy Blue Scooter gets top billing in the in the co-featured $7,000 Open Pace. Watch and Wager LLC will present 12 races and the action gets underway at 6:10 p.m with the Staats going as the sixth event and Open Pace occupying the eighth race slot on the evening. Lickcreek Speedway was sent off the 3-5 chalk in last week's Robert Staats Prep and made it look like a belated Xmas gift as she romped home by four and a half-lengths over the sloppy track. A 4-year-old daughter of Sand Shooter, the bay mare goes about her business for owner Jennifer Scarberry with James Kennedy reining and training. Her other victory at the meeting came in the Annette Funicello Prep in late November. Taking her on Saturday, from the rail out: Dancer's Fancy with Dean Magee; Glad to Meet Ya, Luke Plano; Lookslikewemadeit, Steve Wiseman; Damoricdalesno, Nathan Sobey; and Brigitte Bordeaux, who will be guided by Mooney Svendsen. Icy Blue Scooter is coming off a pair of dominating Open Pace scores for driver/trainer Nathan Sobey, who also co-owns the 6-year-old son of Blue Burner with Diane Bertrand and Robert Gilhespy. Sent off the 8-5 chalk in last week's top dance, Icy Blue Scooter came first over at the half, engaged the leader into the lane and then came home smartly in :27 1/5 to seal the deal by two and a quarter-lengths with Sobey at the helm. By Mark Ratzky, publicity - Cal Expo Harness

An Open Trot featuring Its a Horse and Silverhill Volo and a Filly and Mare Open Pace headed by Delightfully Wild hold the harness racing spotlight at Cal Expo Friday evening. A 12-race card is on tap under the Watch and Wager LLC banner with first post set for 6:10 p.m. The main events are scheduled as the second and third races on the program. Its A Horse is a 6-year-old son of Full Count who is owned by Ray Alan Miller, takes his lessons from Marco Rios and will once again have the services of Gerry Longo. The Ohio-bred trotter made his local debut on December 28 and posted a facile five and a quarter length score at odds of 9-1 in an Open II affair, then moved up to the top level for his most recent appearance and did an encore from well off the pace while again motoring away in the final stages. Silverhill Volo was runner-up in that contest after setting some of the fractions and accounted for the December 15 Open while rewarding his many backers as the 1-2 choice. Chip Lackey owns, trains and drives the 8-year-old son of Muscle Hill. Delightfully Wild is a 6-year-old daughter of Bettor's Delight who competes for Richard Morita and David Yamada with Jessie Pacheco training and has James Kennedy in the sulky. After a needed effort in the December 29 Open after returning from Pennsylvania, the bay miss was ready to rock and roll in last week's clash at the head of the class and made every pole a winning one as the 6-5 favorite over a sloppy track. Low takeout wagers, added simulcasts featured A pair of wagers that come with a reduced 16 percent takeout rate and added simulcast action from Woodbine Mohawk Park in Canada spice the action here at Cal Expo. Legislation that took effect January 1 allows a full card of international harness simulcasting to our California patrons. The new law is applicable on nights of live racing only and California fans can now look forward to harness action from Woodbine Mohawk Park every Friday and Saturday evening. The two wagers offered here with the reduced 16 percent takeout rate are the 50-cent Pick 5, which begins on the first race; and the 20-cent Pick 4. The Pick 4 guaranteed pools have now been raised, with a $30,000 guarantee on Fridays and a $40,000 guarantee on Saturdays. By Mark Ratzky, publicity - Cal Expo Harness

Legislation that took effect January 1 allows a full card of international harness racing simulcasting to our California patrons. The new law is applicable on nights of live racing only and California fans can now look forward to harness action from Woodbine Mohawk Park every Friday and Saturday evening. "We are very pleased to offer the world class Woodbine Mohawk Park product to our California patrons," said Cal Expo General Manager Chris Schick. "This quality product with large pools and low minimums will nicely compliment our nightly Meadowlands imports. "We are also pleased to have talented Toronto handicapper Garnet Barnsdale aboard each week to follow trends and horses to watch." Garnet's nightly analysis of Woodbine Mohawk Park is available at //DRF.com/harness. ........................................................................... There are two wagers offered here nightly with a reduced 16 percent takeout rate. They are the 50-cent Pick 5, which begins on the first race; and the 20-cent Pick 4. The Pick 4 guaranteed pools have now been raised, with a $30,000 guarantee on Fridays and a $40,000 guarantee on Saturdays. Distaff Open Pace, Staats Prep atop bill A very contentious $7,000 Filly and Mare Open Pace, which finds stablemates Outrageousdelightn and Capitol Hill doing battle once again, and the Robert Staats Prep headline the Cal Expo action on Saturday night. First post for the 12-race card, which is presented by Watch and Wager LLC, will be 6:10 p.m. The Staats Prep is scheduled as the sixth event and will be immediately followed by the Distaff Open. Outrageousdelightn made an impressive California debut in last week's top dance as she tracked to the lane, then exploded with a :27 flat final quarter to be up by a neck over Brighten Your Life in a 1:52 mile, shaving four ticks off her career standard. The now 10-year-old daughter of Bettor's Delight is owned by Don and Barbara Arnstine, Steve Chambers and Tyler Wiseman with Kathie Plested training and Mooney Svendsen was in the sulky for that score. Brighten Your Life has turned in three solid efforts since coming in from Canada for her owner/trainer/driver Nathan Sobey. She won the Alan Horowitz Prep in her local debut on December 6, just missed in a game try in the Horowitz Memorial at next asking and was just nailed on the line in last week's Open. Capitol Hill gives the Plested shedrow two big looks at the outcome. The Badlands Hanover mare races for Plested and George McChrystal and had her work cut out last week leaving from the assigned No. 10 post position after rattling off three straight wins here at the head of the class. Rounding out the field, from the rail out: Directing Traffic, Bettor Lady, Misspanderosajones, Legio X Equestris, Delightfully Wild and Magnifique. By Mark Ratzky, publicity - Cal Expo Harness

‚ÄčLuke Plano relates that the pacing mare Magnifique, who proved clearly best in last week's Distaff Open II event, has been a pleasant surprise at this harness racing meeting. The now 8-year-old daughter of Tell All carries the banner of Nikki Hudson with Luke reining and training and has turned in a series of solid efforts at this meeting, including a close third in the Alan Horowitz Memorial two weeks ago. "I've had her since September," Plano explained. "Nick Roland claimed her at Running Aces for $6,000 toward the end of the meet and then I took her over. "We thought she would do well here with her conditions, and she's exceeded what we hoped for to this point." Magnifique proved a liking for an off track when she prevailed in a conditioned contest on opening week, then went a powerful mile two back when missing by only a half-length to heavily-favored Scary Harry in the aforementioned Horowitz. In her most recent appearance, she looked every part the even-money favorite as she brushed to the lead at the half and took complete control of the race from there, coming to the wire with a two and a half-length advantage. "She can a little quirky when she jogs, but when it's time to race she's all business out there and has a touch of class," her mentor added. "Now she'll have to step back up to the Open, so we'll see how that goes." Opens bring out quality trotters, pacers A $7,000 Open Pace headed by Icy Blue Scooter, Gorgeous For Real and I'm An Athlete and a $7,000 Open Trot that finds Silverhill Volo in the spotlight are the main attractions on Friday night's Cal Expo program. Watch and Wager LLC will present 12 races with first post set for 6:10 p.m. Icy Blue Scooter is coming off a dominating front-end victory in last week's Open Pace for driver/trainer Nathan Sobey, who also co-owns the 6-year-old son of Blue Burner with Diane Bertrand and Robert Gilhespy. He was runner-up in his first two outings here after coming in from Canada, including a nose setback on November 14, then got his revenge in the most recent clash at the top rung with his two-length score in a lifetime-best 1:52 1/5 clocking. Gorgeous For Real completed the exacta in that contest while going off the mild 5-2 favorite He was a 1:51 victor at Hoosier Park last summer and goes about his business for the partnership of Schwartz, Wilkinson, Axelrod and O'Neill with Junior Wilkinson the conditioner and Dean Magee handling the lines. I'm An Athlete accounted for the December 14 Open when hanging that nose decision on Icy Blue Scooter and was third in that last clash at the head of the class. The 9-year-old son of Art Major is approaching the $200,000 earnings plateau for owner Ronald Rettig-Zucchi, trainer Jessie Pacheco and pilot James Kennedy with a 1:51 mark that was established over this track. Completing the field are King Of The Crop, Bettor's Promise, Almost Cut My Hair, Jazzmanian Devil, Why Ask Why and Prodigal. By Mark Ratzky, publicity - Cal Expo Harness

Nutmegs Desire, who will suit up in Saturday night's ninth race at Cal Expo, recently recorded a milestone 50th harness racing victory here and after some farewell starts will begin a new career next year as a broodmare. A soon-to-be 11-year-old daughter of Real Desire, Nutmegs Desire is owned by the partnership of Don and Barbara Arnstine, Steve Chambers and Tyler Wiseman with Kathie Plested training and Steve Wiseman in the sulky. She comes into this assignment with 231 starts on her resume, with 50 wins, 42 seconds and 29 thirds and $233,000 in her bank account. She sports a 1:53 1/5 lifetime mark that was established five years ago at Pocono Downs. Nutmegs Desire reached the half a century win mark here on December 8, going right to the front and then coming out of the fog to get the job done by a length and a half. She came back in her last start to miss score No. 51 by just a head. Following that victory three weeks ago, members of the Cal Expo racing office were treated to a cake courtesy of the pacing mare and Barbara Arnstine. "Nutmegs Desire is a horseman's horse," a proud Barbara related when asked about the bay 10-year-old mare. "She's honest and consistent in effort, she's a pleasure to have in the barn as long as you keep those carrots coming, and she helps keep the youngsters in line." Arnstine explained that some chronic injuries slowed her East Coast campaign and former California owner/trainer Gilbert Herrera sent her to Plested and Wiseman to finish up her career. "In one of her last races at Running Aces this summer, as she was charging down the stretch to her 49th win, someone yelled out 'Go on Grandma, you can do it'! "No one told 'Grandma' this was a finish," Barbara said. "Steve will tell you that when he tries to pull her up after a race. If you aren't flying back to the winner's circle, then she's ready to go around again. Once you put that yellow hood on, she's ready to work." In a few months, Nutmegs Desire will go from being a veteran racemare to a young broodmare. "When the snows melt in Canada in early March, she'll be on her way to having those babies that we will look forward to seeing," Arnstine noted. "Meanwhile, that yellow hood will keep pushing to the front, trying to win and prove a credit to the breed." Bill Conlin Pace shares spotlight with Opens Urgointohearmeroar and Lickcreek Speedway, who put on quite a show two weeks ago, get another chance to settle the score in Saturday night's featured $8,400 Bill Conlin Pace. Watch and Wager LLC will present an excellent 12-race card that gets underway at 6:10 p.m. In addition to the Conlin, there is a $7,000 Open Pace that finds I'm An Athlete seeking an encore and a $6,500 Filly and Mare Open Pace headed by the razor-sharp Capitol Hill. Urgointohermeroar and Lickcreek Speedway finished one-two in the December 14 Conlin Prep, with Urgoinhearmeroar getting up by a head over the latter after that rival had opened a clear lead at midstretch. Urgointohearmeroar is a 3-year-old son of Mystery Chase who is owned by Mark Anderson, hails from the Gordie Graham barn and will once again have Mooney Svendsen giving directions. He has accounted for three of his four appearances at this meet, lowering his lifetime standard to 1:54 flat in his most recent outing. Sent off the 8-5 choice in that contest, he stalked to the lane and proved best at the line. Lickcreek Speedway has a win and two near-misses from her five trips to the post at this stand, with her victory coming in the Annette Funicello Prep on December 7. She set her mark of 1:56 1/5 this year at Hooser Park and goes about her business for owner Jennifer Scarberry and driver/trainer James Kennedy. Completing the field are Hay Hay Alright for Ryan Grundy; Just B Talking, Gerry Longo; Oh My Josh with Steve Wiseman; and Dancer's Fancy, who has Dean Magee at the controls. By Mark Ratzky, publicity - Cal Expo Harness

A $6,000 Open II Distaff Pace headed by Magnifique and a $5,500 Open II Trot featuring Dougs Hobby Horse and Windsun Galaxie are the main attractions on Friday night's harness racing program at Cal Expo. There will be 12 races presented by Watch and Wager LLC with first post set for 6:10 p.m. Looking at the Filly and Mare Open II event, Magnifique figures to have her share of backers leaving from the cozy rail slot for Luke Plano, who reins and trains the 7-year-old mare for Nikki Hudson. Magnifique started the meet with a victory in a conditioned contest, was third in a blanket finish in the November 30 Open and at most recent asking was beaten only a half-length while picking up the show money behind the streaking Scary Harry in the Alan Horowitz Memorial. Several of the performers in the co-featured Open II Trot have the credentials to get the picture taken, including a pair from the Rick Bertrand barn in Dougs Hobby Horse and Majestic Lady Jo. The latter, who carries the banner of Bertrand and Amy Grunwald, was a 29-1 upset winner of the December 7 Open, while Dougs Hobby Horse races for Bertrand and Doug Flores and sports an Open victory from last month. Windsun Galaxie is coming off a solid runner-up effort behind Silverhill Volo in the most recent clash at the head of the division two weeks ago and has been assigned the outside post in the field of six. Dean Magee handles the lines for owner Ronald Rettig-Zucchi and conditioner Jessie Pacheco. Low takeout wagers offer true value There are two wagers offered here nightly that come with a reduced 16 percent takeout rate, giving players extra incentive to participate in these horizontal bets. The wagers are the 50-cent Pick 5, which begins on the first race; and the 20-cent Pick 4, which comes with a $20,000-guaranteed pool on Fridays and $30,000 on Saturdays. In addition, Cal Expo offers 20-cent Trifectas and 10-cent Superfectas, affording players the opportunity to spread deep in these vertical wagers. By Mark Ratzky, publicity - Cal Expo Harness

Scary Harry, who has posted four straight impressive victories at this harness racing meet, looks to keep the momentum going as he leads the cast for Saturday night's featured $20,000 Alan Horowitz Memorial Pace at Cal Expo. A 12-race card will be presented by Watch and Wager LLC with things getting underway at 6:10. The card also features a $7,000 Open Pace and a $7,000 Filly and Mare Open Pace. A 6-year-old son of Sportswriter, Scary Harry is owned by Kenneth Seastrom and Chip Lackey doing the driving and training.The bay performer was winless in 27 starts on the year when he arrived here in November, but has been on a tear ever since and has not come to closing in his four trips to the post. Despite having the demanding No. 9 slot in a division of last week's Horowitz Eliminations, Scary Harry was sent off the 3-5 choice and made it look like a gift. Parked to the lead at the half, he took complete control from that point and waltzed home with six and three-quarter lengths to spare in a 1:54 4/5 mile. Brighten Your Life captured the other elimination heat last weekend at 6-1 for owner/trainer/driver Nathan Sobey. This Shark Gesture mare was a game first-over winner and is eyeing her third straight trip to the winner's circle. Completing the field are Mighty Fine Hi Ho, Magnifique, Art Genta, Cowboys Dirtyboots, Mint To Cruise, Smilys Amira, Fly Away and Smoke Rings. There will be no live racing here next week, with the trotters and pacers returning to action on Friday, December 28. There will be mandatory payoffs on all wagers Saturday night. Race honors memory of Alan Horowitz Saturday night's Alan Horowitz Memorial is named for a major force in California harness racing over the last several decades and a member of the California Harness Horsemen's Association (CHHA) Hall of Fame who passed away last year at age 72. Mr. Horowitz, who wore many hats in the business, started out as a partner with longtime friends Donald and Barbara Arnstine and Steve Desomer with a $25,000 claimer named Quaker Byrd. Quaker Byrd won his first race for the partners and Alan was hooked. Moving on, Alan would eventually become a board member and president of CHHA. In 1994, Mr. Horowitz was instrumental in bringing harness racing back to Cal Expo in the form of Capitol Racing and was also its successful general manager. He was serving as the Executive Secretary of the CHHA at the time of his retirement in 2013 and continued to stay in touch with the sport that he loved so much. "It is impossible to overstate Alan's importance to the harness racing industry in California," said David Neumeister. "Simply put, if it were not for Alan, the sport would no longer exist in this state. "Between his time as executive director of Western Standardbred Association (now CHHA) and owner/ manager of our only yearling sale company when racing was flourishing in California, and his decision to retire from CHHA a few years ago, against all odds and some very powerful adversaries, "Alan almost single-handedly took us from the brink of extinction in the mid-90s and formed and led Capitol Racing in Sacramento to several very successful years of harness racing in that city. "Were it not for his quiet determination and tactical brilliance, we would not be racing here today." By Mark Ratzky, publicity - Cal Expo Harness

Harness racing trainer Nathan Sobey will have two looks at the outcome in Saturday night's Alan Horowitz Memorial Pace at Cal Expo, as he will be represented by the Canadian mares Brighten Your Life and Smilys Amira. Brighten Your Life was an eye-catching winner of the second division of the Horowitz Eliminations last week in her California debut, while Smilys Amira checked in fourth behind a very impressive Scary Harry in the first division. Sobey made the decision to bring a string of performers from Alberta around late October and is off to a good start at this session. "I've got 18 horses here right now and we're looking to stay until about April," he related. Nathan claimed Brighten Your Life two months ago at Northlands Park and it looks like she is enjoying her new surroundings, if her victory in the Horowitz Elimination is any indication. "I'd had my eye on her for some time, because she was a real nice 2-year-old and I didn't think she was racing to her abilities. We did some work on her and I'm very happy with the way she's come around. "I knew we were going into last week's race a little short, but I thought we at least had a good chance to make the final. I was a little shocked how strong she raced considering, but she is a very tough mare and loves these nice big turns." Smilys Amira will be making her second appearance at this meeting and also figures to benefit from the experience. "She's not the easiest mare to train or to drive, but she always gives you everything she has," Sobey said. Open Pace, Bill Conlin Prep share billing Friday night's Cal Expo harness action will include an Open Pace, with a well-matched field set to face the starter, and the Bill Conlin Prep. An 11-race program is on tap under the Watch and Wager LLC banner with first post set for 6:10 p.m. The Open Pace goes as the third race, while the Conlin Prep will occupy the sixth-race slot on the evening. Looking ahead to Saturday night, the Alan Horowitz Memorial Pace will hold the spotlight with last week's Elimination winners Scary Harry and Brighten Your Life headlining that contest. Scary Harry has posted four straight impressive victories at this meet for owners Kenneth Seastrom and Chip Lackey, with Lackey doing the driving and training. The bay performer was winless in 27 starts on the year when he arrived here in November, but has been on a tear ever since and has not come to closing in his four trips to the post. Despite having the demanding No. 9 slot in a division of last week's Horowitz Eliminations, Scary Harry was sent off the 3-5 choice and made it look like a gift. Parked to the lead at the half, he took complete control from that point and waltzed home with six and three-quarter lengths to spare in a 1:54 4/5 mile. There will be no live racing here next week, with the trotters and pacers returning to action on Friday, December 28. There will be mandatory payoffs on all wagers Saturday night. By Mark Ratzky, publicity - Cal Expo Harness

Lickcreek Speedway has steadily picked up her game since arriving from Indiana and looms the one to beat in Friday night's Annette Funicello - Glen Holt Pace for owner Jennifer Scarberry and harness racing driver/trainer James Kennedy. The 3-year-old daughter of Sand Shooter had been racing at Hoosier Park with mixed results while leaving from some difficult posts, but seems to have found a nice home here at Cal Expo. "I got her at the beginning of the meet from Jacob Fox," Kennedy related when asked about the distaffer. "She'd been making breaks and he told me I had to be careful with her on the first turn." Lickcreek Speedway made a miscue in her first start here on opening night, but has been on her best behavior in the last two appearances, resulting a near-miss and then a solid score as the favorite in last week's Funicello Prep. "I made some adjustments after that first start here to her hobbles and her headgear and it's been working," James said. "I was real happy with the way she finished in her second start and it all came together last week. "The plan was to let her settle in on the first turn and then make a move down the backside. She ended up getting parked first-over, but she was real strong and I never even had to pull the earplugs or really ask her for her best." Lickcreek Speedway is one of two performers Kennedy currently has under his care and he explains that's pretty much the way he likes it. "Both horses are owned by friends, and right now I prefer to concentrate on the driving." Annette Funicello - Glen Holt Pace on tap Lickcreek Speedway, a game first-over winner last week, heads the cast for Friday night's featured $8,300 Annette Funicello - Glen Holt Pace for fillies and mares. The main event on the 11-race Watch and Wager LLC program will go as eighth event of the evening with first post set for 6:15 p.m. There will also be an excellent supporting card with an Open Pace, a Distaff Open Pace and an Open Trot. Lickcreek Speedway is a 3-year-old Indiana-bred daughter of Sand Shooter who is owned by Jennifer Scarberry and is reined-and-trained by James Kennedy. She has turned in two solid efforts at this meeting from coming in from her home state. Making her California debut here on November 24, the bay miss came rolling late for Kennedy to miss by a nose, then got her revenge in last weekend's Funicello Prep when she came first-over at the quarter and wore down pace-setting Dancer's Fancy in the late stages for a length score. The latter is a Fancy Schmansy mare who has also put in two very good miles at the session. She carries the banner of Vikki Pfeilsticker with Rick Bertrand training and Mooney Svendsen at the controls. She was a sharp winner in her first start and carved out the fractions last week before getting overpowered on the line. Completing the field are; Lookslikewemadeit, Nathan Sobey; Sing N Sandi, Dean Magee; That's How It Goes, Richard Schneider; Rosebud's First, Steve Wiseman; Dancer's Fancy, Mooney Svendsen; Hot Dandy, Chip Lackey; and Glad to Meet Ya, Luke Plano. The co-featured Open Pace will find Dave Goldschmidt Memorial winner Allymyx'sliventexas seeking his fourth straight win at the meet, while the Distaff Open finds barnmates Fancy Little Girl and Totally Racy in the spotlight with Dougs Hobby Horse and Silverhill Volo getting a rematch in the Open Trot. By Mark Ratzky, publicity - Cal Expo Harness

Saturday night's featured pace is named for Dave Goldschmidt, who passed away of natural causes in July at the age of 62. Dave was born in New York City and developed a love of harness racing in his early teens. He attended the University of Denver where he was a sports writer on the newspaper, but after hearing about the new Race Track Management Program at the University of Arizona, he knew he had to transfer to that school and was in that first graduating class. Among Dave's extensive resume in the sport, he was racing secretary at Los Alamitos and Cal Expo and co-racing secretary at Bay Meadows; assistant racetrack manager at Hollywood Park and a founder, president and major financial backer of the Premier Harness Meet at Los Alamitos in the 1990s. After his retirement, Dave concentrated on betting on the trotters and pacers and occasionally quarter horses while also developing a keen interest in politics. Dave met his wife Suzy in the late 1990s and they began dating in 2006. They completed building their dream house in 2014 and were married that year. Among their shared passions were a love of tennis, world travel and volunteer work. Eunice Morrow, who worked closely with Dave at the Premier Harness Meet, explained how important he was to harness racing in California in the early 1990s "Harness racing was in trouble maintaining a meet at Los Alamitos and thankfully Dave came to our rescue with a large monetary donation needed to keep harness racing active," Eunice said. "A few months later the industry found more funds were necessary and again Dave came to our rescue. He did not want it known that he had donated these deposits and volunteered the information that his mother in New York had loaned the organization funds. "Later, when Premier II Harness Racing was formed, Dave became Racing Secretary, spending many hours in several positions helping the sport he loved stay alive. Without Dave, I wonder if harness racing would have been able to continue." Eunice added, "There is no doubt David Goldschmidt will now be in Heaven with so many other of the great Harness Racing enthusiasts." Joel Lesser was best friends with Goldschmidt for over 40 years, playing hours and hours of tennis and golf, and also worked alongside Dave at the Premier Harness meets. "When he was president of Premier, he said that the fans and the horsemen came first, and management came last," Joel recalled. "I can say Dave Goldschmidt is the fairest and most honest person I have every known in my life and wanted everyone to do well." Cal Expo Trackman Marty Bridges was good friends with Dave for several decades. "Dave was highly intelligent with an acute, analytic mind and would have been excellent at any profession he chose," Bridges related. "He didn't look it, but he was also very athletic and a huge sports fan, especially baseball and tennis. He would have been a great baseball manager." Marty also had his own private name for Dave. "I called him Patch, which was short for the legendary pacer Dan Patch. When we made dinner reservations it would always be under the name Dancer, short for Hall of Famer Stanley Dancer." Dave Goldschmidt Memorial heads card Allmyx'sliventexas, fresh from two dominating victories since returning from his Midwest foray, gets top billing in Saturday night's $10,000 Dave Goldschmidt Memorial Pace. Watch and Wager LLC will present 11 races on Saturday, with first post set for 6:15 p.m. and the main event going as the eighth contest on the program. Allmyx'sliventexas is a 5-year-old homebred son of Hi Ho Silverheel's who races for Wayne and Rod Knittel with Bob Johnson the conditioner and Mooney Svendsen once again handling the lines. Sent off the 1-2 choice in a conditioned event on opening night November 10, the bay performer made it look like an overlay as the took complete command up front turning for home and waltzed home with four and a half lengths to spare. Despite having the outside post in a field of eight in last week's Open, Allmyx'sliventexas once again rewarded the chalkplayers by going coast-to-coast for a three-length decision over a "good" racetrack. I'm An Athlete has been runner-up to the Knittel performer in his two appearances at this stand and will be looking to turn the tables in the Goldschmidt for owner Ronald Rettig-Zucchi, trainer Jessie Pacheco and pilot James Kennedy. He set his 1:51 career standard here early in the year. Completing the field, from the rail out: Last Dragon, Prodigal, Gorgeous For Real, Mr Varsity, Dontdoubtthelakers, Why Asky Why and Justabitofcrazy. By Mark Ratzky, publicity - Cal Expo Harness

It wasn't as easy as the 2-5 odds might lead one to believe, but the 3-year-old harness racing pacer Just B Talking got the job done last week in a blanket finish for his owner/trainer/driver Gerry Longo. Just B Talking was a beaten favorite in his Cal Expo debut on opening night when settling for an exacta completion, then did his work in first-over fashion at most recent asking and was on the right end of the photo finish. "I bought him last month in Indiana," Longo informed. "I thought he had some good races and he had conditions, so it figured he would do well out here. "I blame myself for his losing that first start, because I sat in too long with him and we got locked in, but he was coming real strong at the end. "To be honest, I didn't think he was as good in this last mile, but he got the win anyway. There's a series coming up for him in a few weeks and that's what we're pointing for right now." The 74-year-old has 13 performers under his care at Cal Expo and comes into this week's action with 2,875 driving victories and over $12 million in earnings. "My goal is to get to 3,000 wins," he said. "I still love to come out every morning and work with the horses, and as long as I can go out on the track at night and do a good job, I'll keep on driving." Pair of Opens, Funicello Prep atop bill The Annette Funicello Prep, a Distaff Open Pace and an Open Trot share the spotlight Friday night at Cal Expo. There are 11 races on the Watch and Watch and Wager LLC program with the action getting underway at 6:15p.m. Dancer's Fancy looms large in the Annette Funicello Prep after scoring a nice victory on opening night. The 4-year-old mare carries the banner of Vikki Pheilsticker with Rick Bertrand training and James Kennedy in the sulky. Glad to Meet Ya figures to have a strong say in the outcome despite having to do her work from the outside post in the field of eight. The 3-year-old Disco Devil homebred races for Billie Schwartz and Junior Wilkinson, with Wilkinson training and Luke Plano handling the lines. Completing the field are Lookslikewemadeit, Sing N Sandi, Lickcreek Speedway, Thats How It Goes, Rosebud's First and Hot Dandy. Looking at the Filly and Mare Open, Fancy Little Girl should appreciate getting away from Capitol Hill after chasing that stablemate home in the first two top dances for the division. The dark-hued mare is owned by Benvenga Racing LLC, Taylor and Plested, hails from the Kathie Plested shedrow and has Steve Wiseman guiding. There are two wagers offered here nightly with a reduced 16 percent takeout rate. They are the 50-cent Pick 5, which begins on the first race; and 20-cent Pick 4, which comes with a $20,000-guaranteed pool on Fridays and $30,000 on Saturdays. By Mark Ratzky, publicity - Cal Expo Harness

The Cal Expo harness racing meet concludes Saturday evening with Hi Ho's Little Rev and Ragin's Flight among the major players in the featured Connie Matlock Memorial Pace. The headliner will go as the third on a nine-race program presented by Watch and Wager LLC and first post will be 6:40 p.m. This being closing night, there will be mandatory payouts in all wagers. Hi H's Little Rev is looking to close out the stand with a hat trick for owners Vanessa Gilliam and Audrey Clifton, trainer Bob Johnson and pilot Mooney Svendsen. The 6-year-old son of Hi Ho Silverheel's set a new lifetime mark of 1:52 25/ when he got the job done two weeks ago in a game performance, then made every pole a winning in his last tour in coast-to-coast fashion as the 3-2 favorite last Friday evening. Ragin's Flight should hit hard with this caliber after tackling tougher company of late. He was a 1:52 1/5 victor as the 2-5 choice back on March 30 and competes for Scott Ehrlich, George McCrystal and Kathie Plested with Plested the conditioner and Steve Wiseman in the sulky. Completing the field are Fire On The Water from the Steve Nichols barn; Fly Away, who gives the Plested shedrow two looks at the outcome; the Robin Clements-trained Lincoln; and He Grins Again, who takes his lessons from George Reider. The trotters and pacers are scheduled to return to Cal Expo in the fall and the CCHA and Watch and Wager have agreed to an 8 percent purse increase and an enhanced horse incentive program. Race pays tribute to Connie Matlock Saturday night's third race is named in honor of Connie Matlock, a longtime fixture with the California Harness Horse Breeders Association and CHHA who passed away on April 16 at the age of 85. Connie began working as secretary for the CHHBA in 1994 and was a staunch supporter of the Breeders and Sires Stakes. She then went to work for the CHHA in the early 90s, again as secretary. In 2005, Connie was awarded the Presidents Award by the CHHA for her meritorious service to the horsemen and the Sire Stakes program. "She was loved by many horsemen, who considered here a second mother," said Robin Clements. "She was warm, caring and a great lady." Said Vickie Desomer, "Connie was always there for the horsemen, all of them. Her kindness was boundless. Connie was beautiful inside and out. She has been greatly missed since her illness took her from us." Connie and Donald Matlock had five children and she is survived by son Charlie and daughters Kim and Cindy and 10 grandchildren. By Mark Ratzky, publicity - Cal Expo Harness

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