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A $7,400 Open Trot that finds Silverhill Volo aiming for his fifth straight harness racing victory and a $7,200 Filly and Mare Open Pace with Bertha Vanation eyeing the hat trick are the marquee events on Sunday's Cal Expo card. There will be 12 races under the Watch and Wager LLC banner and things get underway at 4:55 p.m.The Open Trot is scheduled as the third race, while the Distaff Open will occupy the sixth-race slot on the evening. Silverhill Volo, perfect in his four outings at this meet, looks to keep the streak going in the Open Trot while leaving from the assigned outside post in the field of nine. A 10-year-old son of Muscle Hill, Silverhill Volo is owned, trained and driven by Chip Lackey. He is eyeing his 29th victory from 140 trips to the post, has $168,000 in his bank account and sports a 1:55 1/5 mark. Silverhill Volo has raced up close and personal in all his wins here, including a coast-to-coast decision in the Joe Lighthill two back. He was hard used while first over in his most recent tally three weeks ago, pulling away by two and a half lengths while making 3-5 look like a gift. Mandeville could prove to be the main rival for owner/driver/trainer Gerry Longo. The 9-year-old sidewheeler had a second, a third and a fifth-place finish behind Silverhill Volo before returning to his winning ways two weeks ago in a conditioned affair. Leaving from the outside post in the field of seven, he left into a pocket journey, then had the needed response when asked in the lane and drew off by a length and a quarter. It was the 31st snapshot in 142 trips to the post for Mandeville, who pushed his earnings close to the $270,000 mark. He lands two slots inside his main rival in the No.7 post for this go-around. In the co-featured Distaff Open, Bertha Vanation has posted back-to-back surprise scores at the top rung for owners Bill and Cathy Dessert and driver/trainer Nick Roland, working out sweet trips on both occasions. This time around she will be asked to depart from the assigned outside slot in the field of seven. Bertha Vanation longshot players delight Those who have backed Bertha Vanation in her last two starts at the head of the distaff pacing ranks have been nicely rewarded, as the mare clicked at 25-1 weeks ago and came back to get the job done at 7-1 last Saturday evening. The 6-year-old daughter of Voracious Hanover is owned by Cathy and Bill Dessert and is trained and driven by Nick Roland, who has been able to work out perfect two-hole trips with Bertha Vanation for those two upsets. "I've been with Cathy and Bill for five or six years now and we bought this horse from her breeder John Hendricks three years ago," Nick related. "She got sick on us this summer and kind of went off form, but the minute she got here she perked right up and showed how much she likes this track." Bertha Vanation won her first start at the meet, had to settle for minor awards in her next two tries, then missed a couple of weeks before suiting up for the January 2 Filly and Mare Open where she dismissed at 25-1 from the No. 2 slot. "Because she'd missed some time, she needed every bit of that two-hole trip and the moderate fractions to get there by a nose," Roland noted. Nick admits he didn't see another pocket journey in Bertha Vanation's future when she left from the No. 4 post in a compact cast last week, but the racing gods were once again in her favor and she prevailed once more at the head of the class. "I didn't see it happening on paper, but for whatever reason Brighten Your Life didn't go and I left hard for the top. I didn't mind it at all when Delightfully Wild retook the lead and we were able to work out another good trip." Upsets are often made of such things. By Mark Ratzky, publicity - Cal Expo Harness

An Open II Pace that finds Ponda's Prospect well positioned to earn his first victory at this harness racing meet and an Open II Trot headed by Mandeville, Flameon and Major Al-Mar get the marquee treatment Sunday evening at Cal Expo. Watch and Wager LLC will present 12 races with first post at 4:50 p.m. The pacing feature goes as the fourth race, while the trotting headliner is the sixth event on the card. Ponda's Prospect has been knocking on the door in his last three appearances and should be putting in a strong late move with this group. Luke Plano trains and drives the 7-year-old Shadyshark Hanover gelding, who has a 1:51 lifetime standard that was established at Hawthorne. He has had the misfortune of lining up against the red-hot Allmyx'sliventexas in all four of his appearances at this stand, coming away with a second and two thirds, with the runner-up finish coming in the December 11 Dave Goldschmidt Pace over a sloppy track. Looking at the co-featured trot, Mandeville is will appreciate Silverhill Volo being absent as he makes his third start at the meet since coming in from Kentucky. The 9-year-old is owned, reined and trained by Gerry Longo and set his 1:54 lifetime mark this summer at Running Aces. Major Al-Mar scored back-to-back victories here last month before checking in fourth last week in the Open behind Silverhill Volo. Amy Fichtner and Vikki Pfeilsticker own, Richard Bertrand trains and Cordarious Stewart has the return assignment. Flameon was runner-up behind Silverhill Volo in last week's clash at the top rung, his third straight exacta completion. The 11-year-old Angus Hall gelding competes for Mark Anderson, hails from the Gordie Graham barn and will have Jacob Cutting at the helm. A pocket rocket is powerful Shakespeare wrote, "The play's the thing", but if he was a harness driver instead of the greatest author of all time, he would have changed that to, "The trip's the thing." That was certainly the case with Bertha Vanation in last week's Filly and Mare Open, as Nick Roland worked out a perfect two-hole journey from an inside post with the pacing distaffer and she was up by a nose over Brighten Your Life for the $52 surprise. Taking nothing away from the winner, it was Brighten Your Life and Tony Succarotte who did all the heavy lifting in that mile and suffered the toughest of beats. Brighten Your Life is an 8-year-old daughter of Shark Gesture who is owned by Tyler Gunderson and Jenna Cornelison and is conditioned by Cornelison. She has $163,000 in the bank and her 1:53 1/5 mark was established here last season. Cornelison is a Sacramento native who got her original education in the sport while working with Gene Vallandingham. "Gene had a pacer named Run Baby Run who I got as a riding horse and in 2005 I ended up going to work with him here at Cal Expo," Jenna related. "In 2007 I went back East with Pete Foley and spent four years at Pocono." Cornelison was out of the game for a brief period, but returned in 2012 and eventually came back to California to once again work at the Vallandingham barn. "I just love coming out here each morning and having those heads sticking out and waiting for me. The real satisfaction comes after putting in all that work, sometimes in the cold and rain, and then watching them go out there and give everything they have in a race. It's very rewarding." By Mark Ratzky, publicity - Cal Expo Harness

Allmyxsliventexas, perfect in three starts at this harness racing meet since coming back from Chicago, looks to keep the streak going in Sunday night's featured $7,200 Open Pace. Watch and Wager LLC will present 12 races with first post set for 4:55 p.m. and the main event will go as the eighth event on the evening. A now 8-year-old homebred son of Hi Ho Silverheel's, Allmyxsliventexas carries the banner of Wayne and Rod Knittel with Bob Johnson the conditioner. He has been assigned the outside post in the field of 10, which also includes his highly-regarded barnmate Proof, who will leave just to his inside in the No. 9 slot. The Knittel colorbearer comes into this assignment with 42 wins from his 136 starts, $245,000 in his bank account and a 1:50 lifetime standard that was established over the seven-eighths Hoosier Park layout. Allmyxsliventexas last suited up two weeks ago in the Dave Goldshmidt Pace and proved to be a punctual 4-5 favorite with Nick Roland at the helm. He made two moves to the lead at the half, took control of things from that point and came to the wire with two and three-quarter lengths to spare. Completing the field, from the rail out: Mystery Dragon, Royale Big Guy, Ponda's Prospect, Blue Star Maverick, Buddy's Hope, Pecorino, Dependlebury A and Hoo Nien A. Ariel Alvarez making his mark One of the new names on the program belongs to Ariel Alvarez, a 25-year-old native of Sacramento who took out his training license this past summer in Minnesota. "I've pretty much been around the horses my whole life because of my mom and dad," Alvarez related. "I guess I was about 19 when I made up my mind that this is what I wanted to do." After spending some time taking care of a horse for his mother, Ariel ended up working for Tim Brown for a year, and then spent two years with Quentin, Kimberly and Ricky Schneider. Following a stint in Indiana, Alvarez joined the Steve Wiseman and Kathy Plested barn to continue his education. By this past summer at Running Aces, he was ready to go out on his own and got to the winner's circle with his fourth starter, a pacer named E R Michael. "I learned so much from each and every one of the people I worked for," Ariel said. "I really want to thank them." There are currently eight performers in the Alvarez barn, with Cal's Hope rating the first stall and Lakota Law occupying the favorite's role. *** A reminder that there are two wagers offered here each night with a reduced 16 percent takeout rate - the 20-cent early and late Pick 5 and the 20-cent Pick 4, with the latter sporting a $25,000-guaranteed gross pool. By Mark Ratzky, publicity - Cal Expo Harness

Major Al-mar, fresh from posting a 9-1 upset last week, figures to get more respect at the windows this time around as he heads the field for Saturday night's harness racing featured $5,500 conditioned Trot. Watch and Wager LLC will present 14 races with first post set for 4:55 p.m. The main event is set as the fifth on the program. A 4-year-old son of Money Talks out of the Andover Hall mare Vestal Hanover, Major Al-mar is owned by Vikki Pfeilsticker and Amy Fichtner, hails from the Rick Bertrand shedrow and will once again have Cordarius Stewart giving directions. Stewart was guiding the sidewheeler for the first time since they joined forces at Oak Grove in Kentucky back in November. After having to settle for a couple of minor awards in his first four appearances at this meet, Major Al-mar put it all together last time and rewarded his backers at a nice price. Leaving from the outside post in the field of seven, he was parked to the lead at the quarter, withstood a strong bid on the final bend and early stretch and gamely re-rallied to prevail by a head. Flameon and Mshindi, who were second and third, respectively, in that affair are back in the cast and will obviously have a big say in the outcome. Mshindi was sent off the 1-2 choice that night and was only beaten a half-length for the whole thing. Taking on this trio are Jesse's Student, Glenferrie Dreamer, MD Magic, Bringthegold and Teachmehowtotry. Mandatory payouts, reduced takeout wagers spice action Saturday being the closing night of the first portion of the 2020-21 Watch and Wager LLC meeting, there will be mandatory payouts in all wagers on the program. Great value can be found as there are three wagers offered each night that come with a reduced 16 percent takeout rate - the 20-cent early and late Pick 5 and the 20-cent Pick 4. A reminder that beginning next week, Cal Expo will be switching to a Saturday and Sunday night schedule. Congratulations to Best Dream Seeker, who ended up on the right end of the photo with Nick Roland in last Saturday night's first race, giving the veteran his 44th lifetime victory from 454 starts. The pacing son of Cambest takes his lessons from Rick Bertrand, who co-owns along with Vikki Pfeilsticker and Amy Fichtner and has had the hard-hitting performer for the last two and a half years. Because he turns 15 years old next week, Best Dream Seeker will face mandatory retirement, but will remain at the Bertrand barn to assist joggers and help with teaching the babies. Best Dream Seeker will suit up one more time in Saturday night's fourth race before calling it a career. By Mark Ratzky, publicity - Cal Expo Harness  

The $8,700 Annette Funicello/Glen Holt Final and the $10,000 Joe Alto Filly and Mare Pace are the main attractions on Saturday night's Cal Expo harness racing program. Watch and Wager LLC will present 12 races with things getting underway at 4:50 p.m. Jennie Ann and Gitchie Girl accounted for last week's two Funicello/Holt eliminations with James Kennedy at the controls for both distaffers. Jennie Ann got her victory through the disqualification of River Lassena, who had a pylon violation. A 3-year-old daughter of Lettherockbegin, Jennie Ann was an easy winner of her local debut on December 4 and then set all the fractions in last week's tour before being overhauled, eventually awarded the tally by the stewards. Gitchie Girl was a 16-1 upsetter in her mile after suffering a break in her previous mile. She goes about her business for Benvenga Racing and Kathie Plested with Plested the conditioner and figures to get more respect at the windows this time around. River Lassena will be looking for some revenge from the cozy rail slot, while completing the field are Sporty Fox, Le Montrachet, D Vigilante, Hf's Super Filly, Tropical Fruit, Prom Queen and Danzig To Dharma. Looking at the Joe Alto, Velocity Sweets would appear to hold the aces after sweeping by the leaders as the 1-5 choice in last week's top dance for the filly and mare pacers. Jennifer Sabot owns and trains the 5-year-old daughter of McArdie and James Kennedy will once again do the honors. Taking her on are Mary's Pretty Girl, Bertha Vanation, Brighten Your Life and Karefree Kara. Joe Alto remembered: Saturday's co-feature is named for Joe Alto, the announcer here at Cal Expo for many years, who passed away in 2011 at the age of 78. Joe Alto plied his trade as a track announcer for 40 years. He started at Buffalo Raceway and Batavia Downs in native New York, then came west and handled the duties at Hollywood Park, Los Alamitos and Cal Expo. He was also golden gloves boxer in his younger days and an accomplished salsa dancer. Joe called both harness horses and thoroughbreds here in Sacramento, and was known for such signature calls "You better take a look at" and "They're coming home now!" Trackman Marty Bridges also considered Joe a good friend. "He was a one-of-a-kind announcer and one of the sweetest people I've ever met, on or off the racetrack." There will be mandatory payouts in all wagers Saturday night at Cal Expo, as the first portion of the 2020/2021 meeting comes to end. The trotters and pacers will return to action next Saturday, December, 26, with Saturday and Sunday programs beginning the following week. By Mark Ratzky, publicity - Cal Expo Harness

Its Pointless and Cut A Rug, impressive winners of last week's eliminations, head the harness racing field for Saturday night's $9,100 Bill Conlin Pace. Watch and Wager LLC will present 11 races with first post set for 4:55 p.m. Its Pointless puts his unbeaten record in the line and figures to have his share of supporters in the main event for owner Mark Anderson, trainer Gordie Graham and regular pilot James Kennedy.' The 3-year-old homebred son of Kent's On Nuke dominated the California Sire Stakes during the spring, capturing all four of his outings in facile fashion. He was making his first start since March when he suited up for last week's Conlin elimination and made 3-2 look like a gift with an 8 ½-length decision in a lifetime-best 1:55 2/5 performance. Cut A Rug captured the other elimination and looms the main rival. The 3-year-old son of Mystery Chase carried the banner of Quentin and Kimberly Schneider with Quentin the conditioner and Luke Plano back in the sulky. Cut A Rug left hard last week for the lead and settled in the pocket down the backside, then responded when asked in the lane to overhaul 2-5 favorite Sherwood when push came to shove in a 1:56 mile. The latter will give the Anderson/Graham connection two strong looks at the outcome as Sherwood looks to avenge last week's runner-up finish after being an ultra-game winner on opening night. Completing the field are Get My Good Side, Glen, Bizys Beatle, Night Delight, Hi Ho Julio, How You Remind Me and Sneak Peak Hanover. Allmyx'sliventexas gets another local snapshot If you're keeping track, last week's coast-to-coast 1:51 4/5 score in the Open Pace was No. 40 from 134 starts for Allmyx'sliventexas as he continues to roll along for owner/breeders Wayne and Rod Knittel, trainer Bob Johnson and pilot Nick Roland. When asked if the 7-year-old son of Hi Ho Silverheel's is one of his all-time favorites, veteran Johnson responded, "I've had lots of good ones, and he's right up there." Allmyx'sliventexas has put over $235,000 in his bank account and recorded his lifetime standard of 1:50 over a sloppy track at Hoosier Park two years ago. "His secret is that he goes about his business every day, he takes care of himself, and he's had an excellent groom in Jose Herrera who has been with him since day one," his mentor related. "He's been awfully sharp since he's come back from Chicago and he just loves this track. Even though he's won a lot of races on the front end, he's even better when he has a target." Johnson tipped that we may soon see another very nice pacer carrying the Knittel banner in the form of Proof, a recent purchase from back East. "He's got a 1:48 mark at Harrah's Philly and he raced on the Grand Circuit at 2 and 3," Bob noted. "He should be ready to go in a few weeks." By Mark Ratzky, publicity - Cal Expo Harness

LARKSPUR, CA. (November 20, 2020)--The board of Webis, the Group specializing in pool wagering and the operators of WatchandWager Cal Expo, the Californian harness track, is pleased to announce that its Advanced Deposit Wagering ("ADW") business, WatchandWager.com LLC ("WatchandWager") received its two-year license approval from the California Horse Racing Board ("CHRB") on November 19, 2020. The two-year ADW license renewal from the CHRB is for the years 2021-2022, and it allows WatchandWager to continue to accept online pari-mutuel wagers from residents of California on its range of global content. The license renewal from the CHRB is strategically important to the company, not only for its access to the biggest population in the United States and one of the largest economies in the world, but also for the potential of offering sports betting to California residents when the state legislature passes this into law. As shareholders are aware, the license sits alongside our long-term lease of the Cal Expo racetrack, adding an important physical, as well as on-line, presence in the state. In addition to the California license renewal, WatchandWager executives have also renewed, or are in the process of license renewals, in Colorado, Kentucky, Minnesota, New York, North Dakota, and Washington. The company does not foresee any expected issues that would delay or prevent them from being approved. Ed Comins, President of WatchandWager, commented: "We are pleased to receive this key license renewal from the California Horse Racing Board for WatchandWager. We believe that the tax, revenue, and jobs generated from this license will have an important benefit to the state of California, especially in light of the economic difficulties caused by the California wildfires and the COVID-19 virus. With this important license and our physical presence at Cal Expo in Sacramento, we believe that the passage of legalized sports betting will result in even more new jobs, duties, and tax revenue to the state. WatchandWager stands ready to be an active partner in supporting not only the state's racing and gaming industry, but also supporting the recovery of the state as a whole." From Watchand Wager.com atchandWager is available at:  

Sacramento, CA — Watch and Wager LLC, operator of Cal Expo harness, and the California Harness Horsemen’s Association would like to publicly thank Running Aces for their generous support during the COVID-19 crisis. Running Aces, through its charitable foundation, has contributed $30,000 to help defray Cal Expo backstretch operating expenses for the past two months. “This is exactly the reason we created the North Metro Racetrack and Community Foundation,” said Running Aces President and CEO Taro Ito. “To help our horsemen when needed. We are glad to fulfill our charter and that we made a difference.” The Cal Expo backstretch area is set to close on May 31 as the vast majority of these horsemen head to Running Aces Racetrack and Casino. The barn area at Running Aces opens June 1, with the first day of live racing Saturday (June 20). by Mark Ratzky, publicity, Cal Expo Harness

At Thursday's special meeting of the California Horse Racing Board, Watch and Wager LLC received approval to race on Tuesday and Wednesday beginning next week. First post for these programs will be 3:30 p.m. Pacific Time. Meanwhile, this week will find the trotters and pacers in action at Cal Expo on Friday and Saturday night, with 10-race cards and a first post of 6:10 p.m. By Mark Ratzky, publicity - Cal Expo Harness  

The California Horse Racing Board has denied Watch and Wager LLC's request to alter this week's schedule and the planned Tuesday and Wednesday programs have been cancelled. More details to come.        

CAL EXPO HARNESS, SACRAMENTO... Watch and Wager LLC operator of Cal Expo Harness Racing has received conditional approval from the California Horse Racing Board to move to a Tuesday and Wednesday schedule effective this Tuesday March 24th. The condition is a legal review from the Board that will be issued on Monday. The racing office is double drawing today with 158 entries. Post time for the Tuesday and Wednesday cards is scheduled for 3:05 Pacific. The Racetrack will remain closed to the public. The Simulcast center is closed. More details will be announced as soon as available.      

Pridecrest, Mandeville and Its a Horse, who have each had victories at the top rung at this harness racing meet at Cal Expo, square off in Saturday night's featured $6,700 Open Trot. The headliner will go as the fifth contest on an 11-race Watch and Wager LLC program and things will underway at 6:10 p.m. Pridecrest scored three straight Open victories between January 24 and February 15, then had to settle for third after a first-over trip while leaving from the demanding No. 10 slot in last week's get-together at the head of the class. An 8-year-old son of Angus Hall, Pridecrest is owned by Heather Mathews, is conditioned by Steve Wiseman and has Mooney Svendsen guiding from the outside post in the field of seven. He comes into this assignment with 38 wins from his 150 lifetime trips to the post, with $318,000 in his bank account and a 1:53 2/5 standard that was established here three years ago. Mandeville got the job done with these last week in coast-to-coast fashion with Gerry Longo in what marked his third start back since a slight vacation. Longo owns and trains and Nick Roland will drive the Majestic Son gelding this weekend. Its a Horse packs a big punch in the stretch and deserves plenty of respect for owner Ray Alan Miller, trainer Marco Rios and pilot Dean Magee. His most recent victory came in the Joe Lighthill Trot on December 13 over a sloppy track. Dougs Hobby Horse, Majestic Lady Jo, Windsun Galaxie and Big Hero complete the field. Veteran Mandeville back in the spotlight After a couple of runner-up finishes following some time off, Mandeville returned to his winning ways last week in the Open Trot. With his owner/trainer Gerry Longo in the sulky, Mandeville went right to the top, withstood a strong challenge from Pridecrest turning for home and went on to a length victory over the sloppy track. He will be guided by Nick Roland for this weekend's assignment. It was the 24th lifetime tally for the Majestic Son gelding and pushed his career earnings over $226,000. He set his 1:54 2/5 lifetime mark last season at Saratoga. "I bought him in Kentucky late last year after he won back-to-back Opens at that new track," Longo explained. "When I first got him, his feet were in pretty bad shape and he was racing with glue-on shoes. Between myself, the blacksmith Louie and my groom Oscar, we did lots of work with him and his foot finally grew out." In addition to Its a Horse, who was runner-up in last week's Open, Mandeville will have to deal with Pridecrest. That one peeled off three straight victories at this level going into last week's tour, where he left from the challenging No. 10 post and did his work in first-over fashion. By Mark Ratzky, publicity - Cal Expo Harness

Bunkerhill Bill and China King, winners of their respective elimination divisions last week, head the cast for Saturday night's harness racing featured $8,700 Shelly Goudreau Final. First post for the Watch and Wager LLC 12-race program is 6:10 p.m. Bunkerhill Bill looks like the Goudreau favorite after posting a coast-to-coast decision last weekend in a snappy 1:53 2/5. The 9-year-old son of Veracious Hanover is owned by Haness, Haness and Reider with George Reider the conditioner and Dean Magee back at the controls. After facing tougher competition in his first two starts of 2020, Bunkerhill Bill was dispatched as the 7-5 choice in last week's Goudreau elimination and made every pole a winning one, holding safe by a half-length over Mystery Dragon. He has the rail for this go-around. Mystery Dragon sat the pocket journey and was trying hard to end in a solid effort last week. The 6-year-old gelding is owned and trained by Richard Schneider with Nick Roland once again doing the honors. China King accounted for the other elimination last week and this classy veteran comes into the final with 36 wins, $341,000 in the bank and a 1:50 lifetime standard. Gary and Jennifer Sabot own, Jennifer trains and Luke Plano has the return assignment. Completing the field are Murder Mystery with Braxten Boyd; Burntisland Billy, Gerry Longo; Ethan Hanover for Jacob Fox; Gene Eugene, James Kennedy; and Jazzmanian Devil, who leaves from the outside slot with Mooney Svendsen guiding. Welcome USTA members; Race honors John Pawlak Cal Expo welcomes all United States Trotting Association members, who are here for the joint USTA/ California Harness Horsemen's Association meeting. The meeting will take place at 11:30 a.m. Sunday in the Cal Expo Clubhouse and all members are welcome with a free brunch being offered. *** Saturday night's co-feature is named for John Pawlak, the former USTA Director of Publicity who passed away on December 27 at the age of 71. Mr. Pawlak joined the USTA in 1985 as the director of publicity. For his work at the USTA, he was well known for both his writing and editing as well as his broadcasting. He retired in 2013. He was responsible for compiling and editing The Trotting & Pacing Guide, the definitive annual f The Trotting and Pacing Guide act book on North American harness racing and the historical USTA Directors book. With his television background, Mr. Pawlak was the face of the USTA and led the organization into the age of online video and served as the host of the USTA's popular "Eye on Harness Racing" series Mr. Pawlak was ever present at many harness racing events including the Little Brown Jug, the annual USTA Board of Directors meetings, district meetings and county fairs. He also was known world-wide for his work coordinating the biennial World Driving Championship and the World Trotting Conference. By Mark Ratzky, publicity - Cal Expo Harness  

With no winning tickets last Saturday night, there will be a carryover of $6,146 in Friday night's harness racing 20-cent Hi-Five with a $20,000-guaranteed gross pool. In addition, a reminder that both the 20-cent Pick 4 and 20-cent Pick 5 come with a reduced 16 percent takeout rate each night. On Saturdays there is a $30,000-guaranteed gross pool, with a $40,000 guarantee on Fridays. There are 12 races on tap Friday night under the Watch and Wager LLC banner with first post set for 6:10 p.m. The main event is the $8,100 Open Trot headed by Mandeville and Its a Horse. Mandeville is an 8-year-old son of Majestic Son who is owned, trained and driven by Gerry Longo. He comes into this assignment with 23 wins from his 120 lifetime appearances with $219,000 in the bank and a 1:54 2/5 standard. After encountering tough journeys in his previous three outings, including the Joe Lighthill Trot, Mandeville had smoother sailing in the most recent mile and one-half clash at the top rung as he prevailed by a length over favored Its A Horse, who was doing his work from the demanding No. 10 slot. Its A Horse is having an outstanding meet for owner Ray Alan Miller, trainer Marco Rios and pilot Dean Magee. He recorded a three-bagger between November 23 and December 13, including a convincing victory in the Lighthill and is always reliable for a strong finish. Horsemen remember Shelly Goudreau Saturday evening's Shelly Goudreau Pace is named for one of the most talented drivers to ever ply the trade. He passed away in a racing accident at Hollywood Park in 1982 at the age of 34. Steve Desomer drove with Goudreau during the six years that he raced in California and was competing with him in that fateful race at Hollywood Park. "I had the utmost respect for Shelly as both a great driver and a kind and personable man," Desomer said. "His brilliant career was cut way too short." Trainer George Reider will send out likely favorite Bunkerhill Bill in Saturday's headliner and recalls being impressed with Shelly Goudreau. "I was just a groom back then, but Shelly was a true gentleman and treated me as an equal. "He drove one horse I was taking care of by the name of Dalmead who was trained by Chip Lackey, and he beat the best horses on the grounds by open lengths." George also has another story to tell that still brings tears to his eyes all these years later. "The night before that terrible race, I had a horse racing named Kiwi Jane and I borrowed a piece of equipment from Joe Anderson called a jawbreaker, which goes through the bridle to help control the horse. "After the race, I gave it back to Joe. It turns out (trainer) Frank Ferrante borrowed the same bit the next night and used it for Reagan's Lad, which is the horse Shelly was driving. It broke and he fell off the back of the cart. It was so sad for everybody." By Mark Ratzky, publicity - Cal Expo Harness  

While most harness racing fans at Cal Expo were conceding the Dave Goldschmidt Free-for-All Pace to heavily-favored Allmyx'sliventexas, apparently somebody forget to tell King Of The Crop. Sent off at 8-1 in that contest two weeks ago, the soon-to-be 9-year-old son of Little Steven stalked the 1-5 choice and gamely got the job done for owners Don and Barbara Arnstine and Steve Chambers, trainer Kathy Plested and pilot Steve Wiseman. "We were thrilled with King and his brave win," said Barbara Arnstine. "He's pretty special to us because he was so darn hard to get. "We've been following him ever since Wayne Short entered him in claimers, and when he finally got to the tracks in Pennsylvania and New York where we could make a claim, we kept losing the shake. "We tried three times, and each time we lost him to someone else. Then the next week he would be claimed for a higher price. By the time we got him at his highest price, we were the only ones left. If you would have seen him got off the truck after being in five different barns in two months, you would be wondering if we were crazy or just obsessed." Following a needed race here on November 30, King Of The Crop was ready to rock and roll in the Goldschmidt while recording his 28th lifetime score and pushing his career bankroll to the $207,000 mark. "After a couple of weeks with Kathy and Steve, you would have seen what we saw," Barbara noted. "A fine, big-hearted Cal-bred who needed to come home. And he thanks us every time he races." Open Pace gets the marquee treatment Allmyx'sliventexas, who had his local winning snapped in the Dave Goldschmidt Pace two weeks ago; and King Of The Crop, who provided the upset, get another chance to settle the score in Friday night's $7,200 Open Pace. There will be 12 races presented by Watch and Wager LLC with first post set for 6:10 p.m.. The program will also feature the Robert Gordon Prep for pacers. Allymx'sliventexas is a soon-to-be 7-year-old son of Hi Ho Silverheel's who is owned and was bred by Wayne and Rod Knittel, takes his lessons from Bob Johnson and will have Mooney Svendsen at the controls. A winner of 34 of 111 starts, the bay performer went over the $200,000 mark with his most recent appearance and sports a 1:50 lifetime mark. After starting the meet with three straight Open victories, Allymx'sliventexas was dispatched as the 1-5 favorite in the December 14 Dave Goldschmidt, but was unable to contain King Of The Crop when that rival came calling in the lane and was beaten a half-length over the track labelled good. King Of The Crop is an 8-year-old Little Steven offspring who carries the banner of Don and Barbara Arnstine and Steve Chambers with Kathy Plested conditioning and Steve Wiseman handling the lines. Sent off at 8-1 in the Goldschmidt, King Of The Crop tracked the favorite to the drive and then dug in gamely to pull off the upset. It was the 28th lifetime tally for the hard-hitting pacer and pushed his bank account to $207,000 mark with a 1:50 4/5 career standard. Taking on this pair are Bettor In The Bank, Part Time, Almost Cut My Hair, Senga Nitro, Marced Magic and Some Playa. By Mark Ratzky, publicity - Cal Expo Harness

Allmyx'sliventexas, who has rattled off three straight impressive harness racing victories to kick off this meet, looks to keep the streak going as the heavy favorite in Saturday night's $10,000 Dave Goldschmidt Free-for-All Pace at Cal Expo. The Goldschmidt will go as the sixth event on a 12-race card presented by Watch and Wager LLC and things get underway at 6:10 p.m. Allmyx'sliventexas is a 6-year-old son of Hi Ho Silverheel's out of the Distinguishedbaron mare Annie Get Your Gun who is owned and was bred by Wayne and Rod Knittel, takes his lessons from Bob Johnson and will once again have Mooney Svendsen in the sulky. The hard-hitting bay performer has reached the $200,000 mark in career earnings and recorded his lifetime mark of 1:50 last season over the seven-eighths Hoosier Park oval. After leaving from the assigned No. 10 post in last week's Open Pace, Allmyx'sliventexas will do his work from the No. 4 slot in the field of six, Sent off the 1-2 choice last week despite the handicap, Svendsen took an early tuck with the Knittel colorbearer before brushing to command before the half over the sloppy going. The issue was never in doubt thereafter, as Allmyx'sliventexas came home with two and three-quarter lengths to spare. Bestinthebusiness was runner-up in that affair and will leave from just inside his main rival on Saturday. The son of Another Mile carries the banner of Brett Boyd Racing Inc. with Edward Hernandez the conditioner and Braxton Boyd returning in the sulky. Completing the Goldschmidt field, from the rail out: Almost Cut My Hair with Luke Plano at the controls; Bettor in the Bank, James Kennedy; King of the Crop, to be handled by Steve Wiseman; and Part Time, who leaves from the outside with Dean Magee guiding. Low takeout wagers offer true value There are two reduced-takeout wagers offered here each night - the 20-cent Pick 5 and 20-cent Pick 4 - and you need only look back to last Saturday night's program to see the added value. The Pick 5 is offered on the first five races and despite the streaking Allymx'sliventexas coming through as the 1-2 choice in the Open Pace, the sequence returned $970 for each 20-cent investment. Sandwiching Allymx'sliventexas were the early daily double of Mystic Wonder ($13.80) and Windsun Galaxie ($19.60), followed in the fourth race by Lickcreek Speedway ($5.40) and Vicious Alocious ($13). As far as last Saturday's Pick 4 was concerned, the fireworks came early when That's How It Goes upset the Funicello/Holt Final at 20-1 with James Kennedy doing the honors for owner/trainer Richard Schneider over the sloppy track. Things settled down in the final three legs with 2-1 Al's Brief capturing the Alan Horowitz elimination; Cenelta Dragon clicking as the 6-5 favorite and Beamer N Bud rounded out the sequence with an $8.60 payoff. When the smoke cleared, each 20-cent ticket returned $593 to the correct prognosticators. Be sure to check out Saturday's 20-cent Pick 5, which kicks off the card, and the 20-cent Pick 4, the latter being offered with a $30,000-guaranteed gross pool. By Mark Ratzky, for Cal Expo Harness

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