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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

LARKSPUR, CALIF. (December 4, 2019)--The board of Webis, the Group specializing in pool wagering and the operators of Cal Expo, the Californian harness track, is pleased to announce that on Tuesday, Dec. 3, its US-based Advanced Deposit Wagering business, WatchandWager.com LLC ("WatchandWager") signed an extension with the Board of Directors of the California Exposition & State Fair in Sacramento to continue its Cal Expo Harness Racing operations through to May 1, 2025. The extension reflects the good standing that WatchandWager holds with the track landlord and the regulators in California. The renewal also includes a clause to extend the lease until 2030, should both parties wish to pursue it. The renewal is especially significant given the recent positive momentum behind the introduction of regulated sports betting in the Golden State. Recent initiatives to drive this forward include California racetracks as being eligible to be licensed for sports betting. WatchandWager has been operating live racing at Cal Expo since 2012. The 2019-2020 Cal Expo Harness Racing season began on Nov. 9, 2019, and will run 47 race dates on Fridays and Saturdays through to Saturday, April 25, 2020. Cal Expo is the only harness racing racetrack in California, and WatchandWager's operation of it is vital to supporting the breed and horsemen in the state. In addition to the racing, WatchandWager makes financial contributions to the California horse industry to promote breeding and racing in the state. Harness Racing at Cal Expo also enjoys an excellent health and safety record for many years, with the welfare of the horses and all participants of upmost importance to the Board and Management at Cal Expo. The initial performance of WatchandWager Cal Expo has been slightly above average through the first weekends of live racing this season. With a current horse population of 290 Standardbreds stabled on the backstretch, it is a strong sign of a successful season featuring fully filled races, competitive fields, and many wagering opportunities for harness racing fans. WatchandWager President and Webis CEO, Ed Comins, stated that the extension approval is a significant step for the long-term future of both Cal Expo and WatchandWager: "This approval is a significant milestone in WatchandWager's license presence in the US and the state of California," Comins said. "We believe that WatchandWager will continue to run safe and successful race meetings at Cal Expo, which is good for both harness racing fans and the horsemen of the state. At the same time, our commitment to Cal Expo and racing ensure that WatchandWager will remain a major stakeholder in the positive expansion of gambling in the state of California for many years to come." From WatchAndWager.com

Allmyx'sliventexas, fresh from a victory in the Lloyd Arnold Pace, looks to close out the Cal Expo harness racing meet with another score in the featured $7,000 Open Pace. Watch and Wager LLC will present 10 races to bring down the curtain with first post at 7:10 p.m. and the main event is scheduled as the seventh contest on the evening. A 6-year-old homebred son of Hi Ho Silverheel's out of the Distinguishedbaron mare Annie Get Your Gun, Allmyx'sliventexas carries the banner of Wayne and Rod Knittel, is conditioned by Bob Johnson and will as usual have Mooney Svendsen in the sulky. The hard-hitting performer comes into this assignment with 30 wins from his 87 lifetime trips to the post, a $168,00 bank account and a 1:50 flat mark that was established last year at Hoosier Park. Sent off the 1-5 favorite in last week's Arnold, Allmyx'sliventexas brushed to command on the backside, held a clear advantage to the drive and prevailed by a length and a half over I'm An Athlete. The latter will be looking to turn the tables for owner Ronald Rettig-Zucchi, trainer Jessie Pacheco and pilot Luke Plano. He recently went over the $200,000 earnings plateau with a 1:51 standard that was set over this track last year. Completing the field are King Of The Crop, Blue Star Maverick, Better In The Bank and Coz and Effect. Meet finale features mandatory payouts With this being closing night of the meet, there will be mandatory payouts for all wagers. A reminder that a reduced 16 percent takeout rate is offered on the 50-cent Pick 5, which covers the first five races of the evening; and the 20-cent Pick 4, which comes with a $40,000-guaranteed gross pool. Congratulations to Kathie Plested, who long ago locked up the training title here, while it looks like the driver's crown may come right down to the wire with James Kennedy holding a one-length advantage on Mooney Svendsen. Plested put the training race on ice long ago and comes into the final weekend of racing having made 77 trips to the charmed enclosure. While Gordie Graham is a distant second, it should be noted his 40 wins have come from just 138 starters. Kennedy had a clear advantage in the driver's race going into last weekend, but Svendsen is coming a fast last quarter and has really tightening things up going into the last two programs. *** Said Cal Expo general manager Chris Schick, "Despite some tough weather conditions, and the early on loss of a weekend due to smoke from the Paradise fire, the meet was very safe and successful. "The legislation enabling the International signal importation beginning January 1 has been a nice boost. Overnight purses were raised eight percent coming in to the meet, and we are happy to announce a further six percent increase beginning opening night of our next meet on November 9. "The industry has also come together on a monumental Stakes program beginning in 2021. This plan has been extremely well received by our owners, breeders and horseman. Our next big challenge is to make sure we have a seat at the table for the anticipated coming of sports wagering to California. We are excited about the industry's future." By Mark Ratzky, publicity - Cal Expo Harness

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

​Luke 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

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