Day At The Track

Cal Expo Sire Stakes Sunday

06:08 AM 21 Feb 2021 NZDT
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The first California Sire Stakes of the season for the 3-year-old colt and gelding harness racing pacers is set for Sunday evening at Cal Expo Harness, with Lodi Phillip and Arnie's Army figuring to get plenty of attention in the $7,500 contest.

Watch and Wager LLC will present a 12-race card and things get underway at 4:50 p.m. The Sire Stakes is scheduled as the fourth contest on the evening.

Lodi Phillip is a homebred son of Another Mile who races for Mary Harris and Pierre Girard, is conditioned by Girard and will have the services of Mooney Svendsen this weekend.

The dark-hued performer rattled off back-to-back scores on January 30 and February, recording a lifetime-best 1:56 clocking in the latter score. He will do his work from the middle of the five-horse cast.

Arnie's Army races for his breeders Wayne and Rod Knittel with the Bob Johnson the conditioner and Luke Plano at the helm. The son of Hi Ho Silverheel's should be a nice fit with this group.

Taking on this pair are the Quentin Schneider-trained pair of Believe in Dragons with Cordarius Stewart and Chase the Gold with Nick Roland, while the Ariel Alvarez-trained Im A Magic Man completes the line-up with Jacob Cutting in the sulky.

A reminder 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. The latter features a $25,000-guaranteed gross pool.

Ashlee Sluggett enjoying the ride

Relentless Dancer has made a trio of appearances in the charmed enclosure for owner/trainer Ashlee Sluggett at this meet, showing an affinity for the oval.

"Having your horse go out there and do well makes all the hard work worth it," Sluggett related recently.

The 31-year-old native of Alberta, Canada, has been around horses most of her life, but it wasn't until she was 19 that she got involved with the trotters and pacers. "I heard they were building a new racetrack near where I lived and I went to check it out," she explained.

"It turned out to be Alberta Downs. That's when I met Jamie Grey and went to work with him, learning about harness racing from the ground up."

Ashlee then spent nine years with Ryan Grundy, including a couple of stints here at Cal Expo. She also worked with Kim and Quentin Schneider last season before venturing to New York to be part of the Blake MacIntosh barn.

"That's when I decided it was time to take out my license and I came back to California with six horses," she related. "The plan has always been to go back to New York after this meet ends and rejoin Blake's barn."

A reminder there are three wagers offered here 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, with the latter sporting a $25,000-guaranteed gross pool.

By Mark Ratzky, for Cal Expo Harness









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