Day At The Track

Cal Expo hosts California Sire Stakes

05:12 AM 21 Mar 2021 NZDT
Comment (...) Tweet Share Email Print
California Sire Stakes.JPG

A $15,000 California Sire Stakes for the 3-year-old harness racing pacing males and a $7,400 Open Trot featuring Mandeville, Pridecrest and Silverhill Volo will be front and center at Cal Expo Sunday evening.

There will be 13 races presented under the Watch and Wager LLC banner with first post set for 4:50 p.m.

Lodi Phillip looms large in the stakes clash. He is a homebred son of Another Mile who goes about his business for Mary Harris and Pierre Girard, is conditioned by Greig Watson and has Luke Plano at the controls from the middle of the seven-horse cast.

Sent off the even-money choice in the first stakes gathering for this group on February 21, he had serious traffic trouble along the rail through the stretch and lost his chance. With Plano guiding in the most recent big-money event two weeks ago, he went right to the front and made every pole a winner with a length and a half to spare at the wire.

Believe In Dragons had to be happy with a second-place finish that night after prevailing the first Sire Stakes with a game performance. He is a is a son of Custard The Dragon who races for Lorne Duffield and Rodney Hennessey, takes his lessons from Quentin Schneider and will once again have the services of Cordarius Stewart.

After getting a nice prep in a qualifier on February 14, Believe In Dragons made his seasonal debut a week later in the first stakes clash of the year for this group. He was dispatched as the 8-5 second choice while doing his work from the rail slot.

Stewart sat a chilly third with Believe In Dragons through the early stages, then came first-over to press the issue and dug in gamely through the drive to prevail by a head over a fast-closing Im A Magic Man.

The latter is a Mystician homebred who carries the banner of Richard Schneider, hails from the Ariel Alvarez barn and has Jake Cutting back in the sulky. He got going late from the middle of the track to just miss in his debut. Rounding out the field are Chase The Gold, Arnie's Army, Allthundadownunda and SD Watch Me Now.

Pancetta on the verge of a milestone

With his victory last weekend, the 12-year-old pacer Pancetta is just shy of reaching the $500,000 plateau, earned by winning 39 of his 175 starts with a 1:51 1/5 mark that was established at Pocono Downs.

"He's like the little engine that could," related Richard Morita, who co-owns Pancetta with longtime racing partner David Yamada. The veteran is conditioned by Jessie Pacheco and was guided by Luke Plano.

"If you look at him, he's so small you would never think he'd be the warrior racehorse he's been," Morita continued. "Dave and I bought him late in his 3-year-old year, hoping to have a nice horse and he's far exceeded our expectations."

Among Pancetta's accomplishments are a victory in the Sagamore Series at Yonkers as well as multiple Open victories over that half-mile New York oval.

"He's always been best on a small track because he can pace around the turns as fast as on the straights," David noted.

"The tough racing has taken a bit of a toll on him physically, but he has such a big heart. He keeps bouncing back because he loves the racing and we've really enjoyed the ride."

Yamada did note, however, that Pancetta's racing days may be coming to an end, with a new career on the horizon.

"We hope to be able to stand him as a stud in California, producing future Pancetta's to thrill the crowd. His sire No Pan Intended is a half-brother to Bettor's Delight, so we think he has a future in the breeding shed."

By Mark Ratzky, for Cal Expo Harness

Comment (...) Tweet Share Email Print

Read More News About...

Stallion Name

Next article: