Day At The Track

Double the pleasure for Jessie Pacheco

08:00 AM 02 Feb 2018 NZDT
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Cal Expo, Harness Racing
Cal Expo

Harness racing trainer Jessie Pacheco had a night to remember at Cal Expo last Saturday, as he sent out the winners of the Lonnie Beck Final and the Open Pace, with those horses returning $55 and $28, respectively.

Cantholdmebackmack got the ball rolling in the Beck Final with William Hernandez at the controls. He looped the field to be up by a half-length in a 1:53 1/5 tour of the Cal Expo oval.

A couple of hours later, the Pacheco-trained I'm An Athlete was posing for pictures after his upset score in the Open Pace with James Kennedy at the helm, igniting when it counted to win going away by a length and a half in a 1:52 3/5 mile.

Cantholdmebackmack is owned and trained by Pacheco and was returning to the sharp form that saw him capturing an opening leg of the Shelly Goudreau earlier in the meet, while I'm An Athlete has been a major player around these parts for several years while carrying the banner of Ronald Rettig-Zucchi.

Hernandez, by the way, added another lighting up of the toteboard a bit later in the evening when he posted a $52 score with Lucky Jewel in a conditioned affair for trainer Junior Wilkinson.

That kind of thing will definitely make you the delight of the longshot players.

***

The guaranteed gross pool for the 20-cent Pick 4 has now been raised to $40,000. Both the Pick 4 and the 50-cent Pick 5 here at Cal Expo offer a reduced 16 percent takeout rate.

I'm An Athlete seeks Open Pace encore

I'm An Athlete, fresh from an upset at the head of the class, looks for a repeat mile in Saturday night's featured $6,000 Open Pace.

A 12-race program is on tap under the Watch and Wager LLC banner with first post set for 6:10 p.m. The main event will go as the third event on the evening.

I'm An Athlete is an 8-year-old son of Art Major out of the Cam's Card Shark mare Female Champs who races for Ronand Rettig-Zucchi, is conditioned by Jessie Pacheco and will be handled by James Kennedy.

In last week's top dance while leaving from the demanding outside post in the field of nine, the veteran left into a mid-pack spot, tracked the swift fractions to the stretch and came home smartly to seal the deal by a length and a half in a 1:52 3/5 performance.

Completing the exacta in that affair behind the 13-1 I'm An Athlete was the 15-1 Almost Cut My Hair. This 4-year-old goes about his business for owner Hank Wieseneck, trainer Bob Johnson and driver Nick Roland and has posed for snapshots following two of his last five outings.

Last of the nine in the early stages of last week's top dance which saw blazing fractions of :26, 55 1/5 and 1:24, Almost Cut My Hair put in a strong late move to be up the place spot.

Rounding out the cast are Ragin's Flight with Steve Wiseman; Cantholdbackthemack with William Hernandez; Eastender for Luke Plano; and Jazzmanian Devil, who will have the services of Mooney Svendsen.

By Mark Ratzky, publicity - Cal Expo Harness

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