Day At The Track

Mandeville making some noise

09:08 AM 18 Jan 2020 NZDT
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Mandeville, harness racing
Mandeville in prior win
Melissa Simser-Iovino photo

When the Open Trotters last got together a couple of weeks ago for a mile and one-half tour, it was Mandeville and veteran Gerry Longo who got the cheese at 9-1 that evening at Cal Expo Harness..

It was the first local score for the 8-year-old Mandeville after making some menacing noises at the head of the class, including a tough trip in the Joe Lighthill Trot in his previous outing.

"I bought him in Kentucky late last year after he won back-to-back Opens at that new track," Longo related.

"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 on him and his foot finally grew out."

In that last Open here on January 3, Mandeville made a brush to the lead midway and was then covered up by favored Its A Horse. Longo tracked that rival to the drive and then got the response he wanted when Mandeville motored by for the length decision.

"As far as the mile and a half goes, everybody is in the same boat so that wasn't really a factor," Gerry said. "This horse is coming around now and it looks like we might have some fun with him."

Saturday night's third race is named for longtime horseman and former racing official Jack Williams. Happy 90th birthday, Jack!

Contentious distaff Pace has the spotlight

A wide-open $6,200 Filly and Mare Open II Pace heads the Saturday night program with a full field of 10 set to face the starter.

Watch and Wager LLC will present 12 races with the action getting underway at 6:10 p.m.

There are several ways to go in the main event, with trainer Kathie Plested appearing to hold a strong hand with Dancingonthesand and Capitol Hill representing the shedrow.

The former is a long-fused daughter of A Rocknroll Dance who is owned by Alan Cooper and will have Mooney Svendsen doing the honors, while Capitol Hill is owned by the trainer and George McChrystal and has Steve Wiseman giving directions.

Dancingonthesand comes into this assignment with 14 wins from her 57 appearances and established her 1:53 mark over this track last season. She should be coming strong at the end and will appreciate getting away from Brighten Your Life, who has won three straight at the head of the distaff pacing class.

Capitol Hill has over $136,000 in her bank account and a 1:53 2/5 standard as she eyes the 25th snapshot of her career. She should be able to drop into a good stalking position this weekend and is always dangerous with her best mile.

Taking on the Plested duo are Shock N Awe, Virgin Eyes, Royal Mistress, Exsqueezeme, Brian's Magic Girl, Marilyn, Hi Fidelity and Alwaysalittlemore.

By Mark Ratzky, for Cal Expo Harness

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