Day At The Track

Stablemates to battle in series finale

11:00 AM 22 Feb 2020 NZDT
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Stablemates Diamonds Are Trump and Flash Me Baby, both impressive winners last weekend, head the cast in Saturday night's $10,200 Gary Budahn Final for pacing fillies and mares. First post for the 11-race harness racing card at Cal Expo is 6:10 p.m.

The feature is named for Dr. Gary Budahn, a mainstay of California harness racing for more than 30 years, who passed away in 2009.

Dr. Budahn served on the Board of Directors of the California Harness Horsemen's Association for more than 12 years, including three terms as CHHA President. He was a strong voice for California harness racing and was always there for the horsemen, helping them any way he could.

Diamonds Are Trump posted a super win in the first of two Budahn elimination heats last week, brushing to command at the half for Luke Plano and taking complete control from that point in a lifetime-best 1:54 2/5 tour.

The 4-year-old mare carries the banner of Set The Pace Racing LLC and is one of five Nick Roland trainees in the cast. She will be gunning for her fourth straight snapshot.

Flash Me Baby finished strongly to account for the other division last week with James Kennedy at the control and gives the barn another strong look at the outcome Rick Hoffman and Larry Mather are the owners.

Completing the field are the Roland-trained trio of Bertha Vanation, Red N Hotallover and Lakota Law; the Richard Schneider-trained Thats How It Goes; Tabbat McRey from the Rene Goulet shedrow; the George Reider-conditioned Brooklyn Moonshine; and Rue Hanover for Chip Lackey.

Marced Magic, Magee teaming up nicely

While he had to settle for a dead-heat for fourth in last week's Open Pace, go back a race and there is a very game conditioned score by Marced Magic.

Considering the fact that Marced Magic and pilot Dave Magee did their work from the outside post in the field of nine that night, were used for early position and then had to come first-over to get the job done, that was a very impressive victory.

The 6-year-old pacer is owned and trained by Robin Clements and returned 6-1 to those who had faith that the son of Marced Card could record his first win of the year while leaving from the marooned post in a contentious line-up.

If you want to see a textbook definition of "grinding out a win", just watch a replay of that February 7 contest and see this guy refuse to lose while battling an equally-game favorite in Coz And Effect.

"This is a very easy horse to drive, and what I really like about him is that he gives his all," said Magee. "When you think he's done, he digs in even more, and that's all heart. This is one tough horse."

The victory was the 27th from 108 lifetime trips to the post for Marced Magic, who established a new lifetime standard of 1:53 1/5 with this tally and pushed his career bank account over the $162,000 mark in the process.

By Mark Ratzky, for Cal Expo Harness

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