Day At The Track

Stakes galore at Cal Expo

04:26 AM 04 Apr 2021 NZST
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California Sire Stakes.JPG

Doubleontherocks and Its Pointless, leaders in their respective harness racing divisions, look to add to their impressive resumes in a pair of California Sire Stakes that headline the Sunday night menu at Cal Expo.

There will be 12 races presented under the Watch and Wager LLC banner and the program will get underway at 4:55 p.m. The Sire Stakes for the 4-year-old colts and geldings will be decided as a non-betting race prior to the regular card.

Doubleontherocks has accounted for two of three Sire Stakes held for the sophomore pacing fillies with Rockin The Dragon prevailing in the other. The former is a Lettherockbegin homebred who carries the banner of Nikki Hudson with husband Luke Plano reining and training, while Rock The Dragon is owned and was bred by Mark Anderson with Gordie Graham training and will once again have Jake Cutting doing the honors.

Doubleontherocks has been able to work out pocket journeys in her February 20 and March 20 stakes scores, on both occasions coming away at the end from Rockin The Dragon.

In the March 6 stakes gathering, it was Rockin The Dragon and Cutting who got the two-hole trip, and she streaked away in the late stages to prevail over her arch-rival by four lengths that night.

Rounding out the cast are a pair of Bob Johnson trainees in Cookiesncream and Shewentthataway and the Marcos Rios-conditioned Witch Hunter.

Meanwhile, Its Pointless has been untouchable when doing his work versus his 4-year-old peers in the two big-money get-togethers for that group. The Kent's On Nuke homebred races for Mark Anderson, hails from the Gordie Graham barn and will again have Tony Kerwood giving directions.

Taking him on are White Knuckle Ride, Good To Be Glad and Itsonlymakebelieve.

Surprisingly Sweet, Part Time on to new pastures

Owner Scott Ehrlich has given us an update on two of his popular performers, as Surprisingly Sweet is about to have her first baby and Part Time has retired to Minnesota to live out his days in comfort.

Surprisingly Sweet, who captured some big races over this layout, is due to drop a filly or colt by Wind Me Up any day now, and Scott has names for either scenario. "If it's a filly, I have already had her name approved by the USTA and it would be Secreharriet, named after my mom.

"If it turns out to be a boy, he'll be named Farrington after my harness hero and mentor Bob Farrington."

As for Part Time, who is best remembered around these parts for capturing an Open Pace over current kingpin Allmyx'sliventexas, he had a 2020 that would make for a great soap opera storyline.

"It started last July at Running Aces when he overheated badly during a race," Ehrlich recalled. "And he was pulled up near the wire while wanting to fall down. Thanks to the combined heroics of outrider Tyler Wiseman, his driver Mooney Svendsen, the starter John Betts and his wife Sandy, they were able to get him safely to the paddock."

It was just 10 days later that Part Time was unable to swallow his feed and was having trouble breathing, which sent him to the clinic and an emergency tracheotomy. Part Time was eventually returned to California to prepare for this Cal Expo meet, but was unable to recreate his previous success here.

"After talking to his trainer Kathie Plested, as well as his drivers Gerry Longo and Mooney Svendsen who both said he had no kick and East Coast vet John Kokinos," Ehrich explained. "I made the decision to retire him to his forever home in Minnesota."

Part Time was claimed for $4,000 at Pompano Park and banked nearly $45,000 for Ehrlich while going through his paces for Plested and the late Steve Wiseman. "He deserves the retirement," Scott added.

By Mark Ratzky, for Cal Expo Harness

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