Day At The Track

California Sire Stakes back at Cal Expo

03:44 AM 17 Apr 2021 NZST
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Kirk Breed, harness racing
The late Kirk Breed
CHRB Photo

The $10,000 Kirk Breed Pace featuring a very contentious cast of harness racing pacing fillies and mares and a pair of California Sire Stakes for the distaff set highlight Saturday evening's Cal Expo action.

Watch and Wager LLC will present 12 races and things will get started at 5:54 p.m. The Kirk Breed will go as the eighth race, the $15,000 California Sire Stakes for the sophomore fillies is set as the third event and the $7,000 Sire Stakes for the 4-year-old mares goes as the sixth contest.

Delightfully Wild, a 9-1 upsetter in last week's Bill Vallandingham Memorial, looks to add to her strong resume at what figures to be shorter odds in the Kirk Breed as she leaves from the rail slot in a field of seven.

Delightfully Wild is an 8-year-old daughter of Bettor's Delight who goes about her business for Richard Morita and David Yamda with Jessie Pacheco the conditioner and Mooney Svendsen back at the controls.

She comes into this assignment with 40 wins from her 154 trips to the post, sporting a $217,000 bank account and a 1:51 1/5 mark that was established three years ago at Pocono Downs.

The bay miss has captured two of her last appearances at the Open level, clicking at 7-1 back on March 21 and then riding the rail with Svendsen for $21 score in last week's clash at the head of the distaff pacing ranks.

Taking her on this weekend are Deja Vroom, Rockin With Lou, Roaring Home, Alwaysalittlemore, Marys Pretty Girl and Velocity McSweets.

Looking at the Sire Stakes, Doubleontherocks and Rockin The Dragon loom large in the 3-year-old event, while Prom Queen and Winihavetime figure to get most of the attention in the race for the 4-year-olds.

Jesse Pacheco barn finishing with a rush

After getting off to a bit of a slow start, the Jessie Pacheco barn has been making a steady stream of visits to the winner's circle here at Cal Expo, moving up to a solid third in the trainer standings with 38 victories as four programs are left at the session.

Jessie will try to add to his total in Saturday night's Kirk Breed Pace with Richard Morita and David Yamada's hard-knocking mare Delightfully Wild. She is fresh from a 9-1 upset over the top distaffers on the grounds thanks to a rail-skimming drive from Mooney Svendsen.

"We gave our horses some time prior to the start of the meet, so they weren't really getting up to their best races until a couple of months into it," the conditioner explained.

Gordie Graham and Rick Bertrand are atop the training leaderboard with 44 and 42 wins, respectively, while Nick Roland has a four-length head over Jake Cutting in the driver's race with Luke Plano a clear third among the pilots.

More about Kirk Breed

Getting back to the Kirk Breed Pace, the race is named for the man who served as executive director of the California Horse Racing Board from 2008 until his death at the age of 73 in 2013.

Mr. Breed was appointed as general manager at Cal Expo during the first term of Gov. Jerry Brown in 1979 and was credited with turning around the event's financial fortune during lean times.

He later became a lobbyist on behalf of the racing industry and also served for eight years on the Cal Expo board of directors. The Oklahoma native loved horses and worked tirelessly to reduce equine fatalities and improve track safety for horses, jockeys and drivers.

by Mark Ratzky, for Cal Expo Harness

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