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Swift Cougar is off to a great start at this Cal Expo meet for harness racing trainer Kennedy Lindsey, as the trotting mare has won two of her three starts, and would probably be three-for-three if not for an early miscue in her lone setback. A 4-year-old daughter of Armbro Tropicana, Swift Cougar carries the banner of Mary Harris and Stephen Grollnek and has been handled in each of her California starts by Mooney Svendsen. She romped home at 3-1 in her local debut, made a break at the start in her next try over a sloppy track at next asking and had to settle for second, then made amends back on firm going last weekend in coast-to-coast fashion as the 4-5 favorite. "I was impressed when I raced against her this summer in Illinois," Lindsey related when asked about the trotter. "I wanted to buy her, but she had been promised to the Amish, so I ended up buying her from them. "The first start here was strong, then she was a little fussy at the start in the second one over an off track, but she caught on after that one and went a big mile to get second. Her win the other night was awfully strong and Mooney says she drives like a Cadillac. "It's kind of funny, because when she trains she can be a real handful, but when it comes time to race it's a different story. I expect big things from her, and right now we're just working on keeping her quiet and working up the ladder. We've got our fingers crossed." Swift Cougar will get tested in class in her next assignment, suiting up in Friday night's Gary Budahn Prep, and it will be interesting to see if she can keep the momentum going. Gary Budahn Prep brings out full field A contentious field is set to line up for Friday night's Gary Budahn Prep with Talkin Tootsie, Big Baller and Swift Cougar among the major players. There will be 12 races on tap Friday with a first post of 5:55 p.m. and the main event goes as the sixth event on the evening. The co-feature is a $4,400 Open II event for pacing fillies and mares headed by Window Wiper. Talkin Tootsie is a 4-year-old daughter of Cantab Hall who is owned by the partnership of Garey, Wieseneck and Johnson with Bob Johnson the conditioner. She has prevailed in her five of her nine starts and looks to have a very bright future. Big Baller is a 10-year-old son of Panama Hanover out of the Rowdy Yankee mare Charming Spirit who races for the partnership of Siegel, Robinson, Thronson and Reider with George Reider the conditioner and co-owner David Siegel in the sulky. The veteran made his 2017 debut a winning one last weekend, as he got a perfect pocket journey under Siegel's direction and came home smartly for the length and three-quarters tally. The 1:57 1/5 final clocking shaved a full second and a fifth off his previous lifetime standard. Swift Cougar is a 4-year-old mare who has accounted for two of her three starts since relocating from Illinois for owners Mary Harris and Stephen Grollnek and trainer Kennedy Lindsey. She gets tested for class with this assignment. Completing the field are Delta Breezeoflodi, Drink At Last Call, Tour Guide, Hatfield and McCoy, Katie Mouse, Lodi Bank Robber and Franky Provolone. By Mark Ratzky, publicity - Cal Expo Harness

The featured event on the Tuesday night (Aug. 30) program of harness racing at Running Aces featured the $11,000 Mares Open Handicap Pace, and in the end it would come down to the two most accomplished mares in the field, separated by just a half-length at the wire in 1:54. Hare To Eternity (Nick Roland) stormed out of the gate from the outside 7 post and set the fractions of 27.1, 56.4 and 1:24.4 before pocket sitter Part Time Lady (Dean Magee) and closer Windsun T Bird (Jim Marino) began their attacks in the stretch drive, and when the dust cleared it would be Part Time Lady checking in first at the wire, over a hard-charging Windsun T Bird, with Hare To Eternity forced to settle for third in the exciting finish. The winner, a daughter of Jereme’s Jet and a Mooney Svendsen trainee now sports 7 wins in 24 starts on the season, and has bankrolled $39,575 this year for Owners Ron and Tammy Wells. The Angels Share ($4.80), a 3 year old filly by Four Starzz Shark paced to a new lifetime mark of 1:55.0 in just her 5th lifetime start, shaving nearly 3 full seconds off of her previous best (1:57.4) taken last time out. Driver Jim Marino eased her away fifth from post 5 before sending her in motion just before the quarter pole, and she cleared easily just past the 3/8 marker, and was never in doubt from there, charging home confidently in 28.3 to secure a 3¾ length tally in the $5,500 conditioned event for Trainer Sean Lancaster and owner Dr. James Findlay. Look Again Eda ($4.60) posted another ultra-impressive win this night with a new lifetime mark in a thrilling stretch battle with Dakota Jack (Mooney Svendsen), she held off that rival with a neck in front at the wire in 1:54.4 with Rick Magee in the bike for Trainer David Flinn and Owner Ira Bontreger. Tonight’s win, in a $5,500 conditioned pace, was the 6th win in 10 lifetime starts for the 3 year old filly who was un-raced at two. Majestic Lady Jo (Jim Marino) did not disappoint as the even-money favorite ($4.00) in a $3,600 conditioned trotting event tonight, with a dominating gate-to-wire romp by 4¼ lengths in 1:58.3 for Owner Amy Grunwald and Trainer Rick Bertrand. It was the 7th win of the season for the 5 year old mare by Abra, who set a new track record here back in July (1:56.0) and has bankrolled $27,210 this season. Driver Luke Plano picked up a Hat-Trick on the card, with Rick Magee and Gerald Longo both scoring doubles. The .50 cent Hi-5 wager in race 10, (which had gone unsolved in Sunday’s final race, and again in tonight’s 9th race produced a new record payout of $11,184.45 on the 8-4-5-3-2 combination, with the longest shot (16-1) on top. The next card of Live Harness Racing at running Aces goes to post at 7:00 pm CDT on Wednesday, August 31. The Night of Champions (and closing night) is this coming Saturday, September 3rd. By Darin Gagne, Running Aces Track Announcer

Sunday, July 3, 2016 COLUMBUS,MN - The Sunday night Harness Racing card at Running Aces featured the $11,000 Open Pace, and a talented field of six squared off in the top contest, Jazzmanian Devil with Moonie Svendsen in the bike was looking for his 4th straight open win, he got away from the gate 3rd and made a first-over bid past the three-quarter pole, and had a head of the stretch lead before being out-paced late by closers Buddys Hope with Luke Plano in the sulky and Gotta Dream Big with Nick Roland. Buddy's Hope was fastest to the wire, taking the winner's prize in the 1:53.2 mile, Gotta Dream Big was a half a length back in second, and Jazzmanian Devil held third. Buddy's Hope is owned by Jerome Bouvier and trained by Sean Lancaster. It was his 20th lifetime victory, He paid $20.80 at the windows, and the win tonight pushed his career purse tally to $121,668. The amazingly sharp 3 year old gelding Freedom Reigns, with Steve Wiseman in the sulky, extended his winning streak to 5 tonight, pacing in 1:54.4 and holding off a strong challenge from pocket-sitter Whatchastarinat (Gerald Longo). Wiseman sent his charge quickly from the gate from post 7 and found early opposition from FoxValleyRichRokr (Rick Magee) who also left sharply from the outside, Freedom Reigns cleared to the lead past the 3/8 pole after a contested 28.0 quarter, he then led the rest of the way posting 57.1 and 1:25.4 fractions. Whatchastarinat came charging from off the pace but was unable to get past the winner. Holla At Ur Boy (Dean Magee) was third. The Molgaard-Jensen owned and trained Freedom Reigns paid $2.80 as the hot favorite. Driver Luke Plano picked up a Hat-Trick for the second consecutive program, as he also scored with Chew Tobacco Spit ($13.80) in 1:59.2 for Trainer Robert Lems, and he piloted his own trainee Barbosa ($7.80) to victory in 1:56.1. Drivers Nick Roland and Steve Wiseman both posted driving doubles on the card as well. The next card of live Harness Racing at Running Aces Casino & Racetrack will go to post on Tuesday night, July 5th at 7:00 pm CDT.

The Sunday, June 12 nightcap race at Running Aces proved to be an amazing display of guts and determination for harness racxing winner Lil Orphan Elmer, who was sent off at just over 15-1 from post 6 in the 8 horse field. Driver Ryan Lems left alertly from the gate looking for a position for his 4 year old gelding by Always A Virgin, but there would be no spots along the pylons, and Elmer was parked-out 4th at the 28.2 quarter, within a neck of the leader past the 58.0 half, and was still applying heavy pressure to the front runner through a 28.1 third quarter (1:26.1) with horses stacking up 3-wide around him, before dropping back two lengths off the leader turning for home. Most horses on most days would then quietly throw in the towel off of this brutal trip, but after straightening away for the stretch drive, Elmer and Lems kicked it into another gear, and powered past pace-setter Go Places (Moonie Svendsen) to draw away by a full length at the wire, stopping the clock in 1:55.4. This was the third winning trip in 11 starts this year for Lil Orphan Elmer who is owned and trained by Robert Lems. He paid $33.20 to his supporters at the windows, after turning in the gutsiest effort seen by this race-caller in quite some time. The next card of live Harness Racing at Running Aces Casino & Racetrack will go to post on Tuesday night, June 14 at 7:00 pm CDT, with a carryover in the .50 cent Jackpot Pick-6 wager of $8,323.10. By Darin Gagne, Running Aces Track Announcer

The Sunday night harness racing feature at Running Aces was the $11,000 Open Handicap pace, and it was Jazzmanian Devil with Moonie Svendsen in the bike who charged out of the gate from post four to the early lead, before yielding to Bunkerhill Bill (Gerald Longo) past the ¼ in 27.3, then sitting the pocket through the middle half in 56. and 1:23.4, before charging by in the stretch to draw away by 2 lengths in 1:53.2, with Bunkerhill Bill second best, and Bettor In The Bank (Dean Magee) finishing 3rd. Jazzmanian Devil is owned by William Condon, of California, and trained by Steve Wiseman. This was the 8th win of the year for the 5 year old gelding by Sand Shooter, and it boosted his seasonal bankroll to $ 31,937. He paid his backers $11.40 at the windows. In the $7,000 Minnesota-sired 3 year old geldings Trot, it was The Winnin Dollar (by Sos Lunar Eclipse), who did the winning and paid $9.00, he is owned by Jesse Delong of Wisconsin, trained by Justin Anfinson, and was driven to the 1:59 lifetime mark by Nick Roland. The very nice 6 year old gelding Buddy's Hope (Luke Plano) picked up another impressive win, for Sean Lancaster and Jerome Bouvier, in a nice field of conditioned pacers, stopping the clock in 1:53.4 and paying $7.20 to win. Driver Nick Roland scored a hat-trick on the card, while Lemoyne (Moonie) Svendsen picked up a driving double and Rick Magee all scored doubles on the Saturday night card. The next card of live Harness Racing at Running Aces Casino & Racetrack will go to post on Tuesday night, June 7 at 7:00 pm CDT, with a carryover in the .50 cent Jackpot Pick-6 wager of $3,193.51 By Darin Gagne, Running Aces Track Announcer

Jazzmanian Devil is paying the price for his recent success, as he has been assigned the No. 10 post position for Sunday night's Open Pace. William Condon's 5-year-old has reached the charmed enclosure following four of his last five appearances here, with the one setback being the time he was asked to leave from this handicapped post on Aril 3. It should be noted, however, that it wasn't the outside slot that likely did him in that evening, but an equipment break. He has returned from that outing to rattle off a pair of impressive victories for trainer Steve Wiseman and regular driver Mooney Svendsen. Meanwhile, Kissed The Boys is one member of the cast in Sunday's co-featured Sire Stakes who won't mind if the skies open up and rain comes down before this contest. The Desomer Stables homebred has won both her starts on off tracks, including the March 13 Sire Stakes which found divisional leader My Little Susie having to settle for the exacta completion. Kissed The Boys has had her main problems when the gate rolls, making miscues and being interfered with in two of her last three trips to the post. She made a huge brush to the lead in last week's stakes gathering, but could not match the favorite when push came to shove in the stretch. "Once she gets away from there, she's pretty reliable," Steve noted. "She has a lot of tenacity, especially on an off track." My Little Susie, Kissed The Boys clash My Little Susie, who has earned five stakes trophies at the meet: and Kissed The Boys, who has one and was runner-up in the most recent big-money dance, have top billing in Sunday's $10,000 California Sire Stakes for 3-year-old trotters at Cal Expo. Ten races are on tap Sunday with first post set for 6:25 and the Sire Stakes will be the third event on the evening. This is the penultimate week of the meeting, with the curtain coming down next Sunday, May 8. My Little Susie is a daughter of Claudius Augustus out of Sue's Photo who campaigns for A Piece Of The Action LLC, is conditioned by Gene Vallandingham and will once again have the services of Chip Lackey. Overall, she has posed for pictures following nine of her 19 lifetime appearances and she established her mark of 1:57 2/5 when winning a Sire Stakes here on February 28, one of five such added-money contests she has captured at this stand. In last week's foray, she proved a punctual 3-5 favorite as she did the track-and-attack to perfection for Lackey, heading Kissed The Boys at midstretch and going on to a length and three-quarters decision while stopping the timer in 1:58 flat. Kissed The Boys is also a daughter of Claudius Augustus from Charlotte's Web who is owned and was bred by The Desomer Stables and will have Steve Desomer giving directions. Rounding out the field are Lodi Bank Robber with Luke Plano; Sixstringsandapick, Mooney Svendsen; CW Raisinette, Steve Wiseman; and Delta Breezeoflodi, Pierre Girard. By Mark Ratzky, for Cal Expo Harness

It was a good weekend for half-sisters Avila Beach and Moonstone Beach, as the former crushed a conditioned crew in impressive fashion while Moonstone Beach accounted for the first California Sire Stakes of the season for the harness racing 3-year-old pacing fillies. Both are Wayne and Rod Knittel-owned and bred offspring of the Beach Towel mare Bj's Beach Fire who are trained by Bob Johnson and handled by main man Mooney Svendsen. Avila Beach was involved in one of the closest finishes we're likely to see all meet in the first Sire Stakes for the 4-year-old pacing distaffers on February 5, missing by a nose while finishing third behind dead-heaters Smash and Speak English that evening. She came back with a dominating overnight score and the barn is eagerly awaiting the next stakes dance for a little revenge. "She had to take all the worst of it in that last stakes, coming first over against a couple of real nice ones, and she just kept on trying in what turned out to be a great race," Johnson said. "I thought her win the other night was super, because she came first up and then just drew off at the end." The 3-year-old Moonstone Beach looks to be following in her half-sister's footsteps, winning two of her three starts including a solid score in the first stakes dance for her division last weekend. "She's still green, but she's an awfully nice filly and I really like the way she's raced to this point. Her first couple of starts set her up perfectly for the first stakes and she came through." As far as comparing the two, Johnson noted that while Avila Beach is on the skinny and somewhat frail side, Moonstone Beach is completely different and a big, muscular filly. Both have the same great attitude, he added, which includes the will to get to the wire first. Marvin Shapiro, Open Pace headline marquee The $7,700 Marvin Shapiro Pace headed by Hi Ho Houdini and a $6,000 Open Pace featuring I'm An Athlete are the main events on Saturday night's Cal Expo program. First post for the 12-race card is 6:15 p.m. Marvin Shapiro was the son of L.K. Shapiro, who owned the Hall of Fame thoroughbred and California-bred champion Native Diver. He was the president of Western Harness Racing Inc. in the 1960s and spearheaded legislation that sanctioned night racing in California. He died in 2003 at the age of 83. Hi Ho Houdini should be tough in the Shapiro after picking up his first Sire Stakes trophy two weeks ago. The son of Hi Ho Silverheel's is owned by Lujuanna Lopez with Gordie Graham the conditioner and Luke Plano once again handling the lines. Meanwhile, the Open Pace will find I'm An Athlete eying his fourth straight trip to the winner's circle while doing his work from the assigned No. 10 post position. A 6-year-old son of Art Major out of the Cam's Card Shark mare Femal Champs, he is owned by Ronald Rettig-Zucchi and is reined and trained by James Kennedy. The hard-hitting performer kicked off his hat trick in the January 23 Open over a "good" track, as he did the track-and-attack to perfection for Kennedy and was driven out to a two-length score that evening. Wheeled back a week later at the head of the pacing class, he once again played the role of stalker and turned in a sparkling :26 1/5 final quarter to seal the deal and prevail by a length and a half as the 3-2 favorite. I'm An Athlete made his most recent outing two weeks ago in the Open and once again proved a punctual favorite. He sat next-to-last in that affair while some very snappy fractions were being rattled off, then swooped in the stretch and won going away by a length and a quarter while lowering his career standard to 1:51 2/5 in the process. By Mark Ratzky

Allmyx'sliveintexas, who has turned in three solid efforts at this Cal Expo meeting including a romping score in the first leg, gets top billing in Saturday night's Lonnie Beck Series final for the 3-year-old pacers, while a contentious field is set for the co-featured Open I Pace. There will be 13 races on tap with first post set for 6:15 p.m. The Lonnie Beck goes as the third event on the evening and the Open I Pace occupies the 12th-race spot on the card. A homebred son of Hi Ho Silverheel's out of the Distinguishedbaron mare Annie Get Your Gun, Allmyx'sliveintexas races for Wayne and Rod Knittel with Bob Johnson the conditioner and Mooney Svendsen once again in the sulky. The bay performer made his debut on January 10 and finished a promising second, then suited up for the first leg of the Lonnie Beck the following week and made 4-5 look like a gift with a five and a quarter length romp with a 1:57 1/5 tour of the oval. Allmyx'sliveintexas suited up in a conditioned event at most recent asking and finished third behind the 1-5 Hi Ho Houdini, earning a 1:56 individual clocking. He looms strictly the one to beat off those first three outings. Mattachusetts gives the Knittel/Johnson team another strong look at the outcome with Steve Wiseman at the controls. He put in a strong late move to earn his graduation papers last weekend and the son of Crisis Situation appears to be headed in the right direction. Completing the field the Junior Wilkinson-trained One More Chance with Chip Lackey handling the lines and Midnight Adventure, who hails from the Gordie Graham shedrow and will have James Kennedy in the sulky. Hi-Five carryover with 25K guarantee set A $7,839 Hi-Five carryover will add some intrigue to Saturday night's 10th race, courtesy of several double-digit performers filling out those spots in last Sunday evening's nitecap. The Hi-Five is a 20-cent wager that challenges players to pick the first five finishers across the line and Saturday night there will be a $25,000-guaranteed gross pool. That task proved to be too difficult a task for the players on Sunday when As Hot As Hall and Luke Plano stormed home to a $27 upset over the 29-1 I'm Confident, with 10-1, 6-1 and 15-1 shots right behind them. Looking at Saturday's 10th race, it's a Open III contest for pacing fillies and mares with a field of nine set to face starter Ken Fowler. Racing secretary Robin Schadt has basically divided the field into two parts, with four of the distaffers drawing for the inside slots, while the other five drew for the outside post positions. Steve Wiseman conditions two of the major players, as he will guide Part Time Lady from the No. 5 slot, while David Siegel has the assignment behind Surprisingly Sweet, who does her work from the No. 8 post. A reminder that there are two wagers offered here each night with a reduced 16 percent takeout rate. They are the 50-cent Pick 5, which this season features a 25 percent minor pool payout; and the 20-cent Pick 4, which comes with a $30,000-guaranteed gross pool on Saturdays and $25,000 guarantee on Sundays. ********** Next week will find the trotters and pacers in action on Friday and Saturday, February 5 and 6, with no live racing on Super Bowl Sunday, February 7. By Mark Ratzky    

Frankthebank hasnt been around forever, it just seems that way. Last week the pacing son of Sportsmaster celebrated his 14th birthday, which means this will be his final year of harness racing, and judging by his performance in the finale of the Shelly Goudreau Final he appears to be set to make the most of it. Frankthebank is owned by Richard and Marlene Thomas and conditioned by George Reider. They actually lost the veteran via the claim box on December 5, but reached right back in the next week and he returned to the cozy confines of the Reider barn. Frankthebanks bank account coming into 2015 was just shy of $455,000 and he established his career standard of 1:51 flat five years ago while turning in a 1:54 3/5 tally at Running Aces during the summer. He finished second in the Goudreau Prep while coming from last that evening to conclude last years campaign, then was sent off at nearly 12-1 in last weeks final. James Kennedy was aggressive from the gate and made the top, then Frankthebank was covered up by odds-on favorite Real Attitude on the backside. The Thomas colorbearer dug in gamely and once again finished second, beaten a half-length by the late heroics of Sheer Desire in that event. He may not reach the half-million dollar mark before hes forced to social security, but it certainly wont be for lack of trying. A reminder that there are two wagers that come with a reduced 16 percent takeout rate. They are the 50-cent Pick 5, which this season features a 25 percent minor pool payout; and the 20-cent Pick 4, which comes with a $30,000-guaranteed pool on Saturdays and $25,000-guaranteed on Sundays. Jazzmanian Devil eyes repeat in Open Pace Jazzmanian Devil and One And Only, first and second in last weeks battle at the head of the class, top the cast for Sunday nights featured $6,600 Open I Pace. A 12-race card is on tap at the Watch and Wager LLC meeting with first post set for 4:55 p.m. The headliner goes as the eighth event on the evening. Jazzmanian Devil is a 5-year-old Indiana-bred son of Sand Shooter who carries the banner of William Condon, hails from the Steve Wiseman shedrow and will once again have Mooney Svendsen giving directions. Sent off at 8-1 in last weeks clash at the top rung, Jazzmanian Devil sat in a tracking position for Svendsen until the stretch, ignited when the question was asked and prevailed by a head over One And Only while coming a snappy :26 3/5 final quarter. One And Only comes into Sundays assignment on the verge of going over the $200,000 earnings plateau for owners Richard Morita and David Yamada and trainer Lino Pacheco. He established his 1:51 2/5 mark two years ago and will have the services of James Kennedy this weekend. A winner of back-to-back races to close out his 2015 campaign, One And Only moved back up to the Open I level for his most recent outing and lost a heartbreaker after a game, first-over effort with Kennedy in the sulky. Rounding out the field are Bettors Promise, who will give trainer Pacheco two looks at the outcome; Surprisingly Sweet, a second entrant for Wiseman; the Luke Plano-conditioned Rikybrnthegaragdwn; Endeavors King from the Gene Vallandingham barn; and Stable Eyes for Tim Clevenger. By Mark Ratzky, Publicity Cal Expo Harness

There was a very popular exacta here last weekend, in more ways than one, when fan favorites Franky Provolone and Franks Best crossed the line in that order to the delight of the harness racing chalkplayers. Both are newly-turned 9-year-old sons of Armbro Scribe who are known for making more than share of winners circle appearances around these parts and as a result are very popular with the fans. Franky Provolone is the pride and joy of owner/trainer Robin Clements and with his victory under Luke Planos direction he pushed his career bank account to just shy of $193,000. He set his mark of 1:55 4/5 in 2014 during one of his Running Aces invasions. Meanhile, Franks Best is a multiple Sire Stakes hero who is owned, trained and was bred by Bob Johnson and had regular pilot Mooney Svendsen at the controls for his runner-up effort. He has $232,000 in the bank and a 1:56 2/5 career standard. The win by Franky Provolone was especially sweet for Clements, as the trotters heart went into atrilia fibrillation this summer in Minnesota, which in laymans terms means he had an erratic heartbeat. This was his fifth start on the comeback trail and his first trip to the winners circle, as Plano guided him to a perfect second-over trip behind Franks Best and then overpowered that rival for the length and a quarter score as the 1-2 favorite. As is usually the case, Franks Best was game in defeat as he did the heavy lifting in first-over for fashion under main man Svendsen and certainly didnt give up without a fight in what turned out be a very entertaining mile. Jessesjo gets top billing in featured Trot Jessesjo, who has been chasing home El Azteca and stablemate Flameon at the top level of late, gets some class relief and looms the one to beat in Sunday nights $4,400 Open III Trot. A 12-race card is on tap and things get underway at 4:55 p.m. The co-feature on the evening is a $4,400 Open III Pace that brings out the likes of BBs Harley, Quality Sport and Bettormeboy. Getting back to the Trot, Jessesjo is a 9-year-old son of Jailhouse Jesse who is owned by Mark Anderson, hails from the Gordie Graham barn and will as usual have the services of Chip Lackey while leaving from the outside post in the field of five. Jessesjo recorded back-to-back victories here on November 29 and December 5, on both occasions making every pole a winning one with Lackey at the controls. Since those scores, he has turned in a pair of third-place finishes behind El Azteca and Flameon at the Open I level and lost his chance on December 20 with an early break. Its Not Over was fourth in last weeks top dance for the trotting set and will also appreciate getting away from the two big guns of the division. The son of Panama Hanover carries the banner of trainer Bob Johnson and Ed Actkinson and Mooney Svendsen has the return assignment from the No. 3 slot. Completing the field are Northern Stormont for driver/trainer Steve Wiseman; Big Baller, who takes his lessons from George Reider and will be guided by David Siegel; and the Lino Pacheco-trained Windsun Galaxie, who leaves from the rail with James Kennedy in the sulky. In the co-featured Pace, BBs Harley, Bettormeboy and Quality Sport were assigned the outside slots and figure to play tough after knocking heads with tougher competition through much of this meeting. Im An Athlete, Willey Bite and Stable Eyes round out the cast. By Mark Ratzky, Publicity Cal Expo

Last Sunday evening was one to remember for both driver Eddie Hernandez and the Sal Wenceslao-trained Laissezmoipicoler, as they recorded the first wins of their respective careers in the eighth race at Cal Expo. The icing on the cake came 47 minutes later in the nightcap, when Hernandez guided Lasissezmoipicolers full brother Laissez Moi Passer to victory, once again posing for pictures with owner/breeders Sal and Georgette Wenceslao. The Wenceslao performers are by Disco Devil out of the Nirvana mare My Passing Fancy. Laissez Moi Passer, who set his 1:52 2/5 mark this summer at Vernon Downs, was winning for the seventh time this year, while his younger brother was getting the job done for the first time after 12 previous attempts. I was so happy for Eddie, said Sal, noting that he has also had success with Hernandez younger brother William. Ive known him for a lot of years and it was special to get two wins the other night with him driving. Wenceslao had high hopes for Laissezmoipicoler before he made his debut last year, especially in light of his older brother being an accomplished Sire Stakes hero. He admits its been a work in progress. Its just been a matter of his maturing and putting it all together, which hes starting to do, his mentor noted. I actually took him with me to New York over the summer and qualified him, but after looking at the competition I figured it would too much for him and it was better to let him grow a little. Laissezmoipicolor gave an indication of things to come when he set the pace in his November 22 outing, then kept the momentum going in last weeks diploma earner as he made every pole a winning one at 6-1 with two and a half-lengths back to his nearest competitor. Not to be outdone, his older brother countered in the finale. Main event lures At Last, Quality Sport At Last, who has used his patented late charge to win two of his last three appearances, gets the top billing in Saturday nights $6,000 Open I Handicap Pace. There will be 12 races on tap with a first post of 6:15 p.m. The headliner is set to go as the ninth on the evening with a field of seven facing starter Ken Fowler. There will be also be an Open Handicap Trot headed by Jessesjo to be decided as the third contest on the evening. At Last is a 9-year-old Florida-bred son of Western Ideal who comes into this assignment with $196,000 in his bank account and a 1:52 1/5 mark. He carries the banner of Mark Anderson, resides in the Gordie Graham barn and will be handled by Mooney Svendsen. The hard-hitting veteran recorded his first win of the meet when he flew home at 22-1 to captured a conditioned affair on November 14 with Chip Lackey at the controls. After missing by a neck to Im Real Good at next asking, he returned to his winning ways in the top dance for the pacing set last weekend. Sent off 3-1 with Svendsen in the sulky, At Last trained the field until the stretch, exploded when the question was asked in the stretch and won going away by a length and a quarter in a 1:54 1/5 tour. Quality Sport was his most immediate victim that evening and comes into the feature having posed for pictures following two of his last four outings. Ron and Tammy Wells own the son of Sportsmaster with Steve Wiseman reining and training. Like At Last, Quality Sports victories at this meeting have come from off the pace and at juicy 9-1 and 10-1 odds. He was first over in last weeks try, finished well but could not contain At Last when push came to shove while finishing clear of the rest in another solid mile. By Mark Ratzky, Publicity Cal Expo Harness

Hi Hos Little Rev has had a good meeting for owner Vanessa Gilliam, trainer Bob Johnson and regular pilot Mooney Svendsen, with a harness racing stakes trophy on the mantle and a sharp conditioned score to his credit last weekend at Cal Expo. The son of Hi Ho Silverheels will be suiting up in Saturday evenings California Sire Stakes, where he will take on a couple of familiar foes in Uringoodhands, who is the pro-tem leader of the 3-year-old male pacing division; and another tough customer answering to the name of Lodi Machette Man. Hi Hos Litle Rev recorded his stakes decision on January 31 in a 1:57 1/5 performance, then knocked three ticks off that career standard with a game decision last Saturday that should set him up nicely for the final stakes clash of the meet. In between, he has been picking up second and third-place checks behind the aforementioned Uringoodhands and Lodi Machette Man in the Sire Stakes while never missing a dance. Rev has had a great first season and I couldnt be any happier with his performance, Gilliam said. He has such a big heart and he truly loves job. My vet and trainer have made several comments about how easy hes been to work with since he arrived for training and I take this as a compliment, because I raised him since birth. Vanessa was asked about plans for Hi Hos Little Rev when this session concludes in two weeks. Im bringing him back to Second Wind Rescue, Inc. for the summer. Hes going to get a month off to be a horse with his buddies in the pasture. I plan on cross training him by ponying him in the riverbed and might start him under saddle if time permits. He needs to grow some and has definitely earned some much needed R and R. Uringoodhands eyes another Sire Stakes score Uringoodhands, who has posed for pictures following five of the seven added-money contests decided for the division at this meet, looks to add another in Saturday nights $10,000 California Sires Stakes for the 3-year-old pacing colts. A 10-race card is on tap under the Watch and Wager LLC banner with first post set for 6:55 p.m. In addition to the Sire Stakes, there is a $5,500 Distaff Open II Handicap Pace featuring Rag Doll and High Bet Hanover. Looking at the Sire Stakes, Uringoodhands is a homebred son of Kents On Nuke out of the Surmo Hanover mare Sparks Will Fly who is owned by Mark Anderson, hails from the Gordie Graham barn and will as usual have James Kennedy in the sulky. After having to settle for second behind upsetter Lodi Machette Man in the March 28 stakes clash, the Anderson colorbearer returned this perch at the head of the class in the most recent Sire Stakes. Kennedy guided him to a coast-to-coast tally in that affair, with the 1:55 clocking equaling his career standard. Lodi Machette Man was the runner-up in that last stakes after leaving into a pocket journey and was picking up his first trophy when he got the job done in that March 28 gathering. Mary Harris and Pierre Girard own the Little Steven homebred with Girard training and Luke Plano doing the honors. Hi Hos Little Rev is the other member of the cast with a Sire Stakes decision, getting that win back on January 31. The son of Hi Ho Silverheels races for Vanessa Gilliam with Bob Johnson the conditioner and Mooney Svendsen handling the lines. He has been third in the last two stakes get-togethers. Completing the field are Laisszemoipocler, who hails from the Sal Wenceslao stable and leaves from the cozy rail slot with Williams Hernandez guiding; and Shutgun Rider, who gives the Johnson barn a second look at the outcome and has Steve Wiseman at the controls. By Mark Ratzky, Publicity Cal Expo Harness

Last Sunday night at Cal Expo was a memorable one for Mooney Svendsen as he guided Zoeys Delight to her first Sire Stakes victory, then came back less than an hour later to pick up another stakes score with Avila Beach. Both fillies hail from the Bob Johnson barn and they were pulling off minor upsets in the process. Zoeys Delight was getting the advantage on powerful stablemate Sandys Song for the first time in the trotting event, while Wayne and Rod Knittels homebred Avila Beach prevailed in a very contentious pacing affair while returning $15 to her backers. Zoeys Delight has been coming around since adding Lasix, Svendsen related. She just hadnt been able to get close to Sandys Song and wasnt coming up with that pop. This time I noticed something different around the middle of the last turn, and when I wheeled her out she marched right by. Up until this point, it was Sandys Song who had hogged the spotlight by prevailing in the first six stakes dances for the division, but last weekend was Zoeys Delights turn to shine and earn the barn bragging rights. Two races later, Mooney was back in the winners circle following the Sire Stakes for the sophomore pacing distaffers with Avila Beach, who was winning for the second straight time and recording her fourth win from seven appearances for Team Knittel and Johnson. We lucked out and got the best possible trip and she really fired when I asked her, Svendsen noted. She showed she was starting to come around the previous week when she won for Steve (Wiseman), and shes obviously getting much better. There will be one more Sire Stakes opportunity for this group next week and then theyll have to wait until the fall for the California stakes action to start up again. As for Mooney, at the conclusion of this meet in three weeks hell be headed home to Minnesota for the trotting and pacing action at Running Aces. High Bet Hanover, Part Time Lady do battle High Bet Hanover, fresh from a sharp score last weekend; and Part Time Lady, who hits very hard at this level; get the marquee treatment in the featured Distaff Open on Sunday night at Cal Expo. A 10-race card is on tap with first post set for 5 p.m. and through the end of the Watch and Wager LLC meet purses have been raised 10 percent across the board. High Bet Hanover is a 7-year-old daughter of Bettors Delight out of the Artsplace mare Highland Dextar who is owned by Kc C Carvalho with Tim Brown the conditoner and Luke Plano once again at the helm. The bay mare was a sharp victress when she prevailed here on March 1, then had to settle for minor awards in her ensuing five appearances before returning to the charmed enclosure after last weeks Distaff Open in a powerful performance. Sent off as the 3-1 second choice in that affair, High Bet Hanover was reserved early by Plano, rallied with second-over cover to the stretch and ignited when it counted to hang a neck decision on favored Love Live Laugh while lowering her mark to 1:52 4/5 that night. Taking her on are Part Time Lady, who has the outside slot for Steve Wiseman; Rag Doll with Mooney Svendsen; Blue Gem for Harold Herrera; Country Jewel, who will have the services of David Siegel; and Ladys Art, who has the cozy rail post. ********** A reminder that there are four wagers offered each night that come with a reduced 16% takeout rate. They are the Jackpot 6 and Hi-5, which are both 10-cent minimum bets; the 50-cent Pick 5; and the 20-cent Pick 4, which has a $25,000-guaranteed pool as part of the USTA Strategic Wagering Program. By Mark Ratzky, Publicity Cal Expo Harness

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