Day At The Track
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Things we're going pretty much according to form in the first four harness races of last Saturday night's Pick 5, but then Hot Dandy came along and blew up the toteboard with a $95 score for owner Emilio Cisneros, trainer Rick Bertrand and pilot Mooney Svendsen. As a result, the 50-cent Pick 5 went from a modest payoff to a $1,850 return for every winning ticket. The Pick 5 is one of two value bets offered here at Cal Expo on a nightly basis, featuring a reduced 16 percent takeout rate. The 50-cent Pick 5 is conducted on the first five races, while the 20-cent Pick 4 comes attached with a $30,000-guaranteed pool on Fridays and $40,000 on Saturdays. To give you some idea of the value added, using the old takeout rate, last Saturday night's Hot Dandy-infused Pick 5 payout would have been $1,652 instead of $1,850, a difference of $198 per ticket. Getting to back to Hot Dandy, the 5-year-old son of Hot Pans was a little hard to find on paper in the conditioned pacing event, having just a show finish from his half-dozen trips to the post on the year while racing at or about this same level. He turned things around nicely with a sweet stalking trip under Svendsen's guidance, getting up by a head over Cenalta Dragster for the initial snapshot of 2019.   Open Pace brings out solid line-up Bettor In The Bank has his sights on a hat trick in Friday evening's featured $7,000 Open Pace at Cal Expo as he faces a strong cast in the headliner. Watch and Wager LLC will present 11 races with things getting underway at 6:15 p.m. and the main event will go as fifth event on the program. There are also three California Sire Stakes going as non-betting events prior to the regular card. Bettor In The Bank is a 9-year-old son of Better Tuwin who races for Debra McCarthy, is conditioned by Gordie Graham and will once again have James Kennedy doing the honors. He has $230,000 in his account and a 1:51 3/5 mark that was set her last year. The dark-hued performer comes into this assignment have landed in the charmed enclosure following seven of his 12 trips to the post on the season, including back-to-back scores at the head of the class. In both of those tallies, Kennedy has kept Bettor In The Bank in reserve through the early stages, then flew home in the late stages to prevail by three-quarters of a length and a head, respectively. After rattling off three straight wins between March 8 and 12, Icy Blue Scooter has had narrow misses in his last two tries, including last week's clash at this top rung where Bettor In The Bank nailed him on the money. A 6-year-old son of Blue Burner, Icy Blue Scooter is reined and trained by Nate Sobey, who also co-owns the hard-hitting pacer with Diane Bertrand. He recently went over the $100,000 earnings plateau with a 1:52 standard that was established over this layout.   By Mark Ratzky Cal Expo Harness

Columbus, MN - The $20,000 Running Aces featured trot was the top-billed event on the Saturday night (June 16) Minnesota Harness Racing card, and it would turn out to be another thrilling and record setting contest. Overall Track Record holder Banker Volo (Brian Detgen), flew off the gate from post 8 to establish command, with Silverlode following suit from post seven to drop into the pocket. Banker Volo posted a fast early quarter mile of 27.3, and led through the middle panels of 57.1 and 1:26.0 before facing a strong challenge from Ideal Jesse (James Yoder), with Silverlode saving ground along the pylons in third. As they straightened for home, Banker Volo was facing challenges from all sides, and could not hold off the late challengers, fastest of all was Silverlode (Lemoyne Svendsen) who utilized the passing lane to her advantage to sweep by the field to score by one length in 1:54.3 and establish an impressive new track record for aged trotting mares, and just one-fifth of a second off of the overall track trotting mark of 1:54.2 held by Banker Volo. Ideal Jesse completed a very impressive effort to get second, while Pridecrest (Steve Wiseman) rallied past Banker Volo for third money. Silverlode ($10.00) is a 9 year old mare by British Sterling, and out of the productive mare Charlotte's Web (Website). Tonight's impressive victory completed three wins in a row for Silverlode, and secured lifetime win number 39, while pushing her career purse earnings to $202,187. She is currently under lease to Emilio Cisneros, from the Desomer Stables, and she is trained by Richard Bertrand. One Lucky patron solved the 20 cent Pick 5 Jackpot wager to collect $8,382.04, and a pair of longshots in the final two races spurred a carryover in both the Pick-3 and Pick-4 wagers for Sunday night, June 17. Driver Steve Wiseman picked up three wins on the evening, while Lemoyne "Mooney" Svendsen completed a driving double. Tomorrow's program features a $7,500 Guaranteed Pool in the Late Pick-4 wager, and is headlined by the $20,000 Running Aces Featured Pace. by Darin Gagne', for Running Aces  

Columbus, MN - The saturday night Harness Racing program at Running Aces was highlighted by the $12,000 Open Handicap Trot with 7 very talented square-gaiters going in to battle for top honors.   Banker Volo was back in action, fresh off his victory in the top trot a week ago, and Pridecrest was on the scene to try once again for his first visit to the Aces winner's circle.   Pridecrest (Steve Wiseman) was sent off as the 4-5 choice from post 6. Silverlode (Mooney Svendsen) left from post five for the second consecutive week, after just-missing against Banker Volo at the wire in 1:55.1 last out.   Banker Volo (Nick Roland) had the outside 7 post assignment, but waisted no time in finding the front of the field, sprinting right to the lead with a 27.3 opening quarter and leading the charge through the middle fractions of 57.3 and 1:26.3 while facing strong opposition from Pridecrest during the third panel.   Banker Volo lost the lead to Pridecrest just at the cusp of the home-stretch, but Mooney Svendsen was angling to the outside with Silverlode after saving ground throughout. Silverlode exploded with trot in the lane, and easily powered by Pridecrest, who had to settle for second after a valiant effort.   Silverlode found the wire in 1:55.1 to etch her name in the Running Aces history books as the fastest Aged Trotting Mare in track history, shattering the previous mark of 1:56 (Majestic Lady Jo - 2016).   Her final margin of victory tonight was 1 1/2 lengths over Pridecrest, with longshot Ideal Jesse (James Yoder) home third at 17-1. Silverlode ($13.60) is a 9 year old by British Sterling, and she is out of the prolific mare Charlotte's Web. She was bred by Desomer Stables of California, and she is currently leased by Emilio Cisneros, and trained by Rick Bertrand.   This talented mare now has 37 lifetime wins and has earned $186,987.   Driver Lemoyne "Mooney" Svendsen had a banner night this evening, as the Minnesota Harness Racing Hall of Fame member piloted a total of 4 winners on the 8 race program.   Aside from his record-setting steer on Silverlode, Mooney also guided his own trainee My friskie Boy ($3.60) to a new lifetime mark in 1:53.3, Scramble Camp ($3.40) also to a new lifetime mark in 1:58.2 for trainer Jenni King, and One Small Favor ($5.40) in 1:57.1 for trainer Mark Anderson.   Running Aces offers Live Racing every Tuesday, Saturday and Sunday evening, visit our website at RunAces.com for a complete schedule of events, promotions and for complete handicapping resources.   By Darin Gagne', for Running Aces

COLUMBUS,MN - The 5 year old trotting mare, Majestic Lady Jo (by Abra), posted a new lifetime mark tonight at Running Aces Casino & Racetrack, shaving a full second off her previous best, but she also established a new track record in the process, besting the previous track mark set almost exactly 3 years ago by Shelby County and driver John Delong (1:56.1). In tonight's contest, a $8,000 conditioned event with a talented field, she was dismissed by the public at 11-1 on the board as the longest odds horse in the field, apparently somebody forgot to tell her that she had little chance to win, because She and Driver Steve Wiseman had a different opinion about her chances tonight. The duo stepped quickly off the gate from post 6, opening up a commanding early lead at the 28.4 quarter mile, and then widening their lead to more than 3 lengths past the half in 58.2, Majestic Lady Jo was still leading by nearly 5 lengths at the ¾ pole in 1:26.3, and she then coasted home in 29.2 to trip the tele-timer and nab the track record in 1:56 by two full lengths at the wire. It was a commanding performance for this very nice Trotting Mare, who is owned by Amy Grunwald and Trained by Rick Bertrand. It was her 6th winning effort this year, in her 28th start of the season, and it bumped her lifetime summary to an impressive 12-13-13 from 77 starts, and she now sports a career bankroll of $51,604. Flashy Lady (Tim Maier) was second, and French Eclipse (Gerald Longo) was third in the record mile. By Darin Gagne, for Running Aces  

The 6-year-old pacer Winonefordoug turned in a game mile last weekend with Steve Wiseman to pick up his first snapshot of the season for Doug Flores and Rick Bertrand, with Bertrand the conditioner. Flores and Bertrand also campaign the stakes-winning trotting mare Dougs Hobby Horse and have done very well with another trotter named Jailer, who has recorded some big miles over this layout. "My partner Doug is from California and retired a few years ago from a hobby shop that was owned by he and his wife Lorraine," related Bertrand. "He always enjoyed coming out to watch the races and some years ago asked if I wanted to go 50-50 on a horse. "Now we've had our share, including one that we had the chance to rename Winonefordoug, and then Dougs Hobby Horse, which he bred." Dougs Hobby Horse is scheduled to do battle in Saturday's second race, getting ready for next week's Sire Stakes, while Winonefordoug turns up in the seventh race. A reminder that there are two wagers offered here that come with a reduced 16 percent takeout rate. They are the 50-cent Pick 5, which features a 25 percent minor pool payout; and the 20-cent Pick 4, which comes with a $25,000-guaranteed gross pool on Saturdays and a $25,000 on Sundays. ******** This is the penultimate week of harness racing at the spring meeting, with the curtain coming down next week with cards on Saturday and Sunday, May 7 and 8. Allmyx'sliventexas, Moonstone Beach hold spotlight A pair of $10,000 California Sire Stakes for 3-year-old pacers have center stage Saturday at Cal Expo, with stablemates Allmyx'sliventexas and Moonstone Beach looking to continue a clean sweep of the big-money events for their respective divisions. An 11-race program is on tap under the banner of Watch and Wager LLC with first post set for 6:25 p.m. The Sire Stakes for the pacing colts goes as the third event on the evening, while the pacing filly stakes will be decided as a non-betting affair prior to the regular card. Allymx'sliventexas and Moonstone Beach are both owned and were bred by Wayne and Rod Knittle with Bob Johnson the conditioner and Mooney Svendsen in his usual position in the sulky. Allymx'sliventexas is a son of Hi Ho Silverheel's out of the Distinguishedbaron mare Annie Get Your Gun. He comes into this assignment having posed for pictures following seven of his 11 starts, including a leg of the Lonnie Beck Series and all six Sire Stake for the pacing males. In last week's gathering, the Knittel colorbearer was sent off as the 1-9 favorite and had little trouble making every pole a winning one, coming a :27 3/5 final quarter to seal the deal by two and three-quarter lengths. Completing the cast are Rock Of Ages with Mark Kennedy; One More Chance, Luke Plano; Mathachusetts, to be handled by Steve Wiseman; and Midnight Adventure, James Kennedy. Moonstone Beach is likewise putting her perfect Sire Stakes record on the line as the daughter of Crisis Situation shoots for her eighth win from nine appearances. Little Emma, who missed by a half-length to her last week; and Plain Awesome will round out the field. By Mark Ratzky, for Cal Expo Harness

Jailer comes into harness racing at Cal Expo this weekend riding a two-race winning streak for Rick Bertrand, who drives, trains and co-owns the 4-year-old trotter with Doug Flores. The sharp trotter suits up in Saturdays sixth race, where he has the outside slot in the field of six with Rick doing the honors in the conditioned affair. Bertrand and Flores are also represented in the fourth race with the aptly-named Winonefordoug, who also drew the outside post. Jailer has been a punctual favorite in his last two appearances, overcoming the demanding No 10 post on March 28 and returning last week to work out a pocket trip from the cozy rail slot en route to a length and a half decision. Doug and I purchased Jailer from Ken Booher and Chuck Taylor in Michigan, Bertrand related. Ken really liked him and said he was a really nice horse and probably wouldnt even sell him, but at this time in his life he only wants one horse and had just bought a 2-year-old. Doug Flores is a California native who retired a few years ago from a hobby shop he owned and operated with his wife Lorraine. He always enjoyed coming out to the races and eventually Rick asked him if he wanted to go 50-50 on a horse. By now, weve owned a couple dozen horses, Bertrand explained, including the pacer we decided to rename Winonefordoug. That said, I know Jailer has become one of Dougs favorites. ******* 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 Pick 5; and the 20-cent Pick 4, which has a $25,000-guaranteed pool as part of the USTA Strategic Wagering Program. Sire Stakes brings out talented sophomore pacers A $10,000 California Sire Stakes for the 3-year-old pacing colts featuring Uringoodhands, Lodi Machette Man and Hi Hos Little Rev gets the marquee treatment at Cal Expo Saturday night. A 12-race program is on tap under the Watch and Wager LLC banner with first post set for 6:10 p.m. The Sire Stakes occupies the 5th-race slot on the card. Uringoodhands has accounted for four of the six stakes races decided at the meet for this group and gets the top billing this weekend. The son of Kents On Nuke races for Mark Anderson, hails from the Gordie Graham barn and will once again have the services of James Kennedy. Uringoodhands won the first Sire Stakes for this group on January 17, just missed in the next one and then rattled off three straight big-money scores, including his March 14 romp where he set his mark of 1:55 flat. He had to settle for the runner-up prize in the most recent stakes dance two weeks ago behind upsetter Lodi Machette Man. The latter is a Little Steven offspring who iks owned by Mary Harris and Pierre Girard, takes his lessons from Girard and will have Luke Plano in the sulky. Plano was guiding the colt for the first time in that last stakes dance on March 28, gave him a perfect pocket trip and he responded with a length and three-quarters tally. He returned with another conditoned victory last weekend. Hi Hos Little Rev earned his stakes trophy on January 31, holding off Uringoodhands by a neck that night for the decision. Vanessa Gilliam owns, Bob Johnson trains and Mooney Svendsen will guide. Rounding out the field are Shotgun Rider, who gives the Johnson barn two looks at the outcome with Steve Wiseman in the sulky; Laissezmoipicoler with Williams Hernandez; and Sounion, who has the services of Tim Maier. By Mark Ratzky

After suffering through a tough trip in his previous mile, the trotter Jailer returned to his winning ways last week for driver/trainer Rick Bertrand and now has two tallies from four trips to the post since coming in from Hoosier Park. The son of Jailhouse Jesse is owned by Bertrand and Doug Flores and appears to have found a nice home in California. Last weeks mile saw him leaving sweetly into the pocket, an attack came past the half and at the wire he had two lengths on his nearest rival. Doug and I purchased Jailer from Ken Booher and Chuck Taylor in Michigan, Bertrand related. Ken really liked him and said he is a really nice horse and probably wouldn't even sell him, but at this time in his life he only wants one horse and they had just bought a 2-year-old. Well, Ken was right Hes a nice horse all the way around, in the barn or jogging and even driving him. My partner Doug is from California and retired a few years ago from a hobby shop that was owned by he and his wife Lorraine. Doug Flores always enjoyed coming out to watch the races at Cal Expo and it was some years ago that Rick asked him if he wanted to go 50-50 on a horse. By now weve owned a couple dozen horses, including one Doug had a chance to rename Winonefordoug Weve bred our mare C Miracle Mary, who has a Cal-bred 2-year-old and weanling and they also have Doug in their names. As for Jailer, he is set to start next in Sundays Dr. Gary Budahn Trot. I know this horse has become one of Dougs favorites, Bertrand added. Sire Stakes, Open Pace hold the spotlight King Of The Crop looks to add another trophy to his display case when he heads the cast in Saturday nights $10,000 California Sire Stakes for the newly-turned 4-year-old pacing males, while St Lads Lottto eyes his seventh straight victory in the co-featured Open Pace. There will be 11 races under the Watch and Wager LLC banner Saturday evening and the action gets underway at 6:40 p.m.. A reminder that the trotters and pacers are now competing three nights a week, with Friday, Saturday and Sunday programs. King Of The Crop is a homebred son of Little Steven out of the Real; Artist mare Romance Me who races for Frank Nevarez, is conditioned by Gordie Graham and will have Bruce Clarke in the sulky. King Of The Crop has accounted for the last two added-money events decided for this division, capturing the April 26 gathering that finished up the last meet and then proving a punctual even-money favorite in the initial stakes decided at this stand on November 29. In that mile, the Nevarez colorbearer was a game, first-over winner with the 1:55 1/5 clocking being two ticks off the mark he established here at the last session. He returned to take down a conditioned affair at next asking and then finished fourth in his most recent trip to the post. Looking at the Open Pace, St Lads Lotto is a son of Stonebridge Regal who races for Ferne and Jack Frydman and he established his lifetime standard of 1:52 last year in his native Canada at Mohawk Raceway. Steve Wiseman, who has guided him in his last five tallies, once again gets the call from trainer Mark Winacott. The dark-hued performer started his winning streak when capturing an optional seller on November 9 and has been steadily working his way up the ladder in the process, with the last four scores coming at the Open level. He has used his patented late charge to take down the last five, with a half-length margin over China King two weeks ago and hanging a head decision on that foe at most recent asking. By Mark Ratzky, for Cal Expo Harness      

Rick Bertrand has a couple of dates circled on his calendar, including Saturday night with his harness racing 3-year-old pacer Winonefordoug and April 12 and 13, when he will be among the quartet representing the locals in the popular East-West Challenge.

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