Day At The Track

Pair of Opens get marquee treatment

04:54 AM 06 Apr 2019 NZDT
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A $6,500 Open Pace that brings out the likes of King Of The Crop, Icy Blue Scooter and Bettor In The Bank; and a $7,000 Distaff Open featuring stablemates Capitol Hill and Dancingonthesand headline Saturday night's Cal Expo action.

There will be 10 races presented under the Watch and Wager LLC banner with first post set for 6:10 pm.

King Of The Crop is an 8-year-old son of Little Steven who has returned to pose for pictures following four of his 10 trips to the post this season. He has $175,000 in earnings and a 1:50 4/5 mark that was set two years ago.

King Of The Crop is campaigned by Don and Barbara Arnstine, Steve Chambers and Tyler Wiseman, hails from the Kathie Plested barn and will as usual has Steve Wiseman in the sulky.

In last week's Open, he went right to the front, withstood a strong challenge from a first-over Icy Blue Scooter and held safe by a head over that rival in a 1:52 3/5 performance.

Icy Blue Scooter is shooting for his sixth win from 12 trips to the post this year and had a three-race win streak going into that last mile, where he returned to the top level and put in a huge first-over effort to just miss. Nate Sobey reins and trains and also co-owns the pacer with Diane Bertrand.

Bettor In The Bank is a 9-year-old son of Bettor Tuwin who is owned by Debra McCarthy, hails from the Gordie Graham shedrow and will once again have James Kennedy at the controls. From 11 starts on the year, the dark-hued performer has come away with six victories, including his most recent start at this top rung.

Low takeout wagers offer great value

There are two wagers offered here each night that come with a reduced 16 percent takeout rate - the 50-cent Pick 5 on the first five races of the evening and the 20-cent Pick 4.

The Pick 4 comes with a $30,000-guaratnteed gross pool on Fridays and a $40,000 guarantee on Saturdays.

In last Saturday night's Pick 5, the winning combination was worth $840 for each 50-cent ticket, despite the fact the sequence ended with a $5 winner in Timetoplaythegame and a 1-2 favorite in Crash and Burn.

To give you some idea of the value, using the old takeout rate, the payoff would have been $750, a difference of $90 for each winning ticket.

***

The 11-year-old pacing mare Nutmegs Desire actually made two trips to the winner's circle last week as she bid farewell to racing and began her new career as a broodmare.

Prior to her start in last Friday night's fourth race, Nutmegs Desire was feted in the charmed enclosure in her new blanket and a special ceremony took place in her honor.

Not long after that, she suited up and closed out her career with a coast-to-coast victory for Steve Wiseman, once again joining owners Don and Barbara Arnstine, Steve Chambers and Tyler Wiseman and trainer Kathie Plested in the winner's circle. She retires with 56 wins from 244 starts, $244,000 in earnings and a 1:53 1/5 mark

 

By Mark Ratzky

Cal Expo Harness

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