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Scary Harry, who has posted four straight impressive victories at this harness racing meet, looks to keep the momentum going as he leads the cast for Saturday night's featured $20,000 Alan Horowitz Memorial Pace at Cal Expo. A 12-race card will be presented by Watch and Wager LLC with things getting underway at 6:10. The card also features a $7,000 Open Pace and a $7,000 Filly and Mare Open Pace. A 6-year-old son of Sportswriter, Scary Harry is owned by Kenneth Seastrom and Chip Lackey doing the driving and training.The bay performer was winless in 27 starts on the year when he arrived here in November, but has been on a tear ever since and has not come to closing in his four trips to the post. Despite having the demanding No. 9 slot in a division of last week's Horowitz Eliminations, Scary Harry was sent off the 3-5 choice and made it look like a gift. Parked to the lead at the half, he took complete control from that point and waltzed home with six and three-quarter lengths to spare in a 1:54 4/5 mile. Brighten Your Life captured the other elimination heat last weekend at 6-1 for owner/trainer/driver Nathan Sobey. This Shark Gesture mare was a game first-over winner and is eyeing her third straight trip to the winner's circle. Completing the field are Mighty Fine Hi Ho, Magnifique, Art Genta, Cowboys Dirtyboots, Mint To Cruise, Smilys Amira, Fly Away and Smoke Rings. There will be no live racing here next week, with the trotters and pacers returning to action on Friday, December 28. There will be mandatory payoffs on all wagers Saturday night. Race honors memory of Alan Horowitz Saturday night's Alan Horowitz Memorial is named for a major force in California harness racing over the last several decades and a member of the California Harness Horsemen's Association (CHHA) Hall of Fame who passed away last year at age 72. Mr. Horowitz, who wore many hats in the business, started out as a partner with longtime friends Donald and Barbara Arnstine and Steve Desomer with a $25,000 claimer named Quaker Byrd. Quaker Byrd won his first race for the partners and Alan was hooked. Moving on, Alan would eventually become a board member and president of CHHA. In 1994, Mr. Horowitz was instrumental in bringing harness racing back to Cal Expo in the form of Capitol Racing and was also its successful general manager. He was serving as the Executive Secretary of the CHHA at the time of his retirement in 2013 and continued to stay in touch with the sport that he loved so much. "It is impossible to overstate Alan's importance to the harness racing industry in California," said David Neumeister. "Simply put, if it were not for Alan, the sport would no longer exist in this state. "Between his time as executive director of Western Standardbred Association (now CHHA) and owner/ manager of our only yearling sale company when racing was flourishing in California, and his decision to retire from CHHA a few years ago, against all odds and some very powerful adversaries, "Alan almost single-handedly took us from the brink of extinction in the mid-90s and formed and led Capitol Racing in Sacramento to several very successful years of harness racing in that city. "Were it not for his quiet determination and tactical brilliance, we would not be racing here today." By Mark Ratzky, publicity - Cal Expo Harness

Harness racing trainer Nathan Sobey will have two looks at the outcome in Saturday night's Alan Horowitz Memorial Pace at Cal Expo, as he will be represented by the Canadian mares Brighten Your Life and Smilys Amira. Brighten Your Life was an eye-catching winner of the second division of the Horowitz Eliminations last week in her California debut, while Smilys Amira checked in fourth behind a very impressive Scary Harry in the first division. Sobey made the decision to bring a string of performers from Alberta around late October and is off to a good start at this session. "I've got 18 horses here right now and we're looking to stay until about April," he related. Nathan claimed Brighten Your Life two months ago at Northlands Park and it looks like she is enjoying her new surroundings, if her victory in the Horowitz Elimination is any indication. "I'd had my eye on her for some time, because she was a real nice 2-year-old and I didn't think she was racing to her abilities. We did some work on her and I'm very happy with the way she's come around. "I knew we were going into last week's race a little short, but I thought we at least had a good chance to make the final. I was a little shocked how strong she raced considering, but she is a very tough mare and loves these nice big turns." Smilys Amira will be making her second appearance at this meeting and also figures to benefit from the experience. "She's not the easiest mare to train or to drive, but she always gives you everything she has," Sobey said. Open Pace, Bill Conlin Prep share billing Friday night's Cal Expo harness action will include an Open Pace, with a well-matched field set to face the starter, and the Bill Conlin Prep. An 11-race program is on tap under the Watch and Wager LLC banner with first post set for 6:10 p.m. The Open Pace goes as the third race, while the Conlin Prep will occupy the sixth-race slot on the evening. Looking ahead to Saturday night, the Alan Horowitz Memorial Pace will hold the spotlight with last week's Elimination winners Scary Harry and Brighten Your Life headlining that contest. Scary Harry has posted four straight impressive victories at this meet for owners Kenneth Seastrom and Chip Lackey, with Lackey doing the driving and training. The bay performer was winless in 27 starts on the year when he arrived here in November, but has been on a tear ever since and has not come to closing in his four trips to the post. Despite having the demanding No. 9 slot in a division of last week's Horowitz Eliminations, Scary Harry was sent off the 3-5 choice and made it look like a gift. Parked to the lead at the half, he took complete control from that point and waltzed home with six and three-quarter lengths to spare in a 1:54 4/5 mile. There will be no live racing here next week, with the trotters and pacers returning to action on Friday, December 28. There will be mandatory payoffs on all wagers Saturday night. By Mark Ratzky, publicity - Cal Expo Harness

Due to his size and distinctive coat, I'm Blue Too is hard to miss on the track and also looked pretty good taking pictures in the harness racing winner's circle here at Cal Expo last weekend. The 9-year-old gelding is owned and trained by Robin Clements and was posting a 7-1 upset when he got the job done in that conditioned affair with Dean Magee doing the honors. "He's a blue roan just like his older brother I'm So Blue and he's a perfect horse in the barn with such fretful eyes," Clements said. "For the giant horse that he is, he wouldn't hurt a flea and is such a gentle soul. "My groom Teresa calls him Boo Bear and he is a barn favorite, of course after Franky Provolone." I'm Blue Too was sent to Running Aces this summer under the care of Tim and Denise Maier, but midway through that meet became sick and was shipped back to California. "Blue came back training strong for this meet, but due to the Camp Fire and smoke I didn't race him right away. He had a good tightener that led up to his win the other night." Robin was high in her praise for Magee, who guided her pacer to a perfect stalk-and-pounce journey. "I can't say enough good things about Dean. He has driven my horses in the past at Running Aces and I was excited to hear he was coming out to Cal Expo. "He's a top-notch driver with great instincts and will be a great asset to our driver's room. He gave Blue the perfect drive and I look forward to teaming my horses up with him again and wish him a great meet." Alan Horowitz Eliminations atop marquee Two divisions of the Alan Horowitz Eliminations head the Saturday night action at Cal Expo, with Scary Harry and Magnifique heading their respective races. The Eliminations will go as the seventh and nine events on an 11-race Watch and Wager LLC program with first post set for 6:15 p.m. Scary Harry will be seeking his fourth straight victory here while leaving the outside post in a field of nine in the first division. The 6-year-old son of Sportswriter carries the banner of Kenneth Seastrom with Chip Lackey doing the driving and training. Scary Harry has yet to be beaten to a pole in his trio of outings at this stand, going coast-to-coast in all three outings and never looking like a loser at midstretch while rewarding the chalkplayers on each occasion. A 1:52 victor at Pompano last season, the Seastrom colorbearer actually started this year having to settle for minor awards in his first 27 trips to the post, but he is making up for lost time at this meeting with those dominating performances. Magnifique looms large in the second division after having posted back-to-back solid efforts since coming in from Indiana. The 7-year-old Tell All mare is owned by Nikki Hudson with Luke Plano reining and training. Magnifique tracked and attacked for a length score in her first start at the stand, then stepped up to the Filly and Mare Open for last week's assignment and was third in a blanket finish after having some traffic issues. By Mark Ratzky, publicity - Cal Expo Harness

Lickcreek Speedway has steadily picked up her game since arriving from Indiana and looms the one to beat in Friday night's Annette Funicello - Glen Holt Pace for owner Jennifer Scarberry and harness racing driver/trainer James Kennedy. The 3-year-old daughter of Sand Shooter had been racing at Hoosier Park with mixed results while leaving from some difficult posts, but seems to have found a nice home here at Cal Expo. "I got her at the beginning of the meet from Jacob Fox," Kennedy related when asked about the distaffer. "She'd been making breaks and he told me I had to be careful with her on the first turn." Lickcreek Speedway made a miscue in her first start here on opening night, but has been on her best behavior in the last two appearances, resulting a near-miss and then a solid score as the favorite in last week's Funicello Prep. "I made some adjustments after that first start here to her hobbles and her headgear and it's been working," James said. "I was real happy with the way she finished in her second start and it all came together last week. "The plan was to let her settle in on the first turn and then make a move down the backside. She ended up getting parked first-over, but she was real strong and I never even had to pull the earplugs or really ask her for her best." Lickcreek Speedway is one of two performers Kennedy currently has under his care and he explains that's pretty much the way he likes it. "Both horses are owned by friends, and right now I prefer to concentrate on the driving." Annette Funicello - Glen Holt Pace on tap Lickcreek Speedway, a game first-over winner last week, heads the cast for Friday night's featured $8,300 Annette Funicello - Glen Holt Pace for fillies and mares. The main event on the 11-race Watch and Wager LLC program will go as eighth event of the evening with first post set for 6:15 p.m. There will also be an excellent supporting card with an Open Pace, a Distaff Open Pace and an Open Trot. Lickcreek Speedway is a 3-year-old Indiana-bred daughter of Sand Shooter who is owned by Jennifer Scarberry and is reined-and-trained by James Kennedy. She has turned in two solid efforts at this meeting from coming in from her home state. Making her California debut here on November 24, the bay miss came rolling late for Kennedy to miss by a nose, then got her revenge in last weekend's Funicello Prep when she came first-over at the quarter and wore down pace-setting Dancer's Fancy in the late stages for a length score. The latter is a Fancy Schmansy mare who has also put in two very good miles at the session. She carries the banner of Vikki Pfeilsticker with Rick Bertrand training and Mooney Svendsen at the controls. She was a sharp winner in her first start and carved out the fractions last week before getting overpowered on the line. Completing the field are; Lookslikewemadeit, Nathan Sobey; Sing N Sandi, Dean Magee; That's How It Goes, Richard Schneider; Rosebud's First, Steve Wiseman; Dancer's Fancy, Mooney Svendsen; Hot Dandy, Chip Lackey; and Glad to Meet Ya, Luke Plano. The co-featured Open Pace will find Dave Goldschmidt Memorial winner Allymyx'sliventexas seeking his fourth straight win at the meet, while the Distaff Open finds barnmates Fancy Little Girl and Totally Racy in the spotlight with Dougs Hobby Horse and Silverhill Volo getting a rematch in the Open Trot. By Mark Ratzky, publicity - Cal Expo Harness

Saturday night's featured pace is named for Dave Goldschmidt, who passed away of natural causes in July at the age of 62. Dave was born in New York City and developed a love of harness racing in his early teens. He attended the University of Denver where he was a sports writer on the newspaper, but after hearing about the new Race Track Management Program at the University of Arizona, he knew he had to transfer to that school and was in that first graduating class. Among Dave's extensive resume in the sport, he was racing secretary at Los Alamitos and Cal Expo and co-racing secretary at Bay Meadows; assistant racetrack manager at Hollywood Park and a founder, president and major financial backer of the Premier Harness Meet at Los Alamitos in the 1990s. After his retirement, Dave concentrated on betting on the trotters and pacers and occasionally quarter horses while also developing a keen interest in politics. Dave met his wife Suzy in the late 1990s and they began dating in 2006. They completed building their dream house in 2014 and were married that year. Among their shared passions were a love of tennis, world travel and volunteer work. Eunice Morrow, who worked closely with Dave at the Premier Harness Meet, explained how important he was to harness racing in California in the early 1990s "Harness racing was in trouble maintaining a meet at Los Alamitos and thankfully Dave came to our rescue with a large monetary donation needed to keep harness racing active," Eunice said. "A few months later the industry found more funds were necessary and again Dave came to our rescue. He did not want it known that he had donated these deposits and volunteered the information that his mother in New York had loaned the organization funds. "Later, when Premier II Harness Racing was formed, Dave became Racing Secretary, spending many hours in several positions helping the sport he loved stay alive. Without Dave, I wonder if harness racing would have been able to continue." Eunice added, "There is no doubt David Goldschmidt will now be in Heaven with so many other of the great Harness Racing enthusiasts." Joel Lesser was best friends with Goldschmidt for over 40 years, playing hours and hours of tennis and golf, and also worked alongside Dave at the Premier Harness meets. "When he was president of Premier, he said that the fans and the horsemen came first, and management came last," Joel recalled. "I can say Dave Goldschmidt is the fairest and most honest person I have every known in my life and wanted everyone to do well." Cal Expo Trackman Marty Bridges was good friends with Dave for several decades. "Dave was highly intelligent with an acute, analytic mind and would have been excellent at any profession he chose," Bridges related. "He didn't look it, but he was also very athletic and a huge sports fan, especially baseball and tennis. He would have been a great baseball manager." Marty also had his own private name for Dave. "I called him Patch, which was short for the legendary pacer Dan Patch. When we made dinner reservations it would always be under the name Dancer, short for Hall of Famer Stanley Dancer." Dave Goldschmidt Memorial heads card Allmyx'sliventexas, fresh from two dominating victories since returning from his Midwest foray, gets top billing in Saturday night's $10,000 Dave Goldschmidt Memorial Pace. Watch and Wager LLC will present 11 races on Saturday, with first post set for 6:15 p.m. and the main event going as the eighth contest on the program. Allmyx'sliventexas is a 5-year-old homebred son of Hi Ho Silverheel's who races for Wayne and Rod Knittel with Bob Johnson the conditioner and Mooney Svendsen once again handling the lines. Sent off the 1-2 choice in a conditioned event on opening night November 10, the bay performer made it look like an overlay as the took complete command up front turning for home and waltzed home with four and a half lengths to spare. Despite having the outside post in a field of eight in last week's Open, Allmyx'sliventexas once again rewarded the chalkplayers by going coast-to-coast for a three-length decision over a "good" racetrack. I'm An Athlete has been runner-up to the Knittel performer in his two appearances at this stand and will be looking to turn the tables in the Goldschmidt for owner Ronald Rettig-Zucchi, trainer Jessie Pacheco and pilot James Kennedy. He set his 1:51 career standard here early in the year. Completing the field, from the rail out: Last Dragon, Prodigal, Gorgeous For Real, Mr Varsity, Dontdoubtthelakers, Why Asky Why and Justabitofcrazy. By Mark Ratzky, publicity - Cal Expo Harness

It wasn't as easy as the 2-5 odds might lead one to believe, but the 3-year-old harness racing pacer Just B Talking got the job done last week in a blanket finish for his owner/trainer/driver Gerry Longo. Just B Talking was a beaten favorite in his Cal Expo debut on opening night when settling for an exacta completion, then did his work in first-over fashion at most recent asking and was on the right end of the photo finish. "I bought him last month in Indiana," Longo informed. "I thought he had some good races and he had conditions, so it figured he would do well out here. "I blame myself for his losing that first start, because I sat in too long with him and we got locked in, but he was coming real strong at the end. "To be honest, I didn't think he was as good in this last mile, but he got the win anyway. There's a series coming up for him in a few weeks and that's what we're pointing for right now." The 74-year-old has 13 performers under his care at Cal Expo and comes into this week's action with 2,875 driving victories and over $12 million in earnings. "My goal is to get to 3,000 wins," he said. "I still love to come out every morning and work with the horses, and as long as I can go out on the track at night and do a good job, I'll keep on driving." Pair of Opens, Funicello Prep atop bill The Annette Funicello Prep, a Distaff Open Pace and an Open Trot share the spotlight Friday night at Cal Expo. There are 11 races on the Watch and Watch and Wager LLC program with the action getting underway at 6:15p.m. Dancer's Fancy looms large in the Annette Funicello Prep after scoring a nice victory on opening night. The 4-year-old mare carries the banner of Vikki Pheilsticker with Rick Bertrand training and James Kennedy in the sulky. Glad to Meet Ya figures to have a strong say in the outcome despite having to do her work from the outside post in the field of eight. The 3-year-old Disco Devil homebred races for Billie Schwartz and Junior Wilkinson, with Wilkinson training and Luke Plano handling the lines. Completing the field are Lookslikewemadeit, Sing N Sandi, Lickcreek Speedway, Thats How It Goes, Rosebud's First and Hot Dandy. Looking at the Filly and Mare Open, Fancy Little Girl should appreciate getting away from Capitol Hill after chasing that stablemate home in the first two top dances for the division. The dark-hued mare is owned by Benvenga Racing LLC, Taylor and Plested, hails from the Kathie Plested shedrow and has Steve Wiseman guiding. There are two wagers offered here nightly with a reduced 16 percent takeout rate. They are the 50-cent Pick 5, which begins on the first race; and 20-cent Pick 4, which comes with a $20,000-guaranteed pool on Fridays and $30,000 on Saturdays. By Mark Ratzky, publicity - Cal Expo Harness

Dean Magee wasted little time making an impression in his California invasion, winning the second race on the opening-night harness racing program with Mystery Dragon and then adding another victory in the sixth race behind Eddie Brush. The 54-year-old Magee comes into this meeting with over 4,700 winning drives and just shy of $30 million in earnings while becoming a mainstay in the Midwest. "I've taken the last couple of winters off," Dean related. "I'd watch the races from here (Cal Expo) and say to myself, "Well man, I wish I could be out there with those guys. "I guess it gets in your blood, and you get a hankering to be out there with everybody and racing. And whether you're doing good or not, they seem like a good bunch of guys to race out here with, so I thought it was time to come out this way." Magee also took advantage of the situation to spend some quality time with his son Taylor. "A big part of coming out here was taking a trip across country with my son. We decided we were going to head out to Cal Expo with the RV. "The only problem was it seemed that everywhere we stopped, the weather was nice when we went to bed, but when we woke up it was cold and rainy," he said with a laugh. "Everybody has been really nice since we got here." One of the biggest wins in Dean's career came in the $1.5 million Pepsi North America Cup at Woodbine in 2003 with an emotion-filled score behind Yankee Cruiser. The pacer was trained by Tim Pinske, who had taken over the conditioning duties for the 3-year-old following the sudden death of his son Brian at the age of 38 eight months earlier. "I really wanted to win that race for Brian, because this was his horse," Magee noted. "He stuck with me all the previous year when he could have had anybody drive this horse. That win was for him." Scott Ehrlich goes back some 30 years with Dean, beginning when he was announcing the races at Quad City Downs and later when handling those duties at Balmoral and Maywood Park. "I can't tell you how happy I am to see Dean Magee here," Ehrlich said. "My favorite memories with Dean involve a couple of pacers named Armbro Kopas and Olympus Heights." Open Paces get the marquee treatment A $7,000 Open Pace featuring Last Dragon and Allmyx'sliventexas and a $6,000 Distaff Open Pace that provides a rematch between Capitol Hill and Legio X Equestris are in the spotlight at Cal Expo Saturday night. There will be nine races presented under the Watch and Wager LLC banner with first post at 7:10 p.m. Last Dragon is an 11-year-old son of Dragon's Lair who is owned by Paul Blumenfeld and is reined and trained by Chip Lackey. He comes into this assignment with eight wins from his 31 trips to the post this season and a 1:49 3/5 mark that was established two years ago. Sent off the 8-5 second choice in last weekend's Open, Last Dragon shot right to the front for Lackey, carved out modest fractions and then blasted home to prevail by two lengths in a 1:53 3/5 performance. Allmyx'sliventexas made an impressive return to California in a conditioned event on that same program, making 50 cents on the dollar look like a gift as he romped home by four and a half-lengths with Mooney Svendsen in a 1:52 2/5 tour. He lands the outside post in the field of eight for Saturday's assignment. A multiple stakes winner over this track the past few seasons, the Hi Ho Silverheels homebred goes about his business for owner/breeders Wayne and Rod Knittel with Bob Johnson the conditioner. He went over the $150,000 earnings mark with his victory and has a 1:50 career standard that was established this year at Hoosier Park. Capitol Hill is a 7-year-old daughter of Badlands Hanover out of the No Pan Intended mare Champagne Blue Chip who carries the banner of George McChrystal and Kathie Plested with Plested training and Mooney Svendsen back in the sulky. She left into a pocket trip last week and overpowered heavy favorite Legio X Equestris in that contest. By Mark Ratzky, publicity - Cal Expo Harness

Due to heavy smoke in the Sacramento Valley from the tragic fire in Paradise, Cal Expo Harness has cancelled both Friday and Saturday live harness racing this weekend. by Mark Ratzky, for Cal Expo Harness      

Mooney Svendsen guided some serious harness racing horsepower into the winner's circle on opening night at Cal Expo Harness, with Allmyx'sliventexas and Capitol Hill taking bows after impressive performances to kick off the stand. Allmyx'sliventexas has a slew of Sire Stakes trophies on his mantle for owner/breeders Wayne and Rod Knittel and trainer Bob Johnson and dropped into a pretty sweet conditioned spot for his return from Indiana. Sent off at 1-2 from the cozy rail slot, he made two moves to the lead at the quarter and turned out the lights into the lane, eventually coming to the line with four and a quarter- lengths to spare in a 1:52 4/5 performance. "I hadn't driven him since the end of the last meet here, but he's one of my favorites and I was certainly keeping tabs on him at Hoosier," Svendsen said. "I had a big hold of him when we were in the pocket coming to the quarter, then I had to pull him out because I was worried he would choke down if I didn't let him go. "Once I pulled the plugs, it was over. He was really strong and it's great to be driving him again." While Allmyx'sliventexas was a heavy favorite in his contest, Capitol Hill was 16-1 in the Filly and Mar Open for trainer Kathie Plested with Legio X Equestris going off the 1-9 chalk in the contest. Mooney was able to sit in the two hole behind that favorite, was out for the stretch and easily motored by for the upset. "I was surprised I was able to circle (Luke) Plano's mare away from there and then we just settled in behind her," Svendsen related. "To be honest, I could feel I had a lot of horse and was 95 percent sure she was the winner pretty early on. They really had her ready." Misspanderosajones heads distaff main event Pacing fillies and mares will be in the spotlight at Cal Expo Friday evening with Misspanderosajones heading the $4,800 conditioned feature and a solid field doing battle in the Annette Funicello Prep. Misspanderosa will leave from the outside slot in the headliner while carrying the banner of Tip That Bucket Stable. The 8-year-old mare is trained by Rocco Giambrocono with Dean Magee in the sulky. The bay miss made her Cal Expo debut on last weekend's opening night card and had her work cut out in the Filly and Mare Open, checking in fourth behind Capitol Hill and heavily-favored Legio X Equestris in that 1:55 2/5 mile. She should be very much at home in Friday's line-up, which will see her taking on Awesum World for trainer Robin Clements; the Junior Wilkinson-conditioned Directing Traffic; Perfect Pitch from the Bob Johnson barn and the Jessie Pacheco-trained Along Came Jane. Perfect Pitch was a runner-up on the opening program of the meet after doing her work in first-over fashion. Mooney Svendsen will once again guide the daughter of Hi Ho Silverheel's and she sports a 1:513/5 mark that was established three years ago. A contentious cast of eight distaffers will face starter Ken Fowler in the co-featured Funicello Prep, with the final being decided next week. The Annette Funicello is named for the famous actress/singer who was married to horseman Glen Holt for 27 years until her death in 2013 and was a major fan and proponent of harness racing. By Mark Ratzky, for Cal Expo Harness

Saturday is opening night of the Watch and Wager LLC harness meeting at Cal Expo, with a 12-race program headed by a pair of $7,000 Open Paces. First post is 6:10 p.m. and beginning next week there will be racing on Friday and Saturday evenings. New at this meeting will be the Single 6, a 10-cent wager with a unique serial number jackpot winner. There will be 50 percent going to the consolation pool and 50 percent to the jackpot. The first of the Open events goes as the eighth on the card and finds Gorgeous For Real going postward off a solid qualifying score last weekend. The 4-year-old races for Billie Schwartz, Junior Wilkinson and Ivan Axelrod with Wilkinson training and Luke Plano at the controls. Gorgeous For Real has posed for pictures following 14 of his 58 lifetime outings with a career standard of 1:51 flat that was set at Hoosier Park on August 17. Gravelsinmytravel is suiting up for veteran Dean Magee in this contest. The 7-year-old son of Veracious Hanover leaves from the cozy rail slot and will be gunning for his sixth victory of the season from 22 trips to the post. Gravelsinmytravel recorded his most recent score at Running Aces on August 19, igniting when it counted to be up by a head and comes into this assignment with a 1:51 3/5 lifetime standard that was established two years ago at the Meadowlands. Rounding out the field are Dontdoubtthelakers, Mr Varsity, Last Dragon, Prodigal, Swagasaurusrex and Twomickeytrip. I'm An Athlete back on the big track I'm An Athlete will be gunning for his 40th lifetime score from 186 trips to the post when he suits up in Saturday night's ninth race for owner Ronald Rettig-Zucchi, trainer Jessie Pacheco and pilot James Kennedy. The 8-year-old son of Art Major spent his summer at Running Aces, Pocono and Harrah's Philadelphia, and according to this trainer is happy to be home after a nice runner-up effort in a 1:56 25/ qualifier last weekend. "He's just so-so on the smaller tracks around the tight turns, but he really likes it here at Cal Expo," Pacheco noted. "That qualifier was just to get him night and tight for this weekend." I'm An Athlete has earned his $185,590 bankroll the old-fashioned way and established his 1:51 flat lifetime mark here earlier the season. He'll look to get back to his winning ways while leaving from the middle of the field. "He's a real pro," Jessie related when asked about the veteran pacer. "You can jog him with two fingers and he doesn't need hopples to train. The only thing is, he's much better around the big turns like we have here at Cal Expo." Pacheco currently houses 16 performers in the shedrow, with several more due in soon, and is looking to get things off to a fast start this weekend. ******* There are two wagers offered here each night with a reduced 16 percent takeout rate. They are the 50-cent Pick 5 that begins on the first race and the 20-cent Pick 4 that will get underway with the ninth race. By Mark Ratzky, for Cal Expo Harness

The trotters and pacers return to Cal Expo Saturday night under the Watch and Wager LLC banner with a 12-race card on tap and a first post of 6:10 p.m. Beginning next week, harness racing will be presented on a Friday and Saturday night basis. New at this meeting will be the Single 6, a 10-cent wager with a unique serial number jackpot winner. There will be 50 percent going to the minor pool and 50 percent to the jackpot. By Mark Ratzky, for Cal Expo Harness

The eligibility period for the $20,000 guaranteed Alan Horowitz series at Cal Expo begins today, August 15. The series is a starter allowance for horses that have started for a base claiming price of $5,500 since August 15th. Eliminations are scheduled for November 23rd, the final will be November 30th. No claiming is allowed in the series. For full conditions click the attached file. by Mark Ratzky, for Cal Expo Harness    

In preparation for the upcoming Cal Expo harness season, which will get underway on Saturday November 10, the backstretch will open on Saturday, September 15. The back track will open on Sunday, September 16, while the main track opens September 24. Stall space is available free of charge, click the stall application link attached. This will be the seventh season of harness racing at Cal Expo under the Watch and Wager LLC banner. Purses have been increased 8 percent over last season and there will be a minimum $40 starter fee. A strong new and returning horse incentive plan is in place as well. For more information go to or e-mail us at For the 2018-2019 Cal Expo Harness Racing STALL APPLICATION by Mark Ratzky, for Cal Expo Harness

The Cal Expo harness racing meet concludes Saturday evening with Hi Ho's Little Rev and Ragin's Flight among the major players in the featured Connie Matlock Memorial Pace. The headliner will go as the third on a nine-race program presented by Watch and Wager LLC and first post will be 6:40 p.m. This being closing night, there will be mandatory payouts in all wagers. Hi H's Little Rev is looking to close out the stand with a hat trick for owners Vanessa Gilliam and Audrey Clifton, trainer Bob Johnson and pilot Mooney Svendsen. The 6-year-old son of Hi Ho Silverheel's set a new lifetime mark of 1:52 25/ when he got the job done two weeks ago in a game performance, then made every pole a winning in his last tour in coast-to-coast fashion as the 3-2 favorite last Friday evening. Ragin's Flight should hit hard with this caliber after tackling tougher company of late. He was a 1:52 1/5 victor as the 2-5 choice back on March 30 and competes for Scott Ehrlich, George McCrystal and Kathie Plested with Plested the conditioner and Steve Wiseman in the sulky. Completing the field are Fire On The Water from the Steve Nichols barn; Fly Away, who gives the Plested shedrow two looks at the outcome; the Robin Clements-trained Lincoln; and He Grins Again, who takes his lessons from George Reider. The trotters and pacers are scheduled to return to Cal Expo in the fall and the CCHA and Watch and Wager have agreed to an 8 percent purse increase and an enhanced horse incentive program. Race pays tribute to Connie Matlock Saturday night's third race is named in honor of Connie Matlock, a longtime fixture with the California Harness Horse Breeders Association and CHHA who passed away on April 16 at the age of 85. Connie began working as secretary for the CHHBA in 1994 and was a staunch supporter of the Breeders and Sires Stakes. She then went to work for the CHHA in the early 90s, again as secretary. In 2005, Connie was awarded the Presidents Award by the CHHA for her meritorious service to the horsemen and the Sire Stakes program. "She was loved by many horsemen, who considered here a second mother," said Robin Clements. "She was warm, caring and a great lady." Said Vickie Desomer, "Connie was always there for the horsemen, all of them. Her kindness was boundless. Connie was beautiful inside and out. She has been greatly missed since her illness took her from us." Connie and Donald Matlock had five children and she is survived by son Charlie and daughters Kim and Cindy and 10 grandchildren. By Mark Ratzky, publicity - Cal Expo Harness

Windsun Galaxie put his class and speed on display last week at Cal Expo when he proved a punctual favorite in a conditioned trotting event, giving young trainer Jessie Pacheco his second of three victories on the card. An 11-year-old son of Kadabra owned by Ronald Rettig-Zucchi, the win by Windsun Galaxie was third from his last six starts and put his career bank close to the $480,000 plateau with a 1:52 4/5 mark that was established six years ago. Windsun Galaxie has been unbeatable of late when getting away from the top trotters on the grounds and joining forces with veteran Chip Lackey. They waltzed home by 14 lengths on April 6, then got away from the razor-sharp Pridecrest for his most recent assignment and made every pole a winning one with five lengths to spare. As mentioned earlier, it the middle of a hat track for trainer Pacehco, who has really made a name for himself at this meet with a steady stream of visits to the local winner’s circle. Jessie is the 25-year-old son of conditioner Lino Pacheco and has apparently learned his lessons very well. “Everything I know about this sport I learned from my dad,” he said. “I also want to thank the owners, who have been very supportive.”   Delightfully Wild gets marquee treatment Delightfully Wild, fresh from a victory in last week’s Kirk Breed Pace, aims for her eighth win on the season in Friday night’s featured $5,500 Filly and Mare Open. A nine-race card is on tap under the Watch and Wager LLC banner with first post set for 6:40 p.m. There will also be six California Sire Stakes events decided as non-betting events prior to the regular card. Delightfully Wild is a 5-year-old daughter of Bettor’s Delight out of the Western Ideal mare Wild Ride Hanover who races for Richard Morita and David Yamada with Lino Pacheco training and James Kennedy at the helm. The bay mare set a new lifetime mark when he captured the March 16 Open, rattling off a 1:53 2/5 mile that evening en route to a length and a half score. Sent off the 3-5 choice in last week’s Kirk Breed Pace, Delightfully Wild did not disappoint her many backers as she came first-over to get the job done over Kiss On The Lips in another solid performance. Delightfully Wild will leave from the assigned outside slot and taking her on are the aforementioned Kiss On The Lips, Bettor Lady, Moonshinenmonkeys and Shark Festival. With Saturday being closing night of the meet, there will be mandatory payouts in all wagers. Going into the final weekend of racing here, Luke Plano will be the leading driver with Steve Wiseman completing the exacta, while Kathie Plested will be a comfortable winner of the trainer’s race.   Mark Ratzky Cal Expo Harness

To The Limit pulled off a $73 harness racing upset in last weekend's Lloyd Arnold Pace at Cal Expo, and as result turned what would have been a modest Pick 4 into a $1,289 return for each 20-cent investment. The Pick 4 is one of two wagers offered here each night featuring a reduced 16 percent takeout rate, the other being the 50-cent Pick 5 that covers the first five races on the card. The Pick 4 comes with a $30,000-guaranteed gross pool on Fridays and a $50,000 guarantee on Saturdays. Using the regular takeout for that aforementioned $1,289 Pick 4 payout, the return would have been $1,150, a difference of $139 for each winning ticket. Getting back to To The Limit, he put in a spectacular final quarter to win the Arnold going away in a lifetime-best 1:50 3/5 mile for owner Alan Cooper, trainer Kathie Plested and pilot Tim Brown. Plested did a tremendous job getting him ready in his first evening appearance since late January, putting a couple of very strong qualifiers into the pacer that obviously set him up perfectly for the demanding assignment. The weekend's other feature was the Stan Bergstein Trot and track record-holder Pridecrest did not disappoint his many backers as he posted a coast-to-coast length and a half victory for owner Heather Matthews and driver/trainer Luke Plano. Veteran Blue Note takes on solid cast A strong case can be made for several of the pacing fillies and mares in Saturday night's $3,400 main event, with Blue Note, Getter Queen Flush and Moonshinenmonkeys among the major players. The feature will go as the opener on a 10-race card presented by Watch and Wager LLC and things will get underway at 6:40 p.m. Blue Note is a 13-year-old daughter of Little Steven out of the Denali mare Romantic Music who comes into this assignment with $141,000 in her bank account and a 1:54 1/5 mark that was established here last season. In last week's outing at this level, the bay miss carved out all the fractions with Luke Plano giving directions, showed the way to deep stretch but was unable to hold off the closing charge of heavily-favored Bettor Lady, who was scheduled to compete in Friday night's Kirk Breed Pace. Getter Queen Flush and Moonshinenmonkeys are both exiting the Open II captured last week by Shark Festival and should be very much at home under Saturday's conditions. Getter Queen Flush proved a punctual favorite the last time she started in a conditioned event on March 24. She carries the banner of Reider, Haness, Haness and Thomas with George Reider the conditioner and is looking for her fifth win on the year from 16 appearances. Moonshinenmonkeys looms large with her best mile and she is owned by Rick Bertrand and Doug Flores with Bertrand doing the training and James Kennedy guiding. The field is rounded out by Magnifique, Surprisingly Sweet and Totally Racy. By Mark Ratzky, publicity - Cal Expo Harness

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