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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

Fillies and mares will be in the harness racing spotlight Friday night at Cal Expo in the $10,000 Kirk Breed Pace with Delightfully Wild heading the cast. There will be 10 races presented under the Watch and Wager LLC banner with first post set for 6:40 p.m. Delightfully Wild comes into the headliner having posed for pictures following four of her last six trips to the post for owners Richard Morita and David Yamada, trainer Lino Pacheco and pilot James Kennedy. All four of those victories have come at the Filly and Mare Open level, including her March 16 tally where she prevailed by a length and a quarter while establishing a new lifetime standard with the 1:53 2/5 clocking. The 5-year-old daughter of Bettor's Delight added another on March 31 in facile, coast-to-coast fashion, then had to settle for a close third after carving out the fractions as the even-money choice at most recent asking while doing her work from the demanding No. 10 post. Shark Festival packs a powerful finish and is coming off a nice win in which she came home in :26 4/5 to secure the half-length decision. The 7-year-old daughter of Shadow Play races for Medinah Racing and Scott Ehrlich with Kathie Plested training and Steve Wiseman at the controls. Completing the cast are La Diva De Rosa, Kiss On The Lips, Bettor Lady and Shesamysterytome. Race pays tribute to Kirk Breed Friday night's Kirk Breed Pace is named for the man who was the Executive Director of the California Horse Racing Board and previously served as a board member and general manager of the State Fair here at Cal Expo. Kirk Breed passed away in 2013 at the age of 73 after a battle with cancer. During Gov. Jerry Brown's first term in 1979, Mr. Breed was appointed general manager at Cal Expo and was credited with turning around the event's financial fortunes during lean times. He later became a lobbyist on behalf of the racing industry and also served eight years on the Cal Expo board of directors. Mr. Breed served as executive director of the California Horse Racing Board from 2008 until his death. During those five-plus years, he oversaw the regulatory agency's day-to-day business. He was involved in such high-profile issues as the restriction of the use of steroids; the reduction of permissible levels of bute; and the transformation of the Santa Anita main track from a troubled synthetic to a dirt surface. "In his years as executive director, Kirk Breed provided invaluable guidance and counsel to everyone who served on the board," said former racing board chairman David Israel. "No one was more dedicated to assuring the welfare of the horse, the well-being of the participants and the integrity of the sport than Kirk." The Oklahoma native attended Oklahoma State on a football scholarship in the 1950s, while as the same time helping his father, who trained a stable of quarter horses. After graduating with a degree in zoology, Mr. Breed volunteered for the Peace Corps, spending time in Chile and Columbia and working at the State Department in Washington, D.C. By Mark Ratzky, publicity - Cal Expo Harness

Saturday night's $10,000 Lloyd Arnold Pace at Cal Expo has lured a solid cast of nine, with Allymx'sliventexas, Bettor's Promise and I'm An Athlete among the major harness racing players. The Arnold will go as the 7th event on an 11-race Watch and Wager LLC program that is set to get underway at 6:40 p.m. The co-feature is a $6,500 California Sire Stakes for the 3-year-old pacing fillies which occupies the 2nd-race slot. Allymx'sliventexas is having a strong meet for his owner/breeders Wayne and Rod Knittel, trainer Bob Johnson and regular pilot Mooney Svendsen and will likely be favored in the main event. The son of Hi Ho Silverheel's has five wins from his 12 starts on the year, including a lifetime-best 1:50 4/5 performance on March 9, and recently went over the $100,000 earnings mark. In last week's Open, Allymx'sliventexas proved a very game winner as he was first-over into the pace-setting favorite Bettor's Promise at the half, engaged that one in the stretch and prevailed by a nose while coming a :26 4/5 final quarter. Bettor's Promise is very sharp right now and will be gunning for some revenge after doing all the heavy lifting last week and ending up on the wrong end of that photo. He established his 1:50 3/5 mark in his previous outing at the Open II level and goes about his business for owners Richard Morita and David Yamda with Lino Pacheco conditioning and Steve Wiseman guiding. Completing the field are Julerica, Pancella, Almost Cut My Hair, To The Limit, Eastender, I'm An Athlete and Lil Orphan Elmer. Pacing fillies battle in co-featured Sire Stakes In addition to the Lloyd Arnold Pace, Saturday's card will find the sophomore pacing fillies in action in a $6,500 California Sire Stakes. The added-money events for the 3-year-old pacing fillies have seen three different winners, with Brigitte Bordeaux taking the initial clash, followed by back-to-back trophy earners for Goturnumber and then Glad to Meet Ya taking bows after the most recent gathering two weeks ago. Goturnumber will not be in the starting line-up, leaving Glad to Meet Ya as the probable favorite in the cast of five after her big win where she earned her initial stakes tally with a six and a half-length romp. Brigitte Bordeaux will look to pull off an Arnold/Sire Stakes parlay for owner/breeders Wayne and Rod Knittel, trainer Bob Johnson and driver Mooney Svendsen, while Glad to Meet Ya is owned and was bred by Billie Schwartz and Junior Wilkinson with Wilkinson training and Luke Plano once again at the controls. Looking for an upset this weekend are Lucky Seven Oflodi, who has the cozy rail post with Tony Succarotte; Holy O'Neill, to be guided by Tim Brown; and Rhythm, who will have William Hernandez giving directions. There are two wagers offered here each night that come with a reduced 16 percent takeout rate - the 50-cent Pick 5, which is decided on the first five races on the evening, and the 20-cent Pick 4. The Pick 4 comes with a $50,000-guaranteed gross pool on Saturdays and a $30,000 guarantee on Fridays. By Mark Ratzky, publicity - Cal Expo Harness

Track record holder Pridecrest, who has won eight of his nine starts at the meet, looks to put an exclamation mark on his California invasion in Friday night's harness racing featured $10,000 Stan Bergstein Trot at Cal Expo. A 10-race card is on tap under the Watch and Wager LLC banner with first post set for 6:40 p.m. The co-feature is the $6,000 finale of the Watch and Wager Loyalty Pace and there will also be two California Sire Stakes for 3-year-olds decided as a non-betting events prior to the regular program. Pridecrest is a 6-year-old son of Angus Hall who races for Heather Matthews with Luke Plano driving and training. He made an immediate impact in his first start coming in from the Midwest on November 3, making every pole a winning one while setting a new course standard with his 1:53 2/5 clocking. The Matthews colorbearer followed that impressive mile with five more straight scores, the last four being registered from the demanding No. 10 post position. Pridecrest tasted defeat locally for the first time on March 3 when he was beaten a neck by Talkin Tootsie, but has returned to his winning ways in his last two appearances. Plano romped home with the sidewheeler on March 16 while leaving from the No. 5 slot, then had that 10 hole assignment last week and it proved to be no obstacle as he went wire-to-wire with a length and three-quarters to spare at the wire. Talkin Tootsie is the only trotter to have finished ahead of Pridecrest at this meet, hanging that neck decision on him in early March, and completed the exacta last week. The Cantab Hall mare is owned by Martin Garey and Henry Wieseneck with Bob Johnson training and Mooney Svendsen in his usual spot in the sulky. Completing the Bergstein field are Windsun Galaxe, Silverlode, Franky Provolone, Dougs Hobby Horse and Franks Best. Races honor memory of Bergstein, Arnold Lloyd Arnold and Stan Bergstein, two legendary figures in harness racing, have races named in their honor this weekend at Cal Expo. The Lloyd Arnold Pace will be decided on Saturday night, while the Stan Bergstein Trot headlines Friday's program. Lloyd Arnold was an owner and track operator of the highest caliber. He passed away in 2012 at the age of 83. Originally the owner of Arnold Cattle Co. in Iowa, Mr. Arnold raced hundreds of horses in Illinois and across the Midwest throughout the 1960s and early 1970s. During that era, Mr. Arnold raced horses like Warm Breeze, who earned more than $250,000 in two seasons of racing in the mid-1970s, and Dancing David, who earned more than $200,000 in the 1960s. Warm Breeze took Mr. Arnold to racing's pinnacle for the first time when he set the all-age world record over this track, then known as Golden Bear Raceway. His top horses in later years included the pacing mare Sanabelle Island, who earned $1.6 million lifetime and won 57 of 110 starts. Also of note was Bagel Beach Boy, who won the 2001 Messenger and Matron stakes. In August 2003, Mr. Arnold bought Chevie Duramax, who then went on to set world records for 2-year-old pacing geldings on both mile and half-mile tracks. The fastest 3-year-old pacer in North America in 2004 belonged to Mr. Arnold as Quik Pulse Mindale won in 1:48 at Balmoral. In addition to being a prominent Standardbred owner, Mr. Arnold operated this track during those Golden Bear Raceway years and also bought Los Alamitos in the late 1980s, eventually selling the track to his partner, Ed Allred. Mr. Arnold was inducted into the California Harness Hall of Fame in April of 2008. He also enjoyed personal honors in 2001 when he was feted by the Delaware Sportswriters and Broadcasters at their annual awards dinner and received the Owner of the Year Award from the U.S. Harness Writers' Association. Chris Bardis said, "Harness racing was one of Lloyd's great passions. He accomplished so much for the sport not only in California, but nationwide. He was 'Mr. Harness Racing.' "He conducted race meetings at Cal Expo, Bay Meadows, Golden Gate Fields, Del Mar, Pomona, Hollywood Park and Los Alamitos. I know of no one else who has had a greater impact on the harness world." Friday's Stan Bergstein Trot is named for the legendary figure in harness racing who passed away in 2011 at the age of 87. Mr. Bergstein was a harness racing titan who advocated for cooperation between the Standardbred and Thoroughbred industries to solve the sports' common problems. He stepped down in 2011 after many years as the executive vice president of Harness Tracks of America, the Standardbred industry's trade association. He was immediately appointed as the organization's first executive emeritus, and continued to advise the association and write guest columns for the Daily Racing Form until the weeks before his death. The only person to ever be inducted into the Harness Racing Hall of Fame and its Communicators Hall of Fame, Mr. Bergstein worked in a wide variety of roles at racetracks, auction houses, announcer's booths, and racing publications, and he maintained extensive collections of harness-racing books and artwork. He was widely respected not only in the harness industry, but also in the Thoroughbred industry, and he served as a mentor to generations of young racing professionals through a close association with the University of Arizona Race Track Industry Program, located in Tucson, for the past 40 years. Mr. Bergstein was a forceful proponent of forging closer ties between the Standardbred and Thoroughbred industries, most notably in tackling medication abuse and problems with drug testing. In dozens of commentaries, Mr. Bergstein maintained that the Standardbred industry's problems were, or would be, those of the Thoroughbred industry, and that neglect of a problem in one sport would damage the other. Mr. Bergstein borrowed from the Thoroughbred industry early in his career, incorporating claiming races as a racing secretary while working at the Chicago tracks in the 1950s. At the time, the harness racing industry did not run claiming races, and they are now as commonplace in Standardbred racing as they are in Thoroughbred racing. Mr. Bergstein also spearheaded the creation of Standardbred Investigative Services, a security agency modeled after the Thoroughbred Racing Protective Bureau. A native of Illinois, Mr. Bergstein attended harness races as a young man and received a journalism degree from Northwestern University. He was the former executive editor of Hoof Beats magazine, and the former vice president of publicity and public relations for the United States Trotting Association. Cal Expo trackman/program director Marty Bridges credits Stan Bergstein with bringing him into harness racing as a profession. "After college and two years in the Army, I was employed by the small business association. At night, after work, I was a regular patron at Sportsman's Park and Maywood in Chicago. "My supervisor, a former sportswriter for the Chicago Daily News, knew of my interest and called Stan to set up a meeting. Surprisingly, I was to meet him at Du Quoin on Hambletonian Day. Watching Stan call the races from a slightly elevated booth on the infield adjacent to the finish line was thrilling and between races we talked about racing, horses, drivers and trainers. "His knowledge of the sport was amazing and I had never met anyone like him, and still haven't. He introduced me to John Tinsley, the program director for all the Chicago tracks and John hired me on the spot. It's been a great ride, doing something I love." Gene Vallandingham first met Stan Bergstein in 1959 when he was working for the legendary Joe O'Brien. "Stan came to Joe's farm every spring for the annual Camptown racing weekend, when all of Shafter would be there for a day of racing. Stan was the true voice of harness racing, he was liked by all and I miss him." Chris Schick said, "Stan was foremost a kind and compassionate person. He was a true visionary in the harness racing industry. In 1979, well before simulcasting, he so rightly stated the future of the industry was in how well we brought the product to the public. He was also very vocal of the industry for being reluctant to embrace change. Our industry lost a giant when he passed." By Mark Ratzky, publicity - Cal Expo Harness

After playing a supporting role in the first three stakes dances at Cal Expo for the sophomore pacing fillies, including breaks in the first pair, Glad to Meet Ya was the star of last Saturday night's harness racing get-together with a six and a half-length romp with Luke Plano. Sent off the 4-1 second choice behind the 1-5 Goturnumber, who had crushed her rivals in the previous two Sire Stakes, Glad to Meet Ya is a Disco Devil homebred who goes about her business Billie Schwartz and co-owner/trainer Junior Wilkinson. This group will get another chance to settle the score in a couple of weeks, with the four big clashes having seen three different winners, with Brigitte Bordeaux having accounted for the first one back on March 10. Last Saturday night was also a big one for owners Richard Morita and David Yamada and trainer Lino Pacheco as they made three trips to the winner's circle. They started off the hat trick with Bettor's Promise in the co-featured Open II Pace to kick off the program, then added victories with another Bettor's Delight offspring in Bettor Lady in the seventh stanza and also had Lincoln posing for snapshots following the evening's penultimate 10th affair. Speaking of landing in the charmed enclosure, the trotter Manley Stanley made it five wins from the last six appearances for owner/trainer Lisa Capioso and pilot Rene Goulet with a facile tally. Manley Stanley, who has been known to accompany Lisa to her day job as teacher, was on his best behavior for this go-around after making a rare early miscue in his previous start and missing by a nose. Trio of Opens get the marquee treatment Three Open races are featured on Saturday night's program at Cal Expo with Pridecrest, I'm An Athlete and Delightfully Wild heading the Open Trot, Open Pace and Distaff Open, respectively. There will be 10 races decided under the Watch and Wager LLC banner with first post set for 6:40 p.m. Pridecrest is a 6-year-old son of Angus Hall who races for Heather Matthews with Luke Plano reining and training. He has won seven of his eight starts at this meet, with four of them coming from the demanding No. 10 post position. Pridecrest established a new track record in his first start at the meet on November 3, going coast-to-coast while posting a 1:53 2/5 clocking. He followed that with five more straight scores, the last four from the 10 slot. The Matthews colorbearer tasted defeat for the first time here on March 3, when he was beaten a neck by Talkin Tootsie, then got his revenge at most recent asking as he waltzed home by almost six lengths while making every pole a winning one from the outside slot in a field of five. He has the 10 post this weekend. I'm An Athlete, who has rattled off back-to-back victories at the head of the class, including a life-time best 1:51 mile at most recent asking, looks to keep the momentum going in the Open Pace. An 8-year-old son of Art Major out of the Cam's Card Shark mare Female Champs, I'm An Athlete carries the banner of Ronald Rettig-Zucchi with Jessie Pacheco doing the training and James Kennedy in his usual spot in the sulky. The hard-hitting veteran has posed for pictures following five of his 10 starts on the year after capturing 7 of his 30 trips to the post last season. He will do his work from the outside post in the field of seven. By Mark Ratzky, publicity - Cal Expo Harness

A $5,100 Carryover in the Pick 6 with a $10,000-guaranteed pool highlights Friday night's Cal Expo harness racing program. The Pick 6 will cover races 5 through 10 and first post for the Watch and Wager LLC program is 6:40 p.m. There are also two wagers offered each night that come with a reduced 16 percent takeout rate - the 50-cent Pick 5 on the first five races and the 20-cent Pick 4. The Pick 4 features a $50,000-guaranteed gross pool on Saturdays and $30,000 on Fridays. Looking ahead to the Saturday program there will be some important prep races for next week's Lloyd Arnold Pace and Stan Bergstein Trot. The Open Trot will find track record holder Pridecrest getting much of the attention, while I'm An Athlete and Allmyx'sliventexas have top billing in the Open Pace. There will also be a Filly and Mare Open which spotlights the razor-sharp Delightfully Wild squaring off against a solid cast. Remillard, Cruisin For You delight longshot players Richard Remillard lit up the toteboard last weekend with Cruisin For You, guiding the Lester Smith-trained pacer to a three-quarter length victory while rewarding his backers to a $67 payoff. The Juan Pacheco colobearer had actually won two back as the 4-5 favorite, but was coming off a poor effort and just wasn't getting any love at the windows this time around. Remillard is a 62-year-old native of Winnipget Manitoba is about to complete his first season of competition at Cal Expo, noting "It's been nice to get away from the cold." Richard fell in love with the trotters and pacers when introduced to harness racing by his brother-in-law as a teenager. He has spent most of his time over the last 40 years dividing his time between his day job as a meat cutter and market manager while maintaining a ranch in Winnipeg. "It was only two years ago that I decided to concentrate solely on the horses," he explained. "My partner Val recently retired and after talking to Quentin Schneider, we decided to come down to California and give it a try before we get too old." By Mark Ratzky, publicity - Cal Expo Harness

Luke Plano and Steve Wiseman continued their domination at head of the driver standings last week, with each harness racing pilot registering a four-bagger on the Friday Cal Expo program, while James Kennedy was the driving star of the show last Saturday with four wins of his own. Wiseman started things off capturing the Friday opener with Chilma, then Plano countered by taking the second with Winsom Kelly and the fourth with Hi Fidelity. Not to be outdone, Steve recorded back-to-back tallies with Ragin's Flight and Totally Racy in the fifth and sixth contests, with Luke and Oh Yeah evening the score in the seventh. To complete their respective four-win nights, Wiseman clicked with Kiss On The Lips and Plano ended up in the winner's circle with Eastender in the feature. On Saturday's program, Wiseman registered a double and Plano has one winning drive while retaining his margin in the standings over his arch-rival at this meet. It was Kennedy who had the starring role on this program, as his four wins included a victory with I'm An Athlete in the Open Pace and Delightfully Wild in the Filly and Mare Open. Sire Stakes, Open II Pace atop marquee A $6,500 California Sire Stakes for the 3-year-old pacing fillies featuring Goturnumber and an Open II Pace headed by Bettor's Promise are the main events on Saturday night's Cal Expo program. The 11-race card is set to get underway at 6:10 p.m. Goturnumber is a homebred daughter of Kent's On Nuke out of the Ira mare Kb's Midnight who is owned by Mark Anderson, hails from the Gordie Graham barn and will once again have James Kennedy in the sulky. The dark-hued filly has proven clearly best in the last two stakes dances for the division, going coast-to-coast on both occasions while never looking like a loser. In the March 17 clash, Goturnumber waltzed home with nearly 10 lengths on Brigitte Bordeaux in a lifetime-best 1:57 mile, then showed the way home by two and three-quarter lengths over that same rival at most recent asking. Taking her on this weekend are Brigitte Bordeaux with Mooney Svendsen; Glad To Meet Ya, Luke Plano; Rhythm, to be guided by William Hernandez; and Lucky Seven Oflodi, who has the outside slot with Tony Succarotte in the bike. Looking at the co-featured Open II Pace, Bettor's Promise is coming off a solid runner-up effort to the razor-sharp I'm An Athlete in last week's Open Pace and should get plenty of respect at the windows while getting away from that rival. Richard Morita and David Yamada are the owners, Lino Pacheco trains and James Kennedy has the assignment. There are two wagers offered here each night that come with a reduced 16 percent takeout rate - the 50-cent Pick 5 and the 20-cent Pick 4. The Pick 4 comes with a $50,000-guaranteed gross pool on Saturdays and a $30,000 guarantee on Fridays. By Mark Ratzky, publicity- Cal Expo Harness

The pacing mares Cenalta Call Girl and Delightfully Wild come into this week's action at Cal Expo with significant winning streaks in tow. Cenalta Call Girl has put together four straight wins for driver/trainer Rene Goulet in the conditioned ranks, while Delightfully Wild has posted back-to-back victories in the Distaff Open for trainer Lino Pacheco and regular pilot James Kennedy. Cenalta Call Girl is co-owned by Goulet with Myrna Empey and has been saving her best for last in her four scores. She cut it a little too close for comfort in last week's mile, as she was shuffled during the middle stages of the race but was able to shake loose in deep stretch and was up by a head in a lifetime-best 1:53 1/5 mile. Meanwhile, Delightfully Wild has established herself as the top pacing mare on the grounds with four wins from the last five Filly and Mare Opens for Pacheco, Kennedy and co-owners Richard Morita and David Yamada. In her March 16 victory that was contested over a good track, she got the job done by a length and a quarter and lowered her mark to 1:53 2/5 in the process. "We bought Delightfully a little over a year ago at the Delaware sale and Gretchen Smith picked her out for us," said Morita. "It was on the final day of the sale and sometimes the 'best buys' are the ones you don't get, and we were lucky to get her after missing out on some of our earlier bids. "Lino has kept her sharp and has been impressed with how strong she has become. She's matured and can now better use her speed." Shark Festival has top billing in headliner Shark Festival, who has a powerful finish and gets some class relief; looms the one to beat in Friday night's featured Filly and Mare Open II Pace. There will be 11 races under the Watch and Wager LLC banner with first post set for 6:10 p.m. There will also be two California Sire Stakes decided as a non-betting events prior to the regular action. Shark Festival is a 7-year-old daughter of Shadow Play out of the Cam's Card Shark mare Shark Fest who competes for Medinah Racing and Scott Ehrlich with Kathie Plested training and Mooney Svendsen at the controls. The long-fused distaffer has made two trips to the winner's circle from 12 starts on the season, the most recent coming in a conditioned affair on March 9 where she ignited when it counted for Steve Wiseman and was up by a neck as the 9-5 choice. In last week's outing at the Open level, bay miss put in her usual generous finish, coming home in :26 4/5 to complete the exacta behind current division queenpin Delightfully Wild while once again coming that final quarter in :26 and change. One of her strongest challenges could come from stablemate Boozer Bruiser, who recorded back-to-back wins here earlier in the meet for owner/trainer Plested with Wiseman at the helm. She was sixth in last week's Open after finding herself well back turning for home. Completing the field are Kiss On The Lips from the Gerry Longo shedrow; the George Reider-conditioned Getter Queen Flush; and Moonshinemonkeys, who hails from the Rick Bertrand barn and will leave from the rail slot. By Mark Ratzky, publicity - Cal Expo Harness

An Open Pace featuring I'm An Athlete and Allmyx'sliventexas and a Filly and Mare Open Pace that brings out Delightfully Wild and Directing Traffic that head the harness racing marquee on Saturday night at Cal Expo. I'm An Athlete and Allymx'sliventexas put on quite a show at the head of the class last week and get another chance to settle the score in the co-feature while leaving from the No. 6 and 7 outside post positions, respectively. I'm An Athlete is an 8-year-old son of Art Major who carries the banner of Ronald Rettig-Zucchi, is trained by Jessie Pacheco and will once again have James Kennedy giving directions. He has four wins from nine starts on the year with a 1:51 1/5 lifetime standard. After some tough trips from difficult posts in his previous two miles, I'm An Athlete returned to his winning ways last week. He was able to leave into a pocket trip behind the odds-on Allymx'sliventexas, tracked that one to the drive and was up by a nose in a 1:52 mile. Allymx'sliventexas is a 5-year-old homebred who competes for Wayne and Rod Knittel, takes his lessons from Bob Johnson and has main man Mooney Svendsen back at the controls. The hard-hitting performer had three straight victories going into last week's Open, including a head-heat in the Glen Holt Memorial and a career-best 1:50 4/5 mile in his next outing despite being parked the mile that evening. In last week's clash, the Knittel colorbearer shot right to the front for Svendsen, opened a lengthy lead at midstretch but could not quite hold off the pocket-sitting I'm An Athlete in another strong outing. Veteran mare Silverlode continues good fight Silverlode added another victory to her resume last weekend as she dead-heated with Silverhill Volo in an Open II Trot, pushing her lifetime bankroll near the $175,000 mark. A 9-year-old homebred daughter of British Sterling who races for Steve and Vickie Desomer and has been handled of late by Steve Wiseman, Silverlode is out of the top racemare and producer Charlotte's Web. The latter has had a very impressive group of performers on the racetrack. In addition to divisional leader Silverlode, she has had divisional leaders in Placer and Cadet; the takes-winning Kiss The Girls and a promising pair in Pay Dirt and Shudabinaclaudius. Charlotte's Web, who celebrated her 16th birthday this year, is a daughter of Website who was a multiple stakes winner as a 2-year-old and was retired in the midst of her sophomore campaign. There are two wagers offered here each night that come with a reduced 16 percent takeout rate - the 50-cent Pick 5 and the 20-cent Pick 4. The Pick 4 comes with a $50,000-guaranteed gross pool on Saturdays and a $30,000 guarantee on Fridays. Last Saturday night's Pick 4 returned a nifty $1,922 for each correct 20-cent ticket and would have paid $1,716 using the regular takeout. That's $206 bonus for each ducket. By Mark Ratzky, publicity - Cal Expo Harness

Getter Queen Flush is coming off back-to-back solid efforts while joining forces with harness racing pilot Steve Wiseman for the first time, the most recent resulting in a head victory last weekend. The 6-year-old pacing daughter of Jk Royal Flush is owned by Geoge Reider, Dave and Rob Haness and Richard Thomas with Reider doing the training. She set her lifetime mark of 1:53 1/5 here in February with Mooney Svendsen in the bike. Two starts back, Getter Queen Flush ended up in a tough spot at the back of the pack early and found herself with too much to do in the lane while eventually finishing second, then had clear sailing in last week's tour and prevailed as the 3-5 favorite. "I was driving her for the first time two weeks ago and I outthought myself and got her locked in," Wiseman related. "This last mile we got a good trip and she dug in after that horse got past her nearing the wire." As for Reider, he's became a real fan of this hard-knocking performer. "There isn't anything I don't like about this mare," he noted. "She's a pleasure to be around and she tries hard every time." George also noted that Getter Queen Flush didn't know what a carrot or an apple was when she came to his barn, "But now she's a carrot and apple eating machine." She's also turned into quite a machine over the Cal Expo layout, posing for snapshots following four of her 12 races on the year. Will she add to that total in the coming weeks? Stay tuned. Eastender has top billing in featured Pace Eastender, who has been knocking heads with the top pacers on the grounds, gets some class relief and heads the field for Friday night's main event. Watch and Wager LLC will present 12 races with first post set for 6:10 p.m. There will also be a trio of California Sire Stakes for the 4-year-old pacers and trotters decided as non-betting events prior to the regular card. A 7-year-old son of Cheyenne Rei out of the Abercrombie mare Eastside Becky, Eastender is owned by Maryann Plano and Nikki Hudson and is reined and trained by Luke Plano. Eastender will be looking for his first win on the year in his seventh trip to the post, but has been doing the majority of his work at the Open level while taking on the likes of division leaders Allymx'sliventexas and I'm An Athlete. He made nine trips to the winner's circle last season, including a lifetime-best 1:52 2/5 score over this layout and should hit very hard in Friday's softer spot. He will do his work from the No. 6 post in the field of seven. Gordie Graham will send out a solid pair in Bettor in the Bank and Prodigal and they will both have a serious say in the outcome with their top miles. Rounding out the cast are Dontdoubthelakers, who takes his lessons from Lester Smith; the Lino Pacheco-conditioned Pancetta; Julerica from the Richard Remillard shedrow; and the Rene Goulet trained-and-driven Blue Star Maverick. By Mark Ratzky, publicity - Cal Expo Harness

The long and winding road that led the now 11-year-old harness racing pacer Lumberjack Willie to Cal Expo is explained by his current owner Scott Ehrlich. "In the early fall of 2013, I was wagering on Hoosier Park and Lumberjack Willie caught my eye. I bet him back-to-back weeks in which he made huge closes from no chance spots to hit the board, and then the next week, which was closing week, he was scratched. "I wasn't going to let him win somewhere without my money on him, so I put him in my TrackMaster Virtual Stable. He shows up a week later at Yonkers, drawing the pole. Brent Holland, my friend, was down to drive. I couldn't call him fast enough to tell him I had a 'hot' one for him. He wired the field at $8.90 and I now I'm following his career like he was mine." Ehrlich was so crazy about Lumberjack Willie that he actually bet on him against Sweet Lou at Yonkers in 2014, the same year Sweet Lou won 10 in a row and was named Pacer of the Year. Lumberjack Willie finished third behind the champion and went on to win an Open Handicap over that New York half-mile track in 1:52 4/5. After racing in June of 2014, the pacer disappeared from Scott's virtual stable until a qualifier 13 months later in 2015 at Harrah's Chester, where he finished second. Oddly, he didn't turn up again until a qualifier at Freehold in March of 2016, then was off again until a May 6qualifier at Yonkers "He broke at the start at Yonkers and was pulled up with Brent, who told me he thought he was done. Turns out he broke a coffin bone in one of his feet. Then after the recovery, he broke the coffin bone in the other foot. That was that - or so I thought. "To my amazement, he shows up in my virtual stable for a March 2 qualifier at Freehold in 2017, with his longtime East coast trainer, Jack Franklin, driving him. He qualified and for the next several starts, was okay, with the seldom driving Franklin. When Jimmy Marohn Jr. drove him on April 8, he won." Lumberjack Willie did his vanishing act once again follow that, eventually resurfacing in a June 8 qualifier at Hawthorne. He won that contest with Matt Avenatti. "Wouldn't you know it that I'm friends with his dad, David," Ehrlich continued. "I excitingly called David to let him know how I feel about this horse. He informed me they bought him at the Delaware, Ohio May sale for $2,600. "He promised me if his son and his fiance, Amanda Mills, ever wanted to move him, that I'd be the first they'd call. He did nicely at Hawthorne in the $4,000 to $8,000 claimers, then went to The Red Mile where he won in 1:52 1/5, then was second and then finished last. "About a month later, David called me wanting to know if I'd be interested in purchasing him, but was very forthright in telling me that he did not come out of that last race too sporty. But, under the loving care of his son and Amanda, was coming along nicely. With David's guidance, we quickly agreed to a price, and it was off to California. " Since arriving at Cal Expo, Lumberjack Willie has made a pair of visits to the winner's circle, including a 1:52 3/5 score in February. "He's been getting great care from Kathie and Steve Wiseman, and the extremely diligent work of his marvelous caretaker, Jodi Svendsen," Scott noted. For Scott Ehrlich and Lumberjack Willie, this story has truly come full circle. Sophomore fillies do battle in Sire Stakes A $6,500 California Sire Stakes for the 3-year-old pacing distaffers featuring Goturnumber and Brigitte Bourdeaux heads the Saturday night action at Cal Expo. A 12-race card is on tap under the Watch and Wager LLC banner with the first race set for 6:10 p.m. Goturnumber is coming off a dominating victory in last week's clash for the 3-year-old pacing fillies, as she made every pole a winning one with James Kennedy and reported to the wire with nine and three-quarter lengths to spare in a sparkling 1:57 1/5 performance. The dark-hued daughter of Kent's On Nuke is out of the Ira mare Kb's Midnight, is owned and was bred by Mark Anderson and Debra McCarthy and hails from the Gordie Graham barn. The first Sire Stakes for this group was contested two weeks ago and it was Brigitte Bordeaux who was taking bows in a mile that saw Goturnumber making two breaks and being eliminated. In her score, Brigitte Bordeaux sat a pocket trip early for driver Mooney Svendsen, attacked the leader turning for home and proved best in the drive with a two and a half-length margin at the wire in a 1:59 tour. The Hi Ho Silverheel's hombred competes for Wayne and Rod Knittel with Bob Johnson training. Rounding out the cast are Glad to Meet Ya with Luke Plano; Lucky Seven Oflodi, Tony Succarotte; and Rhythm, who will have the services of William Hernandez. By Mark Ratzky, publicity - Cal Expo Harness

After spending several years under the tutelage of his father Lino, 25-year-old Jessie Pacheco is making a name for himself here at Cal Expo, including a four-bagger on last Saturday night's harness racing program. Among the performers in Jessie's barn is the hard-hitting 8-year-old I'm An Athlete, who races for Ronald Rettig-Zucchi and has several wins in the Open Pace to his credit at this meeting, with last week's top dance among his triumphs. Jessie was born in California, but after an accident at age 1, he went to Mexico to live with his mother. While visiting his father at age 9, he was exposed to harness racing and upon his return to the States at 18 he set out to make it his life's work. "In Mexico I rode quarter horses, but I knew I wanted to come back here and work with my dad and the harness horses," he explained. It was two years ago that Pacheco took out his trainer's license and he has been making a steady stream of visits to the winner's circle at this meeting. "Everything I know about this sport I learned from my dad. I also want to thank the owners who have been very supportive." In addition to training, Jessie is slowly segueing into driving with a few evening ventures to his credit at this meeting. "I definitely need to get more experience with the driving," he noted. "Right now, I'm concentrating on the training." Talkin Tootsie, Silverlode headline main event Talkin Tootsie, who has won three of her last five starts including an upset over division leader Pridecrest two weeks ago; and the hard-hitting Silverlode loom the top combatants in Friday night's $5,500 Open II Trot. There will be 12 races on the Watch and Wager LLC program with the headliner going as the fourth event on the evening. A pair of $6,500 California Sire Stakes will be decided as non-betting events prior to the regular card. Talkin Tootsie is a 5-year-old daughter of Cantab Hall from the Westgate Crown mare Minnesota Carol who carries the banner of Martin Garey and Henry Wieseneck, takes her lessons from Bob Johnson and will once again have Mooney Svendsen giving directions. Two weeks ago in the Open Trot, Talkin Tootsie was patient early, began to pick up momentum turning for home and hung a neck decision on the 1-5 Pridecrest in a 1:57 2/5 performance. In last week's clash at the head of the trotting class, Pridecrest returning to his winning ways with a coast-to-coast score, while Talkin Tootsie sat the pocket and had to settle for third that evening. Silverlode was up to nail her for the place money in that affair and like Talkin Tootsie will appreciate getting away from Pridecrest. She is a 9-year-old British Sterling homebred who races for the Desomer Stables with Vickie Desomer conditioning and Steve Wiseman in the sulky. Completing the field are Silverhill Volo, The Evictor, Franks Best, Windsun Galaxie and Dougs Hobby Horse. By Mark Ratzky, publicity - Cal Expo Harness

The Evictor changed tactics last week to post a coast-to-coast harness racing score with William Hernandez at Cal Expo, pushing his lifetime earnings past the $522,000 plateau. The 10-year-old trotting son of Valley Victory is owned and trained by Gordie Graham and was posing for pictures for the third time this season from nine trips to the post. "This horse raced against some of the best trotters in the country and has a lot of back class," Graham related. "Having said that, when I got him about four years ago he was in pretty bad shape and the first thing I did was to give him eight months to rehab. It was a slow process with a lot of ice." Graham explained that he prefers to race his horses from off the pace, especially the ones like The Evictor who have issues, but Hernandez called an audible in last week's outing that saw the trotter setting all the pace on the way to a nearly five-length score. "When he saw the speed horse Windsun Galaxie make a break and not many horses on the gate, he made the decision to send," Gordie noted. "The horse showed his class." His owner/trainer explained that keeping The Evictor in race shape is a challenge. "With all his issues, there's a lot of tubbing and rubbing, but it's all that more rewarding when he goes a mile like he did last week. He absolutely loves to race." Allymx'sliventexas gets the marquee treatment Allymx'sliventexas, coming off a sensational mile at the head of the class where he was parked the mile and still gutted out a 1:50 4/5 score, gets the top billing in Saturday night's featured $6,000 Open Pace. There will be 12 races presented by Watch and Wager LLC with a first post of 6:10 p.m. and the main event is scheduled as the fourth contest on the evening. A 5-year-old homebred son of Hi Ho Silverheel's out of the Distinguishedbaron mare Annie Get Your Gun, Allymx'sliventexas races for Wayne and Rod Knittel with Bob Johnson conditioning and Mooney Svendsen in his usual spot in the bike. He has been assigned the outside post in the field of six. Allmymx'sliventexas went over the $100,000 earnings plateau with last week's tally and established a new lifetime mark with the 1:50 4/5 clocking. Sent off the 7-5 choice in that affair, he was parked the mile from the No 8 post, but refused to give up and prevailed by a neck over pace-setting Bettor's Promise. The latter is a 7-year-old son of Bettor's Delight who goes about his business for Richard Morita and David Yamata, takes his lessons from Lino Pachecho and has Chip Lackey at the controls. Third in the Glen Holt Memorial on March 3, he carved out all the fractions in last week's clash at the top rung and battled it out gamely to come up just short as a 10-1 shot. He has three wins here this season, including a 1:52 lifetime-best performance last month. Rounding out the field are One And Only, who gives the Lino Pacheco barn two looks at the outcome; the Luke Plano-trained Eastender; the Jessie Pacheco-conditioned I'm An Athlete; and Some Playa from the Jen Sabot barn. By Mark Ratzky, publicity - Cal Expo Harness

Friday night's Cal Expo harness racing card features a $12,658 carryover in the Pick 6 with a $25,000-guaranteed gross pool. The Pick 6 is conducted on the final six races of the night and is a 50-cent wager. Last Saturday night, despite two favorites winning, including even-money Directing Traffic in the Distaff Open, as well as a 2-1 shot, there were no correct tickets in the sequence. In addition to the carryover and guaranteed pool for the Pick 6, there are a pair of wagers offered here each evening that come with a reduced 16 percent takeout rate. They are the 50-cent Pick 5, which is held on the first five races on the program, and the 20-cent Pick 4. The latter comes with a $50,000-guranteed gross pool on Saturdays and a $30,000 guarantee on Fridays. Friday's co-features are a Filly and Mare Open Pace headed by Directing Traffic and an Open Trot that provides a rematch for Pridecrest and Talking Tootsie. First post for the Friday program, which is conducted under the banner of Watch and Wager LLC is 6:10 p.m. and there will be three California Sire Stakes for 3-year-olds decided as non-betting races prior to the regular card. Directing Traffic avoids rush hour Directing Traffic comes into this week's action riding a two-race winning streak, including a narrow victory in the Filly and Mare Open Pace at most recent asking that saw her come a :27 flat final quarter to seal the deal with Luke Plano. A 6-year-old daughter of Real Desire, Directing Traffic competes for Junior Wilkinson and Billie Schwartz and hails from the Wilkinson barn. "We bought her as a yearling from the Kentucky sale and she's been a solid performer for us," Wilkinson noted. "She's had some physical issues, but she's shown what she can do with the right trip." The right trip? "That would be making the last move, which is what she does best," Junior explained. "She always gives you a generous finish when she can sit back and come late." That's exactly what the bay mare has done in her last two scores, the first of those coming over a sloppy track and that last one with firm footing. On both occasions she was well back in the early stages, saving her best for last to get the picture taken. "She wasn't really ready for her top effort at the start of the meet, but she's racing into form now," Wilkinson said. "The thing is, with her style, sometimes she's going to be compromised by the shape of the race." By Mark Ratzky, publicity - Cal Expo Harness

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