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Kennedy Wins Cal Expo Co-Features

Published: January 2, 2012 12:22 am ET

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The best pacers and trotters on the Cal Expo grounds were in action on Saturday night (December 31), and James Kennedy was the pilot for both feature winners.

In the Winners Over Pace, for a purse of $4,500, Haggin Oaks was the pocket-rocket. Leaving from Post 2 in the field of five for her trainer, it took the five-year-old an eighth of a mile to get a brief lead before yielding well past the eighth into a :28 opening quarter -- a quarter that could have gone faster had driver Luke Plano not taken a hold of Marlin Hanover once making the lead. Did Kennedy use his mare?

"I did use her some because Mooney [and driver Lemoyne Svendsen] pushed the issue pretty good from the one-hole with Ivegotwhatuneed," said Kennedy. "But it didn't concern me because I could see I was going to get a trip because Luke left with Marlin Hanover."

Now sitting in the pocket in an easier second quarter to a half-mile time, travelled in :57.2, Kennedy, for good reason, would soon give his charge a couple of quick urges at and past the five-eighths mile pole.

"I was just trying to keep her up on the bit and on Luke's helmet, and she responded."

Getting set for the drive at the three-quarter mile marker, timed in 1:26.3, Kennedy had additional reasons to now be optimistic.

"I was sitting pretty comfortable and was just biding my time while she was feeling good -- and her feeling good made me feel pretty good."

On the move just to the head of the lane and being asked, Haggin Oaks moved forward and soon took a slim lead with a sixteenth of a mile to go, then while continuing to be urged, drew clear on the wire by one length. Owned by Shari Burns, Ferris Funk and Gerald Cimini, Haggin Oaks won ($5.40) in 1:54.2, thus recording her 30th career win. Cycle Power (Steve Wiseman) closed fast late to finish in second, and Marlin Hanover finished a half-length farther back in third.

"She's a nice mare who does everything I ask of her and was strong in the stretch. It was a solid race for her because I got a little trip for her for once as she didn't have to race on the front -- and she raced really well off of it, plus she beat the boys," finished Kennedy.

In the Winners Over Trot, also for $4,500, Putoneonnetformom started off a consecutive driving double for Kennedy.

Coming away fourth from Post 4 in the field of five into a :30.2 first quarter, Kennedy, with the pace being slow, moved his seven-year-old to the outside at the 5/16ths mile station, and had the lead with 9/16ths of a mile to go while under a decent grip into a 1:00.4 first half.

Getting a notch let out to the midway point of the final turn, Putoneonnetformom had 2-1/2 lengths on her foes at the three-quarter mile pole, timed in 1:31.

Under wheel-disc urging into the stretch, then all-out the rest of the way, the gelding wouldn't be caught while reporting home by 1-3/4-lengths. Owned by Jeff, Gerald and Diana Cimini, the Rocky Stidham-trained trotter won ($8.00) in 1:59.1. Shelby County (Anthony Succarotte), also trained by Stidham, finished in second, and Franks Best (Lemoyne Svendsen) finished one length farther back in third.

On the 15-race card, leading driver Steve Wiseman had four winners, giving him nine over the last two cards.

(Cal Expo)

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