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Fillies In California Sires Stakes Spotlight

Published: October 30, 2010 5:01 pm ET

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A pair of $15,000 California Sires Stakes were featured at Cal Expo on Friday night (October 29) in which Betty Elizabeth and She Is So Glad took home the honours.

In the first division, this for the trotters, was driver Steve Wiseman optimistic considering his charge hadn't raced since May 22 and had not qualified?

"I figured if we got the right trip, and given she had been training up pretty good, which included me training her a few times as well, that she could be fairly close," stated Wiseman.

Leaving alertly from Post 2 in the field of five, but joined by the three opponents to her outside, horses were four across the track entering the first-turn. Exquisite Gem (Rich Wojcio), however, broke going into the first-turn, then a four and three-wide Lily Of Lodi (Rick Plano) made a miscue just after the field entered the first-turn. Did Wiseman think his pushing from the inside caused the breaks?

"Maybe a combination of me pushing a little bit and the track being hard because it was sealed for possible rain may have taken its toll on both of them."

Continuing to push the pace until yielding to Acapulco Gold (Rocky Stidham) well after an eighth of a mile, Wiseman and his charge found themselves in the pocket off of a :29.3 opening quarter in what was now basically a two-horse race.

Remaining of course in the garden spot through middle-half fractions of 1:02.2 and 1:33.4 while the others tried to recover from their breaks, Wiseman had to be liking it at the three-quarter mile pole when he saw Stidham chasing after Acapulco Gold.

"I thought I had a decent shot, I just wanted to track her for as long as I could considering my horse hadn't raced since May 22."

On the move at the head of the stretch and being asked to the seven-eighths mile marker while Acapulco Gold was digging in, did Wiseman get what he wanted?

"When I asked her she responded well and was okay."

Edging into the lead with a sixteenth of a mile to go, Betty Elizabeth drew clear on the wire to win ($5.60) by 1-1/2-lengths. Bred, owned and trained by Lisa Pilcher, the filly won off the five-month layoff in 2:03.3. Acapulco Gold went down fighting while second, and an unlucky Cash Creek (Tim Maier) made up a lot of ground after an interference break in the first-turn and finished 3-1/2-lengths farther back, in third.

"She got a little tired, but that was to be expected. She got the job done and that's all that matters. It was a good race for her and she should be a lot better next week," concluded Wiseman.

In the second and final division, this for the pacers, She Is So Glad and her pilot Rich Wojcio were very glad they weren't in a pileup going into the first-turn when Gee Up (Etienne Desomer) had a wheel put under her causing her to make a nasty interference break.

"Thank God I didn't wind up back in UC Davis Hospital like I did back in January when I was in an accident here," stated a sighing Wojcio. "Yet through it all she handled it perfectly and didn't miss a step despite me yanking her to the right. Once we got out of harm's way I could start breathing again."

Coming away in sixth position from Post 2 in the field of eight, Wojcio wasn't the least bit upset that the pacesetting No Storm Damage (Troy Thomas) had flown through the first-half fractions of :27 and :56.1.

"Obviously the fractions were to my liking because the faster they were going up front increased my chances because I figured they'd come back to me."

Racing second-over past the half-mile juncture and getting nice final-turn cover from One Hot Tamale (Rick Plano), She Is So Glad found herself fourth and just 3-1/4-lengths back at the three-quarter mile station, timed in 1:25.2.

"Off the turn I thought it was going to be between me and One Hot Tamale and I thought I had a chance to catch her because she had done most of the work."

Moving three-wide into the lane and soon drifting out to the seven-eighths mile pole, the filly still quickly moved into the lead with just under an eighth of a mile to go.

"She drifted out pretty far last week when she won so obviously she likes to run out finishing. But she finished strong tonight and although I'd like her to be straighter as long as there's no one next to me I guess were okay and don't have to worry about knocking someone down."

Bred by Jay Rosenberg and owner-trainer Jim Wilkinson Jr. in partnership with Hans Karge and Billie Schwartz, She Is So Glad drew away in the last sixteenth of a mile to win ($18.80) by a widening 6-1/4-lengths in 1:55, a lifetime mark. One Hot Tamale finished in second, and Just Plum Lucky (Luke Plano) was placed from fourth to third as a result of Upncoming Prospect (Steve Wiseman) being disqualified from third and placed eighth for first-turn interference to Gee Up.

"I'm really happy that she won because I had qualified her before I got hurt in January and she showed tremendous promise. Her family, though, has a history of being real hot, but the last couple of races we've gotten to race her from behind and she's really learning in that she's using her speed at the right time. I'm glad she won for Junior [Jim Wilkinson Jr.], who did a great job, and for all the connections. She put in a quality effort especially considering the first-turn mishap," finished Wojcio.

(Cal Expo)

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