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Roland Notches Win No. 2,000

Published: November 27, 2021 2:22 pm ET

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Driver Nick Roland joined the 2,000-win club Friday (Nov. 26) at Cal Expo when he guided Hi Hos Little Rev to victory in the second race.

He added two more scores giving him seven trips to the winner’s circle over the first two nights of action at this meet. The Iowa native is currently in the midst of his best year in the sulky, posting personal bests thus far in both wins (192) and earnings ($1,045,105).

One of his five wins on opening night came with Buddys Hope for trainer Natalie Tremblay and she doesn’t hold back when asked about her 11-year-old pacing warrior.

“The love of my life,” Nathalie related. “He still acts like a two-year-old around the barn, playing in the pen and things like that, but he’s an old warhorse and all business when he gets on the track.”

The son of Western Ideal, who is owned by Jerome Bouvier, was hammered down to 70 cents on the dollar last week and did not disappoint his many backers as he tracked, attacked and got the job done with Roland.

“We took him to Chicago this summer, but he got sick shipping and we lost some time, and then the track was too hard for him and we stopped and decided to wait for this meet,” Tremblay explained.

Buddys Hoppe got an excellent tightener in his November 12 qualifier, closing smartly to just miss in a :27.1 quarter, and that set him up perfectly for his evening return at Cal Expo.

“Before the race, I asked Nick if he’d ever driven him before, and he said the last time he did he was racing in a $4,000 claimer and wasn’t doing much. I told him he was much better now and I was very happy with his performance.”

Top performers in Sunday Cal Expo action

Oneida Blue Chip, who raced at the top level this summer at Running Aces in Minnesota, looms the one to beat in the featured $5,300 Open III Pace for fillies and mares on Sunday (Nov. 28) at Cal Expo, while the classy Allmyxsliventexas suits up in a conditioned affair a bit later on the card.

The main event goes as the fourth on a 10-race Watch and Wager LLC card that is set to get underway at 4:55 p.m., while Allmyxsliventexas will be in action in the sixth event on the night.

Oneida Blue Chip is a seven-year-old daughter Of American Ideal who carries the banner of Barbara Arnstine, is conditioned by Kathie Plested and will have Mooney Svendsen at the controls from the outside post in the field of five.

The bay miss was racing in the Open ranks this season at Running Aces, with her most recent score coming on August 26 at that top rung with Svendsen giving directions. She is looking for her 24th lifetime score with $243,000 in the bank and a 1:52.1f mark that was set last year at Pompano Park.

Alwaysalittlemore also had some solid races in Minnesota over the summer and looks like a serious rival while drawing just inside Oneida Blue Chip. The Always a Virgin mare is owned by Nikki Hudson and Christopher Schick and is reined and trained by Luke Plano.

Alwaysalittlemore last posed for pictures at Running Aces on August 19 in a conditioned event while making every pole a winning one, and at the last year here recorded her career standard when she toured the oval in a snappy 1:52.3.

Completing the cast River Lassena for trainer Gordie Graham with James Kennedy handling the lines; Shes A Showstopper for Richard Bertrand and pilot Nick Roland and Go Away and Play, who leaves from the inside slot for Quentin Schnedier with Mel Mullet in the sulky.

A reminder there are three wagers here with a reduced 16 percent takeout rate – the 20-cent early and late Pick 5 and the 20-cent Pick 4, with the latter featuring a $25,000-guaranteed gross pool.

(with files from Cal Expo)


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