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One And Only Continues To Make Mark

Published: November 29, 2013 11:52 am ET

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One And Only is in receipt of a little class relief in Cal Expo’s Saturday night’s co-feature, getting away from the razor-sharp Its Getting Hairy, and could very well be posing for pictures for owners Richard Morita and David Yamada and trainer Lino Pacheco.

The five-year-old son of Bettors Delight has gone a number of big miles over Cal Expo during his career, but his career standard came in August during a Vernon Downs invasion when he stopped the timer in a snappy 1:52.4 under Luke Plano’s direction.

“We bought One And Only at the Meadowlands sale in January 2011,” Morita related. “He had tried to qualify twice at Freehold, but made breaks in both starts. We figured Steve Elliott was a top trainer back east, so he was brought along the right way and one of those not destined for stakes. Just the kind of horse my partner Dave and I could take a chance on.”

One And Only had spent his entire racing career in California up until the end of the last meet, when Morita and Yamada decided the time was right to hit the road with the gelding. “We hooked up with Luke, who had done well driving the horse and was headed to Running Aces. Luke's dad, Rick, was the one who was at the sale and did the inspection of One and Only and made the ‘winning’ bid.

“One And Only got sick at ‘Aces’ and just raced ‘okay.’ Luke wanted to try Vernon Downs, so we went for the ride. In August, he found a field to his liking, and Luke gave him a winning drive, stopping the timer in a lifetime best of 1.52.4. Right before he left Vernon, we were coming strong first-over in a fast mile, and I think he would have been right there. Unfortunately, he made an uncharacteristic break when clearing the leader in a mile that went 1.51 flat.”

One And Only was given a few weeks off following his return to California, and according to his co-owner enjoyed being home and in the care of Pacheco. He has recorded two seconds and a third in his three trips to the post at this meet and gets away from one of his main rivals in Its Getting Hairy for this weekend’s assignment.

“We have been bringing him back slowly,” Morita noted. “I thought his last mile was a very good one on a track where front speed was not holding at all and he was meeting a very sharp horse in Its Getting Hairy.”

A Stitch In Time Solid Sire Stakes Favourite

Saturday’s Watch and Wager LLC program at Cal Expo features a $10,000 California Sire Stakes for the three-year-old pacers with A Stitch In Time looming the overwhelming favourite in that affair.

A 14-race card is on tap Saturday evening, with the sire stakes going as the ninth on the program. The co-feature is an Open 2 Pace with Phantom Dan and One And Only among the major players and it will be the third race on the card.

A Stitch In Time is a homebred son of Kents On Nuke out of the Power Of Art mare Sheza Gimmie Girl who is owned by Mark Anderson, conditioned by Gordie Graham and will have Mooney Svendsen giving directions. He is looking for his 11th win from 16 career trips to the post.

The dark-hued performer set his lifetime standard of 1:53.3 last month at Fraser Downs, and suited up for the first sire stakes at Cal Expo for the division two weeks ago having captured four of his previous five outings. Sent off at 1-5 in that affair, he sat a tracking trip for Svendsen for a half, brushed to a clear advantage on the final bend and went on to a 10-length romp.

Bit Player was along for second that night while no threat to A Stitch In Time. The Desomer Stable homebred son of Moxie is a multiple stakes winner with a 1:55 standard that was set here earlier in the season and Steve Wiseman will handle the lines for trainer Vickie Desomer.

Completing the field are Orlandos Express with James Lackey at the controls; Hi Ho Disguise, to be handled by Dave Siegel; Me Tarzan with James Kennedy; and Kablooie, who will start from the outside with Luke Plano at the helm.

Looking at the Open 2 Pace, One And Only has completed the exacta behind Its Getting Hairy in his last two miles and should appreciate getting away from the razor-sharp performer. The Richard Morita and David Yamada colourbearer is conditioned by Lino Pacheco with Luke Plano guiding and established his 1:52.4 mark this summer at Vernon Downs. Phantom Dan should be the main rival for driver/trainer James Kennedy.

(Cal Expo)

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