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Pacheco Comments On Pancetta

Published: February 19, 2015 4:19 pm ET

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After closing out his 2014 campaign in style at Yonkers Raceway, Pancetta has returned to California for trainer Lino Pacheco and will make his seasonal debut in Saturday’s featured Open Pace.

The six-year-old son of No Pan Intended races for Richard Morita and David Yamada and will be guided by Luke Plano, who has gone many a winning mile with the pacer. A 1:51.1 winner at Pocono Downs two years ago, a first-place cheque on Saturday would put Pancetta at the $400,000 earnings plateau.

“He got back here in early November and everything has been on schedule,” Pacheco related. “He had an easy qualifier with Jen (Sabot), then picked it up nicely in last week’s qualifier with Luke, who said he was very sharp.”

Pancetta’s most recent victory came in mid-October over the half-mile Yonkers oval, getting the job done from the difficult Post 7 while racing against some of the best pacers on the grounds. “He can go from anywhere and do anything you ask,” Pacheco noted.

“That’s one of the things that makes him such a tough horse. He’s small, but he’s got a very big heart and he’s one of the best we’ve ever had at the barn.”

Pancetta will start from the rail Saturday night while taking on a pretty tough group, including the streaking A Real Miracle, and will be spotting his rivals the edge when it comes to recent activity.

When asked for a prediction, Pacheco was very diplomatic. “Let’s let the horse speak for himself,” he said. Duly noted.

Open Pace Brings Out A Real Miracle

A Real Miracle, who has posed for pictures following four of his last five appearances; gets top billing in Saturday night’s featured Open Pace at Cal Expo.

There will be 10 races on the program. First-race post time is 6:40 p.m. The headliner is set to go as the third event on the card with A Real Miracle squaring off against Pancetta, China King, Windsong Jack J C Onthebeach.

A Real Miracle is a five-year-old homebred son of Real Desire out of the Givemewhatineed mare I Need A Miracle who races for Junior Wilkinson, Billie Schwartz and Ivan Axelrod with Wilkinson the conditioner and James Kennedy in the sulky.

The razor-sharp performer comes into the assignment eyeing his fourth straight trip to the winner’s circle, the first two with Luke Plano and most recently with Kennedy at the helm.

In his most recent outing at the head of the class, A Real Miracle sat last in the compact field for a half, rallied second-over on the final bend, and then ignited when the question was asked to be up a neck over favoured Windsong Jack while lowering his mark to 1:51.2 in the process.

Windsong Jack is a five-year-old son of Santanna Blue Chip who was making his first start of the year in that February 14 affair and lost a heartbreaker after carving out all the fractions. Gene Vallandingham trains for Little Bapa LLC with Chip Lackey handling the lines.

This week finds the trotters and pacers in action on Friday, Saturday and Sunday nights, February 20-22.

(Cal Expo)

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