California Stakes Rematch Set For JP Jetty, Worthy Opponent

Published: February 23, 2023 02:47 pm EST

JP Jetty, a game winner of the first stakes for the four-year-old pacing males at this meet, and Worthy Opponent, the beaten 1-5 favourite in that contest, get another chance to settle the score in Friday night’s $20,000 California Sire Stakes at Cal Expo.

JP Jetty is an Alberta-bred son of Mystery Chase who has now prevailed in four of his six lifetime appearances for Qks Racing and trainer Quentin Schneider. He will once again have Mel Mullet in the bike.

Sent off as the 7-2 second choice in last week’s initial stakes opportunity at the session for this group, he sat last in the early stages before beginning a move for Mullet down the backstretch. JP Jetty was up to engage pacesetting Worthy Opponent at mid-stretch and gradually wore down the favourite for the three-quarters of a length score while earning his first stakes trophy.

Worthy Opponent has multiple stakes wins on his resume and will looking for some revenge. The homebred Hi Ho Silverheels gelding races for Wayne Knittel, is conditioned by Bob Johnson and has Luke Plano back in the sulky

Rounding out the field are Minnekhada Joe, Rosco P Coletrain and Cenalta Hawk.

Watch and Wager LLC will present 11 races and first post is set for 6:45 p.m. The California Sires Stakes is scheduled as the sixth race while the eighth race on the evening will be a double-gaited event, the $6,000 Double Down Invite, which features four pacers and three trotters.

Bold New Beginning realizing potential

Bold New Beginning made it two wins in a row last weekend in another strong performance for Luke Plano, lowering her mark to 1:56 flat.

The four-year-old pacing daughter of JK Endofanera is owned and was bred in Indiana by Billie Schwartz and Jim Wilkinson, and takes her lessons from Wilkinson. She’ll suit up once again in Friday’s third race, a $4,000 fillies and mares conditioned pace.

Sent off at 7-2 in last Sunday’s foray, Plano brushed to the front past the quarter and took complete control of things, reporting to the wire with 2-1/2 lengths to spare.

“We’ve always liked her and tried to get her to the Sire Stakes in Indiana last year, but she wasn’t sound and we gave her some time,” noted Wilkinson. “She’s nicely bred and her dam is a full sister to a multiple stakes winner we had here named A Real Miracle. It seems like she’s really coming around now.”

Schwartz and Wilkinson have had one of the most successful partnerships in the game, campaigning some 22 stakes winners over the last 30 years, and it’s starting to look like Bold New Beginning might be made of the right stuff to add to that total.

“Billie is the best and we’re like family now,” added Wilkinson. “In fact, we go back three generations with this filly.”

(With files from Cal Expo)

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