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Putoneonnetformom Is King At Cal Expo

Published: June 16, 2012 4:21 pm ET

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His owners had to be deliriously happy when their beloved Los Angeles Kings met up with Lord Stanley on Monday night (June 11), so why not end the week with their Putoneonnetformom having his “Cup” runneth over as well?

Winners Over trotters, racing for a $6,800 purse, were featured at Cal Expo on Friday night (June 15), on which Putoneonnetformom never looked back.

In advance of starting well outside his five opponents, driver James Kennedy knew his post was an issue.

"I thought being assigned the 10-hole was a very tough assignment and I didn't know what or how I was going to do it," stated Kennedy.

With the field sent on their way, Kennedy left with his trotter, but four others were also forward off the gate, so Kennedy tucked in fifth at the eighth.

"The plan was to make them believe that I was going to leave and make other drivers force the issue, which would allow me plenty of room between the 10-hole and the one-hole to duck my horse back. If my plan worked, then I knew Rich Wojcio would leave with Alpine Hawk and Luke Plano would leave with Dreaming Of Amy, and that meant they'd have to use their horses a little bit.

"Originally, my intentions were actually to not go to the inside, but just to save my horse because I know that Wojcio's M.O. with any horse is to make the front and slow down. So once Dreaming Of Amy cleared and Alpine Hawk was about to clear her, I was going to make my charge to the front."

On the move to a :28.4 first-quarter, the eight-year-old made the front at the 7/16ths mile marker while not getting pushed by Alpine Hawk. Still, did Kennedy use his charge with the two moves and a :28 second quarter?

"I didn't use him to make the lead because I didn't use him at the start of the race as I was saving him just to make the move to the top. At the half, the plan was working exactly as I had hoped and I was feeling pretty comfortable about my chances."

Leading by two lengths on the final turn until Alpine Hawk narrowed the margin to the three-quarter mile station (1:27.3), did Kennedy feel as confident with the stretch-closing Alpine Hawk lurking in the pocket?

"My horse felt pretty strong and I felt I still had a very good chance."

With the field now very late in the final turn, Kennedy knew it was time for more.

"I saved the earplugs for just that point of the mile and when I popped them I also asked him to go and he responded very quickly."

Drawing clear by two-lengths with 3/16ths of a mile to go, then getting urged from before the seven-eighths mile pole on, Kennedy soon had to deal with Alpine Hawk, who was starting to surge with a sixteenth of a mile left to trot, or did he?

"I really wasn't sure Alpine Hawk was going to get by me because my only concern at that point was to drive on my horse all the way through the wire. I couldn't ask for him to race any better than he did in the last sixteenth."

Under an all-out drive, the gelding dug in to win ($5.20) by a long neck. Bred and owned by Jeff, Jerry and Diana Cimini, the Rocky Stidham-trained trotter stopped the timer at 1:57, a lifetime mark. Alpine Hawk had to settle for second and Dreaming Of Amy finished one and a half lengths farther back, in third.

"Last week I thought was the best race he had raced for me. This week he topped that by far. He was awesome. I can't thank the Cimini's enough for letting me drive him through most of the winter-spring meet. It has been a great opportunity," finished Kennedy, who in 17 drives behind Putoneonnetformom since December 31, 2011, had seven wins, six seconds and four thirds.

Live racing continues at Cal Expo on closing night, Saturday (June 16) at 6 p.m. (PDT). On Saturday, Cal Expo offers Happy Hour from 4 p.m. to 7 p.m. during which beer, well drinks and wine are offered at $4 each, while hotdogs, fries and sodas are offered at $2 apiece. Saturday’s action will include the simulcast of the entire North America Cup program from Mohawk Racetrack, highlighted by the $1.5 million fixture for three-year-old pacers.

Cal Expo offers a reduced 15 per cent takeout rate on all Pick 4s. Additionally, the Late Pick 4, which will have a mandatory payoff, has a $20,000-guaranteed gross pool, and will be broadcast on TVG.

(Cal Expo)

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