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Thursday Racing Returns To Cal Expo

Published: August 26, 2010 9:57 am ET

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With no winning tickets in Saturday night’s (August 21) Pick 5 sequence, there will be a $3,082 carryover going into Thursday evening’s (August 26) Pick 5, providing some extra incentive for playing this new wager.

The Pick 5 is a 50-cent minimum bet that is conducted on the fifth through ninth races each night and gives fans the shot at a nice payoff while being able to use more horses with the reduced minimum. Thursday’s feature is a $2,700 conditioner claimer that finds Myras Hiho and Lucky Petersen among the major players. The former is a four-year-old son of Hi Ho Silverheels, who campaigns for the partnership of Bob Johnson, Hank Wieseneck and Marty Garey, with Robert Bell doing the conditioning and Jim Lackey on a return assignment.

Myras Hi Ho was third in his first race at this meet, then picked up the place money behind longshot Artilda last week as that one blitzed the field by six lengths that evening. He has some versatility in his corner and looms large in this cast.

Lucky Petersen is a three-year-old homebred son of Power Of Art and the Jate Lobell mare Madam Christie, who is up a notch in class after parlaying a pocket trip into a three-length victory at most recent asking. Mark Anderson trains and co-owns with JJJ Stables and Kevin Anderson will once again handle the lines.

Power Of Key Largo was fourth in that Artilda contest last week and should be a late threat. Owned by Catalina Arriaga, Dan Tulio and Robin Branca, this three-year-old filly takes her lessons from Matias Ruiz and has Steve Wiseman guiding from the inside slot.

The Power Of Art homebred kicked off the meet by taking the measure of a softer group on opening weekend, charging late to be up by a half-length. In her most recent outing, she made some late progress for a fourth-place check behind that romping winner. It won’t take all that much improvement to be in the hunt.

Rounding out the cast are a pair of performers from the Tim Maier barn in Culture Shift and Seventh Sin; Power Of Elizabeth from the Raul Escobedo shedrow; and the Jim Wilkinson Jr.-trained Mighty Fine Hi Ho.

Another Touchdown For This Pacer

Fullback in Motion is a horse who knows where the finish line is, having clicked 12 times last year and a half-dozen this season. He went coast-to-coast last weekend for owners Sean David and John Lastufka, trainer Brian Solden and pilot Luke Plano.
In last Saturday’s (August 21) score, the gelding zipped right to the front for Plano from his outside slot, was able to carve out the fractions without challenge, then had enough left to hold off Paul The Powerful by a head as the 3-2 choice. He’s back in action on Thursday evening (August 26).

“I’ve had him for a about a year now, and he’s a solid performer and a great horse to work with,” related Solden when asked about the six-year-old son of Key Prospect. “In the 37 starts he’s been in the barn, he’s got 10 wins, eight seconds and eight thirds, and that’s despite being afflicted with EPM.”

Solden also pointed out something that is readily apparent when you lay eyes on Fullback In Motion. “He’s probably the largest horse on the grounds with an abnormally large head,” his mentor explained. “The vet commented Saturday night that he literally has the head of a Clydesdale, which I’m sure helped him with that photo.”

Owners David and Lastufka are having a great time with the pacer, who has consistently been getting them into the winner’s circle.

“They’re both local guys and huge fans of the sport,” Brian reported. “In fact, Sean has been a regular here since 1984 when he was 16 years old.

“They’ve owned several horses over the years, but both agree Fullback is their favourite.”

Guess you could say he’s the big horse in the barn.

Fraser Finds Winning Twice As Nice

Last Friday night (August 20) was a good one for owner Amanda Fraser, as she posed for pictures with both the pacer Frankly Scarlett and trotter Victory Felicia in the span of a little over an hour.

Both of these performers are owned in partnership with Scott Cisco, take their lessons from Rick Cisco and were given picture-perfect drives by James Kennedy to get the job done.

“We bought Frankly Scarlett in June of 2008 and she’s been to Alberta, Ohio, Ontario and now back to California where she was bred,” Amanda related. “She’s a huge mare that everybody mistakes for a gelding, and she acts the part because she’s a real tomboy.

“She was on the farm for a bit before she came here, and she was very relaxed, but when she went out for her race she definitely had her game face on. It certainly didn’t hurt to end up in the two-hole behind the favourite.”

Like Frankly Scarlett, Victory Felica had been doing her most recent work in Canada and found a conditioned group to her liking as she parlayed the two-hole trip with Kennedy into a head score as the even-money choice.

“There weren’t the right conditions for her up there,” Fraser explained. “She’s got a versatile style, and I told James she had some speed if he wanted to use it. He ended up giving her a perfect trip, just like Frankly Scarlett.”

Amanda originally started out with thoroughbreds, then switched over to the sulky side in Alberta back in 2002.

“What I love about the harness horses is the fact that it’s truly hands on. You can really be involved, and I find that I’m learning something new every day.”

Fraser currently has a trio of performers at Cal Expo with Cisco, and two more due in shortly. So far, so good.

Gee Gee Now A Win, Win Machine

Gee Gee Cyril Lee comes into Saturday’s (August 28) program riding a four-race winning streak, but he’ll be asked a much tougher question this time around as he bumps up a few levels on the claiming ladder.

The homebred son of Power Of Art carries not only the banner but plays the role of namesake for longtime owner/breeders Lee and Arlene Gellerman and Cyril and Lola Green, with Luke Plano at the controls since the break in action.

Gee Gee Cyril Lee closed out the spring session with two scores with Rick Plano in the bike, got a couple of months of R and R during the break, and has come back with two clear-cut victories for Luke. He came from last to click on opening weekend, then reverted to his usual front-end tactics for last week’s coast-to-coaster.

“He had a good two months off and did a lot of swimming at Al Sleva’s place,” Luke related. “The first race back he had an outside post and I started to leave, but when I saw a bunch of them going I took him back to last. He’d trained awfully well and I had a lot of confidence, and he was impressive when I asked him in the stretch.”

The Gellerman and Green colour-bearer came right back for the same $4,000 tag last week with an inside slot and proved a punctual 3-5 favourite as he made every pole a winning with the issue never really in doubt at any point.

“He comes from a family with lots of high speed, and he’s been showing his versatility the last couple of weeks,” Plano said. “He’s been dominating those horses, so now it’s time to move him up in class and see what he can do. If it doesn’t work out, he can always go back to the lower level.”

Three of his rivals come of the same race decided under these exact conditions last Saturday, with Bob Lee getting the job done that night in his first start off the claim for owner Osmin Carrera and trainer Dario Solares. Luke did the honours that evening, but obviously has another engagement in this contest.

Grandpa Stevie got the show money behind Bob Lee in that affair, but lost his best chance when he was caught behind a breaker and looms large here with Rich Wojcio. Larry Horse is one of the more popular performers on the grounds; Schemes returns from New York and Satire gets some post-position relief for this one.

Live racing at Cal-Expo now goes back to a Thursday through Saturday schedule for the balance of the year. Post-time on Thursday is at 6:00 p.m. (PDT). Post-time on Friday (August 27) is at 6:45 p.m. Approximate post-time on Saturday is at 5:45 p.m. On Thursday night, Cal-Expo offers a complete Lasagna dinner, which includes salad and bread, for just $3.00. Additionally on Thursday, beer and wine can be purchased for $3.00 each as well.

(Cal Expo)

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