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Silverlode / Flameon Rivalry To Continue

Published: January 19, 2017 4:45 pm ET

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It’s been some time since Cal Expo onlookers have seen as heated a rivalry as the one currently at the top of the trotting ranks between Silverlode and Flameon, as the pair has split the six Open Trots decided thus far at the current meeting.

Silverlode got the best of the battle when the pair met last week. She left into a pocket journey for Luke Plano and overpowered the pace-setting Flameon when push came to shove.

Silverlode is an eight-year-old daughter by British Sterling out of the multiple stakes-winning Website mare Charlottes Web who was bred and is raced by Steve and Vickie Desomer. She is working her way toward the $150,000 earnings mark with a 1:55.1 mark that was set last year over Cal Expo.

“I think the rivalry stands out because the field is usually short and a top-class event,” Vickie noted after Silverlode’s most recent photo session. “Steve and I don’t remember ever being involved in such a rivalry in the past.

“I don’t think the post position is too important in this case, because both Silverlode and Flameon can each benefit from the other if not used too hard early.

“I guess the most surprising thing to us is that Silverlode, like Steve, seems to be defying her age!”

Marvin Shapiro Final Heads The Marquee

The $8,800 Marvin Shapiro Final for fillies and mares will hold the spotlight Saturday night, and last week’s elimination winners, Dickies Motel and A Wish For Wings, have received top billing. First post is 6:15 p.m.

The feature is named for Marvin Shapiro, who was the son of L.K. Shapiro, who owned the Hall of Fame Thoroughbred and California-bred champion Native Diver. He was the president of Western Harness Racing Inc. in the 1960s and spearheaded legislation that sanctioned night racing in California. He died in 2003 at the age of 83.

Dickies Motel is a nine-year-old daughter of Camystic who is owned and trained by Richard Schneider and will have Luke Plano in the sulky. She will do her work from Post 5 in the field of 10.

Sent off as the mild 5-2 favourite in her elimination heat, the bay miss left into a stalking trip for Plano, ignited when the question was asked in the stretch, and drew off to a three and a half-length victory in a lifetime best 1:55.3 clocking.

A Wish For Wings is a five-year-old Royal Mattjesty offspring who is owned and trained by Stephen Crump with James Kennedy at the controls. She is perfect in two starts on the year, on both occasions tracking the leaders to the lane and then doing her best work when things got serious.

The even-money choice in her elimination, the Crump colourbearer left little doubt as she inhaled the leader into the stretch and waltzed home with four lengths to spare while lowering her career standard to 1:56.2.

Completing the field are Soul Diva, Moonshinenmonkeys, Duet, Blue Gem, Perfect Pitch, Blue Note, Speak English and Mystery Affair.

There are two wagers offered at Cal Expo each night that come with a reduced 16 per cent takeout rate. They are the 50-cent Pick 5, which is decided on the first five races; and the 20-cent Pick 4, which covers the penultimate four races on the program.

(Cal Expo)

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