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Brandon Bragg Adds Youth To Owner Ranks At Cal Expo
Wednesday, November 2, 2011 - by Mark Ratzky, Publicity -- Cal Expo

At the age of 17, Brandon Bragg has to be one of the youngest, not to mention enthusiastic, harness horse owners at Cal Expo and in the country.  The Sacramento native currently has three horses in partnership with KC Carvalho, who happens to be his boss at work, and also owns the trotter Irish Whiskey, who prevailed last weekend. 
 
“I started coming to the track with KC about three years ago, when I went to work with him,” Brandon related.  “To be honest, at first I didn’t have much interest, but then I saved up some money to buy in for 10 percent on a horse and I really started to like it.”
 
Brandon made his first trip to the winner’s circle as an owner when Double Dakota got the job done as a 1-9 favorite.
 
“He won even though he had a broken head pole that night,” Bragg explained.  “It was then that I realized winning a race as an owner is the ultimate high.”
 
Brandon, who lives less than 15 minutes from Cal Expo, is getting plenty of hands-on experience thanks to Tim Brown, who trains his horses.
 
“Tim is teaching me about the training side.  I spend Wednesdays at the track and love being around the horses and learning about the game.”
 
The aforementioned Irish Whiskey is a 10-year-old trotting son of Meadowbranch Irish who has been a local mainstay for many seasons and is closing in on the $150,000 earnings plateau for Bragg and trainer Brown.
 
“I’d always wanted a trotter, and I bought him about two weeks after the meet started back up,” his owner explained.  “He’s an old trotter with a little bit of class, and every week he tries his hardest in the stretch. He’s one of my favorites.”
 
Distaff Sire Stakes Atop The Friday Marquee At Cal Expo
 
The third round of $15,000 Sire Stakes action for the 2-year-old pacing and trotting fillies holds the spotlight at Cal Expo on Friday night (November 4), with Littlest Mermaid heading the cast for the pacing distaffers, while Vari Forgetful looks to continue her dominance in the trotting event.
 
Littlest Mermaid is a daughter of Little Steven and the Precious Bunny mare Jethica Tandy who is owned and was bred by Alan Kirschenbaum, takes her lessons from Denise Maier and will have Luke Plano at the controls.  She was runner-up in the first big-money dance for the division on October 7, then picked up her initial trophy two weeks ago in a solid 1:58.1 performance.
 
Rounding out the field are Twentyone Guns with Lemoyne Svendsen; Marlene’s Angel, to be guided by James Kennedy; Diva Las Vegas with Jason Maier; Little Anna Mae, Scott Cisco; and Pismo Beach, with Bruce Clarke in the sulky from the outside slot.
 
Vari Forgetful has won both the Sire Stakes for the young trotting fillies while facing only one rival in Silverlode in those two miles. Jack Coffey owns and bred this daughter of Armbro Variable with Bob Johnson the conditioner and Bruce Clarke handling the lines.  She will be challenged again by Silverlode for Team Desomer with Steve Desomer giving directions.
 
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Saturday night (November 5) will find the two $10,000 finals of the Bronte Epilepsy Research Foundation Amateur Series, which is sponsored by Lou Pena and some of his owners and also includes a donation from George Brennan.  Spanish Rosey, Incredible Gambler and Just Plum Lucky loom large in the distaff event, while Rude Awakening, Sterling Chris and Serious Art are major players in the contest for the males.
 
There will be a 500 T-shirt giveaway on track to commemorate the event and free TrackMaster past performances and analysis for the Saturday card will be available at trackmaster.com/calx and on the this website.
                           
Free TrackMaster Cal Expo past performances and analysis for this Saturday’s program will be available at trackmaster.com/calx and at calexpoharness.com.
 
Live racing resumes at Cal Expo On Thursday, (November 3) at 5:30 p.m. (PDT), and continues on Friday (November 4) & Saturday (November 5) is at 6:00 p.m.  On Thursday and every live card, Cal Expo offers free admission, as well as free preferred & general parking after 4:30 p.m.  Also on Thursday night from 6:00 p.m. to 8:30 p.m., Cal Expo offers a complete Lasagna dinner, which includes salad and bread, for just $3.00.  Additionally on Thursday, beer & wine can be purchased for $3.00 each as well.
 
Cal Expo, in partnership with the USTA Strategic Wagering Committee, will offer the Thursday Pick 4's with a 15% takeout and a $10,000 Guarantee on the Late Pick 4.  On Saturdays, Cal Expo will continue to offer a reduced 15 percent takeout rate on both Pick 4’s.  In addition, the late Pick 4 will come with a $10,000-guaranteed pool with a 0% takeout on successful Late Pick 4 tickets made on track or at Twinspires.com.