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A Battle For Barn Bragging Rights At Cal Expo
Thursday, March 3, 2011 - by Mark Ratzky, Publicity -- Cal Expo

Lily’s Hi Ho, leading the nation this year with seven tallies and going for his 10th straight victory, steps up a notch for Saturday’s feature (March 5) at Cal Expo and might very well get his toughest challenge from stable-mate Ivegotwhatuneed.
Bob Johnson conditions both of these outstanding California-breds, owning Lily’s Hi Ho outright and sharing the bills with Marty Garey on Ivegotwhatuneed.  Lemoyne “Mooney” Svendsen, who has been the regular pilot for both, ends up on Lily’s Hi Ho for their initial meeting at the head of the pacing class.
“I left it up to Mooney, and he went with Lily’s Hi Ho,” Johnson explained.  “Rick (Plano) will be driving Ivegotwhatuneed, and I’ve already said that I was going to leave the strategy up to them.  Both horses have versatile racing styles, so they have a lot of options.”
Lily’s Hi Ho is a 4-year-old son of Hi Ho Silverheels who has only made 34 starts in his career and really hit his stride last fall.  He swept through the Denali series earlier this year in eye-catching fashion, and kept his streak alive last week in a high-priced conditioned claimer.
“He won himself out of that condition last week, so it’s time to move him up and see what he can do against this group,” his mentor explained.  “He still puts a few steps in here and there, but he’s very sharp right and it should be interesting.”
As mentioned earlier, Lily’s Hi Ho may find his biggest foe in a pacer who lives right next door.  Ivegotwhatuneed is an 8-year-old who calls Givemewhatineed dad and has amassed $260,000 in his career with a 1:52 mark from two years ago.  He won at this level two back and was runner-up to Haggin Oaks last week after carving out all the fractions.
“I guess it’s shaping up as the old class horse versus the young up-and-comer,” Johnson noted.  “There are also some other nice horses in there, so on a fast track I wouldn’t surprised if it takes a 1:53 mile or less to win it.”
Country's Winningest Lily's Hi Ho Moves Up In Class For Saturday Headliner At Cal Expo
Lily’s Hi Ho, who sports a nine-race winning streak, including seven on the year which makes him the winningest performer in the country, gets his sternest challenge to date when he faces a solid field in Saturday night’s (March 5) $4,500 feature at Cal Expo.
Lily’s Hi Ho is a 4-year-old son of Hi Ho Silverheels who has been unstoppable since late last season, including a clean sweep of the recent Denali series.  Bob Johnson owns and trains and Lemoyne Svendsen will once again be in the sulky.
Ivegotwhatuneed, Cycle Power and Haggin Oaks, who have been taking turns at this level over the last several weeks, should provide the streaking pacer with some very serious competition.
Three weeks ago it was Cycle Power who was taking bows after the week’s main event, two back it was Ivegotwhatuneed who proved a punctual favorite, while last week saw the hard-knocking mare Haggin Oaks register a $13 upset while setting a new career standard in the process.
Ivegotwhatuneed, who also hails from the Johnson barn and is owned by his conditioner and Marty Garey, has that February 19 victory and two runner-up finishes in his last three trips to the post.  Rick Plano will take over the driving as Svendsen sticks with Lily’s Hi Ho this weekend.
The 8-year-old son of Givemewhatineed is looking to add to a $260,000 bank account and sports a 1:52 mark from two years ago.  He was an easier-than-looks winner two back from the pocket, then carved out the fractions in last week’s tour and was no match when Haggin Oaks came rolling out of the two hole and had to settle for the exacta completion.
The latter is a 5-year-old daughter of Hi Ho Silverheels who carries the banner of Shari Burns, Ferris Funk and Gerald Cimini with James Kennedy doing the driving and training.  She has some versatility in her corner and left smartly last week to assume the pocket journey behind Ivegotwhatuneed, then came with a :27 flat final quarter to win by three lengths in a powerful performance.
Live racing resumes at Cal Expo on Thursday (March 3) and continues through Saturday (March 5).  Post-time on Thursday is 5:30 p.m. (PST).  Post-Time on Friday (March 4) & Saturday 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. 
On Saturday, Cal Expo offers a reduced 15 percent takeout rate on both the Early & Late Pick-4 wagers with both Pick-4’s having a $10,000 gross guaranteed pool.  Additionally, on Saturdays, for winning wagers made on the Late Pick 4 online at or on track at Cal Expo, a bonus payout of 17.65 percent of the gross Late Pick 4 mutuel payoff will be paid.