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Siegel Lights Up The Toteboard At Cal Expo
Wednesday, April 6, 2011 - by Mark Ratzky, Publicity -- Cal Expo

Dave Siegel was the darling of the longshot players last Friday night (April 1) at Cal Expo, guiding Got The Giggles to a $71 upset for Robley Johnson and coming back to account for the nightcap with a $32 winner in Pedal On The Right from the Dario Solares barn.
Siegel, who is President of TrackMaster by day, is gearing up for next weekend’s East-West Amateur Driving Challenge, where he will be joined by Sue Boyce, Rick Bertrand and Robert Stepien as they take on the Eastern squad of Jamie Marra, Laura Mac Namara, Simeon Hunsdon and Steve Olford.
Two weeks later, on April 29 and 30, a team of New Zealand drivers will invade Sacramento for the Down Under Friendship Challenge, which should prove to be a very interesting event.
Getting back to Siegel’s two long-priced winners from last week, he put his driving versatility on display as Got The Giggles made every pole a winning one, while Pedal On The Right came from well back to post her three and half-length tally.
“I had really liked what I had seen on TV watching Got The Giggles,” Dave related.  “The field had no clear front runners, so I thought if I could get away clean and rate her, I would have a good chance.  Also, (Lemoyne) Mooney Svendsen was very helpful in telling me about some of her quirks, so I was able to avoid those issues.”
Pedal On The Right looked more like a 3-5 shot than a 15-1 chance the way she inhaled the leaders in her mile.
“She’s a decent closer and getting away next to last from the outside, I didn’t have to think too much.  I would have moved past the half, but Quentin (Schneider) moved early and his horses have been closing well, so it was no-brainer to follow him.
“Rick (Plano) slid out in front of him and when that horse had no go, Quentin went three wide and all I had to do was follow and let his mare do the work.  I tipped out around the seven-eighth pole and she had plenty of pace as she was totally unused.”
Sire Stakes Bring Out Top Distaffers At Cal Expo
The first round of California Sire Stakes for the 3-year-old pacing and trotting fillies will take place Friday night (April 8) at Cal Expo with a pair of $15,000 events on tap.  Racetrack Diva, Whip And A Prayer and Hi Fidelity get top billing in the pacing event, while Claim Jumper and Thatssomebracciola appear to hold the aces in the trotting contest.
Racetrack Diva accounted for two of the four big-money races for her division last season, including the November 20 Sire Stakes Championship over a sloppy track where she did the perfect stalk and pounce to prevail by a length and a quarter.  Tim Maier reins and trains the daughter of Little Steven for Robert Bacon and Denise Maier.
Whip And A Prayer has a stakes trophy on her mantle, earning it with a powerful finish in the November 5 get-together for this group.  She was subsequently third in the Championship as the 7-5 favorite and will be making her seasonal debut for owner/breeder Frank Nevarez, trainer Gordie Graham and regular driver Rich Wojcio.
Hi Fidelity captured the other stakes race last year and was runner-up in two more added-money jousts.  Her stakes tally came in coast-to-coast fashion on October 22 and Rick Plano drives and trains the Hi Ho Silverwheels homebred for Wayne Knittel and Laurette Odney.
Taking them on are Feetdontfailmenow with Luke Plano; Poorlittlerichgirl for Tim Maier; Diamond Player and Scott Cisco; Dine N Wine with Jim Lackey; Moxium, to be driven by Lemoyne Svendsen; and Poor House, who has outside for Steve Hyman.
Looking at the trot, Claim Jumper and Thatssomebracciola split the four big-money races for this group last year and are back for more riches.  Claim Jumper has come back this year with a pair of very good-looking wins and the Team Desomer homebred seems to have made a nice move forward since the last major gathering.
Thatsomebracciola is an Armbro Scribe homebred who is owned, trained and driven by Rick Plano.  He got the best of Claim Jumper when they last met in a stakes in November, getting up by three-quarters of a length in the Championship. Eggwhite In My Beer, Dancinwiththedevil, Chaxe and Dancergirl complete the field.
Live racing resumes at Cal Expo on Thursday (April 7) and continues through Saturday (April 9).  Post-time on Thursday is 5:35 p.m. (PDT).  Post-time on Friday (April 8) & Saturday is 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 Saturdays, Cal Expo offers a reduced 15 percent takeout rate on both the Early & Late Pick-4 with the Late Pick-4 now having a $15,000 gross guaranteed pool.  Additionally, 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.