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Alpine Hawk Gets Ready To Swoop At Cal Expo
Tuesday, December 6, 2011 - by Mark Ratzky, Publicity -- Cal Expo

Alpine Hawk returns to the wars in Thursday night’s (December 8) featured sixth race at Cal Expo after posting a romping five and a half-length score in a qualifier last week for pilot Rich Wojcio.
A 10-year-old son of Movie Mogul who races for Jim Winske and hails from the Gordie Graham barn, Alpine Hawk has landed in the charmed enclosure following 37 of his 170 starts, with another 31 seconds and 19 thirds.  His bankroll stands at $153,000 and he established his mark of 1:56.4 two years ago when racing on the East Coast.
Alpine Hawk hasn’t seen action since finishing third behind the current trotting kingpins Franks Best and Putoneonnetformom in a Winners-over affair in late September.
“He had trouble staying sound all summer,” Wojcio related.  “He qualified well, though, and hopefully he’ll be good now.  We’ll just have to see after each race.”
Speaking of summer turning into fall and fall about to become winter, Rich was asked about a tip to handicappers now that the warm climes are behind us and sitting chilly takes on a different meaning in the races.
“I think the wind is the biggest factor to consider,” he said.  “It affects the way we drive and normally after a few races you can see which way things are going as far as speed and closers are concerned.
“If the winds are strong down the backstretch, you’re likely to see much less movement, if any, so the fractions are generally going to be much slower.  That definitely gives the advantage to the horses who are sitting in the top three and they have an edge in the sprint home.”
Trot Brings Out Giles L S Hanover At Cal Expo
Giles L S Hanover, who chased home his classy stable-mate Franks Best at most recent asking, gets some class relief and the cozy rail post when he suits up for Thursday night’s (December 8) $3,600 main event at Cal Expo for the trotting set.
A hard-knocking field of nine will face starter Bill Vallandingham and Giles L S Hanover figures to have his share of pari-mutuel support.  The 6-year-old son of S J’s Photo is owned by Marty Garey and Bob Johnson and hails from the Johnson barn.  He is looking for his sixth win on the year from 36 trips to the post.
The bay performer has made three of his last four starts at the tougher Winners-over level, including last week’s outing where he had to settle for a distant runner-up finish behind his razor-sharp barn-mate Franks Best.  Two back at this rung, he was the 2-1 choice and made a big move in the stretch but could not quite follow through and checked in third, beaten just a half-length that evening.
Cherry Tree Nicole is looking to make amends after going off stride early as the even-money favorite at this level last week.  Alan Kirschenbaum owns, Denise Maier trains and Steve Wiseman guides the son of British Sterling, who turned in two big efforts prior to the last miscue.
Cobina is coming off a 7-1 upset with this kind and should be tough right back.  The mare is conditioned by Amanda Fraser for Sling & A Stone Stable with Scott Cisco once again doing the honors.  In last week’s mile, she carved out all the fractions and then had enough left to hold safe by a neck over Meringue, who will again be among her rivals.  She will go from the rail to the No. 5 slot for this assignment.
Meringue is the richest member of the cast with his $196,000 bank account and sports a 1:55.2 mark from two years ago.  The son of Jonathan Lobell carries the banner of Dawn Evango with Kennedy Lindsey doing the training.  He went a big first-over mile last time with Luke Plano at the helm.
Dudis Angel was right there in third that night and helps make things interesting.  He will give trainer Johnson two shots at the outcome and also got a nice draw as he leaves just outside stable-mate Giles L S Hanover in the No. 2 post.  Dreaming Of Amy, Twice The Ruckus, Alpine Hawk and D Man complete the line-up.
Live racing resumes at Cal Expo on Thursday (December 8) at 5:30 p.m. (PST) and continues on Friday (December 9) & Saturday (December 10) 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 now offers a reduced 15 percent takeout rate on all Pick 4’s (Thursday/Friday nights in partnership with the USTA Strategic Wagering Committee).  In addition, all Late Pick 4’s will come with a $10,000-guaranteed pool.  On Saturday nights, there will be a 0% takeout on successful Late Pick 4 tickets made at Cal Expo or at