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Top Trot, Sire Stakes Hold Friday Spotlight At Cal Expo
Thursday, October 6, 2011 - by Mark Ratzky, Publicity -- Cal Expo

A $4,500 trot that brings out Putoneonnetformom and Franks Best and a pair of $15,000 California Sire Stakes for 2-year-old filly trotters and pacers are on tap at Cal Expo on Friday evening (October 7). The Sire Stakes, which go as non-betting events, give the young distaffers their first chance at big-money action this season.
Franks Best and Putoneonnetformom have taken the last two top dances for the trotting set.  Franks Best is a multiple stakes-winning 4-year-old son of Armbro Scribe from the American Winner mare Inside Edition who is owned, trained and was bred by Bob Johnson and has Lemoyne Svendsen once again giving directions.  He recently went over the $100,000 earnings plateau with a 1:57.4 mark that was established earlier this season.
The hard-knocking performer won his first start at the meet in coast-to-coast fashion on September 3, then opened a long lead turning for home in his next appearance but faltered in the late stages.  Adding Lasix for his latest try, Svendsen took the trotter back and rallied second over from last in that compact field to hang a head decision on Putoneonnetformom that evening.
The latter is a 7-year-old Trot For Joy homebred who carries the banner of Jeff, Gerald and Diana Cimini with Rocky Stidham the conditioner and James Kennedy handling the lines.  He was an impressive winner off a nearly three-month vacation at this level on September 9, had pace-setting duties in the last clash at this top rung and lost a heartbreaker, then proved a punctual 1-5 favorite in a conditioned race last weekend.
Carvalho And The Gift That Keeps On Giving
KC Carvalho is back at Cal Expo for another stint as back-up announcer while Scott Ehrlich makes his annual October trip to the East Coast, and what started as a birthday present has turned into a cottage industry for this harness racing fan and owner.
“I got the chance to call a race for my birthday back in 2007,” Carvalho related.  “Everything went blank into the first turn, but then I got into it and I have to say it was one of my best calls and I surprised myself.  After it was over, Scott said he needed a back-up and offered me the fill-in job.”
KC estimates he’s called in the neighborhood of 160 trotting and pacing events over the last four years.  “I still get nervous before each and every race.  It really isn’t about remembering the names of the horses, because I already know that, it’s just that I want to make sure I get everything right.  It’s the same thing when I play golf.”
The highlight in the booth to this point for KC came when he was able to announce a career milestone.  “It was Rick Plano’s 5,000th victory with Larry Horse, and that call got quite a bit of exposure and eventually led to some special things with that pacer.”
Of course, being an owner with a stable that includes the likes of such popular pacers as Fullback in Motion and Double Dakota means Carvalho is going to be manning the horns when some of his own performers are in action, which can be tricky.
“What I do is just pretend like they aren’t my horses, and the other thing is that I don’t make bets on any of these races.  One night I was announcing I did win three races with my horses, and that was a lot of fun.”
Being behind the mike has certainly given KC an up close and personal perspective on calling races.
“What Scott and these other announcers do is an art form, and I fully appreciate that after getting the chance.”  By the way, the money Carvalho earns goes directly to help purses in one way or another, last year helping sponsor the Not So Great Western Pace, which ended up benefiting the blue-collar works of the sport.
One such performer is the 8-year-old trotter My Tryin Ryan, who competes for Kent Fox and trainer Tim Brown and is coming off a victory last week.
“He’s raced three times when I’ve been announcing, and he’s won all three,” KC noted.  For the record, My Tryin Ryan will attempt to keep this unique streak intact when he suits up for Friday night’s (October 7) first race.
As for Ehrlich, his road trip will include the New England area (Plainridge Racecourse), Maine (Fryeburg Fair/called the Wednesday card), Scarborough Downs simulcasting, a little New Hampshire, Saratoga Raceway in New York, then back to Boston and home. 
Live racing resumes on Friday (October 7) & Saturday (October 8) at 6:00 p.m. (PDT). Cal Expo will race Friday and Saturday nights for the next two weeks, with Thursday racing being added to the schedule on October 20.  A reminder that every Saturday finds a reduced 15 percent takeout rate for both Pick 4’s. In addition, the late Pick 4 will come with a $15,000-guaranteed pool and there will be a 0% takeout on successful Late Pick 4 tickets made on track or at
On Friday, Cal Expo offers Happy Hour between 6:00-8:30 p.m., where $2 Beer, $2 Wine & $2 Buffalo Wings an order is offered.  On Saturday, its Dollar Night, on which hot-dogs; beer, soda, and wine will be sold for one dollar from 6:00 to 8:30 p.m.