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Winners-Over Pace, Sire Stakes On Tap On Saturday At Cal Expo
Friday, October 7, 2011 - by Mark Ratzky, Publicity -- Cal Expo

A $4,500 Winners-Over Pace headed by last week’s upset victress Haggin Oaks, Ivegotwhatuneed and Shamderock; and the first round of $15,000 California Sire Stakes action for the 2-year-old pacing and trotting colts are featured at Cal Expo Saturday evening (October 8). The two Sire Stakes will go as non-betting events.
Haggin Oaks was 11-1 when she made every pole a winning one last week at the top rung for driver/trainer James Kennedy.  The multiple stakes-winning daughter of Hi Ho Silverheels races for the partnership of Shari Burns, Ferris Funk and Gerald Cimini with $82,000 in her account and a 1:53.2 mark from here earlier in the season.
Ivegotwhatuneed has gone a number of big miles over this layout, including a 1:52 tour back in 2009, and has won two of his five trips to the post at this stand.  Bob Johnson trains and co-owns the son of Givemewhatineed with Marty Garey and Lemoyne Svendsen will be back at the controls.
Shamderock was the slight favorite in last week’s clash for the top pacers but had to settle for a fourth-place finish while making up a good deal of ground in the final stages.  D & E Racing owns and bred this bay performer, who made a clean sweep of the Sire Stakes events for his division.  Luke Plano owns and trains and he figures to benefit greatly by that last mile as it was his first since returning from Vernon Downs in New York.  Cycle Power and Myra’s Hiho round out the field.
Haggin Oaks Allows Owners To Live The Dream At Cal Expo
Haggin Oaks has been an outstanding competitor at Cal Expo for owners Shari Burns, Ferris Funk and Gerald Cimini and driver/trainer James Kennedy, with multiple stakes trophies on the mantle, over $80,000 in the bank and a 1:53.2 career standard.
The 5-year-old pacing daughter of Hi Ho Silverheels was bred by Alan Kirschenbaum, and this is where co-owner Burns picks up the story.
“It has truly been a pleasure to care for some really great horses in my lifetime, and currently we have a really special mare in Haggin Oaks, who is known as Liza.
“I was born into the world of horses and I have been involved with the standardbred industry for the past 20 years.  Eight years ago I was asked to manage Alan Kirschenbaum’s breeding farm in Wilton, where we have Little Steven, British Sterling and a small, but very nice broodmare band.”
A number of fine trotters and pacers have come out of the Kirschenbaum breeding operation, and in 2007 Haggin Oaks came along.  Out of Ladyladybemylady, making her Little Steven’s half-sister, she ended up with the Burns, Funk and Cimini combination while eventually becoming James Kennedy’s first trainee.
“It was time to start making arrangements for everybody to leave the farm and start off their new careers, and nobody had chosen this little filly,” Shari explained.  “This where the dream begins.  I loved her conformation and her personality in the field, but as everybody knows, sometimes this doesn’t mean a thing.  Gerald Cimini had approached my husband Ferris a few months earlier about finding a horse and going into partnership, and away we went with Liza.”
Liza, aka Haggin Oaks, got her initial education from Lester Smith where she learned the early ropes.
“She was a really tough youngster, even a bit unruly at times,” Burns noted.  “She had trouble learning to pace with her nervousness, and we knew as a partnership she was going to need someone with a lot of patience.  James was just starting to branch out on his own and he took her under his patient wing.  Liza took quite a bit of figuring out, but James would take her on daily walks for grass and have heart-to-heart talks.”  
The rest, as they say, is history.  Haggin Oaks has a number of Sire Stakes trophies in her case and will be looking for her second straight win at the head of the pacing class in Saturday night’s (October 8) second race.
“I personally get the most enjoyment out of watching a beautiful little filly come into the world, getting through all the disciplines of becoming a race horse and making a dream come through for her breeder, three owners, a very patient driver/trainer and a caring groom.”
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.