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Sophomore Filly Sire Stakes On Tap Friday At Cal Expo
Wednesday, November 9, 2011 - by Mark Ratzky, Publicity -- Cal Expo

Gordie GrahamA pair of $15,000 California Sire Stakes for the 3-year-old pacing and trotting fillies have the spotlight at Cal Expo on Friday evening (November 11), with Whip And A Prayer and Thatssomebracciola seeking repeat victories after prevailing in the first round of big-money action at the meet two weeks ago.
Whip And A Prayer is a homebred daughter of Hi Ho Silverheels and the Cam’s Card Shark mare Kc Carey who carries the banner of Frank Nevarez, with Gordie Graham the conditioner, and Rick Wojcio in his usual spot in the sulky.
After getting a nice tightener in her October 20 comeback race, Whip And A Prayer sat a tracking trip in the first stakes clash of the fall here two weeks ago and came home smartly to win going away by a length and a quarter while returning $25 to her backers.
Racetrack Diva was runner-up, while Dine N Wine had to settle for third as the 6-5 favorite in that affair, with both being previous stakes winners.  Racetrack Diva is a Little Steven offspring who campaigns for Robert Bacon and Denise Maier, with Maier the conditioner and James Kennedy in the sulky.  Dine N Wine is a Desomer Stables homebred by Power Of Art with Vickie Desomer training and Steve Wiseman at the helm.
Completing the field are Feetdontfailmenow, to be handled by Jim Lackey; Hi Fidelity with Scott Cisco; Math Wiz, who has the services of Lemoyne Svendsen; and Poor House, to be guided by Luke Plano.
Thatssomebracciola will attempt to add another stakes trophy to the mantle for owner/breeder Rick Plano and driver/trainer Luke Plano.  This daughter of Armbro Scribe got a pocket journey to the stretch in that added-money clash two weeks ago, took command once straightened for home and posted a three and a quarter-length decision.
Taking her on are Claim Jumper, who has the rail with Steve Desomer in the sulky; Eggwhite Inmy Beer, James Kennedy; Dancergirl with Jim Lackey; Flea Flicker for Rich Wojcio; and Dancinwiththedevil with Steve Wiseman.
This Pacer Has A Solid Rooting Section At Cal Expo
Ra Ra Steven is off to a fast start for trainer Jim Wilkinson Jr., who co-owns the 2-year-old pacing son of Little Steven with Billie Schwartz and David Rachford.
Ra Ra Steven has posed for pictures following three of his first four starts, including two stakes victories.  The most recent came last week, when he was hung to the early lead, opened up a bit once straightened for home and held safe by a nose over a good racetrack.
“This horse has a lot of sentimental value for Billie Schwartz,” Wilkinson explained.  “She’s out of Ra Ra Rose, who herself is out of Ra Ra Hanover, and she was the last horse Billie’s husband Michael Schwartz bought before he passed away.”
Ra Ra Steven came to play in his September 30 debut here, igniting late to be up by a neck, then parlayed that effort to a coast-to-coast score in the first Sire Stakes of the season for his division.  He just missed going all the way in the second stakes dance, then got another trophy after last week’s big-money clash.
“He’s shown ability right from the start, but he has also has some issues,” his mentor noted.  “I think he’s grown at least two or three inches just in the last six weeks, and I’m convinced he’s only going to get better and that his best racing is still in front of him.”
Beginning this week, all Pick 4’s on Thursday (in partnership with the USTA Strategic Wagering Committee), Friday and Saturday nights will feature a reduced 15 percent takeout rate, with the Late Pick on each of these programs coming with a $10,000-guaranteed gross pool.  In addition, on Saturday nights there will be a 0% takeout rate on the Late Pick 4 for winning wagers made on track or at
Live racing resumes at Cal Expo On Thursday, (November 10) at 5:30 p.m. (PST), and continues on Friday (November 11) & Saturday (November 12) 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.