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It's Off To The Winner's Circle He Goes At Cal Expo
Thursday, November 10, 2011 - by Mark Ratzky, Publicity -- Cal Expo

You are advised not to get too close to the 6-year-old pacer Hi Ho Hi Ho, because you might burn yourself.  The son of Hi Ho Silverheels is one of the hottest performers on the Cal Expo grounds with five wins in his last six starts.
 
Bob Johnson conditions Hi Ho Hi Ho and co-owns with Lisa Ehrlich, while Lemoyne Svendsen has the driving duties.  He comes into Saturday’s (November 12) action riding a three-race winning skein while reporting at home on top at 3-5, even-money and 6-5 odds to the delight of the chalk players.
 
Johnson had Hi Ho Hi Ho last year when he was doing some fine work, then took him to Indiana Downs and raced him a few times before losing him for $20,000 via the claim box.
 
“Since then, roughly over the last year, I’ve been keeping an eye on him and for the most part he wasn’t racing that good, including a $5,000 claimer at Scioto Downs this summer,” Johnson related.
 
“The next thing I saw was that he was in the Delaware, Ohio sale and I asked Scott and Lisa Ehrlich if they would like to go partners on him and they said they would.  By luck, Drew Anderson was in Delaware at the sale and I asked him to look at the horse.  He said he looked sound, but needed to put on a couple of hundred pounds.  We put a limit of $3,000 on him and wouldn’t you know it, that’s exactly where the bidding stopped.”
 
As you might guess by his recent record, Hi Ho Hi Ho is happy to be back in the Golden State.
 
“They say there are horses for courses,” Johnson continued.  “Well, I think Hi Ho not only likes Cal Expo, but he has certainly always liked California.  As soon as he got here, he really seemed to be happy.  He definitely needed to put a lot of weight back on and we got a lot back on him.  That combined with me training the way I used to, plus a few races that made him brave, have resulted in him being real good.”
 
Pilot Svendsen has seen quite a change in the pacer since he returned to the Johnson barn.
 
“When he first got back here, he was so skinny you could hang lines on his hip because they were so pointy.  Bob has done a great job getting this horse fit and happy.  Hi Ho can be real lazy when he races, which keeps me on guard, but he knows what to do and when to do it.”
 
One thing that makes a trainer click with an owner is when the conditioner looks out for the owner with a genuine nice thought.
 
"The Ehrlich's have always owned nice horses, but this was a chance to own a real nice horse,” Johnson said.  “Either of us could have owned Hi Ho by himself, but we went partners and it worked out well for both of us.  It really has worked out well for Lisa and her sons Steven and Kevin, as Scott made the decision to let them have all the profits -- and boy do they remind him of it," chuckled Johnson.
 
 
Razor-Sharp Pacer, Sire Stakes In Spotlight At Cal Expo
 
A $3,400 pacing event that finds Hi Ho Hi Ho gunning for his fourth straight win and two $15,000 California Sire Stakes events for the 3-year-old trotting and pacing males are on tap at Cal Expo Saturday night (November 12).
 
Hi Ho Hi Ho is a 6-year-old son of Hi Ho Silverheels and the Spicy Charlie mare Nicols Doll who is owned by Lisa Ehrlich and Bob Johnson, with Johnson the conditioner and Lemoyne Svendsen handling the lines.  He is attempting to win for the sixth time in his last seven trips to the post.
 
Sent off at 70 cents on the dollar in last week’s appearance, the bay performer worked his way to the lead at the half, took complete control of things from that point and came home with two and a quarter lengths to spare over Western So, who will again be among his rivals on Saturday.
 
Both Sire Stakes will go as non-betting events prior the regular card.  Shamderock is looking to remain unbeaten in big-money competition with his peers in the pacing event, while Im So Sulky seeks a big-money encore in the contest for the trotters.
 
Shamderock has made a clean sweep of the nine Sire Stakes events decided for his division, with $92,000 in his bank account and a 1:52 mark that was established this summer at Vernon Downs.  He races for his breeders D&E Racing Inc. with Luke Plano driving and training. I n the trotting end, I’m So Sulky is looking for back-to-back stakes decisions for his owner/breeder/trainer Alan Anderson and pilot Steve Wiseman.
 
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 Twinspires.com.
             
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.