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Picture This: Shoot The Works Wins Again At Cal Expo
Wednesday, December 14, 2011 - by Mark Ratzky, Publicity -- Cal Expo

After making a dozen trips to the winner’s circle from his 31 appearances last season at Cal Expo, the hard-knocking pacer Shoot The Works has 16 snapshots this year with two more chances to add to that impressive total before the big ball drops in Times Square.

A 6-year-old son of Hi Ho Silverheels, Shoot The Works is owned and trained by Matias Ruiz and his most recent victories have come with Luke Plano in the sulky. While this guy can win from just about any position during the course of a race, his last two tallies have come in coast-to-coast fashion to the delight of the chalk players.

Last week saw the Matias performer pushed through the opening quarter, but he took complete control of things when straightened for backside. Just to make sure, he tossed in a :27.4 final quarter for Plano to report home with five lengths to spare in a 1:55.1 tour. Earlier this year he established his career standard of 1:53.3 over this layout.

“I was very happy he was able to win 12 races last year, and I didn’t think he would be able to top that this year, especially with the summer break,” Ruiz said after the most recent score. “When I first got him, he had a lot of problems, and one of the keys is that he doesn’t train hard during the week. When it comes time to race, though, he’s ready to go.”

As mentioned earlier, his last three teamings with Luke Plano have resulted in solid victories.

“Some drivers just don’t seem to get along with his horse as well as others, but Luke fits him perfectly. We’ve raced him from behind before, and he’s done well, but when you’re the best like he is at the $4,000 level, it’s always safest to do it yourself.”

Plano related, “Shoot The Works is a nice little horse and Ruiz has done a great job with him. His biggest asset is the fact that he’s so handy, and I don’t have to go into the race with any set plan and have options once that gate starts rolling.”

Friday Featured Pace At Cal Expo Brings Out Shamderock

Steve WisemanShamderock, fresh from recording the 11th Sire Stakes victory of his career, heads the cast at Cal Expo for Friday night’s (December 16) $4,500 Winners-over pace. He has been assigned the outside post while taking on Myra’s Hiho, Haggin Oaks, Cycle Power and One And Only in the main event.

Shamderock is a 3-year-old homebred son of Hi Ho Silverheels and the Brocton mare Maya who is owned by D&E Racing Inc. with Luke Plano doing the driving and training. He has accounted for 19 of his 39 career trips to the post with $112,000 in his account and a 1:52 standard that was established this summer at Vernon Downs in New York.

The sophomore went into the November 26 stakes dance having made a clean sweep of the 10 added-money races decided for his division, but was upset by Live A Little that evening after showing the way to the stretch with a clear advantage. He returned to his winning ways last weekend, however, as Plano sat the pocket for three-quarters, motored to the top in the stretch and drew off for a two and a quarter-length decision.

Cycle Power is coming off back-to-back solid efforts for his owner/trainer Nathalie Tremblay and driver Steve Wiseman. The son of Cambest was a game, first-over winner with a slightly softer group two back, then went another big mile last week on the return to this top rung and finished well when getting the exacta completion behind Marlin Hanover.

Myra’s Hiho is having a great meet and helps make things very interesting. He rattled off three scores in a row between October 22 and November 18 at this level, stalking on two of those occasions and carving out the fractions in the other. The first of those tallies was in a lifetime-best 1:54.4 clocking. Another by Hi Ho Silverheels, this dark-hued 5-year-old races for Bob Johnson, Hank Wieseneck and Marty Garey with Johnson the conditioner and Jim Lackey in his usual spot in the sulky.

Haggin Oaks is the lone mare in the cast and was a handy victress when clicking with this kind two back on December 3. She is looking to make amends after suffering a setback at 4-5 last weekend. Shari Burns, Ferris Funk and Gerald Cimini own while James Kennedy does the driving and training.

Live racing resumes at Cal Expo on Thursday (December 15) at 5:30 p.m. (PST) and continues on Friday (December 16) & Saturday (December 17) 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 night, there will be a 0% takeout on successful Late Pick 4 tickets made at Cal Expo or at Twinspires.com.