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Dugout Andee Makes It Interesting At Cal Expo
Tuesday, March 15, 2011 - by Mark Ratzky, Publicity – Cal Expo

The 10-year-old pacer Dugout Andee picked up the 23rd victory of his career from 120 appearances last week, and it wasn’t without his usual touch of drama.
Larry Hastings owns, trains and bred the veteran in his native Canada and it was James Kennedy who had the assignment at most recent asking.  After carving out all the fractions without a challenge, Dugout Andee appeared to be on his way to a clear victory, but just before the wire he hit the brakes and cut his margin to a diminishing neck in the 1:54.2 mile.
“That’s him,” said Hastings.  “It’s something he’s done in quite a few of his races, including seven or eight times since we’ve come down here, and all you can do is make sure you keep yelling until he hits the wire.  It just something he likes to do right at the finish, and I don’t know why.”
Hastings makes it clear that the dark-hued pacer is by far his favorite performer of all time and his most recent score put him over the $110,000 mark.
“He’s a tough old bird, and he’s done all this with three tears in the same leg.  What makes him so good is that he has that competitive spirit and his attitude hasn’t changed since he was a 2-year-old.
“If you saw him out jogging on the track in the morning, bucking and playing like he does, you would never guess he’s that old.  That tail goes up and down, and it’s the same way when he’s racing.”
Franks Best, Big Baller Have Thursday Spotlight At Cal Expo
Franks Best, Big Baller and Jam And Jelly, who have been picking up minor awards over the last two weeks behind the streaking Alpine Hawk, get away from that rival and head the cast at Cal Expo for Thursday night’s (March 17) $4,500 trotting feature.
Two weeks ago it was Big Baller who ranged out dangerously outside Alpine Hawk but had to settle for second, while last time it was the long-fused Franks Best who came out of last to make a bold bid and was then unable to match strides when push came to shove while a clear runner-up.
Franks Best is a son of Armbro Scribe who is owned, trained and was bred by Bob Johnson and has Lemoyne Svendsen once again giving directions.  A multiple stakes winner with over $90,000 in the bank, he won six of 17 appearances last year and has one victory to his credit this year when he romped over a bit softer in late January.
In last week’s clash at this level, Svendsen trailed the field to the half, then came with a big bid and actually engaged Alpine Hawk for the lead in the stretch.  He loomed large until late in the game, when the favorite dug in gamely and Franks Best had to be happy with the second money, finishing two and a half lengths clear of the rest of the field.
Big Baller is a hard-hitting Desomer Stable homebred who always has to be respected.  The Panama Hanover offspring has three tallies to his credit on the year, the most recent coming on February 3 in handy fashion.  He then recorded three straight second-place finishes before checking in fifth in last week’s gathering at this level.
Jam And Jelly is a classy mare from the George Reider barn with Luke Plano in the sulky.  Reider owns the daughter of New And Noble with Rick and Marlene Thomas and she has a $147,000 bankroll and a 1:56.1 mark from last season.  Her last victory came with this group three weeks ago off a pocket journey and she has picked up the show money in her last two outings.
Live racing resumes at Cal Expo on Thursday (March 17) and continues through Saturday (March 19).  Post-time on Thursday is 5:30 p.m. (PST).  Post-time on Friday (March 18) & Saturday is 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. 
On Saturdays, Cal Expo offers a reduced 15 percent takeout rate on both the Early & Late Pick-4 with the Late Pick-4 having a $10,000 gross guaranteed pool.  Additionally, for winning wagers made on the Late Pick-4 online at or on track at Cal Expo, a bonus payout of 17.65 percent of the gross Late Pick 4 mutuel payoff will be paid.