Chha LogoLogo

Trotter


Interested in a bit of California Harness Racing History? - Click Here







Gray's Quartet Enjoying The View At Cal Expo
Thursday, February 17, 2011 - by Mark Ratzky, Publicity -- Cal Expo

Brian Gray is one of the new faces at Cal Expo, and the 51-year-old native of Canada is enjoying his first sojourn to California.
 
“I brought down four horses from Alberta, and it was 32 degrees below with the wind chill when I left,” Gray related.  “As far as how long we’ll be here, I’m just playing it by ear.”
 
While Brian had an uncle who was a standardbred trainer and an uncle who conditioned thoroughbreds, he didn’t make the move to racing until he was in his late 20s.
 
“I did the 9 to 5 thing for several years, and then I decided I would rather do something I would enjoy.  I worked with both thoroughbreds and the harness for a period, then went with the trotters and pacers because you can do so much more with them.”
 
Gray got the chance to work with some very nice horses when he was with John Kopas Jr. in Ontario, then had a big horse of his own when he campaigned Justin Private in New York.
 
“That was 1989, and he won some big stakes races all over the state.”
 
While Brian is keeping a close watch on the four performers he has on the grounds, he’s also eagerly awaiting a new arrival from a mare named Outlaw Watch Me, who is less than a month away from dropping her first foal.
 
“She was like having a credit card when she was racing for us, and I decided to give her a real chance when she retired and bred her to Mister Big.  I’ve broken quite a few babies in my time, but this will be the first one that I’ve bred myself, so I’m pretty excited about it.”
 
 
Ivegotwhatuneed, Cycle Power Clash On Saturday At Cal Expo
 
Cycle Power and Ivegotwhatuneed, who put on quite a battle last week, get another chance to settle the score as they head the cast at Cal Expo for Saturday’s (February 19) $4,500 main event. Seven pacers will be squaring off in this affair.
 
Cycle Power is a 5-year-old son of Cambest who goes about his business for owner/trainer Nathalie Tremblay and will as usual have Steve Wiseman giving directions.  He has two wins, a second and a pair of thirds from his seven trips to the post this year.
 
He was extremely game besting odds-on Ivegotwhatuneed by a neck in that last mile, with the 1:52.4 final clocking being just a tick off the mark he established in his romping score on January 15 in front-end fashion.
 
Cycle Power put his versatility and gameness on display in last week’s tour, as he came first-over to engage the pace-setter by the half, put that one away turning for home and held safe over Ivegotwhatuneed, who had the lead-up journey behind him.
 
Ivegotwhatuneed is gunning for some revenge here.  Marty Garey and Bob Johnson own, Johnson is the conditioner and Lemoyne Svendsen has the return assignment.  The dark-hued son of Givemewhatineed recorded back-to-back victories on January 22 and 29 and has returned to be second behind Haggin Oaks and in the same spot behind Cycle Power in last week’s gathering.
 
Red Star Ruffles is a hard-knocking mare who is owned and trained by Robley Johnson and has Jim Lackey at the controls.  The 7-year-old Canadian-bred packs a strong punch in the lane and recorded her most recent victory at this level on January 8 when she circled the field and came a :26.2 final quarter with Sue Boyce to get the job done.
 
Jim Wilkinson Jr. will send out Nittany Linebacker with Rich Wojcio in the sulky; Luke Plano guides the returning Split Ticket; Haggin Oaks makes two quality mares in the cast and has trainer James Kennedy at helm, while ML Jackhammer will depart from the outside with Tim Maier.
 
Live racing resumes at Cal Expo on Thursday (February 17) and continues through Saturday (February 19).  Post-time on Thursday is 5:30 p.m. (PST).  Post-Time on Friday (February 18) & Saturday 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. 
 
On Saturdays, Cal Expo offers a reduced 15 percent takeout rate on both the Early & Late Pick-4 wagers with both Pick-4’s having a $10,000 gross guaranteed pool.  Additionally, on Saturdays, for winning wagers made on the Late Pick 4 online at TwinSpires.com or on track at Cal Expo, a bonus payout of 17.65 percent of the gross Late Pick 4 mutuel payoff will be paid.