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Pick 4's Are Offering Plenty Of Value At Cal Expo
Tuesday, April 19, 2011 - by Mark Ratzky, Publicity – Cal Expo

The Thursday Late Pick 4 at Cal Expo now comes attached with a $10,000 guaranteed gross pool, while the both the Early and Late Pick 4’s offer a reduced 15 percent takeout.

On Saturday nights, the Early and Late Pick 4’s also feature that 15 percent takeout rate, and the Late Pick 4 on that evening was recently boosted by 50 percent to a $15,000 guaranteed gross pool.
Last week’s Pick 4’s on Thursday (April 14)  both provided big balloons, as the first one came back $2,193, due in large part to a $116 upset by Little Santamonica; while the Late Pick 4 returned a whooping $9,111.  That was quite an overlay when you consider there were two winning favorites, along with a $16 and a $20 winner.

Getting back to Little Santamonica, the 3-year-old daughter of Little Steven was breaking her maiden at third asking for owner/trainer/breeder Jim Wilkinson Jr. and pilot Jim Lackey.  She made every pole a winning one and held safe by three-quarters of a length, providing a “Kaboom” according to announcer Scott Ehrlich.

Wilkinson was asked if he remembered the last time he had a horse score at triple digits, and he had a quick response.
“It was a pacer named Ever So Free here in 2004, and he paid over $120 that night.  It was just like Little Santamonica, a homebred making his third or fourth start, and neither one of them should have been 50-1.  The reason I remember it so well is that he’s my riding horse now.”

By the way, Wilkinson pointed out that his partnership broodmare band, headed up by the likes of Ms Avondale, Glad Dor and Dreamline Jeb, is back in California after spending the last three years in Pennsylvania.
“We tried an experiment and now they’re all back here and being bred to Little Steven,” he explained.

That should prove to be an excellent boost to the prospective pacing crop down the road, while the trotting ranks figure to be bolstered by Claudius Augustus joining the stallion ranks as he currently is doing double duty.  We’ll have an item on this classy performer later in the week.
Satire Has Sights Set On Hat Trick At Cal Expo

Satire, who overcame some stretch trouble to make it two in a row last week, faces a very contentious field in Thursday night’s (April 21) $3,900 main event at Cal Expo.  The race combines claiming pacers and conditioned types. 

Satire hails from the Matias Ruiz barn and will once again have Lemoyne Svendsen giving directions.  In addition to facing Star Time Kid, who was only a nose behind him last time, he will be taking on class droppers Western So, Cycle Power and Nittany Linebacker.
The second round of California Sire Stakes action for the 3-year-old trotters and pacers will take place this weekend at Cal Expo, with the fillies holding the spotlight on Friday (April 22) and the colts doing battle on Saturday (April 23).

The most dominating player in the four divisions is Shamderock, who has swept the five big-money races for the pacing colts.  The D&E Racing Inc. homebred son of Hi Ho Silverheels is owned and trained by Rick Plano.

Shamderock didn’t miss a beat last fall with a quartet of impressive romps over his peers, then picked up right where he left off two weeks ago in the first stakes clash of 2011.  He tracked early, brushed to the front at the half and took complete control of things from that point, reporting to the wire with 14 lengths to spare.  To put an exclamation point on things, the Plano representative came back last week in a conditioned contest and whipped his elders in a sparkling 1:54.4 tour.

In the added-money test for the trotting males, it appears as though Thatssomebracciola and Lodi Nickolus have the definite advantage; while Whip And A Prayer is currently atop the leader board in the filly pacing division and Claim Jumper looked sharp picking up another trophy with the trotting females in her seasonal stakes debut and deserves the top billing at the moment.  
Live racing resumes at Cal Expo on Thursday (April 21) and continues through Saturday (April 23).  Post-time on Thursday is 5:30 p.m. (PDT).  Post-time on Friday (April 22) & 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.