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Hyman looks to turn tables at Cal Expo
Wednesday, January 19, 2011 – by Mark Ratzky, Publicity – Cal Expo

After finishing second in the first two legs of the Peter Lobell behind Fakeutu Bluegrass, including a nose setback last week, Steve Hyman will attempt to reverse the trend with Vic The Brick in Friday’s series finale at Cal Expo.

Actually, Hyman is just happy to be here with the 5-year-old son of Hi Ho Silverheels, who was going through a so-so 2010 before catching fire in December and posting a hat trick. On each of those occasions, he did the track-and-attack to perfection, prevailing over fast, good and sloppy tracks in the process.

This led into the new year and the Peter Lobell, where Vic The Brick carved out all the fractions in the opening leg before yielding by a length to Fakeutu Bluegrass, then played the role of stalker last week and was part of a three-way blanket finish.
                                                                                                                                           “Do I think we can win this time? Absolutely,” Steve responded when asked about Friday’s feature. “To be honest, I was disappointed in that first leg, because we got to the half in a minute and he was just cruising, but Tim’s mare went right by us at the end.

“He raced much better last week. He’s a big, lugging type of pacer, and Fakeutu Bluegrass and Art Of Arts were able to sprint away from him a little bit in the stretch, but he was coming real strong at the wire.”
                                                                                                                                       Hyman is happy with the way the pacer is going about his daily rounds in the interim, and doesn’t feel drawing the No. 2 post in the compact cast will make much of a difference either way. “I can tell you, he’s feeling like a million, or at least $7,025, which is the purse of this race,” he joked.
 
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Hi Ho Steverino, who closed out last year with a win, will try to make it three-for-three in 2011 when he suits up in the opener for owner/breeder Rod Knittel and Rick Plano. The multiple stakes winner has left little doubt in his recent victories, including a four and a half-length romp last week.
 
Peter Lobell finale gets marquee treament

Fakeutu Bluegrass, Vic The Brick and Art Of Arts, who came to the wire in a blanket finish in last week’s penultimate leg, head the cast for Friday night’s $7,025 finale of the Peter Lobell series at Cal Expo.
                                                                                                                                   Fakeutu Bluegrass is a 4-year-old Kentucky-bred mare who is attempting to make a clean sweep of this series for owner Linda Magnusson and driver/trainer Tim Maier. She made her California debut a winning one two weeks ago in the opening leg, sitting a pocket trip that evening and rallying for a length decision over Vic The Brick.

In last week’s gathering, she had pace-setting duties and re-rallied to gamely prevail by a nose over Vic The Brick, with Art Of Arts beaten only a head for the whole thing after getting the lead at midstretch. No matter how things shake out early, Fakeutu Bluegrass is obviously going to be a tough customer.

Vic The Brick is looking for revenge in the finale after finishing second in the two opening stanzas. The 5-year-old son of Hi Ho Silverheels carries the banner of Elleon Hyman with Steve Hyman reining and training and is going in sharp form at the moment.
                                                                                                                                        Vic The Brick rattled off a hat trick between December 2 and 16, using his powerful late finish to be up in time on each occasion. In the opening leg of the Peter Lobell, he changed tactics to carve out the fractions, then could not quite contain Fakeutu Bluegrass from the two hole. He tracked the issue from the rail slot last week, dug in for the drive and came up on the wrong end of the photo in that mile.
                                                                                                                                           Art Of Arts came within a head of posting a 13-1 upset in that contest and is looking to improve on two third-place finishes in the Peter Lobell. Dario Solares owns and trains with Tony Succarotte in his usual position in the sulky. He attacked first-over last time, got a slight advantage midway through the lane and was right there in the crowded finish.
                                                                                                                                         Rounding out the field are W D Cowboy Justice, who is trained and driven by Quentin Schneider; and C’Mon Sweet Mariah, who hails from the Tim Brown barn and has Rocky Stidham in the bike. A 12-race card is on tap, with the Peter Lobell set as the second on the evening.
 
Live racing resumes at Cal Expo on Thursday (January 20) and continues through Saturday (January 22).  Post-time on Thursday is 5:30 p.m. (PST).  Post-time on Friday (January 23) and 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.