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Sire Stakes, Contentious Pace Head Friday Program At Cal Expo
Wednesday, October 19, 2011 - by Mark Ratzky, Publicity -- Cal Expo

Rich WojocioA pair of $15,000 California Sire Stakes for the 2-year-old pacing and trotting fillies headed by Bob Johnson trainees Brimstone Threat and Vari Forgetful; and a co-featured event matching the likes of Stanza, Hi Ho Hi Ho and Arch Nemeses are the main attractions at Cal Expo on Friday night’s (October 21) program.
 
Brimstone Threat and Vari Forgetful accounted for the first round of stakes action for the distaffers two weeks ago.  The former is a homebred daughter of Keystone Eli who races for Pamela and Hei Mitchell with Lemoyne Svendsen on the return call, while Vari Forgetful is a daughter of Armbro Variable who is owned and was bred by Jack Coffey and once again has Bruce Clarke in the sulky.
 
Brimstone Threat sat a stalking journey in that first pacing stakes for the girls and finished smartly to prevail by a length and a quarter in that affair, while Vari Forgetful beat lone rival Silverlode by a wide margin in her initial added-money assignment.
 
Completing the line-up for the pacing event are Littlest Mermaid, Diva Las Vegas, Little Anna Mae, Twentyone Guns, Pismo Beach and On The Way Home.  Vari Forgetful and Silverlode are the only two participants in the trotting end, which goes as a non-betting race prior to the regular program.
 
Stanza figures to have his share of backers in the co-feature, which goes as the eighth event on the 14-race card.  The Mark Benvenga-owned, Steve Wiseman reined and trained 8-year-old was the odds-on choice with these two back and was hard-used to eventually finish third, then was handicapped by the No. 9 post in last week’s attempt behind class-dropping Shamderock.
 
Hi Ho Hi Ho is another member of the Johnson shedrow who carries the banner of the trainer and Lisa Ehrlich.  He rattled off back-to-back wins at this level earlier in the month and found himself with too much to work from the back of the pack in last week’s assignment in the aforementioned Shamderock mile. 
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Saturday night (October 22) will find the opening leg of The Bronte Epilepsy Research Foundation Amateur Series, which is being sponsored by Lou Pena and some of his owners.  Between their generosity and the driver fees, a total of $7,000 beyond the purse monies will go to the Foundation.
 
Two separate pacing events, one for the males and one for the mares, will be held over the next three Saturdays. The first two legs are going for $3,000, while a $10,000 pot will be waiting at the end of the two November 5 finales.
 
The first leg of the series will get underway with the pacers sporting $3,000 base claiming prices, while they will have $4,500 claiming tags on the second week.  The top eight purse earners from those first two legs will compete in each of the respective $10,000 finales and there will be no claiming in that affair.
 
Thursday (October 20) live racing returns to Cal Expo at 5:30 p.m. (PDT), and continues on Friday (October 21) & Saturday (October 22) 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 offers a reduced 15 percent takeout rate on Saturdays for both Pick 4’s.  In addition, the late Pick 4 will come with a $10,000-guaranteed pool and there will be a 0% takeout on successful Late Pick 4 tickets made on track or at Twinspires.com.