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Hot To Trot, Even In The Cold At Cal Expo
Tuesday, March 1, 2011 - by Mark Ratzky, Publicity – Cal Expo

Playing the role of pocket rocket over the sloppy going, Jam And Jelly returned to her winning ways last week at Cal Expo and in the process pushed her bankroll over $141,000 for trainer George Reider, who co-owns the trotting mare with Rick and Marlene Thomas.
Luke Plano couldn’t have mapped out a better trip, and Jam And Jelly had the right stuff to outfinish favorites Big Baller and Alpine Hawk in the featured trot of the week.
“I lost her for a couple of weeks ago because of issues with tying up,” Reider explained after the victory.  “The weather and racing only every other week doesn’t help, so we’ll both be happy when it turns to spring.  When’s she right, she can give this class of horse a really good race, but any of these can win on any given night.”           
Speaking of hard-knocking trotters, Little Rooster and Aston Boko also had no problem with the wet going and upped their already impressive seasonal batting averages in impressive fashion on that same program.
Both are razor sharp, as Little Rooster has now posed for pictures following six of his eight trips to the post in 2011, while Aston Boko has clicked in four of his last five appearances after starting his career with just one victory from 15 attempts.
Little Rooster, who is owned by Jason Maier and is trained by father Tim, actually started his career as a pacer with some 15 wins on his card and a 1:55 mark.  He was switched to the trot by Jason when he was unable to purchase a maiden trotter last season and has found a whole new career with the high-stepping crowd.
“I took Little Rooster and started jogging him every day with trotting hopples,” Jason explained when asked about the process.  “He took right to it, and after two months of adjusting the shoes, the weights and everything else, he was ready to qualify.”
The 6-year-old son of Little Steven likes to finish his races faster than he starts him, but pilot Rich Wojcio decided to use him for early position in last Thursday’s (February 24) tour and was able to work out a perfect pocket journey to the lane.  He attacked the pacesetter at that point and proved a length best for yet another trip to the charmed circle.
As for Aston Boko, he’s really coming along for owner/trainer Marco Rios and has also been guided of late by Wojcio.  He found the two hole from a cozy rail slot last week, then came home in his usual solid fashion to seal the deal.
Sharp Trotters Square Off In Thursday Cal Expo Headliner
Alpine Hawk, Big Baller and Jam And Jelly, who currently rank as the top three trotters on the grounds, figure to put on another good show in Thursday evening’s (March 3) $4,500 main event at Cal Expo.
The aforementioned performers have had the spotlight over the last few weeks, with Big Baller posing for pictures three weeks ago, while Alpine Hawk was on the right end of a photo finish on February 10, while it was Jam And Jelly who recorded the slight upset in last week’s gathering.
Alpine Hawk is a 10-year-old son of Movie Mogul who goes about his business for owner Jim Winske, hails from the Gordie Graham barn and as usual has Rich Wojcio at the controls.  He has clicked in three of his five starts on the season, including the aforementioned tally two back where he flew home in :28 flat to seal the deal.
Big Baller is a Team Desomer homebred son of Panama Hanover who has been firing nothing but bullets this season and is eyeing his fourth tally from seven appearances.  He went coast-to-coast on February 3 with this group and has been a game runner-up in his last pair.
Jam And Jelly is a classy 7-year-old mare who hails from the George Reider barn, is co-owned by Reider and Rick and Marlene Thomas with Luke Plano guiding.  She worked out a pocket journey last week over a sloppy track and came home smartly to prevail by three-quarters of a length.
Live racing resumes at Cal Expo on Thursday (March 3) and continues through Saturday (March 5).  Post-time on Thursday is 5:30 p.m. (PST).  Post-time on Friday (March 4) 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 or on track at Cal Expo, a bonus payout of 17.65 percent of the gross Late Pick 4 mutuel payoff will be paid.