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Ruiz Sends Out Some Powerful Winners At Cal Expo
Tuesday, January 25, 2011 - by Mark Ratzky, Publicity – Cal Expo

Matias Ruiz made a couple of winner’s circle appearances early at Cal Expo on last Thursday night’s (January 20) card, as Paul The Powerful altered style to wire his field, while barn-mate Shoot The Works used more patient tactics to get the job done two races later.
Ruiz conditions Paul The Powerful for William Arriaga and Lauriano Davila and had Lemoyne Svendsen giving directions, while Luke Plano did the honors behind Shoot The Works for the owner/trainer.  Ruiz could have won all three races in which he had entrants on that program, but Little Box Out ran into some traffic troubles and had to settle for second.
Paul The Powerful equaled his lifetime mark of 1:54.1 in his coast-to-coaster and looked like a winner every step of the way.
“I’ve had him for about six months now, and that’s definitely the best race he’s gone for us,” Ruiz said.  “He’d been coming from off the pace in his last few, but he’d raced on the front end before.
“I thought the horse I used to have, Wicked Tony, was the one to beat in there.  He always comes from behind, so we were able to get the jump on him and I think that made the difference.”
Shoot The Works loves to have his picture taken, with 12 snapshots from his 31 appearances last season and a perfect three-for-three slate on the new year.
“When he’s good, he’s very good,” his mentor noted.  “To be honest, I thought he would be on the lead from the rail in there, but they went a little crazy early with a :55.1 half and we were sitting third.  Luke knows this horse very well and gave him a great drive.  He was patient early and then made a big move on the last turn.”
As mentioned earlier, it could have been a hat trick for the barn from as many races, but Little Box Out got jammed in the stretch and came flying late for second in his mile.
“If you use him early, he doesn’t have the same kick, so he needs a trip,” Ruiz explained.  “You have to a little luck with a horse that has that kind of style, and he didn’t get it that night.”
Biggest Big Bertha Has The Thursday Spotlight At Cal Expo
Biggest Big Bertha, just shy of the $350,000 earnings plateau with a 1:51.1 victory on her resume, returns to distaff-only competition and heads the cast for Thursday night’s (January 27) $3,400 main event at Cal Expo.
A 10-year-old daughter of Little Steven out of the Artsplace mare Ripreza Hanover, Biggest Big Bertha carries the banner of Marliee Keene with Rick Plano training.  She won 10 of her 33 starts last season and is looking for her first snapshot of 2011 while getting some class relief.
The classy veteran has been settling for minor awards of late while chasing the likes of Ivegotwhatuneed, Cycle Power and Red Star Ruffles at a tougher level.  Down at this league and facing mares only, she should make quite a move forward, although she is lining up with some sharp customers.
Blue Note and Don’t Tempt Me loom large after finishing one-two here on January 14 over a fast track.  Blue Note is another Little Steven offspring who is owned by Laurette Odney, takes her lessons from Rick Cisco and will have Scott Cisco guiding, while Don’t Tempt Me carries the banner of Dennis Giles and Keith Ballard, hails from the Jim Wilkinson Jr. stable and will be guided by Rich Wojcio.
Blue Note was able to work out a perfect pocket trip for the second straight time in that last outing two weeks ago, then came with a :27.3 final stanza to prevail that night by three-quarters of a length in a 1:55.4 tour.
Don’t Tempt Me carved out all the fractions in that affair with Wojcio, held a clear lead at mid-stretch but was unable to contain Blue Note when push came to shove.  A 1:52 3/5 winner two years ago, she could easily turn the tables here.  Completing the line-up are Spanish Rosey, Silver Bloom and Scooter Babe. 
Live racing resumes at Cal Expo on Thursday (January 27) and continues through Saturday (January 29).  Post-time on Thursday is 5:30 p.m. (PST).  Post-time on Friday (January 28) 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.