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Shamderock, Pacinello Give Plano Strong Hand At Cal Expo
Thursday, April 28, 2011 - by Mark Ratzky, Publicity -- Cal Expo

Rick Plano looks to get Saturday evening (April 30) off to a fast start with the multiple stakes winners Shamderock and Pacinello going in the first two races on the card.  Both carry the banner of D&E Racing Inc and will have their conditioner in the sulky.
Shamderock leaves from the one-hole in the opener as he looks to keep sharp between Sire Stakes engagements.  The 3-year-old Hi Ho Silverwheels homebred has made a clean sweep of the six stakes races for the pacing colts, with 14 and 8-length romps in the two big-money events decided this season.
Pacinello also has a number of trophies on his mantle and figures to get plenty of respect at the windows in the second race, which is the $4,500 headliner on the night.  The son of Little Steven comes into this assignment with $246,000 in earnings and a 1:50.2 mark that was established last year at the Meadowlands.
Pacinello finished a solid second to Split Ticket two weeks ago, missing by a length while coming a :27 flat final quarter that evening.  It was his first start since September at Vernon Downs, so he should definitely move forward with that outing under his belt.
Leaving to his inside in the headliner are Ivegotwhatuneed, with Steve Wiseman at the controls; Western So, to be handled by Scott Cisco; Keystone Eli with Lemoyne Svendsen; and Haggin Oaks, who will have trainer James Kennedy doing the honors.
California-New Zealand Challenge Continues On Saturday At Cal Expo
Saturday night (April 30) will find the second leg of the California-New Zealand Friendship Challenge, with four amateur drivers from Down Under squaring off against the Cal Expo team in three races.
Representing New Zealand this weekend are husband and wife Steve and Karen Hollander, Danny Blackmore and Derek Moore, while they face a rotating squad of Jeff Cimini, Rick Bertand, Karen Isbell, David Siegel, Robert Stepien, Sue Boyce, Bennie Mancino, Chris Hernandez.
The California-New Zealand Friendship Challenge will see three races on Friday, while Saturday night finds the battle continuing in the fourth, sixth and ninth events on the program.
Steve and Karen Hollander, parents of twin 11-year-old boys Robbie and Jack, live on a 40-acre sheep farm north of Auckland which has it’s own track for training horses.  Steve has been driving in the amateur events since they started nine years ago.  In addition to racing, his hobbies include rugby, hockey, golf, cricket, tennis, basketball and scrabble.
Karen Hollander has been driving for some seven years. In 2005, she won the New Zealand Amateur Champs and represented her country in the World Cup in Austria.  Last year, Karen won the North Island Champs and was named Driver of the Year.  She holds a training license and her other interests include golf, fishing, fitness and many outdoor pursuits.
Derek Moore was raised on a farm and rode competitively in horse shows and FEI jumping events for many years.  He is now living near Auckland and breeds and races both standardbreds and thoroughbreds, with those performers racing successfully in New Zealand, Australia, Singapore, Malaysia, Dubai, England and the United States. He joined the amateur movement in his country in 2002.
Danny Blakemore has been involved in harness racing since 1984, has been driving since 1998 and has held a trainer’s license for six years. He won the North Island Drivers Championship for the 2010-11 season and is a committee member (director) of the Kumeu Trotting Club.  His is involved in the video industry and his hobbies include playing soccer and watching harness races.
Rick Bertrand    (977-36-82-100)
Danny Blakemore  (93-25-14-6)
Susan Boyce      (576-47-61-76)
Jeff Cimini      (46-5-2-1)
Chris Hernandez  (1020-92-109-85)
Karen Hollander  (106-15-20-19)
Steve Hollander  (135-15-16-20)
Karen Isbell     (103-3-7-14)
Bennie Mancino   (117-7-6-5)
Derek Moore      (63-6-6-6)
David Siegel     (1255-160-169-152)
Robert Stepien   (209-23-25-31)
Live racing resumes at Cal Expo on Thursday (April 28) and continues through Saturday (April 30).  Post-time on Thursday is 5:30 p.m. (PDT).  Post-time on Friday (April 29) & 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.  For the next two Thursday nights, Cal Expo offers the Late Pick-4 with a $10,000 guaranteed pool.  The wager will be conducted on races six through nine and will be offered through May 5.  Further, the takeout for the Late Pick-4 will be lowered to 15 percent, as it will also be on the Early Pick-4.

On Saturdays, Cal Expo offers a reduced 15 percent takeout rate on both the Early & Late Pick-4 with the Late Pick-4 now having a $15,000 gross guaranteed pool.  Additionally, 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.