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Putoneonnetformom Holds Aces In Trot At Cal Expo
Thursday, September 29, 2011 - by Mark Ratzky, Publicity -- Cal Expo

Putoneonnetformom, who has turned in two huge efforts at the current Cal Expo meeting, looms strictly the one to beat in Friday night’s (September 30) $3,400 trotting headliner.  Set to take him on are Giles L S Hanover, Twice The Ruckus, Dudis Angel and Meringue.
A 7-year-old Trot For Joy homebred, Putoneonnetformom carries the banner of Jeff, Gerald and Diana Cimini with Rocky Stidham the conditioner and James Kennedy once again handling the lines.  He comes into this assignment with $112,000 in his account and a 1:58 mark that was set here last year.
Making his first start since June three weeks ago, the Cimini color-bearer was able to sit a pocket journey with Kennedy, then blasted home when it counted to prevail by a length and three-quarters.  Wheeled back last week at the top level, Putoneonnetformom carved out all the fractions, only to be nailed by a head by Franks Best while finishing four lengths clear of favorite Alpine Hawk in that affair.
Giles L S Hanover and Twice The Ruckus are also exiting that Franks Best mile and appear to be the main threats.  The former is a 6-year-old by S J’s Photo who races for Marty Garey, Hank Wieseneck and Bob Johnson with Johnson training and Steve Wiseman guiding from the outside post.  He has been knocking at the door here and has to be respected.
Twice The Ruckus made a break in the stretch last week, but was a solid winner in his previous try despite making an early miscue in that event to spot his rivals quite an advantage.  The Ilooklikemymom gelding is conditioned by George Reider, who also co-owns with Dave and Rob Haness.  A mistake-free mile obviously puts this trotter right in the thick of the action.
Dudis Angel is coming off a win over softer types and gives the Bob Johnson barn two looks at the outcome, while Meringue, off since June, does have the one-hole off a winning qualifier.
A 15-race program is on tap, with the headliner set as the second contest on the evening.
Vallandingham Continues To Be Driving Force At Cal Expo
When Gene Vallandingham guided Amazon Dot to a win last Friday night (September 23) at Cal Expo, it was victory No. 2,915 and over $13 million in earnings for the veteran driver/trainer, who turned 71 years young earlier this month.
“Amazon Dot is a nice mare and we were fortunate to get a good trip,” explained Vallandingham, who worked out a pocket journey with the 4-year-old daughter of Little Steven and was able to upset heavily-favored Matty Rose after that one had opened a clear advantage in the stretch.
Gene’s red, white and blue colors and blond locks have been in action in California for some five decades now, and we still remember those glory nights at Hollywood Park when he was putting on his own 70’s show and making all those trips to the charmed enclosure.  On the rare occasion that he didn’t get the job done with a heavy favorite, he took it all in stride and would tip his helmet to the vocal fans.
“It still feels good to win,” Vallandingham noted.  “I guess I’m one of the last of the old timers still in California.  I’m still hoping our racing here and the quarter-horses can get some help and turn things around.  We all need to work as one to make it happen.”
By the way, Gene added another victory last Saturday (September 24) when he guided Spoons to a $23 upset for Steve and Vickie Desomer.  Like Gene, 75-year-old Steve Desomer has been a major player on the California harness circuit going back to those Inglewood (California) programs while driving and training some of the best performers to ever trot and pace in the Golden State.
Desomer prefers to let others do most of the evening work in the sulky, sticking mostly with the young horses and the Sire Stakes action.  He comes into this weekend just four victories shy of the 2,600-win plateau, with $10.7 million in earnings for those efforts.
A reminder that every Saturday finds a reduced 15 percent takeout rate for both Pick 4’s. In addition, the late Pick 4 will come with a $15,000-guaranteed pool and there will be a 0% takeout on successful Late Pick 4 tickets made on track or at
Live racing resumes on Friday (September 30) & Saturday (October 1) at 6:00 p.m. (PDT).  On Friday, Cal Expo offers Happy Hour between 6:00-8:30 p.m., where $2 Beer, $2 Wine & $2 Buffalo Wings an order is offered.  On Saturday, its Dollar Night, on which hot-dogs; beer, soda, and wine will be sold for one dollar from 6:00 to 8:30 p.m.