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Betty Elizabeth Gets Back To Work At Cal Expo
Wednesday, March 2, 2011 - by Mark Ratzky, Publicity -- Cal Expo

Betty Elizabeth, who has eight stakes trophies on her mantle, is preparing for a return to the wars at Cal Expo according to her owner/breeder/trainer Lisa Pilcher.
The 4-year-old trotting daughter of Panama Hanover and the Sacramento mare Eggcellent has rattled off five straight stakes scores dating back to late May, with the most recent being a two-length decision in the December 11 Championship with Steve Wiseman at the controls.
“Betty had a month in the paddock while I had the Eurociser fixed, then jogged her down at the farm for a month,” related Pilcher when asked about her performer.  “She’s now trained down to about 2:15, and weather permitting, she’ll be qualifying in a couple of weeks.”
The bay miss has been a major player in her division from the word go, but really began to dominate last fall.  Her modus operandi was a simple one, as she would take a tracking position for three-quarters and then turn it on once straightened for home while picking up nice checks along the way.
Betty Elizabeth gets her name from Lisa’s grandmothers, both of whom were named Elizabeth and were called Betty by family members.  Lisa knew from the start she had something special on her hands in this distaffer.
“At three weeks old, she started showing her athletic ability by trotting circles around her peers,” she recalled.  “Later as a yearling, she displayed her leadership skills by taking charge of the pasture, just like her mother does by being the leading mare.”
Unlike mom, however, Betty Elizabeth is a cool customer on the racetrack.
“Her dam had a nervous, competitive nature, but this filly has a calm demeanor.  She actually makes things easy for me.  She has natural gate speed, wears very little equipment, loves her job and enjoys life at the farm.”
Hi Ho Steverino Gets Top Billing On Friday At Cal Expo
The absence of the streaking Lily’s Hi Ho and a mistake-free mile will make Hi Ho Steverino strictly the one to beat in Friday’s main (March 4) event at Cal Expo, a $3,200 contest for the pacing set.
Hi Ho Steverino is a 4-year-old son of Hi Ho Silverheels and the Beach Towel mare Bj’s Beach Fire who is owned and was bred by Rod Knittel, is trained by Rick Plano and will have Luke Plano giving directions from the cozy No. 2 slot in a field of nine.
A multiple stakes victor who won seven of 17 last season and three of eight this year, the Knittel color-bearer last got to the charmed circle on January 21 when he romped home in coast-to-coast fashion.  He has had to settle minor awards in his last five appearances, however, and four of those contests were captured by Lily’s Hi Ho, who steps up in class for Saturday’s (March 5) headliner.
Hi Ho Steverino finished second in all three legs of the Denali series behind his archrival, was second to Stanza at next asking and then last week lost his best chance when he made an early break to lose position.  He eventually checked in fourth that evening while Lily’s Hi Ho took yet another bow.
Mighty Fine Hi Ho was second in last week’s gathering at this level at 16-1 and figures to get a lot more respect at the windows this time around.  Tim Maier reins and trains this 5-year-old for owner/breeder Eileen Brodbar and she recorded back-to-back victories over softer last month before moving up a rung to this condition for last week’s solid exacta completion.
Arch Nemeses has to be considered from the inside slot.  The son of Artiscape is owned by Nathalie Trembley and Wendi Wiener with Tremblay training and he picked up his most recent snapshot on February 5 off a pocket journey while proving a punctual favorite in that affair.
Completing the field are Amigo De Garcia with Alan Kirschenbaum in the sulky; Myra’s Hi Ho, to be handled by Lemoyne Svendsen; Heartbreak Ridge with Steve Wiseman; Coal Younger, who gives Rick Plano two looks at the outcome with his trainer at the helm; Still Stylin for James Kennedy; and Double Dakota from the George Reider shedrow.
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) & 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 Saturday, 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.