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Bertrand Competes In Get Away Amateur Driver Series Cast At Cal Expo
Tuesday, May 31, 2011 - by Mark Ratzky, Publicity – Cal Expo

Saturday night (June 4) at Cal Expo will kick off the TVG Get Away Amateur Driver Series, with six races spread out over the next three weekends.  Set to do friendly battle are Sue Boyce, Karen Isbell, Amanda Fraser, David Siegel, Rick Bertrand, Benny Mancino, Keith Willey and Nick Casale.
 
Rick Bertrand was a member of the Billings Amateur Club back East for a couple of years and really enjoys participating in these unique events.
 
“David Siegel does a great job of putting these together and it’s a lot of fun to drive in them,” he said.
 
Bertrand especially likes the challenges that find drivers coming from the East and the recent New Zealand Friendship event.
 
“Not only do you get to drive horses you don’t normally get the chance to drive, but you have a little communication to go along with it.”
 
The 48-year-old Bertrand has been in the business since he was 15.
 
“I grew up only three miles from Hazel Park in Michigan.  My parents used to go to the track and got to the know some of the horsemen.  In the summer I would go to the track and clean stalls and hang around.  When I was 19 I started training horses and fell in love with every aspect of harness racing. Through the years I was fortunate enough to work from some very good trainers like Terry, Tim and Todd Butler, Merritt Dokey, Mickey Burke and Mark Silva.”
 
Rick has competed over his share of tracks, both large and small, in addition to racing at Cal Expo.
 
“I’ve driven at tracks like Hazel Park, Balmoral, The Meadows, Pocono, Northfield, Mohawk and Indiana Downs.”  
 
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Free TrackMaster full card past performances for the next three Saturday nights will be available at trackmaster/calx.com.
 
Contentious Pace, Pick 4's Head Thursday Bill At Cal Expo
 
A wide-open $3,200 pacing feature that finds She Is So Glad seeking a repeat and two Pick 4’s with a reduced takeout are the main attractions at Cal Expo on Thursday evening (June 2). 
           
Every Thursday night through the end of the meeting, both Pick 4’s offer a reduced 15 percent takeout rate, with the Late Pick 4 coming attached with a $10,000-guaranteed gross pool.
 
To give some examples of how much more this means in terms of return on a winning ticket, the old payoff of $90 is $101.60 with the reduced takeout.  A $150 payoff jumps to $169.40; a $352 ticket is now worth $397.50; and an $850 payoff becomes $960 under these conditions.
 
On Saturday nights, the guaranteed gross pool for the Late Pick 4 has been increased to $15,000. Both the Early and Late Pick 4's on Saturdays have a reduced 15 percent takeout, with a bonus payout of 17.65 percent for winning Late Pick 4 tickets played on track at Cal Expo or at TwinSpires.com.
 
Getting back to the feature race, She Is So Glad is a 4-year-old homebred daughter of Power Of Art who is owned by Jim Wilkinson Jr., Hans Karge, Billie Schwartz and Jay Rosenberg with Wilkinson the conditioner and Rich Wojcio guiding from the outside slot.
 
Leaving from the one-hole with Jim Lackey at the controls in last week’s appearance, She Is So Glad was sent off the 2-1 choice and did not disappoint her backers.  She moved to the lead for good at the half, opening a clear advantage turning for home and then just held safe over Myra’s Hi Ho and Itza Free For All, who are among her rivals once again in this spot.
 
Myra’s Hi Ho finished with a rush to miss by a neck, while Itza Free For All came a sparkling :27 final quarter from last was only a half-length back in third.  Completing the field are Marlin Hanover, Got The Giggles, Yiannoulas Boy and Arch Nemeses.
 
Live racing resumes at Cal Expo on Thursday (June 2) and continues through Saturday (June 4).  Post-time on Thursday is 5:30 p.m. (PDT).  Post-time on Friday (June 3) & 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.