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Lodi Machette Man cuts down big guns
Wednesday, April 1st, 2015 - Mark Ratzky, publicity – Cal Expo Harness

Going into last weekend’s Sire Stakes for the 3-year-old pacing colts, Uringoodhands and Hi Ho’s Little Rev had dominated the division and were getting all the love from the fans, going off at 1-5 and 5-2, respectively.
 
Apparently Lodi Machette Man didn’t get the memo.
 
Mary Harris and Pierre Girard’s Little Steven homebred, who was being handled by Luke Plano for the first time, worked out a beautiful pocket trip and prevailed by a length and three-quarters for his initial stakes tally while returning $16 to his backers.
 
Lodi Machette Man had to settle for distant third-place finishes in the previous five big-money gatherings, but now it was his turn to shine. “He’s been steadily coming along, and the previous week I got locked in,” said trainer Girard, who had driven the pacer in all his previous outings.  More ---
 
“The horse has still been green, which is the reason I’ve been driving up to this point. I don’t want another person to have to do my job. Now he’s starting to mature and it was time to let another driver take over and Luke is certainly one of the best with some great hands.
 
“He had never been behind the horse before that night, but he listened to everything I said and he gave Lodi a tremendous drive, sitting in a perfect position into the stretch behind the two favorites, who were battling. It was also nice of him to give me credit when he was interviewed after the race.”
 
There are two more stakes races left at this meet for the sophomore pacing colts and it will be interesting to see if Lodi Machette Man and his new best friend Luke can pick up another trophy for Mary and Pierre before it’s a wrap.
 
Contentious Distaff Open Pace headlines program
 
Blue Gem, fresh from a 15-1 upset last week; and Part Time Lady, who battled hard with the favorite in that contest before tiring, head the cast for Friday night’s $6,000 Filly-Mare Open Pace at Cal Expo.
 
There will be 12 races Friday night under the Watch and Wager LLC banner and the action is set to get underway at 6:40 p.m. The feature will go as the eighth event on the evening.
 
Blue Gem is a 6-year-old daughter of Nirvana and the Cambest mare Cherry Tree Blue who is owned, trained, driven and was bred by Harold Herrera. She was winning for the second time on the season from nine outings in last week’s score at this level and the 1:54 clocking shaved a tick off her career standard.
 
Part Time Lady did the heavy lifting in that clash at this level last week, carving out the fractions and then dueling hard with odds-on Love Live Laugh to the stretch before weakening to fourth.
 
Ronald and Tammy Wells own the 6-year-old Jereme’s Jet mare while Steve Wiseman reins and trains. Part Time Lady has five wins this year from 11 appearances, the most recent coming under these conditions on March 1 from the demanding No. 10 post with the 1:54 1/5 final clocking establishing a new mark.
 
Completing the field are Rag Doll with Mooney Svendsen; Internal Check, to be handled by Tim Maier; High Bet Hanover, Luke Plano; Diva Las Vegas with Daniel Maier; and La Madawna De Rosa, who leaves form the rail with Williams Hernandez at the controls.
 
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Saturday’s action will include a simulcast of the Jackpot Hi-5 from Woodbine, which features an $847,458 carryover and a mandatory payout. The Jackpot Hi-5 is a 20-cent wager with a low 15% takeout rate.