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Bank Of Lodi makes another stakes deposit
Friday, February 6th, 2015 - Mark Ratzky, publicity – Cal Expo Harness

Everybody knew the game plan with Bank Of Lodi going into last week’s Sire Stakes was to head to the front and improve position, and that’s exactly what the trotting daughter of New Age Hanover did to perfection.
 
Unlike the previous stakes engagement two weeks earlier where Bank Of Lodi was hard used early and tired to threat after carving out the fractions, Luke Plano was able to get the mare to the front with less pressure. She did the rest, waltzing home by nearly four lengths over odds-on Placer.
 
“Getting used early from an outside post the start before certainly hurt her chances,” said trainer Pierre Girard, who also co-owns Bank Of Lodi with the mare’s breeder Mary Harris. “I was very happy when we drew an inside post this time.”
 
The bay miss has shown that she does her best work when she’s allowed to roll on the front end, which was also the scenario when she picked up her first stakes trophy here in December.
 
“I decided to give her a little break before this last start, because she’d been racing every week,” Girard related. “She uses a little different bridle, because the opposite of most horses, it actually relaxes her to be able to see everything.”
 
Whatever Girard and Plano are doing, it’s working, as Bank Of Lodi has now posed for pictures following two of the last three Sire Stakes for this division. There is only one big-money dance remaining for this group, that coming next week.
 
Pierre is also very pleased with another trotter in the barn named AJ’s Little One, who has rattled off back-to-back wins with Plano guiding and appears to have a new lease on life at age 11 after going 0-for-18 last season. “She’s very happy being at the farm now and it’s showing in her races,” he noted.
 
Jim Grundy Trot prep gets top billing
 
The Jim Grundy Trot prep, a prelude to the finale in two weeks, headlines an 11-race program at Cal Expo Sunday night that gets underway at 4:55 p.m.
 
A field of six will face starter Kenny Fowler in the Grundy, which is scheduled as the fourth race on the evening. They will line up this way: Vari Forgetful, Brussel Sprout, Silverlode, Hooray Kate, Timmy T and Lodi Dorian Blues.
 
Vari Forgetful turns up having posted back-to-back victories at 58-1 and 14-1 for driver/trainer Bruce Clarke. The 6-year-old homebred daughter of Armbro Variable races for Jack Coffey, has over $105,000 in her bank account and sports a 1:56 4/5 mark that was established last year at Pompano Park.


Silverlode figures to have her share of backers after chasing home the classy Franks Best at most recent asking. The Desomer Stables Inc homebred is a multiple Sire Stakes victress who is just shy of the $100,000 earnings mark and Steve Desomer will once again handle the lines.
 
Lodi Dorian Blues is coming off two very nice tries and will have trainer/co-owner Pierre Girard in the sulky. Mary Harris co-owns and bred this 6-year-old son of New Age Hanover, who will do his work from the outside slot.
 
A reminder that there are four wagers offered here each evening that feature a reduced 16% takeout rate. They are the 50-cent Pick 5; the 20-cent Pick 4 that has a $25,0000 guaranteed pool; and the Hi-5 and Jackpot 6, which are both 10-cent minimum wagers.
 
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The next two weeks will find the trotters and pacers in action on Friday, Saturday and Sunday nights, with racing February 13-15 and 20-22.