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Cenaltafirecracker getting some post position relief
Friday, March 6th, 2015 - Mark Ratzky, publicity – Cal Expo Harness

In terms of post position, Cenaltafirecracker is going from the equivalent of the basement to the penthouse when it comes to her assignment in Sunday night’s 11th race.
 
The 4-year-pld pacing mare, who is owned and trained by Steve Crump, hasn’t drawn inside the No. 5 slot in her last five trips to the post, including last week’s start where she had the outside in a field of nine.
 
Despite that poor post, Cenaltafirecracker turned in an excellent mile that evening with James Kennedy at the helm, coming from last to rally for third while turning in a sparkling :27 1/5 final quarter. Brewski and Clara Bea, the two mares who beat her, are both suiting up earlier on the card in a Sire Stakes.
 
“I guess she was due for a little luck when it comes to post position,” Crump noted when asked about the 4-year-old daughter of Allamerican Merlin. “She finished really strong the other night and now she gets the rail, so she should be pretty tough if she turns in that same effort.”
 
Crump noted that the bay performer is pretty good around the barn and knows what has to be done once the gate gets rolling, but can be a handful in between. “She’s fine around the barn and all business during a race, but she does have her quirks when it comes to scoring down.
 
“She really keeps her driver on bhis toes, because she can be pretty timid waiting for the race to start and will spook at a lot of things. The earplugs help, because any odd sounds put her on edge.”
 
Speaking of sounds, what Crump would like to hear Sunday night is track announcer Gary Seibel saying something close to, “Now entering the winner’s circle is Cenaltafirecracker.”
  
    Brewski, J’s Littlerockstar headline Sire Stakes
 
A $10,000 California Sire Stakes for the 4-year-old pacing fillies featuring J’s Littlerockstar and Brewski gets the marquee treatment at Cal Expo Sunday evening.
 
There will be 13 races under the Watch and Wager LLC banner with a first post of 4:55 p.m. The Sire Stakes goes as the third on the evening with a field of six scheduled to face starter Kenny Fowler.
 
J’s Littlerockstar is a daughter of Little Steven out of the Pacific Fella mare Sweet Sakra Sue who is owned, trained, driven and was bred by James Kennedy. She has several stakes trophies on her mantle and has posed for pictures following the last two Sire Stakes decided for this division.
 
Brewski and Clara Bea will give trainer Junior Wilkinson a strong one-two punch in the headliner. Billie Schwartz and Wilkinson co-own Brewski, while they are partners on Clara Bea along with Ivan Axelrod and Don Rachford.
 
Luke Plano will guide the multiple stakes winning Brewski, who was disqualified from her victory in the January 4 Sire Stakes and then missed by a head to J’s Littlerockstar in the most recent big-money clash on January 18.
 
The Wilkinson trainee proved a punctual 3-5 favorite in last week’s assignment, brushing to the front for Plano by the quarter and going on to a half-length victory over stablemate Clara Bea in that conditioned event. The latter will once again have Chip Lackey in the sulky this weekend.
 
Rounding out the cast are La Diva De Rosa, who takes her lessons from Lester Smith and has Edward Hernandez guiding; De Valeria, a George Reider trainee with Tim Maier at the controls; and the Rick Cisco-conditioned Duet with Steve Wiseman in the sulky.