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Laissez Moi Passer proves most photogenic
Thursday, January 8th, 2015 - Mark Ratzky, publicity – Cal Expo Harness

You’ll be hard pressed to find a more exciting finish than last week’s Sire Stakes for the 4-year-old pacing colts, with the first three finishers separated by noses.
 
When the photo was posted, it was the 11-1 Laissez Moi Passer getting the decision over favorites Rikybrnthegaragdwn and King Of The Crop with the 1:54 4/5 final clocking shaving a tick off his career standard.
 
Laissez Moi Passer is a son of Disco Devil and the Nirvana mare My Passing Fancy who races for Sal and Georgette Wenseclao and Williams Hernandez was in the sulky as the long-fused pacer came from last with a :27 1/5 final quarter to seal the deal.
 
“That was his second stakes win, and he’s also had a lot of seconds and thirds,” Sal related. “He always has that good kick, but in the bigger fields he doesn’t have as good a chance because he can’t always get clear sailing.”
 
In fact, Laissez Moi Passer came into last week’s stakes engagement off two less-than-ideal trips, as he was blocked the length of the stretch in his December 21 outing and then was first over behind a streaking Bit Player in his next assignment as that one zipped a 1:52 4/5 mile that night.
 
There were no such issues last week, however, as the Wenceslao colorbearer took aim on the leaders at the head of the drive and surged when it counted for Hernandez to be on the right end of the photo.
 
“It was a really good race for him and it helped that it was a smaller field,” Sal said. “We’ve got two more stakes coming up, and he’s very sharp right now.” We’ll find out shortly if more trophies on the horizon for this pacer.
 
Open Trot, Pick 4 guarantee increase spotlighted
 
El Azteca and Its Not Over, who have divided up all the top dances for the trotting set at this meeting, go at it once again in Saturday evening’s $5,500 Open Trot at Cal Expo.
 
A reminder that for the remainder of January, the guarantee on the 16% takeout Pick 4 has been increased from $20,000 to $30,000 each night. The other wagers offered with the reduced takeout rate are the Pick 5; the Jackpot 6 and Hi-5 on the nitecap.
 
There will be 10 races presented under the Watch and Wager LLC banner on Saturday with a first post of 6:40 p.m. Racing is now being conducted three nights a week, with Friday, Saturday and Sunday action.
 
El Azteca is a 6-year-old son of Panama Hanover who comes into this assignment with three victories from the seven Open Trots during this stand, while arch-rival Its Not Over has posed following the other four.
 
El Azteca is owned, trained and was bred by Marco Rios and James Kennedy will be in his usual position in the sulky. The bay performer is looking to add to a $131,000 bank account and set his standard of 1:54 3/5 last year at Hoosier Park.
 
After losing by a nose to a pocket-sitting Its Not Over two starts back, El Azteca was able to take advantage of an early break by that foe in the most recent clash at the head of the class. After being used to early lead, Kennedy took up a stalking position with the Rios charge and then had too much for them in the stretch and won going away by a length and three-quarters.
 
Its Not Over made an early miscue in that affair, rushed up to the lead but had been used up by the time they hit deep stretch. Another son of Panama Hanover, he races for Richard Dryden and Debra Budahn with Bob Johnson the conditioner and Chip Lackey handling the lines. Flight of the Kiwi, Franky Provolone, Winsom Kelly and Truth In Action complete the field.