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Team Desomer hoping Placer minds manners
Thursday, January 15th, 2015 - Mark Ratzky, publicity – Cal Expo Harness

There are times when getting a trotter to go the mile without making a break is akin to a chef attempting to make a delicate soufflé rise – one false move and you’re done.
That’s certainly the case with Placer, who will suit up this weekend in Sire Stakes competition for Steve and Vickie Desomer. While the Panama Hanover homebred already has his share of stakes trophies on the mantle, there have just as many occasions when a misstep or two has cost him dearly.
That was the scenario in the most recent Sire Stakes clash on December 14, when Placer loomed large with Steve at the head of the stretch, only to go offstride and lose all chance. Since that effort, however, Placer has been on his best behavior while finishing second in the Dr. Gary Budahn and capturing an overnighter at most recent asking.
“Steve says Placer is a very hard horse to drive because he interferes badly and cannot be overdriven,” Vickie related. “ With the help of our blacksmith, Larry Goshman, he is shod so that interference is lessened as much as possible. 
“He will never be good gaited, but he does try hard.  Jumping trotters can be heartbreakers.”
The horse Placer has to beat this weekend is his old rival Bank Of Lodi, who has posed for pictures following the last two stakes engagements for this group. Pierre Girard trains and co-owns the daughter of New Age Hanover with Mary Harris while Luke Plano has been the constant companion.
In what Team Desomer is hoping was a sneak preview, it was Bank Of Lodi who was following Placer home last weekend in that conditioned affair to complete the exacta. Will we see an encore, or is Bank Of Lodi going to turn the tables with the big money on the line and make it three straight Sire Stakes? Stay tuned.
St Lads Lotto, Sire Stakes spotlighted
 An Open Pace featuring St Lads Lotto, who has rattled off seven straight victories; and a trio of California Sire Stakes head the Cal Expo program Saturday night. An 11-race card is on tap with first post at 6:40 p.m. and one of the Sire Stakes goes as a non-betting event prior to the regular program.
There is currently Friday, Saturday and Sunday action under the Watch and Wager LLC banner and a reminder that through the month of January, there is a $30,000-guaranteed pool on the 16% Pick 4, one of four wagers on the card with that reduced takeout rate.
Looking at the Open Pace, St Lad Lotto is a 5-year-old son of Stonebridge Regal out of the Camluck mare Sweept Ticket who is in the midst of a love affair with this track. Ferne and jack Frydman own, Mark Winacott trains and Steve Wiseman will again be in the sulky behind this razor-sharp performer.
If the Sire Stakes for the 4-year-old pacing males is anything like the most recent get-together two weeks ago, this should be some race. In that January 4 affair, Laissez Moi Passer, Rikybrnthegaragdwn and King Of The Crop came to the wire in that order with just noses separating the trio.
Laissez Moi Passer is a son of Disco Devil who is owned by Sal and Georgette Wensceslao, is conditioned by Sal and will as usual have Williams Hernandez at the controls. In that last stakes gathering, the long-fused pacer came from last to prevail in a blanket finish at 11-1 while lowering his lifetime mark to 1:54 4/5 in the process.
Rikybrnthegaragdwn is a multiple stakes winner who competes for Maryann Plano and Nikki Hudson with Luke Plano doing the driving and training. A winner of conditioned affair on December 21 in a career-best 1:53 2/5, he comes into this assignment off three straight runner-up finishes, including that narrow miss in the January 3 Sire Stakes.
King Of The Crop was only another nose back in third in the aforementioned contest and has several stakes trophies already adorning his display case. Frank Nevarez owns and bred the son of Little Steven with Gordie Graham training and Bruce Clarke in the sulky.

He won eight of his 19 starts last season with a 1:54 3./5 mark.