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Smash has credentials to be a good one
Friday, January 16th, 2015 - Mark Ratzky, publicity – Cal Expo Harness

If pedigree means anything, Smash is going to be a tough customer in the first Sire Stakes clash for the 3-year-old pacing fillies on Sunday.
 
Junior Wilkinson conditions and co-owns the daughter of Little Steven with Billie Schwartz. The dark-hued filly is out of the Givemewhatineed mare I Need A Miracle, who was herself a multiple Sire Stakes victress.
 
“This is the third foal from I Need A Miracle,” Wilkinson informed. “The other two are Tony Cheesecake and A Real Miracle, who both won in 1:53 last Saturday. She’s a big, good looking filly and we’ve liked her from the very start.”
 
Even without the impressive lineage, Smash looks imposing on paper as the first added-money event for the division approaches. The dark-hued filly proved a punctual even-money favorite in her December 21 debut, had tough trips in her next two outings and then returned to her winning ways at most recent asking with a solid 1:57 2/5 score.
 
Her second start saw Smash far back early from a tough post and she did well to get a share that night, then in her next outing she made a break at the start to spot her opposition some 20 lengths and turned in an outstanding mile thereafter to lose by less than three lengths.
 
“The night she made the break, she was trying to leave and the hopples were probably a bit too long,” Wilkinson explained. “The effort she turned in after losing all that ground at the start was pretty amazing.”
 
There were no such mistakes in last week’s tour, as Plano left into a tracking position with Smash, took aim on the leader at the head of the lane and motored by smartly to set her up perfectly for this weekend’s trophy quest.
 
Sunday program spotlights Sire Stakes performers
 
Two California Sire Stakes for the 4-year-olds and the first added-money gathering for the 3-year-old pacing fillies top Sunday’s card at Cal Expo. There will be 10 races on the evening and the action gets underway at 4:40 p.m.
 
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. The others are the Pick 5; the Jackpot 6 and the Hi-5 on the nightcap.
 
In the two Sire Stakes for pacing distaffers, J’s Littlerockstar and Brewski have the top billing in the contest for the 4-year-olds while Smash and Avila Beach are among the major players in the race for the sophomores.
 
Bank Of Lodi, a convincing winner of the first stakes for her division at the meeting, looks to keep the momentum going in the 4-year-old trotting event. Bank Of Lodi is a homebred daughter of New Age Hanover out of the Armbro Rotary mare Bankers Babe who is owned by Mary Harris and Pierre Girard, takes her lessons from Girard and will have Luke Plano back at the controls.
 
The bay mare was sent off at 40 cents on the dollar in the most recent added-money event for this division on December 14 and did not disappoint her many backers. Plano buzzed her right to the front that evening, withstood a strong bid at the head of the lane to prevail by three lengths.
 
Bank Of Lodi established a new career standard with the 1:59 1/5 clocking and has been facing solid competition in her subsequent three appearances. She will definitely appreciate getting back with her peers this weekend with another trophy on the line.
 
Placer is a multiple stakes winning son of Panama Hanover who races for Team Desomer with Steve Desomer at the controls. He was making a bold move at Bank Of Lodi in that last stakes clash when he jumped offstride, but came back to mind his manners and checked in a good second in the Dr. Gary Budahn Trot behind Jailer and then looked sharp winning a conditioned contest last week.