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Bertrand Looking Forward To The Challenge
Friday, April 13, 2012 - by Mark Ratzky, Publicity -- Cal Expo

Rick Bertrand is one of the four Cal Expo local pilots taking on the Eastern team in Saturday’s night’s (April 14) second leg of the East-West Amateur Driving Challenge, joining David Siegel, Amanda Fraser and Karen Isbell in hopes of prevailing in this popular event.
“This is my fourth year driving in the Challenge and I've enjoyed it every time,” Bertrand said.  “Dave (Siegel) does a very good job putting this together and I think it’s a great way to compete with other amateur drivers.”
Last month saw Bertrand, Siegel, Luke Plano and Steve Wiseman traveling to Pompano Park to compete in the Pro-Am event held at that Florida track.
“I had always wanted to go to Pompano to drive and was glad I was asked and given the opportunity.
“Of course, the best part turned out to be the last race in the series.  The points were all tied up so it came down to that race to see who would win.  It made that race so much more exciting.
“I actually got off last in that one and it didn't seem like I had much chance and at the half, as I was still trailing and was just hoping to maybe catch a horse or two so I could get the owner a check.  Then going to the three-quarters, I got my horse into gear and we started passing one horse and then another.
“We tipped three wide halfway around the last turn and he started getting his mojo working, as our announcer Scott Ehrlich would say.  I still didn't think I had a chance to win but we just kept picking up horses.  Halfway down the stretch, I looked over and all I had to do was drive past Luke Plano, Wally Hennessey, Bruce Ranger and Steve Wiseman!
“Well, we got by all of them and were up at the wire.  The points helped our team get the victory, and it was one of the biggest wins I’ve ever had and something I’ll never forget.”
Can Rick Bertrand work his magic again and get the prize for Team West this weekend?  Stay tuned.
Second Leg Of East-West Amateur Challenge; Albion, Sire Stakes in Saturday Cal Expo Spotlight
Joe FaraldoThe second leg of the East-West Amateur Driving Challenge; an optional claiming pace headed by the streaking Albion and a pair of California Sire Stakes for the 3-year-old colts, are scheduled at Cal Expo on Saturday night (April 14).
There will be three divisions of the Amateur Challenge, while Albion figures to be a solid favorite when he goes postward for trainer Matias Ruiz and pilot Luke Plano in the second event on the 15-race program.  The Sires Stakes will both go as non-betting races prior to the regular card.
In the East-West Challenge, the local team will consistent of Amanda Fraser, Karen Isbell, David Siegel and Rick Bertrand and they will be challenged by the invading contingent of Steve Oldford, Joe Faraldo, Tony Verruso and Peter Gerry.
The Amateurs will do battle in the sixth, ninth and eleventh races on the card with all three contests looming interesting betting affairs.  By the end of the night, bragging rights will have been decided.
The Sire Stakes for colt trotters finds El Azteca looming large while taking on Light Red, Loose Cannon, Rite After Disbeer, Panama Pride and Lees Persuader; while the pacing end matches Bee Gee, Looks Don’t Count, Little Tor, Ra Ra Steven, Bloom N Doom and Ridgerson.
Live racing resumes at Cal Expo on Friday (April 13) & Saturday (April 14) at 6:00 p.m. (PST).  On every live card, Cal Expo offers free parking & free admission after 4:30 p.m.  On Friday, Cal Expo offers Happy Hour from 4:00-7:00 p.m. on which Beer; Well Drinks & Wine are offered at $4 each, while a Burger with fries is offered at $5.
Cal Expo currently offers a reduced 15 percent takeout rate on all Pick 4’s.  Additionally, all Late Pick 4’s now come with an increased $20,000-guaranteed gross pool.  Also, the Friday Late Pick 4 will offer a 0% takeout on all winning wagers made on track or at, while the Saturday Late Pick 4 will be broadcast on TVG.