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Elegant Emma Is The Little Mare That Could At Cal Expo
Thursday, June 14, 2012 - by Mark Ratzky, Publicity -- Cal Expo

 Still fighting the good fight at age 12, Elegant Emma ended up in the Cal Expo winner’s circle last week for owners Rick and Marlene Thomas, trainer George Reider and pilot James Kennedy.
The New Zealand-bred distaffer has earned her money the old-fashioned way, with $93,000 in her bank account and a 1:53.2 mark that was established here four years ago, while only missing by a nose in a 1:52 mile going back another two seasons.  It almost seems like she’s been around forever.
“She’s a classy mare, standing only 14 hands high, but she races like a big girl wearing a 60-inch hobble,” Reider said.  “When the Thomas’ first brought her to me, she had some internal problems that took a while to fix.  At the barn, she’s just about as sweet a mare as can be, but on the track she’s a true competitor.”
Reider explained that the Elegant Emma/James Kennedy dynamic was slow to evolve.
“When James first started driving her, I don’t think he liked her that well.  She can be hard to handle in the paddock and the post parade.  After a while they got to know each other, though, and now he tells me he really enjoys driving her.”
While she is still eligible to race for two more years, George informed that Rick and Marlene will be sending Elegant Emma on to her next career.
“At age 12, the Thomas’ figure it’s time for the breeding shed and she’s going to Little Steven.  I’m really going to miss this little mare when she leaves.”
Saturday’s (June 16) simulcast menu includes the full card from Mohawk Raceway, highlighted by the $1.5 million North America Cup for 3-year-old pacers.  Heading the cast are last week’s elimination winners Sweet Lou, who set a new track record with his sparkling 1:47.4 victory; and Dapper Dude, who posted a 9-1 upset when capturing his division.
Sweet Lou will be hard to deny if he can repeat last week’s mile for pilot Dave Palone.  It was the son of Yankee Cruiser’s third win in as many starts on the year after coming off an outstanding 2-year-old campaign that saw him prevailing in 10 of 12 appearances and a divisional championship.
Richard K. Jones Trot Headlines Friday Cal Expo Program

Rich Wojcio

RICH WOJCIO handles Alpine Hawk in Friday night's Richard K. Jones Trot at Cal Expo.

Putoneonnetformom, fresh from a coast-to-coast victory at the head of the class in a lifetime-best 1:57 1/5 tour, eyes an encore at Cal Expo in Friday night’s (June 15) $6,800 Richard K. Jones Trot.
The race is named for the retired associate editor of Hoofbeats magazine and is the feature on the next-to-last program of the winter-spring meeting at Cal Expo.
An 8-year-old homebred son of Trot For Joy out of the Armbro Goal mare Light The Lamp, Putoneonnetformom carries the banner of Jeff, Jerry and Diana Cimini, is conditioned by Rocky Stidham and will have James Kennedy at the controls.  He comes into this assignment with $147,000 in his bank account.
This year has seen the dark-hued performer pose for pictures following five of his 16 trips to the post with 10 second and third-place finishes.  In last week’s gathering at the top rung, Kennedy buzzed his charge right to the front, set the fractions without pressure and came home with two lengths to spare while shaving a tick off his previous standard in the process.
Alpine Hawk had to settle for third as the 3-5 favorite in that affair and will be looking for some revenge. Jim Winske owns, Gordie Graham trains and Rich Wojcio will be in his usual spot in the sulky.  He has earned $183,000 and sports a 1:56.4 mark from four years ago.
The 11-year-old New York-bred has clicked 10 times from 16 starts on the season, with the most recent tally coming under these conditions on June 1.  He was a game first-over winner that evening while getting up by a half-length over Giles L H Hanover.
Saturday night’s (June 16) card will bring down the curtain with Tax Relief and the classy mare Haggin Oaks looming the main rivals in the $6,000 pacing event that will highlight that program. 
Live racing resumes at Cal Expo on Friday (June 15) & closing night, Saturday (June 16) 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.