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Thursday, December 20th, 2012 By Mark Ratzky, publicity – Cal Expo Harness

A pair of $10,000 California Sire Stakes for pacing fillies headline the Saturday daytime action at the Watch and Wager LLC meet at Cal Expo, which will get underway at a special 2:35 p.m. first post. Racing will continue Sunday with another 2:35 p.m. program.

The Sire Stakes for the 3-year-old distaffers finds Pismo Beach eyeing a big-money encore after taking down the first added-money affair at the meet for her division, while Strings captured the first trophy for the 2-year-old fillies and gets top billing in that event.

Pismo Beach is a 3-year-old daughter of Hi Ho Silverheel’s and the Beach Towel mare Bj’s Beach Fire who is owned and was bred by Wayne and Rod Knittel and hails from the Bob Johnson barn with Mooney Svendsen in his usual spot in the sulky from the cozy rail post. She has prevailed in five of her 16 appearances this year, including a 1:57 2/5 mark that was established this summer.
Leaving to her outside are stablemate Twentyone Guns with Scott Cisco; Little Anna Mae for Tim Maier; Drawing Dead with Williams Hernandez guiding; Diva Las Vegas, the second Maier trainee with Steve Wiseman at the controls; and La Madawna De Rosa, who has the services of Luke Plano.

The Knittel/Johnson/Svendsen team has another excellent look at a stakes win on Saturday with Strings representing the shedrow in the 2-year-old affair. The dark-hued homebred prevailed by a nose in the first Sire Stakes clash for the young female pacers and had a demanding trip in last week’s appearance while finishing second behind the promising colt Daring Do in a conditioned event.

Taking her on are Babe Ridge with Scott Cisco; Show Runner for Tim Maier; Little Schoolgirl with trainer James Kennedy in the sulky; Dancing Fool, Steve Wiseman; Blue Gem for Harold Herrera; Ranchera Linda with Rich Wojcio; and Stiletosilverheels, to be handled by Bruce Clarke from the outside slot.

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Next week will find a special Wednesday (Dec. 26) card that gets underway at 5 p.m., followed by Friday and Saturday racing (Dec. 28-29) with a scheduled first post of 5:55 p.m.


There is no denying that Show Runner did the heavy lifting in the first stakes clash of the season for the 2-year-old pacing fillies, coming first over for Tim Maier before being missing by a nose to Strings in that affair.

Show Runner and Maier have had to wait three weeks to get some big-money revenge, with the rematch set for Saturday’s fifth race and the second round of stakes action for the young distaffers.
“This is a half-sister to Castle Oaks, and while they are both very well built, she’s actually a little taller,” Maier informed. “She made steady progress in her qualifiers and I was real happy with her effort in the first stakes. She was first up and just missed to a pretty nice filly who was able to follow her.”

Show Runner returned in a conditioned race last weekend and finished fifth behind the promising colt Daring Do, with arch-rival Strings checking in third that evening, a length and a half ahead of her at the wire.

“It was actually a nice race her my filly, because she got caught along the rail where the footing wasn’t the best,” Tim explained. “She finished well, which is what you want to see the week before a stakes race, so we shouldn’t have any excuses.”

The Maier barn also figures to have a strong say in the other Sire Stakes on the program with Diva Las Vegas and Little Anna Mae in the 3-year-old filly clash. Tim will handle the latter, while Steve Wiseman handles the lines behind Diva Las Vegas. “This group is pretty wide open right now, and it’s always nice to have two chances in there,” Maier related. We’ll see if the safety in numbers angle plays out in that gathering.