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El Grande Real Ignites Toteboard At Cal Expo
Friday, April 27, 2012 - by Mark Ratzky, Publicity -- Cal Expo

Coming off an eighth-place finish at odds of 91-1, E Grande Real wasn’t getting much respect from the bettors at Cal Expo in last Saturday’s (April 21) nightcap for owner/trainer Larry Alterman and provisional driver Alberto Pacheco.
It’s apparent the 11-year-old pacer can’t read the past performances, because he went out there and posted a solid first-over victory while returning $55 to his faithful backers in the conditioned $2,500 seller.
“If you notice, he took a week off and he races much better when he’s fresh,” Pacheco pointed out.  “I had a feeling he was going to go a big mile, because he had a much better post position and was very strong during the warm-up.  That’s the way he raced.”
For Pacheco, the victory was the third in his career.  He got his initial snapshot with Pips Jenny G in December, then didn’t click again until guiding the trotter Try This to victory two weeks ago.  He followed that up with the big upset behind El Grande Real last weekend.
“The win with Pips Jenny G was very special.  She went right to the front and just kept on going.  It was a big relief, because I had gone 20-something starts without a win.  After the race, they called me over and said the stewards wanted to talk to me, but it turned out to be the other drivers and they hit me with six buckets of water.  I didn’t mind at all.”
The win with Try This marked Pacheco's initial chance to drive a horse as low as even-money and the chalk players were not to be disappointed that evening.
“It was the first time I had driven him in a race, but I won a qualifier with him when I was getting my P license, so I had a lot of confidence.  It’s a great feeling anytime you win a race.”
Saturday Cal Expo Spotlight Falls On Sire Stakes Colts
Rich WojcioLooks Don’t Count and Rite After Disbeer get the respective top billing in the two $12,000 California Sire Stakes for the 3-year-old pacing and trotting colts at Cal Expo Saturday night (April 28).
Looks Don’t Count is a homebred pacing son of Little Steven and the Denali mare The Beast’s Beauty who is co-owned by Marlene and Rick Thomas and trainer George Reider and will have James Kennedy at the helm from the outside post.
In the first stakes clash of the season for this group, Looks Don’t Count sat a stalking journey for Kennedy, ignited when the question was asked in the stretch and swept by the leaders for a length and a half score in a 1:57 performance.  A repeat mile will obviously make him very tough right back.
Leaving inside him on Saturday are Bee Gee with Steve Wiseman; Hollywood Star, to be guided by Lemoyne Svendsen; Artability for Alberto Pacheco; Ra Ra Steven with Rich Wojcio; and Bloom N Doom, who has Jim Lackey in the bike.
The trotting event will go as a non-betting affair prior to the regular program.  Rite After Disbeer is a son of New Age Hanover who is owned and was bred by Mary Harris with Kennedy Lindsey the conditioner and Luke Plano at the controls.
After getting a needed debut effort under his belt on March 10, he was ready to show his stuff in that initial stakes attempt two weeks ago and did the pounce-and-attack to perfection with Plano.  Taking him on will be Loose Cannon, High Dollar, Lees Persuader and Light Red.
A 14-race program is on tap, with a $4,000 event for fillies and mares kicking off the action.  Haggin Oaks will be returning to distaff-only competition here and will definitely have her share of backers.
Live racing resumes at Cal Expo on Friday (April 27) & Saturday (April 28) 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.