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Monday, December 31st, 2012 - Mark Ratzky, publicity – Cal Expo Harness

Watch and Wager LLC at Cal Expo swings into 2013 with three days of racing a week and plenty of momentum following an opening meet of 16 programs that proved to be quite successful.

Since January of 2012, harness racing has been conducted on a two-day a week basis in California, but due to an influx of horses there will now be trotting and pacing three days a week through the end of this Watch and Wager meeting in May.

“Restoration of the three-day racing week is vital to the infrastructure and long term viability of the California industry,” said General Manager Chris Schick. “Our horsemen have really pulled together to make it happen.”

Handle figures for the opening portion of the meet reflect an on-track increase of 8.1 percent; a California mini-satellite increase of 27.1 percent; an account wagering increase of 28.9 percent and an out-of-state increase of 55.2 percent. California fairs and tracks were down an average of 14.4 percent, with the total nightly average of $757,177 being up 13.3 percent.
“Considering the very poor weather, we are reasonably happy with our first meet results,” continued Schick. “We think we are well positioned for the new year.”

The meeting will run through May 11 and racing continues this week with Friday, Saturday and Sunday cards featuring the opening legs of the Joe Lighthill, Lonnie Beck, Marvin Shapiro and Joe O’Brien series.
For the majority of the meeting, racing will be conducted on Thursday, Friday and Saturday nights. For the complete schedule, please go to