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SPLIT TICKET A GIFT THAT KEEPS ON GIVING
Friday, May 3rd, 2013 - Mark Ratzky, publicity – Cal Expo Harness

Since being purchased at the Meadowlands sale in January of 2007 for $15,000, Split Ticket has provided owners Richard Morita and David Yamada a lot of great memories, not to mention nearly $200,000 in earnings.
 
“He was a very lightly raced horse who had been racing at Freehold and was having a difficult time getting around the turns, but he seemed to want to close,” Morita explained.
 
“We brought him out there, and after some early success, we had to do stem call surgery on his front tendons. We weren't sure about the cost and time, but our trainer Sparky Clarke told us it was the right thing to do. It turned out to be a great call by Sparky, and Split Ticket has been a real warrior ever since.”

His co-owner points out that the now 9-year-old son of Bettor’s Delight has earned his 200K the old-fashioned way, making the majority of that bankroll here in California while racing for modest purses. He has made trips to the East, however, earning his 1:50 career mark at Indiana Downs three years ago while also recording a 1:50 2/5 decision over the five-eighths Pocono Downs layout.

“His legs have been pretty good, but we have been fortunate to get great care from our trainers, including Rick Plano and Lino Pacheco. He requires some ice for his legs during the week, but comes back to give us his best efforts on the weekends.

“He’s a funny horse, in that when something is not quite right, he will tell us by his racing. If he has a couple of flat efforts in a row, we know we have to find out what is bothering him. He’s also a real character in the barn and he always lets you know who is boss.”

Split Ticket will suit up once again in Saturday night’s feature, joining One And Only, who is also owned by Morita and Yamada. He related the plan is to take the gelding back East when the meet ends here at the end of the month. “At this point, he owes us nothing,” Richard added. “He’s provided us so much excitement and pleasure.”

ONE AND ONLY HEADS THE MARQUEE

One And Only, who came a sparkling :26 4/5 final quarter to get the job done at the head of the class last week, looks to keep the momentum going as he heads the cast for Saturday night’s featured $6,000 Open Pace at Cal Expo.

A 5-year-old son of Bettor’s Delight out of the Western Hanover mare Gallie Too, One And Only carries the banner of Richard Morita and David Yamada, takes his lessons from Lester Smith and will once again have Luke Plano giving directions.
 
In last week’s clash at the top rung, the bay performer was four lengths back as the field made the swing for home, ignited when the question was asked in the lane and flew late to win going away by two and three-quarter lengths. The 1:53 1/5 final clocking shaved a tick off his career standard.

Split Ticket gives the Morita/Yamada/Smith team another strong look at the outcome with Chip Lackey handling the lines. The 9-year-old rattled off three straight victories between April 6 and April 20 before checking in fourth behind his stablemate and has $200,000 in his bank account with a sizzling 1:50 mark from three years ago.

Mobil Big John was third in last week’s top dance for the pacing set and goes for Toman Enterprises Ltd, trainer George Anthrop and regular pilot Gene Vallandingham. While he has just one victory this season, he has turned in a number of solid efforts and will likely be looking to work out a good trip.

Completing the field are Gold Deuce and Fine Fine Fine, who are both stepping up off wins last week. The former is owned by Kathy Plested and Tyler Wiseman with Steve Wiseman doing the driving and training, while Fine Fine Fine races for Patricia Waldeck, Deborah Tull and driver/trainer Bruce Clarke.