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Tuesday, January 8th, 2012 - Mark Ratzky, publicity – Cal Expo Harness

The second leg of the Joe Lighthill Trotting series holds center stage at the Watch and Wager LLC meet at Cal Expo Thursday night, with opening leg upset winners Go Go Fast and Vari Forgetful seeking encores.

The Lighthill will once again be decided in two divisions, as the sixth and eleventh events on the 13-race program. First post is set for 5 p.m. and the action will continue this week with Friday and Saturday cards.

Go Go Fast is a 5-year-old daughter of Cozy Cruiser who races for Kc C Carvalo, takes her lessons from Tim Brown and has Luke Plano giving directions from the cozy rail slot. Sent off at 11-1 in her division of last week’s first leg, she saved her best for last as she came rolling late to be up by a neck.

Vari Forgetful is a 4-year-old mare by Armbro Variable who is owned and was bred by Jack Cofffey and is reined and trained by Bruce Clarke. A multiple stakes victress, the bay mare sat far back in the early stages of her mile last weekend, ignited when the question was asked and prevailed by two lengths while rewarding her backers as a 9-1 shot.

Chevie Balboa and It’s Not Over were the respective beaten favorites behind Go Go Fast and Vari Forgetful and will be seeking some revenge. Both are conditioned by Bob Johnson, with Chevie Balboa carrying the banner of Ed Actkinson while Debra Budahn owns Its Not Over. Mooney Svendsen handles both trotters.

Chevie Balboa was Go Go Fast’s most immediate victim last week while losing a tough one and has to be given a strong look. Its Not Over had a four-race winning streak snapped in his most recent appearance and could easily return to his winning ways on Thursday.

Vari Forgetful already has a slew of stakes trophies on her mantle for owner/breeder Jack Coffey and driver/trainer Bruce Clarke, now she has her sights set on capturing the Joe Lighthill Trotting series final.

First things first, however, as the 4-year-old mare suits up for Thursday evening’s second leg of the Lighthill. Despite doing her work from the outside post in a division of last week’s opening leg, Vari Forgetful got the job done at juicy odds of nearly 10-1 while coming from far off the pace.

“She’s actually pretty versatile and can leave away from there if you want, but the post dictated the tactics,” Clarke related. “I could tell they were going a pretty good pace up there. To be honest, she hadn’t been at the top of her game before that, so I was real happy when she took hold and felt strong past the half.”

Vari Forgetful flew by the leaders in that affair to pull away by two lengths when all was said and done, with the 1:57 4/5 final clocking shaving two full seconds off her previous mark. The first-place check put her over the $65,000 plateau in earnings with the bulk of that money earned during an outstanding 2-year-old campaign.
Clarke explained that Vari Forgetful only made it to the races six times last year due to an incident in February in Florida when she injured herself in her stall. It cost her the majority of her 3-year-old season, but all is well as she embarks on her 2013 campaign.
There is certainly some history here when it come to the Coffey/Clarke performer. “We raced her dam (Forgotto Toast Her) and she had a lot of ability but also had breathing problems,” Bruce explained. “Her half-sister Foxfire Forgetful holds the track record here for 2-year-old trotting fillies, and I think this mare has even more ability.”

Racing will continue this week with the trotters and pacers in action on Friday and Saturday nights.