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SERIES FINALES, SIRE STAKES HOLD SPOTLIGHT
Thursday, February 14th, 2013 - Mark Ratzky, publicity – Cal Expo Harness

The $12,150 Bill Conlin Pacing series and the $11,100 Michael Corley Pacing series finales and a $10,000 California Sire Stakes for 3-year-old pacing colts are the featured events on Saturday night’s 15-race Cal Expo program.

Whicadidja will attempt to make a clean sweep of the Conlin, while the Corley is for pacing distaffers and Sea Bug and Frankly Scarlett have accounted for the first two legs, with Cache River finishing second as the favorite on both occasions. The Sire Stakes finds the Vickie Desomer barn holding a strong hand with Daring Do and Bit Player representing the shedrow.
 
Whicadidja is a 5-year-old son of Panspacificflight who is trained by Bernie Wolin and will once again be guided by Dave Siegel, who also co-owns the pacer with Bob Thronson and Greg Robinson. He was 22-1 when he sat a pocket trip to win the opening leg on February 2, then came back last week to leave into another good tracking journey at 6-1 and equaled his lifetime mark with the 1:55 flat clocking.

Taking him on are Gold Deuce with Steve Wiseman; Medoland Sapphire, to be guided by Luke Plano; Flash’s Camilla with Chip Lackey; Young American for Frank Petrelli; Major Marcus with Rich Wojcio; and Old Blue with Mooney Svendsen.

In the Corley, Sea Bug had some traffic issues in the opening leg, but was able to work out a nice trip last weekend and posted a length and a half score for Toman Enterprises Ltd, trainer George Anthrop and pilot Mooney Svendsen. Cache River has had pace-setting duties in both legs as the favorite, but has had to settle for the runner-up finish. Carrie Scott owns, Gretchen Smith is the conditioner and Luke Plano has the return assignment.

Completing the field are opening leg victress Frankly Scarlet for Steve Wiseman; Incredible Gambler, who has the services of Dave Siegel; and Mousseline Hanover with Chip Lackey.

Daring Do and Bit Player have taken the first two stakes for the pacing colt division with James Kennedy and Steve Wiseman guiding, respectively. Rounding out the cast are Hi Ho Disguise, Luke Plano; Crooked and Locked with Bruce Clarke; Lebo Jones, Scott Cisco; Winonefordoug for Richard Bertrand; and Kablooie with Mooney Svendsen.
 
A reminder that there is a trio of wagers offered here with the reduced 15 percent takeout rate. They are the 50-cent Pick 5 that begins on the third race; the $1 Pick 4 that covers the penultimate four events on the card and the 10-cent Super 5 that is conducted on the finale.

THAT SPACE GETS WHILE GETTING IS GOOD

That Space certainly took advantage of the last two California Sire Stakes for his 4-year-old pacing division, romping in the January 26 affair and then surviving a stretch-long battle with arch-rival Ra Ra Steven to prevail by a nose in last weekend’s final big-money gathering.

Instead of racing That Space in the week gap between those two stakes, trainer Gordie Graham elected to just train the J J J Stables performer up to those assignments and they both resulted in coast-to-coast scores with Luke Plano in the sulky.

“That schedule seemed to suit him the best,” Graham related. “I didn’t want him to have to race in a spot where he could lose some confidence. We were able to capitalize in these last two stakes where Ra Ra Steven wasn’t at his very best, and sometimes it just works out that way.

“As far as the future goes, I’m not really sure what the owners want to do. There is a series coming up where he fits the conditions, but you never know how tough one of these is going to come up.”