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Wednesday, April 17th, 2013 - Mark Ratzky, publicity – Cal Expo Harness

A Pick 5 carryover of over $6,600 with a guaranteed pool of $25,000 will share the spotlight with an Open 3 Pace for the sophomores at the Watch and Wager LLC meet at Cal Expo Friday evening.

The 50-cent Pick 5 is conducted on the third through seventh races and features a reduced 16 percent takeout rate. Each night, the 16-percent takeout is also offered on the $1 Pick 4, which covers the penultimate four races on the card; and the 10-cent High 5 that takes place on the finale.

In addition to coming with the reduced 16 percent takeout rate, the Pick 4 has a $20,000-guaranteed pool on Fridays and a $25,000 guarantee on Saturday. The Pick 4, Pick 5 and High 5 each feature 100 percent carryover provisions.

The headliner on the 15-race program is the $4,000 Open 3 Pace for sophomores that goes as the second event on the card. Lebo Jones and Bit Player have accounted for the last two California Sire Stakes for the pacing males and get a rematch in this affair.

Lebo Jones is a homebred son of Wicked Island who races for Frank Nevarez, takes his lessons from Gordie Graham and will once again have Scott Cisco giving directions. He was registering the first victory of his nine-race career when he got the job done in last week’s stakes dance.

Sent off at 8-1 in that contest, Lebo Jones sat last of the six at the half through a :57 2/5 split. Cisco had to wheel the Nevarez colorbearer extremely wide off the far turn, took aim on the leaders at midstretch and won going away by a length and a quarter for not only his maiden breaker, but a trophy earner.

Bit Player is a multiple stakes winner who races for Team Desomer with Steve Wiseman and was runner-up as the 6-5 choice in last week’s clash. Completing the field are Twin B Heartland (Luke Plano), Miracles Needed (Chip Lackey), A Real Miracle (Rich Wojcio), Strings (Bruce Clarke) and Me Tarzan (Tim Maier).

The co-feature on the program is a $4,000 contest for trotters that brings together a solid group of sidewheelers and will occupy the third-race slot on the card.


If the veteran trotter Alpine Hawk is on the lead on the final bend and you hook him, you better get by before the field hits the stretch because he’s going to make you pay once straightened for home.
That’s exactly what happened last weekend, as Rich Wojcio put the 12-year-old Gordie Graham trainee on the engine from the start, took a major challenge turning for home and then showed his class through the lane to prevail by a length and a quarter in a sharp 1:57 performance.

It was the first tally in an abbreviated four starts this season for Alpine Hawk, who last year posed for pictures with Wojcio following 11 of his 22 appearances. The final clocking was just a tick off his mark and he is now less than nine grand short of reaching the $200,000 earnings plateau.
“It was nice to have him race so well and win again,” said Wojcio of the Jim Winske colorbearer. “He is just a real nice, kind horse to be around. He’s been with us so long, he’s actually more like a family dog now. In many ways, he’s actually trained us.

“Meredith has done everything for him, which I believe has helped him be such a good racehorse. He isn’t the type of horse to get too excited about much, but he knows when it’s time to race and shows up each and every time.”

Alpine Hawk will suit up once again in Friday night’s co-featured third race, where he will face several other hard-knocking trotters as he continues that quest to get to the $200,000 plateau. One night at a time.