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SIEGEL APPRECIATES DRIVING A PACING CADILLAC
Thursday, March 21st, 2013 - Mark Ratzky, publicity – Cal Expo Harness

With sights set squarely on next month’s Lloyd Arnold Pace, Military Stratcom made his seasonal debut last week for owner/trainer Jennifer Sabot and scored a convincing length decision with Dave Siegel in the sulky.

A 16-time winner last season with a 1:51 2/5 standard, the 8-year-old pushed his career bankroll over the $356,000 mark while showing the way home over Cycle Power and stablemate P H Jackpot in that affair.

“I’m fortunate to have the confidence of Jen Sabot to put me up on a real Cadillac like Military Stratcom,” Siegel related after the victory. “He is preparing for an Eastern campaign and Jen has done a great job in getting him ready.

“He is a wonderful horse to drive and a real pro. He’s perfectly mannered and has no flaws and it’s nice to get an opportunity to drive a horse as classy as he is. I am so grateful to get such a good mount.”

Siegel is also looking forward to competing in the 8th annual East-West Challenge, which will be conducted here on April 12 and 13. He will be joined on West squad by Karen Isbell, Richard Bertrand and Sue Boyce.

“Dean Spriggs and Michele Ruvola will be making return trips for the Eastern team,” Siegel noted. “Coming out for the first time are Bob Krivelin, who was 2012 Amateur Driver of the Year, and George Bonomo.”

If it’s anything like the previous seven East-West Challenges, it should be a lot of fun all the way around.

MILITARY STRATCOM GETS MARQUEE TREATMENT

Military Stratcom, who returned from three and a half months on the bench to post an impressive victory at the head of the class last week, has the top billing in Saturday night’s featured $6,000 Open Pace at Cal Expo.

An 8-year-old son of Hot Pans, Military Stratcom is owned and trained by Jennifer Sabot and Dave Siegel will once again do the honors. He comes into this assignment with $356,000 in his account and a 1:51 2/5 mark that was established two years ago.

Sent off the even-money choice in his first start since late December, Military Stratcom left for the lead from his outside slot and then sat second behind stablemate P H Jackpot after that one brushed to command down the backside. Siegel overpowered the barnmate once straightened for home and went on to a length victory in a 1:54 1/5 performance.

Cycle Power came a sharp :26 4/5 final quarter to earn the second spot that evening in a solid mile for owner/trainer Nathalie Tremblay and pilot Steve Wiseman. His most recent decision came in a conditioned affair on January 19 and he is always a serious threat from off the pace.

P H Jackpot gives the Sabot barn two strong looks at the outcome. Like Military Stratcom, he was making his seasonal debut in last weekend’s dance at the top rung and was only beaten a length while being edged for the place money. Luke Plano guides the 9-year-old, who is looking to add to a $650,000 bankroll with a sparkling 1:49 4/5 standard from two years ago.

Taking on this trio are Sensationalist, who hails from the Matias Ruiz barn with Chip Lackey guiding from the rail slot; and the Lino Pacheco-trained One And Only. A 15-race card is on tap with a 5:40 Pacific Time first post.