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Smooth Jazz Remains Undefeated At Cal-Expo
Saturday, November 8, 2008 - by Scott Ehrlich, Publicity -- Cal-Expo

A weekend of California Sires Stakes action got underway at Cal-Expo on Friday night (November 7), on which Smooth Jazz led the way with her eleventh in-a-row.

In the first of three $15,000 events, all for fillies, this one for three year-old trotters, Smooth Jazz, who hadn't raced since May 24 and who racing without the use of a qualifier, would be used a bit from post-six in the field of seven to obtain the lead just past the opening quarter, timed in :29.4, all for trainer Tim Maier.

Slowing the pace in the second-quarter while reaching the half-mile pole, timed in 1:01.3, Maier would pick up the pace a bit with his star pupil on the final-turn while reaching the three-quarter mile station, timed in 1:31.2.

Now being asked late in the final-turn, Smooth Jazz, in the blink of an eye, would immediately open up three-lengths at the head of the lane, and from that point on, there was never a doubt as the Denise Maier owned young lady, while just under light urging until the final sixteenth of a mile, would go on to win ($2.60) by 4-3/4-lengths, in 2:00.2, a seasonal mark. Letter Of Intent (Bruce Clarke) followed Smooth Jazz, but was no-match while finishing second, and Sad Parting (Gilbert Herrera) finished another three-quarters of one-length farther back, in third.

"She got ready well and I'm glad that she's back and strong and making money. I was really pleased," stated Maier.

Sophomore pacing ladies were next, on which Cat Burgler proved too game.

Leaving for Etienne Desomer from post-three in the field of six and getting the pocket just after an eighth of a mile into a fast :27.3 first-quarter, Cat Burgler would find herself in the three-hole at the seven-sixteenths mile marker as a result of My Fanny (Luke Plano) having made a move to the top into a :56.3 opening first-half.

Flushed first-over to the midway point of the final-turn and now gaining to the three-quarter mile station, timed in 1:26.1, Desomer was optimistic.

"I thought my chances were pretty good at the top of the stretch because it looked like My Fanny was stalling," said Desomer. "But when I got next to her - - she started to dig in, but my filly was on her game and fought and was game all the way to the wire," finished Desomer.

Bred and owned by the Desomer Stables, and trained by Vickie Desomer, Cat Burgler would win ($4.40) by one-length, in 1:55.3. My Fanny had to settle for second, and Beach Beach Beach (Steve Wiseman) came on late to finish 1-1/2-lengths farther back, in third.

The final Sires Stake of the night was for the freshmen filly pacers, on which Silver Bloom got back on the winning track for driver Rick Plano.

Parked a long eighth of a mile from post-position eight in the field of nine while coming away in fifth position into a :28.1 first-quarter, Plano would move his charge into second-over position to the 7-16ths mile pole into a :58.4 opening half-mile.

His cover, however, would stall to the five-eights mile marker, thus forcing Plano to move three-wide to the middle of the final-turn.

"You're always concerned when you go three-wide with a two year-old," said Plano. "But she was loaded up pretty well with pace, plus when I looked ahead of me, it looked like they were out of gas - - which confirmed my three-wide decision. I thought unless somebody came from the back - - that I had the front-end taken care of."

Now being asked to go on even more past the three-quarter mile pole, timed in 1:28. Plano sure got what he knew had.

"When I asked her right after the three-quarters - - she was full of pace. When she straightened out for home - - she just opened up on them and since I didn't hear anybody - - it was just a matter of waiting for the line to come up."

Quickly brushing up to the top of the stretch and four-wide for the drive, Silver Bloom would absolutely fly into the lead at the seven-eighths mile pole with a flourish, then would draw away under mild urging to win ($6.20) by 4-3/4-lengths. Bred in part and owned by Wayne Knittel, the Sparky Clarke trained lass would stop the timer at 1:57.3. Artilda (Etienne Desomer) finished in second, and Castle Oaks (Tim Maier) finished another 1-1/4-lengths back, in third.

"She was kind of the best filly going in there, and this race proved that to be true," concluded Plano.