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Smooth Jazz Makes It A Perfect Dozen At Cal-Expo
Saturday, November 22, 2008 - by Scott Ehrlich, Publicity -- Cal-Expo

Three year-old fillies on both gaits were spotlighted on Friday night (November 21) in a pair of $15,000 California Sires Stakes, on which Smooth Jazz and Cat Burgler were much the best.

In the event for the trotters, trainer Tim Maier and Smooth Jazz would leave from post-position six in the field of the same number, but despite a :30.1 opening quarter-mile, Maier would have to chase after his star pupil to clear the lead after a testy first 5-16ths of a mile.

"She was used pretty much to the three-eighths to make the lead and it concerned me," said Maier.

Reaching the half-mile pole, timed in :59.4, Maier would soon open up his filly at the five-eighths mile marker, then would expand that lead to the three-quarter mile station, timed in 1:29.4.

"I kept the pedal down and used her pretty good in the middle-half for the fact that my main contenders - - Sad Parting (Gilbert Herrera) and Letter Of Intent (Bruce Clarke) were at the back."

Under moderate urging throughout the lane, Smooth Jazz would never be in danger despite shortening stride some late in the mile. Owned by Denise Maier, Smooth Jazz would win ($2.40) by 2-1/4-lengths, in 2:00.4. Sad Parting finished in second, and Letter Of Intent finished another three-quarters of one-length farther back, in third.

"She was tired coming home, but she got the job done and raced super," finished Maier.

On the pacing side, Cat Burgler would come away in fifth position from post-five in the field of a half-dozen into a :28.2 first-quarter.

Pulling second-over at the half-mile juncture, timed in :58, Cat Burgler would get a nice lead-up trip on the final-turn for a confident Etienne Desomer - - especially when their main foe wasn't going on when asked.

"I knew off the second-over trip that my horse was going to win," said Desomer. "Then when I saw Luke (Plano) chasing after and popping the earplugs of My Fanny on the lead, but not getting a response - - that was just reassurance I could win."

Moving three-wide very late in the final-turn, Desomer would soon realize he was just a passenger.

"When I moved her three-wide, I didn't ever ask - - she did it all on her own.”

Charging into the lead with less than 3-16ths of a mile to go, Cat Burgler, while urged, would draw away in the last sixteenth of a mile to win ($4.20) by 4-1/4-lengths. Bred and owned by the Desomer Stables, and trained by Vickie Desomer, Cat Burgler would win in an excellent 1:54.3 on a chilly night. Wooski (Rich Wojcio) finished in second, and Blue Note (Lemoyne Svendsen) finished 2-1/2-lengths farther back, in third. The victory gave The Desomer Stables a breeding and owning triple, as well as giving Vickie Desomer a training triple and driver Etienne Desomer a driving three-bagger.

"She was strong right to the wire. It was a very good mile for tonight and she raced great," concluded Desomer.

Live racing will resume at Cal-Expo on Saturday night (November 22) at 5:35 p.m. (PST). On Saturday night at Cal-Expo, its Dollar Night, on which hot-dogs; beer, soda, and wine will be sold for one dollar.