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Friday, November 20, 2009

"B" Track Tour Kick-off - Cal Expo

To kick off our tour of the "B' tracks, we head west to California and the Cal Expo harness meet. Let me comment on a few things before I go over my selections for Saturday night's racing card.

Being in the harness racing equivalent of Siberia, one must admire the dedication and innovation of the California harness horsemen. While the racing is certainly not going to be confused with top notch racing, they manage to put on a solid racing program with the racing stock they have. Things have improved quite a bit since my last look at their racing program. First of all, the fields are much fuller than they were before. Yes, there are still five and six horse fields in their racing program but these occur much less frequently. The number of starters per race has improved; there are even eleven and twelve horse races on the card (the starting gate allows for ten horses). Due to the limited number of horses available, Cal Expo still depends on uncoupling a lot of entries in their overnight events to get an acceptable number of betting interests. Were this Illinois or New Jersey, this would be unacceptable, but concessions need to be made in order to keep a viable racing program going in the Golden State.

There are a couple of things unique about the Cal Expo racing program. First of all, in an effort to improve their horse population, the California horsemen, in alliance with horsemen groups in Wisconsin, Iowa, and Minnesota have formed the "Diamond Horse Alliance" (DHA). This DHA program not only provides reimbursement for shipping expenses, but with the exception of the sire stakes programs, horses which have been sired by stallions in these states get the same racing allowances as Cal-sired horses. This type of program could be used as part of a framework for a regional racing circuit elsewhere. The other interesting thing is Cal Expo has classified claiming races. In claiming ranks with an overabundance of horses, the racing secretary classifies them from class A all the way down to class P. By seeding these claimers accordingly, it keeps the races competitive. Something like this may be preferable to having conditioned claiming races and help keep order at other tracks where there is an overabundance of horses trying to race in a particular claiming level.

I would like to offer kudos to Cal Expo for their offering comments in their past performance lines. It is amazing how many tracks have eliminated these comments as a cost savings. These comments are extremely helpful to the racing fans that don't follow a specific track on a daily basis. Tracks should be required to offer comments in their past performance lines.

Anyway, on with the selections for Saturday, November 21.  Note in the eighth race, I will be providing my top five selections as Cal Expo offers a $10,000 Guaranteed Super High 5 wager on the race.   

1st Pace - $4,000 Claiming - O
2 - Red Star Gilda  3-1
1 - Nine K  5-1
3 - Sin Princess  6-1
7 - Vaminos Diablo  10-1

2nd Pace - Open Handicap 1
5 - Frankyluvsmeatbals  9-5
3 - Keystone Eli  6-1
4 - Pacinello  4-5
2 - Split Ticket  8-1

3rd Pace - $4,000 Claiminng - A
2 - Mac's Derrick T  6-1
4 - Jessalilpeace  8-1
3 - ML Jackhammer  8-1
6 - Fullback In Motion  9-2

4th Pace - non-winners $1,600 in last 4 starts
6 - At Last  7-2
2 - Hi Ho Hi Ho  7-2
1 - D Jokerman  3-1
5 - Dynamite Express  5-1

5th Pace - $4,000 Claiming - O
2 - Silver Rocket  5-1
4 - Askmetootheball  3-1
3 - Tutiming Gal  4-1
6 - Rama Hanover  8-1

6th Trot - Non-winners 6 ext pari-mutuel or $8,000 lifetime
  8 - Miss In Love  6-1
  1 - Putoneonnetformom  7-2
11 - Noble's Image  10-1
  9 - Dremanotherdream  6-1

7th Pace - $6,000 Claiming
2 - Pacific Playboy  4-1
3 - Above Timberline  6-1
1 - Grandpa Stevie  4-1
6 - Schemes  8-1

8th Pace - $4,000 Claiming - J
10 - Wilson Jay N  9-2
  2 - Hiho Legacy  8-1
12 - Columbia Court  9-2
  7 - KG Discovery  10-1
  3 - Doit By The Clock  8-1

9th Pace - $6,000 Claiming
1 - Whitman  7-2
7 - Hard On The Heart  3-1
5 - Roger J  7-2
6 - Catmando  7-2

10th Pace - $8,000 - $10,000 Claiming Handicap
3 - Titan Seelster  5-2
2 - Shock And Awe  5-1
4 - Most Happy Lavros  5-1
9 - Cam's Accord  6-1

11th Pace - Non-winners 6 ext pari-mutuel races or $4,000 in last four starts
6 - Ivegotwhatuneed  5-2
4 - Nittany Linebacker  5-2
2 - Living It Up  9-2
5 - Rod's Famous Ribs  5-1

12th Pace - $4,000 Claiming - H
1 - Sadies Storm Cat  4-1
4 - Falcon Forte N  5-1
3 - RS Falcon  6-1
9 - JoJo In A Jiffy  6-1

13th Pace - $4,000 Claiming - N
6 - Marinodotcomattack  4-1
3 - Trajan  6-1
7 - Cherry Tree Kate  9-2
5 - AZ Mutanto  8-1

14th Pace - $4,000 Claiming - L
1 - Freedom Art  4-1
5 - Road Pass  7-2
9 - Red Star Billy  12-1
2 - Misty Waters  8-1

2 comments:

Pocket Up said...

You need more horses in the races. Nice picks in the 8th PG. Anybody that can catch a three horse box in a 11 horse field of 4 claimers deserves a reward.

The lack of horses in their early races has me puzzled. They figure it's a late arriving crowd?

What is a "Pentafecta"?

Good luck this Saturday.

Pacingguy said...

Most tracks put their least desirable races first which means races with short fields (unless it is a stake race). You may not notice it at a lot of tracks that have no problems filling their races. As you indicated, it is because some of the people are not there yet.

I don't know if you follow CalExpo with any regularity; the number of horses they have racing is much much better than it used to be. Five and six horse fields used to be common place in most races; now they are the minority.

The Pentafecta is what is commonly known as the High 5 where you need to pick the top five finishers in the exact order; a superfecta plus one.