Kindly allow me a personal indulgence. Friday night brings us the Stuart A. Wiener Memorial Pace (Race 7) at Cal Expo, an event in honor of Wiener who passed away on December 5. Having been friends with his wife Wendi, I know how much Stu loved harness racing, from the actual racing to the wagering (you'd be surprised how many owners don't bet).
Their love of horses went past their racing days as they have seven pensioners on their farm and have taken care to place the others in safe homes. While Wendi remains involved in racing, owners like Stu is what the industry needs and for that reason I mention the race. We need to get more owners like Stu and Wendi, not just people who treat horses as widgets. So if you have a chance, watch the race and even better, make a wager or two.
Stu would have loved it.
P.S. - For those who don't have a program for Cal Expo, here is my handicapping opinion of the 7th race.
Cal Expo - Friday, 7th Race - Pace - $4,000; "Stuart A. Wiener Memorial Pace"
F&M NW 6 Ext PM Races or $10,000 LT or $3,500 Last 5 Starts
1 - R Journey Together (Wiseman, 12-1) - Has done little of late and don't see any reason why this week will be different. Pass.
2 - Fly To The Angels (Longo, 12-1) - Nfld import has two races over track. Won here last year. Inside post may help land minor spoils. Super possibility.
3 - Lady's Art (Lackey, 5-2) - Failed in Open last week. Can be a factor if rated. Must use in exotics.
4 - Cammi Place (Smith, 5-1) - Clearly racing up front is not her game. Needs to be rated mid-pack and hope for trip.
5 - Windsun T Bird (Plano, 2-1) - Second best last week in slightly cheaper. Can handle the hike. Looks to be the one to beat.
6 - Sea Bug (Mosher, 7-2) - Needs a trip to be a factor. Driver off to a slow start out West.
7 - La Madawna De Rosa (Svendsen, 12-1) - Little to like from this post. Wait till draws inside.
8 - Pismo Beach (Kennedy, 9-2) - Coming off a victory but moves up and out. If looking for value, this one may be the play over #5.
9 - After Alimony (Vallandingham, 12-1) - Finished 3rd in late closer final in last. Been racing well but moving up. A possibility for exotics.