An excellent rating appeared to make the difference between Putoneonnetformom winning and losing. Winners-Over trotters, racing for a purse of $4,500, were featured AT Cal Expo on Thursday night (November 3), on which Putoneonnetformom repeated.
|Driver James Kennedy|
In advance of starting from post-five in the field of a half-dozen, was there any concern for driver James Kennedy in regards to early pace-pushers?
"I thought going into the race that I could get pushed a little bit by Giles L S Hanover (Steve Wiseman) or D Man (Jim Lackey), but I still thought I'd be okay," stated Kennedy.
Getting the lead an eighth of a mile past the start while the 6-5 second choice Franks Best (Lemoyne Svendsen) started last, Kennedy "assumed" his lead wasn't taxing, or was it?
"I thought the lead was easy, but when I saw :29.1 on a little bit of a wet-fast track - - I wasn't sure if it was as easy, but he felt strong."
Trotting a very easy :30 second-quarter while Franks Best was beginning to move uncovered while 9-1/4 lengths back at the half-mile juncture, timed in :59.1, Kennedy was calm and cool.
"I was just sitting there waiting for someone to come. My horse was still real strong and right up on the bit."
Continuing to be rated in a :29.3 third-quarter, a confident Kennedy and his charge reached the three-quarter mile pole, timed in 1:28.4, but with Franks Best now only 3-1/4 lengths back and gaining.
"I still thought I was sitting pretty good really, because I had basically had a no-use up to the three-quarters and he still felt real good."
Getting his earplugs popped and getting wheel-disc urging into the lane, the seven year-old went on, but Franks Best kept gaining, thus forcing Kennedy to go to work on his trotter.
"I was worried between the seven-eighths and the sixteenth-pole because Franks Best was coming pretty strong. But once Franks Best got to my number-pad, my horse fought harder and was strong through the wire."
Not being denied while all-out, Putoneonnetformom won ($4.00) by a half of one-length. Bred & owned by Jeff, Gerald & Diana Cimini, and well trained by Rocky Stidham, the gelding stopped the timer at 1:57.2, a lifetime best. Franks Best was a solid second, and the pocket sitting Giles L S Hanover raced fine while third, another 1-3/4-lengths farther back.
"He raced awesome," finished Kennedy.
Live racing resumes at Cal Expo on Friday (November 4) & Saturday (November 5) night at 6:00 p.m. (PDT). On Friday, Cal Expo offers free parking & free admission after 4:30 p.m. Also on Friday, Cal Expo offers Happy Hour between 6:00-8:30 p.m., where $2 Beer, $2 Wine & $2 Buffalo Wings an order is offered.
On Saturdays, Cal Expo offers a reduced 15 percent takeout rate on both the Early & Late Pick-4 with the Late Pick-4 having a $10,000 gross guaranteed pool. Additionally, for winning wagers made on the Late Pick-4 online at TwinSpires.com or on track at Cal Expo, a bonus payout of 17.65 percent of the gross Late Pick 4 mutuel payoff will be paid.
Additionally this Saturday, there will be two $10,000 finales of the Bronte Epilepsy Research Foundation Amateur Series. There will also be a 500 T-shirt giveaway on track to commemorate the Bronte series and free TrackMaster past performances and analysis for the Saturday card will be available at trackmaster.com/calx and at calexpoharness.com. The Amateur series is being sponsored by Lou Pena and some of his owners. Between their generosity and the driver fees, a total of $7,000 beyond the purse monies will go to the Bronte Foundation. In addition, driver George Brennan has pledged an additional donation that will significantly augment that figure.