It should have come as no surprise that Luke Plano & Steve Wiseman were the winning drivers in a pair of $15,000 California Sires Stakes for sophomore fillies at Cal Expo on Friday night (November 25), as they combined to win 13 of the 15 races.
In the first division, this for the trotters, Thatssomebracciola, starting from post-position four in the field of seven, didn't get started on the right foot as she lagged the start by more than 2-1/2 lengths.
"I got turned to the gate a little late and just didn't want to rush her, and for that reason I missed the start and got a little worse position than I wanted," stated trainer Luke Plano. "It concerned me slightly because I knew I was going to have to come a little earlier than I wanted to."
Coming away in fifth position into first-half fractions of :30.3 & 1:02, Plano moved his charge first-over to the 9-16ths mile pole and with a rush. Why?
"We were going awful slow and my filly felt pretty strong, so I figured if I came aggressively, Steve Desomer would have a hard time changing gears with Claim Jumper and stopping me."
Powering into a parked-out lead midway through the final-turn, Plano and his lass cleared to the three-quarter mile pole, timed in 1:31.3, all while opening up the lead. Now on top by 2-1/2 lengths at the head of the stretch and under wheel-disc urging to the seven-eighths mile marker while two lengths to the good, there'd be no catching the daughter of Armbro Scribe-Simply Royal as she'd report home by 1-3/4 lengths while just hand driven the last eighth of a mile.
"She trotted strongly through the lane and finished well."
Bred & owned by Rick Plano, Thatssomebracciola won ($5.80) by 1-3/4 lengths, in 2:00, a lifetime mark. Flea Flicker (Rich Wojcio) finished in second, and Claim Jumper finished 3-3/4 lengths farther back, in third.
"She race very good and I was real happy with her performance," finished Plano, who equaled an career best for driving wins on one card, recording eight victories.
In the final division, this for the pacers, Dine N Wine won her second straight Sires Stakes.
Coming away in fifth position from post-three in the field of eight into a :28.3 first-quarter, driver Steve Wiseman made his move to the 5-16ths mile station.
"I just wanted to let the dust settle and figured I'd make my move up the backside, versus being first-over," said Wiseman.
Moving quickly and gaining command past the 7-16ths mile marker into a :57.4 opening first-half, Dine N Wine would have to wait a quarter of a mile for pressure when Poor House (James Kennedy) was at her wheel at the three-quarters, timed in 1:27.2.
"I wasn't really concerned because I know Poor House pretty well, as well as my filly, and my filly fights pretty hard."
Under a drive as well as verbal urging at the top of the lane, Wiseman asked for more at the seven-eighths mile pole while appearing to be far from home free.
"I was a little concerned at that point, but she gives every time you ask her in that every time you urge her - - she gives you more and more, and she fought everybody off all the way to the wire."
Prevailing through it all, the daughter of Power Of Art-Bordeaux Franco N won ($3.60) by a half of one-length. Bred & owned by Desomer Stables, Inc., and trained by Vickie Desomer, Dine N Wine was timed in 1:56. Vantage (Anthony Succarotte) was a nice second at 40-1, and Poor House tried hard while finishing in third, another three-quarters of one-length farther back.
"She raced very gutsy," concluded Wiseman, who had five winners.
Live racing continues at Cal Expo on Saturday (November 26) at 6:00 p.m. (PST). On Saturday, Cal Expo offers free admission, as well as free preferred & general parking after 4:30 p.m. Also on Saturday, its Dollar Night, on which hot-dogs; beer, soda, and wine will be sold for one dollar from 6:00 to 8:30 p.m.
Cal Expo now offers a reduced 15 percent takeout rate on all Pick 4’s (Thursday/Friday nights in partnership with the USTA Strategic Wagering Committee). In addition, all Late Pick 4’s will come with a $10,000-guaranteed pool. On Saturday night, there will be a 0% takeout on successful Late Pick 4 tickets made at Cal Expo or at Twinspires.com.