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Thursday, February 13, 2014

Pick 5 Carryover, Sire Stakes, Series continue at Cal Expo

               By Mark Ratzky, publicity – Cal Expo Harness

A Pick 5 Carryover of $8,619 with a $25,000-guaranteed gross pool; a pair of $10,000 California Sire Stakes headed by Placer and De Valeria; and the second leg of the Alan Kirschenbaum and Richard Staley Pacing series are in the spotlight Friday evening at Cal Expo.

The Pick 5 is a 50-cent wager that begins on the third race and in addition to the $25,000 guaranteed pool there is a reduced 16 percent takeout. That 16 percent take also applies to the 20-cent Pick 4 and the 10-cent Hi-Five on the finale.

The second leg of the Alan Kirschenbaum Series matches first leg winners Larry Horse and Nutmegs Davey; and the second leg of the Richard Staley Series is headed by opening leg victor Big Guy To Win.

Larry Horse is one of the most popular performers on the grounds and proved a punctual 6-5 favorite in his division of the first leg of the Kirschenbaum last weekend. The 12-year-old son of Sportsmaster races for Jesse Pacheco and Kristin Schwab, is conditioned by Lino Pacheco and will once again have Luke Plano guiding.

Larry Horse was winning for the third time in his last four starts and pushed his earnings to $229,000 with a 1:52 4/5 mark. His last two tallies have been accomplished in similar fashion, tracking early for Plano and then attacking first-over to get the job done, with last week’s margin being a comfortable two and a quarter lengths.

Nutmegs Daisy accounted for the other Kirschenbaum division last week for owner Osmin Carrera, trainer Dario Solares and pilot Dave Siegel. The son of Jennas Beach Boy made every pole a winning one at 5-1 in that affair, showing the way home by two and a quarter lengths over 4-5 favorite Yiannoulas Boy.

Meanwhile, Kimberley Hines’ Big Guy To Win captured the opening leg of the Staley in a coast-to-coast performance with Mooney Svendsen in the sulky. George Reider trains the 9-year-old son of Towner’s Big Guy. In the Sire Stakes, Placer and De Valeria are both looking for repeat big-money tallies in their respective divisions.

Big Guy To Win casts a large shadow

Big Guy To Win left little doubt in last week’s opening leg of the Richard Staley Pacing series for owner Kimberley Hines, trainer George Reider and driver Mooney Svendsen, making every pole a winning one while never appearing to be in danger.

“They named this pacer right,” his conditioner remarked. “He’s probably the biggest horse on the grounds at over 17 hands, and he’s not exactly the easiest horse to trainer because he has a mind of his own.

“You can see in the post parade that needs the outrider, and that really helps. He doesn’t have what you would call the biggest motor, but he has a big set of lungs and a big heart and that kind of compensates for the small engine.”

The 9-year-old Ohio-bred son of Towner’s Big Guy has earned his $82,000 bank account the old-fashioned way, with his 1:55 lifetime standard being established two years ago. He was winning for the first time in six starts this season with his Staley snapshot that featured Reider and a beaming owner/assistant trainer Hines.

“Kimberley has owned him for five years now and he’s the closest thing we have in the barn to a family horse. They always take rides down the American River, and if she could, I’m sure Kim would build a room for him at her house.”

Big Guy To Win is back in action in the second leg of the Staley and  he’ll do his work from the outside post in the field of seven. “Hopefully we can keep him sharp through the series,” Reider added.

The race goes as the ninth on a 14-race card with first post set for 5:25 p.m. The second leg of the Alan Kirschenbaum is the seventh race; the Sire Stakes for  trotters is set as the second event, while the Sire Stakes for the pacing fillies occupies the 10th-race slot on the evening.