By Mark Ratzky, publicity – Cal Expo Harness
There was one winning ticket in last Saturday night’s Pick 5, returning $9.968 for what proved to be an excellent 50-cent investment.
The Pick 5 is one of three wagers offered here nightly with a reduced 16 percent takeout rate. The others are the 20-cent Pick 4 with a $20,000-guaranteed pool on Friday and a $25,000 guaranteed pool on Saturday; and the Hi-Five on the finale.
Had last Saturday’s winning ticket been paid out under the regular takeout rate, it would have returned just over $9,000, a difference of some $920 to the winner.
“We have had these low takeout bets in place since we took over the meeting in the fall of 2012,” said General Manager Chris Schick. “We are very pleased with the response to these wagers.”
Last Saturday’s Pick 5 sequence got off to a pretty formful start as 2-1 second choice Orlando’s Express got the job done for James Kennedy, followed by co-favorite Diva Las Vegas clicking at $6.60 with Tim Maier and 2-1 second choice Alpine Hawk posing for pictures with Rich Wojcio.
It got a bit tougher when Hi Ho Disguise prevailed at $11.20 in the penultimate leg with Dave Siegel at the controls, then kicked into overdrive after Majestic Lass upset the second leg of the Marvin Shapiro Series at 22-1 with Mooney Svendsen giving directions.
There is another chance to pick up a nice piece of change for a minor investment here Friday night with the reduced takeouts of the 50-cent Pick 5; the 20-cent Pick 4 with a $20,000-guaranteed pool; and the 10-cent Hi-Five on the final contest.
Kirschenbaum, Staley Series Finales headline program
The $7,200 finale of the Alan Kirschenbaum Series headed by Nutmegs Davey and Larry Horse; the $6,600 Richard Staley Series finale featuring Melboy and Big Guy To Win; an Open Trot and and Open Distaff Pace are on tapFriday night program at Cal Expo.
Nutmegs Davey has captured the opening two legs of the Kirschenbaum in convincing style and looms the favorite in Friday’s finale for owner Osman Carrera, trainer Dario Solares and pilot Luke Plano.
The 5-year-old son of Jennas Beach Boy went coast-to-coast in his division of the first leg with Dave Siegel in the sulky while competing over a sloppy track, then held safe by a neck in last week’s penultimate leg over Larry Horse as the even-money favorite with Plano at the controls.
Larry Horse is a popular 12-year-old who goes about his business for Jessie Pacheco and Kristin Swab with Lino Pacheco the conditioner and Gerry Longo handling the lines. The son of Sportsmaster comes into this assignment with $230,000 in his account and a 1:52 2/5 mark.
With Plano in the bike in his division of the first leg, Larry Horse proved a punctual 6-5 choice in the slop, then was handicapped by the No. 9 post last weekend with Longo at the helm and fell just short of catching Larry Horse that evening.
Melboy and Big Guy To Win accounted for their respective divisions of the first leg of the Staley Series, then finished one-two in last week’s clash. Melboy is an 8-year-old son of Western Hanover who is owned by Lili Tremblay, trained by Nathalie Tremblay and driven by Tim Maier; while Big Guy To Win is a 9-year-old from the George Reider barn who carries the Kimberley Hines banner and has Mooney Svendsen giving directions.
The Open Trot finds El Azteca looking for another win at the head of the class for owner/trainer/breeder Marco Rios and driver Luke Plano while leaving from the assigned No.10 post position. Haggin Oaks heads the Open Distaff Pace with trainer James Kennedy in the sulky.