By Mark Ratzky, publicity – Cal Expo Harness
She may be small, but Incredible Gambler packs a big kick in the stretch and has now posed for pictures following four of her last five trips to the post here at Cal Expo.
The 8-year-old New Jersey-bred daughter of Allamerican Ingot who currently goes about her business for owner Clint Lugar and trainer Salvador Wenceslao, with Dave Siegel having guided her in three of those aforementioned four scores.
Siegel has a long history with Incredible Gambler, having previously owned the mare, and they’ve developed a great rapport over the years. “She’s one of my favorite horses to drive,” Siegel noted. “I get along with her really well, and know her strengths and weaknesses as well as any other horse I drive.
“She comes ready to race every week and seems to really enjoy racing, though frankly she does not really like racing in the slop. Since she is a strong closer, she really likes the big track and the dirt surface suits her very well. She is small in stature, which makes for great visibility, really handy and two fingers to drive.”
The Lugar colorbearer, who sports a 1:54 career standard, recently went over the $100,000 earnings plateau. “I was very happy that she returned to Cal Expo after her eastern journey and that Clint continues to give me the opportunity to drive her,” Siegel added.
Incredible Gambler is slated to suit up in Friday evening’s ninth race with main man Siegel giving directions from the No. 4 post. She figures to make her presence felt once again when push comes to shove in the stretch.
A REMINDER THERE ARE THREE WAGERS EACH NIGHT THAT OFFER A REDUCED 16 PERCENT TAKEOUT RATE. THEY ARE THE 50-CENT PICK 5; THE 20-CENT PICK 4 WITH A $20,000-GUARANTEED POOL ON FRIDAY AND A $25,000 GUARANTEE ON SATURDAY; AND THE 10-CENT HI-FIVE ON THE NITECAP.
Sire Stakes, Distaff Open Pace on tap
A pair of $10,000 California Sire Stakes for 3-year-olds and a Distaff Open Pace are on tap Friday night at Cal Expo, with J’s Littlerockstar and Placer heading their respective stakes while Show Runner and Lady’s Art square off in the co-feature. .
A 14-race card is scheduled with first post set for 5:45 p.m. The Sire Stakes for the pacing fillies goes as the fourth on the program, while the race for the trotters is the sixth and the filly-mare Pace occupies the second spot on the program.
J’s Littlerockstar is a 3-year-old daughter of Little Steven out of the Pacific Fella mare Sweet Sakra Sue who is owned, trained, driven and bred by James Kennedy. After finishing second in her first two added-money outings this season, she earned a trophy in the most recent clash two weeks ago.
Sent off as the 5-2 second choice in that affair, the bay miss rallied with second-over cover and ignited at crunch time to prevail by a length. She came her final quarter in :28 flat while stopping the timer in 1:58 that evening.
De Valeria will attempt to make amends after finishing fourth that night after being shuffled as the odds-on choice. The Eugene Afentoulis colorbearer accounted for two of the previous three Sire Stakes for the division with trainer Luke Plano at the controls.
Placer is eyeing his four stakes score in the race for the sophomore trotters. The homebred son of Panama Hanover races for the Desomer Stables Inc. with Steve Desomer handling the lines.
In the last stakes gathering on March 14, Placer was parked to the lead at the half, took complete control of things from that point and came to the wire with two and three-quarter lengths to spare in a lifetime-best 2:00 1/5 clocking.