By Mark Ratzky, publicity – Cal Expo Harness
Native’s Revenge made quite an impression in his California debut last weekend, dominating his rivals in that conditioned affair for the team of owner Harold Actkinson, trainer Bob Johnson and pilot Mooney Svendsen.
Sent off at 20 cents on the dollar off a 16-length qualifying romp in 1:54 1/5, the 4-year-old son of Allamerican Native waltzed home by six lengths in last Saturday’s ninth race. He went his first half in a leisurely :59 flat, then turning on the afterburners to cover the second part of the race in :55 3/5 without breaking a sweat.
“Wins as easy as that one are few and far between,” Svendsen related after the impressive once-around. “He looks like a nice prospect, and I think Bob found a real diamond in the rough at the Meadowlands sale.”
Mooney had hopped behind Native’s Revenge only once before his March 15 qualifier and was already pretty sure the dark-hued pacer had a lot of class. “He trained super that morning, and then in his qualifier I was tearing his face off to keep him from going faster than 1:54 and a piece.”
Mooney informed that Johnson had hoped Native’s Revenge would only have to truly pace a half-mile in his evening debut, and Svendsen obliged with that modest :59 clip before turning him loose. “It worked out perfectly and he just had way too much for those horses. You have to realize he was meeting some awfully tough ones at the Meadowlands.”
Native’s Revenge looks to keep the momentum going in Saturday night’s 10th race and it will be interesting to see if he adds another sizzling local mile to his increasingly impressive resume.
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.
Pacing colts Sire Stakes, Opens in the spotlight
A $10,000 California Sire Stakes for the 3-year-old pacing males; an Open Pace that spotlights Pancetta and an Open Trot featuring Hellogottagobuhbye and Fort Valley AS share the marquee Saturday night at Cal Expo.
King Of The Crop and Rikybrnthegaragdown have developed quite a rivalry among the sophomore pacing colts and get another chance to settle the score. The former is a homebred son of Little Steven out of the Real Artist mare Romance Me who carries the banner of Frank Nevarez with James Kennedy doing the driving and training.
King Of The Crop has captured three of the five big-money events decided for the division, finishing second behind Rikybrnthegaragdown in the other two. King Of The Crop proved best in the February 1 and 15 clashes, then came up a head short to his arch-rival in the March 1 get-together.
In the most recent Sire Stakes two weeks ago, Kennedy was able to work out a perfect two-hole trip behind Rikybrnthegaragdwn. He came home in a snappy :26 2/5 to overhaul the leader and prevailed by two lengths that night.
Rikybrnthegaragdown is a son of Living It Up out of the mare Sports Bra who is looking to even the Sire Stakes score this weekend. Maryann Plano owns with son Luke reining and training the pacer.
He registered his stakes decisions on January 18 and March 1, going coast-to-coast on both occasions. In that last one on March 15, he carved out all the fractions but was unable to hold off the pocket sitter while having little trouble holding the place spot.
Taking on the pair are Laissez Moi Passer who has the cozy rail slot with Williams Hernandez at the helm; Tony Cheesecake, to be handled by Chip Lackey; and Holme Base with Steve Desomer handling the lines.