By Mark Ratzky, publicity – Cal Expo Harness
There is a Pick 5 carryover of $9,145 going into Friday night’s program with the wager sporting a $25,000-guaranteed gross pool and a reduced 16 percent takeout rate. The Pick 5 is a 50-cent wager and begins on the third race.
There are three wagers on the card that offer the 16 percent takeout. In addition to the Pick 5, there is the 20-cent Pick 4 that has a $20,000-guaranteed pool on Fridays and a $25,000 guarantee on Saturdays and the 10-cent Hi-Five on the nightcap.
Friday night’s carryover is the result of favorites blanking in last Saturday evening’s Pick 5. While the opening event in that sequence was a two-horse race between the winner King Of The Crop and arch-rival Rikybrunthegaragdwn, 14-1 upsets by Scooter Babe and Fox Valley Wyatt and victories by 7-2 Try This and 3-1 Me Tarzan sealed the deal.
Friday’s main event is an Open 2 Trot that finds Hellogottagobuhbye and Franks Best escaping the top ranks and getting away from the streaking El Azteca, who has rattled off six straight victories.
Hellogottagobuhbye is a 6-year-old son of Dream Vacation who is owned and driven by Daniel Maier with Tim Maier the conditoner. He has won three of his nine trips to the post this season, including a victory in the opening leg of the Jim Grundy Series on March 1, and has been second and third behind El Azteca in his last two appearances in the Open Handicap.
Franks Best comes into this assignment with some impressive credentials, as the multiple stakes-winning Armbro Scribe gelding has banked over $190,000 for his owner/breeder/trainer Bob Johnson with a 1:56 2/5 lifetime standard. Mooney Svendsen will once again be in the sulky.
While Franks Best is still looking for his first snapshot on the year, he has four runner-up finishes from his seven attempts and like Hellogottagobuhbye will appreciate getting away from El Azteca. He figures to play the role of stalker behind his main rival in Friday’s headliner.
Dream Weaver, George Reider join forces with winner
Wanna Win did the track-and-attack to perfection last weekend, getting the cheese for the combination of owner Dave (Dream) Weaver of TVG fame, trainer George Reider and pilot James Kennedy.
Wanna Win posed for pictures nine times last season, including a lifetime-best 1:52 4/5 clocking over the mile and a quarter Colonial Downs oval in Virginia. Her win last week was her second in her last four trips to the post here for Team Weaver and Reider.
“I met the Dave through our mutual friend Wade Miller,” Reider explained. “He told me that Dave was looking to relocate a few horses from Northfield Park to Cal Expo and asked me if I was interested. After a few phone calls the partnership was made.
“I have two mares for him right now, and when they got off the truck from Ohio they both had their problems. Racing on a half-mile track with sub freezing temperatures will do that, but both horses have adapted to California quite well.”
Wanna Win, a 6-year-old daughter of No Pan Intented, sat a pocket trip when she clicked on February 22 with Luke Plano in the bike, then came from next-to-last with a :27 3/5 quarter to romp home at most recent asking with Kennedy handling the lines.
“This is a mare who hits her knees like a lot of standardbreds, some doing it more than others,” George continued. “She’s in the latter category, and.with the bigger track, the shoeing change and the different equipment with some slight adjustments, she's responded quite well.”
Weaver, who is known for his “ice cold exactas” on TVG, has always been a big booster of the trotters and pacers. “Dave is not your typical horse owner,” Reider said. “He’s very knowledgeable about situations that arise on the track..I just wish that we could race down in Los Angeles, so he could actually see his horses race live.”