Wiseman looks to build on six-victory night
By Mark Ratzky, publicity – Cal Expo Harness
Fresh from making six appearances in the Cal Expo winner’s circle last Saturday night, including five of his own trainees, Steve Wiseman comes into this week’s action atop both the driver and trainer standings.
“I had a lot of horses in the right spots, so I thought it was going to be a good night,” Wiseman related. “As far as being the leading driver and trainer, that was the goal coming into the meet. I’ve never won the training title before, so that would be nice, and I’ve got a great crew to help me.”
Wild About Eagle overcame the tough No. 9 post to get the job done last weekend while carrying the banner of Kathy Plested and Mark Benvenga. “She’s awfully sharp right now and on top of her game,” her mentor said. “I think she had an advantage these first few weeks because she’d been racing while some of the others took the summer off.”
Another Wiseman trainee who got his picture taken last Saturday was the trotter Jimmy Shin, who sat a perfect pocket trip and won going away. The 10-year-old is now at the $384,000 earnings plateau.
“I claimed him here at the last meet with the idea of racing him in Minnesota. He did pretty well until the end of the meet, when I probably had him a couple of classes too high.”
Jimmy Shin had to settle for a second in his first appearance at this stand after coming from far back and getting a less than ideal journey. “He had a poor cover flow that night and would have won if I could have had him just a little closer. As bad as that trip was, everything worked out perfectly last time.”
El Azteca getting the marquee treatment
El Azteca, perfect in two starts at this meet and victorious in 15 of his last 25 trips to the post, looks to keep the momentum going in Saturday night’s Open II Trot. An 11-race program is on tap with first post set for 6:15 p.m.
Racing is now being conducted on Saturday and Sunday nights, with first post on Sunday at 4:45 p.m. Plans call for a three-night-a week schedule starting on December 26, with Friday racing being added to the mix.
El Azteca is a 5-year-old son of Panama Hanover who is owned, trained and was bred by Marco Rios and he will once again have the services of James Kennedy.
El Azteca comes into this assignment with $120,000 in his bank account and a 1:54 3/5 career standard that was established at Hoosier Park in early June. He went to the sidelines with an issue following that score, and has returned to capture both of his appearances at this meeting.
The hard-hitting California-bred got a second-over journey in his October 18 tally here while hanging a head decision on Franks Best, then did the work in first-over fashion lat week while once again prevailing by a head over Franks Best in an ultra-game decision for Rios and Kennedy.
Franks Best is another outstanding state-bred trotter who is just shy of the $200,000 earnings plateau with a 1:56 2/5 mark. The 7-year-old Armbro Scribe offspring is owned, trained and was bred by Bob Johnson and Mooney Svendsen will once again be in the sulky. In his three starts at this meet, Franks Best has two seconds and a third, beaten by a grand total of a half-length in those three outings.
The co-feature on the evening is an Open II Pace that finds Del Rio Seelster heading the cast while doing his work from the outside slot.
A reminder that Sunday racing is being added to the schedule this week, with first post set for 4:45 p.m.