Hard-hitting distaffers kick off Sunday racing
By Mark Ratzky, publicity – Cal Expo Harness
A contentious Open III event for pacing fillies and mares headlines the first Sunday program of the Cal Expo meeting.
Racing is now being conducted here under the Watch and Wager LLC banner on Saturday and Sunday nights with a first post of 4:45 Pacific on Sundays. Plans call for an expansion to a three-night-a-week schedule on December 26 with Friday action being added to the mix.
Looking at the feature, High Bet Hanover is a 6-year-old daughter of Bettor’s Delight out of the Artsplace mare Highland Dexter who is owned by Kc C Carvalho, conditioned by Tim Brown and will once again have the services of Luke Plano.
The bay miss was a close second in the first two legs of the aforementioned Funicello Series, then rode a second-over journey to victory in the October 18 finale of the event as she showed the way home by a length and a quarter over Wild About Eagle in that event while lowering her mark to 1:53 4/5 in the process.
Wheeled back in a conditioned contest last weekend, High Bet Hanover was sent off the 4-5 favorite. She found herself well back early and with too much to do, but did come calling late to finish second while missing by three-quarters of a length in another big mile.
Wild About Eagle will be looking to avenge her loss to High Bet Hanover in the Funicello final. The 7-year-old daughter of The Panderosa is owned by Kathy Plested and Mark Benvenga with Steve Wiseman doing the driving and training.
In last week’s tour she drew the tough 9 slot, but was able to leave strong and eventually settled into the two-hole by the quarter. Once straightened for home, she took aim on favored pace-setter Windsun T Bird and overhauled that one by a neck while recording a 1:55 flat mile.
High Bet Hanover goes for solid trio
High Bet Hanover figures to have her share of backers in Sunday’s filly-mare main event as she goes postward for the productive team of owner Kc C Carvalho, trainer Tim Brown and pilot Luke Plano.
The 6-year-old Bettor’s Delight mare captured the finale of the Annette Funicello Series two starts back while lowering her lifetime mark to 1:53 4/5 in the process, then finished gamely be second while taking on males in last week’s assignment.
“We bought her privately last year to fill a spot we needed with our Minnesota barn,” Brown related. “She had a good meet, but then she started hitting herself and there were some shoeing issues that had to be worked out.”
High Bet Hanover lost tough decisions in the first two legs of the Funicello, but got the job done in the finale while changing tactics to ride a second-over journey to the stretch.
“Luke used to have her, so he knows her real well and drives her great,” Tim said.
“I actually think she’s better when she can sit near the pace, but she got a perfect trip in the final and it all worked out.”
Sunday’s headliner is a chance for High Bet Hanover to renew acquaintances with Wild Wild About Eagle, who hung a nose decision on her earlier in the meet before completing the exacta behind her in the Funicello finale.
Tim Brown and Kc C Carvalho have formed one of the more lucrative owner/trainer relationships on the Cal Expo backside in recent memory. “I’ve trained for him for three years now, and he’s more like a brother to me than an owner. He’s very much involved in everything to do with the horses.”