Cal Expo meet underway featuring Breeders Crown simulcast
By Mark Ratzky, publicity – Cal Expo Harness
Cal Expo kicks off its Fall harness season under the Watch and Wager LLC Banner on Saturday night with an Open 2 Pace heading the 14-race card and a simulcast of the complete Breeders Crown program from Woodbine.
The Breeders Crown card begins at 4:30 Pacific Time at all California locations, while first post for the opening night live card is set for 6:10 p.m.
The Cal Expo racing schedule finds the trotters and pacers in action on Saturday night for the first three weeks, with Saturday and Sunday programs set for November 14 through December 27. The schedule will expand to three nights a week in January, with Friday, Saturday and Sunday evening programs.
Looking at Saturday’s feature, three of the six pacers are exiting the same Open I Handicap on September 8 at Running Aces, with Outlawdangruswatrs checking in third, while Quality Sport finished fifth and Cowboy Cold was sixth that evening.
All three figure strongly, with David Siegel handling Outlawdangruswatrs, while Steve Wiseman guides Quality Sport and Luke Plano will be in the sulky behind Cowboy Cold.
Completing the field are Perfect Pitch, who was last seen at Pocono Downs and will leave from the cozy rail slot with James Kennedy; the New York invader Who Dat Love for Craig Fletcher; and Native’s Revenge, who has the outside slot with Mooney Svendsen giving directions.
The Open Pace will go as the sixth race, with the supporting feature a filly/mare Preferred Trot that occupies the opening-race slot.
Veteran Twice The Ruckus Returns to the wars Saturday
For the record, when the trotter Twice The Ruckus suits up for James Kennedy on opening night, he will be making start No. 315, with 43 wins and just shy of $160,000 in his back account.
An 11-year-old New York-bred son of Ilooklikemymom, Twice The Ruckus will be making his first evening appearance since early May when he goes postward in the evening’s eighth event for conditioned sidewheelers.
“He definitely doesn’t act like an 11-year-old,” Kennedy noted at entry time. “He’s still very playful, his legs are clean and he’s a lot of fun to be around.”
James has conditioned Twice The Ruckus for about a year, but his association with the veteran trotter goes way back. “I’ve actually been driving him for about the last four or five years, and it you look back at his lines, I was the only one who could keep him trotting back then. I don’t really have a secret, we just seem to get along.”
Like many of the local performers, Twice The Ruckus hasn’t raced in five months, but he turned in a qualifying victory on Monday and should be ready to rock and roll this weekend.
“He spent his summer vacation at Cherry Tree Farm,” Kennedy related. “I want to make sure to give plenty of credit to his caretaker Jose Castillo, better known as Chicky, because Twice The Ruckus is his baby and he does a great job taking care of him.”
There are two wagers on the program that come with a reduced 16 percent takeout rate. They are the 50-cent Pick 5, which this season features a 25 percent minor pool payout; and the 20-cent Pick 4, which comes with a $25,000-guaranteed gross pool.