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Saturday, December 12, 2015

Cal Expo Sunday Barn Notes

Ray’s Rayzer continues to light up board

By Mark Ratzky, publicity – Cal Expo Harness

Ray’s Rayzer is quickly becoming the delight of longshot players here at Cal Expo, rattling off back-to-back victories at 22-1 and 15-1 for the team of owner/trained Edwin Quevedo and driver Tony Succarotte.

An 11-year-old pacing son of Blisfull Hall, Ray’s Rayzer was the key to a $12,000 Pick 5 payoff two weeks ago, then combined with another long priced horse in KG Cody to spark a nearly $8,500 return for the 20-cent Super Hi-Five with his most recent heroics.

While he’s doing his work at the lower level these days, Ray’s Rayzer has some past class in his corner. He has a 1:53 4/5 mark and last week’s score puts his lifetime bankroll at just shy of $170,000.

“I’ve had him for about three years now and he’s a very easy horse to train,” Quevedo related. “In his races, he just likes to sit back and come at the end.”

Going into his November 28 outing, there wasn’t much for bettors to grasp onto as the veteran pacer had finished a well-beaten ninth in his previous two starts, but Edwin knew the reason why he had been so lackluster in those miles.

“We did some blood work and found out he was suffering from anemia,” his mentor explained. “We treated him and he came back to where he should be.”

The result is those back-to-back scores while igniting the toteboard under excellent come-from-behind handling from his new best friend Succarotte. “This horse likes to sit back early and then come at the end,” Quevedo said. “He’s feeling very good right now.”

Lieutenant Steve eyes repeat in contentious feature

Handicappers have their work cut in Sunday’s pacing main event at Cal Expo, with last week’s winning Lieutenant Steve stepping up to face the likes of Cowboy Cold and One and Only.

There is a 12-race card on Sunday and things get underway at 5:05 p.m. The feature will go as the tenth race on the evening with a full field of 10 set to face the starter.

Lieutenant Steve is a 7-year-old son of Look Sharp out of the Big Towner mare Brandilu Hanover who races for A Piece Of The Action LLC with Gene Vallandingham the trainer and Chip Lackey in the sulky.

The Vallandingham representative comes into this assignment with $132,000 in his bank account and a 1:51 1/5, which was established over the seven-eights Hoosier Park layout.

After knocking on the door in several of his previous tries, Lieutenant Steve put it all together in his most recent appearance while doing his work at a slightly lower level. Sent off the 4-5 choice with Lackey at the controls, he was out and moving second-over on the final bend, then flew past the leaders to prevail by three and a half-lengths.

Cowboy Cold and One And Only are both getting class relief and will have their share of backers. The former goes for driver/trainer Luke Plano, while One And Only hails from the Lino Pacheco barn with James Kennedy giving directions.

A reminder there are two wagers here 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.