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Wednesday, December 23, 2015

Cal Expo Sunday Barn Notes

One and Only back on the beam

By Mark Ratzky, publicity – Cal Expo Harness

It’s been a tough 2015 for the 7-year-old One and Only, but it’s finishing it up nicely and co-owner Richard Morita is looking forward to next season with the popular pacer.

Morita owns One And Only with David Yamada while Lino Pacheco calls the shots with the son of Bettor’s Delight, who is currently just shy of the $200,000 earnings plateau while sporting a 1:51 2/5 mark that was set last year.

One and Only has made all his starts under the Morita/Yamada banner and Richard relates, “We love watching him go around the track with his tail flying.”

After just clicking in one of his first 17 starts this season, One And Only has posted back-to-back victories here with James Kennedy handling the lines. The most recent came last week in coast-to-coast fashion while competing at the Open III level.

“It's good to have One and Only back home. He had a nice year at Yonkers in 2014, but when he went back this year, he got very sick. Luckily they treated him aggressively and Jen Sabot did a great job getting him back to the track.

“He missed a lot of the year, and by the time he started racing, he couldn't get raced on a regular basis. When he did, we got a lot of outside draws, and that is horrible at Yonkers.”

As for his current campaign, Morita explains that patience has been a virtue. “Lino took his time getting him ready, and after a few weeks, he said he could tell that One was happy and knew he was back home. Lino told me he was really coming around and his last race shows he’s getting back on his game.”


El Azteca, Flameon headline Open Trot

El Azteca, who had his win streak snapped at three last week; and Flameon, who hung that half-length decision on him, square off again in Sunday night’s $6,000 Open I Trot.

There are 12 races on tap with a first post of 4:55 p.m. The feature will go as the third on the evening with a field of six to face starter Ken Fowler.

After leaving from the assigned No. 10 post position in his four starts at this meet, El Azteca gets some relief as he does his work from the No. 6 slot with Luke Plano once again handling the lines.

A 6-year-old son of Panama Hanover, El Azteca is owned, trained and was bred by Marco Rios. He has over $190,000 in his bank account and established his 1:54 3/5 career standard last season at Hoosier Park.

The hard-hitting sidewheeler started the fall session here with three straight trips to the winner’s circle, overcoming that demanding 10 post on each occasion. He couldn’t quite get it done last week from that marooned slot, narrowly missing to Flameon in a game mile.

The latter is a 5-year-old Angus Hall offspring who races for Mark Anderson, hails from the Gordie Graham barn and will have Pat Galbraith once again at the controls. After having to settle for second money in three straight outings, he returned to his winning ways last week with a nice :27 flat final quarter while lowering his mark to 1:55 3/5 in the process.

Completing the field are Northern Stormont for Steve Wiseman; Jessesjo with Chip Lackey; It’s Not Over, who has the services of Mooney Svendsen; and Windsun Galaxie, who leaves from the cozy rail with James Kennedy in the sulky.