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Thursday, January 12, 2017

Cal Expo Saturday Advance

Seek The Dragon on a hot streak
By Mark Ratzky, publicity – Cal Expo Harness

There is a direct correlation between Seek The Dragon’s winning streak and the amount of respect the 9-year-old pacer has been getting at the betting windows.

The veteran, who races for Lauren Nickells and is reined-and-trained by Tim Clevenger, will be gunning for his fourth straight trip to the winner’s circle when he suits up in Saturday night’s 3rd race, an Open III event that will mark another raise in class for the pacer.

Seek The Dragon was 149-1 when he kicked off the meet in a needed effort on December 17, but has rattled off three straight victories in the interim while seeing lower odds with each start.

The Nickells representative was 14-1 when he rode live cover to handle a modest conditioned draw on December 26; came back just four nights later and posted a 6-1 score in game, first over fashion; then made every pole a winning one at most recent asking while returning $6.40 as the second choice in the wagering.

Just about an hour after Seek The Dragon does his thing, the Clevenger barn will be represented by Stable Eyes in the featured distaff Open. Owned, trained and driven by Tim she figures right in the thick of this contest coming off runner-up finishes in two of the last three major dances for this group.

Stable Eyes was a 1:51 victress at Hoosier Park last season and will be looking to add to a $171,000 bank account this weekend. It’s a contentious field and she will have to leave from the No 8 post in the field of nine, but she looms large with the right trip.


There are two wagers offered here each night that feature a reduced 16 percent takeout rate. They are the 50-cent Pick 5, which covers the first five races of the evening; and the 20-cent Pick 4 on the penultimate four races.

Distaff Open, Marvin Shapiro elimination set

A very contentious filly and mare Open Pace and two divisions of the Marvin Shapiro elimination are the main attractions on Saturday night’s Cal Expo program.

There will be 14 races presented by Watch and Wager LLC with a 6:15 first post. The Disaff Open will be the 6th race on the card, with the Shapiro divisions going as the 2nd and 13th events on the evening.

With Strings sitting out this week’s top dance for the pacing fillies and mares, the headliner figures to be a very open affair. Stable Eyes, Poorlittlerichgirl and Shark Festival drew for the outside three slots in the field of nine and figure to get plenty of tote attention.

Stable Eyes is a 9-year-old daughter of Million Dollar Came who is owned, trained and driven by Tim Clevenger. While she is looking for her first victory of the meeting since coming in from Hoosier Park, it has been for lack of trying with solid runner-up efforts in two of her last three outings at this level.

Poorlittlerichgirl will represent the Sal Wenceslao barn and the Maria Alvarez colorbearer will once again have William Hernandez at the controls from the No. 8 slot. She posted a 15-1 upset in the December 10 filly and mare Open and put in a good effort to complete the exacta behind Strings when last seen on December 30.

Shark Festival, who will depart from the outside post with Steve Wiseman guiding, has done some solid work at this session and helps make things very interesting. Medinah Racing and Scott Ehrlich own and Kathleen Plested is the conditioner.

Completing the field from the rail out are No Guarantees, Mistup Magic, Magnifique; If You Say So, Window Wiper and Game of Dreamers.