For Opinion, click here for View from the Racetrack Grandstand

Wednesday, January 4, 2017

Pick 5, Pick 6 carryovers spice Friday action

By Mark Ratzky, publicity – Cal Expo Harness

An $8,757 Pick 5 carryover and a $4,580 carryover in the Pick 6 will be featured on Friday night’s program at Cal Expo.
                                                                                                                                            Racing here has now returned to the regular Friday and Saturday night schedule, with first post at 5:55 p.m. on Fridays and 6:10 on Saturdays.

The Pick 5 is a 50-cent wager that covers the first five contests on the evening and it comes with a reduced 16 percent takeout rate and a $30,000 guaranteed pool. The 20-cent Pick 4 also features that lower 16 percent rate and is decided on the penultimate four races on the program.

To give you some idea how much value is offered with the lower takeout rate, last Sunday night’s payoff in the Pick 4 was $3,828 for each winning 20-cent ticket. With regular takeout, the return would have been 3,481, a difference of $410 on each winning ducket.

The carryovers in the Pick 5 and Pick 6 are due in large part to the upset by Mattador D in last Sunday night’s fourth race for Sal and Georgette Wenceslao and pilot William Hernancez.

Mattador D was able to sit a cozy trip for Hernandez and waltzed home by two and a quarter lengths while returning a whopping $166 to his backers.

It was quite a night for the Wenceslao/Hernandez combination, as they also posed for pictures in the evening’s third race with Laissezmoipicoler and then pulled off a $66 surprise with KG Cody in the 10th race on the card.

Laissez Moi Passer heads Shelly Goudreau Final

Laissez Moi Passer, who has posed for pictures following two of his last five starts, gets the top billing in Friday night’s Shelly Goudreau Final. First post is 5:55 p.m. for the Watch and Wager LLC program.

Laissez Moi Passer is a 6-year-old homebred son of Disco Devil out of the Nirvana mare My Passing Fancy who races for Sal and Georgette Wenceslao, takes his lessons from Sal and will once again have William Hernandez in the sulky.

He picked up his first win of the meet and the year when he did the track-and-attack to perfection with Hernandez over a sloppy track on November 26. After settling for minor awards in his next three outings, the Wenceslao colorbearer returned to the winner’s circle after last week’s Goudreau Prep.

Sent off at 6-1 in that affair, Laissez Moi Passer was reserved early, rallied off cover to the stretch and ignited when it counted to be up by a neck over Outlawsecretweapon in a 1:54 4/5 mile.

Completing the field are Total Classic, Red Star Tiger, Cowboy Mathis, Mighty Fine Hi Ho, Moonshinemonkeys, CR Artistic and Wineonefordoug.
Saturday’s feature honors the memory of Shelly Goudreau, one of the most talented drivers to ever ply the trade. He passed away in a racing accident at Hollywood Park in 1982.

The young Goudreau got his driving license in 1966 at age 18 and soon led all drivers at Windsor Raceway for two consecutive years. It wasn’t long before he ventured to the U.S. to compete at several Michigan tracks. 

In 1977, Goudreau made the trek to California and immediately went to the top of the driving colony there. While competing at Hollywood Park and Los Alamitos, he won the most races and earned the most purse monies on that circuit for two consecutive years.

He came back East to compete at Roosevelt and Yonkers and won many major stakes in New York, including the $200,000 George Morton Levy Pace in 1979 in track-record time at Roosevelt. He drove at the Meadowlands and was once again successful. He competed there against another up-and-coming driver named John Campbell as well as a familiar face from home in Ray Remmen. 

It was 1981 that proved Goudreau’s best season. He competed in both the Hambletonian (with Santa Ana) and the Little Brown Jug (with Freedom Fella). He won 170 races and earned $2.3 million in purses that year. These were gaudy numbers for the then 33-year-old.

During his career he was responsible for the success of such horses as Genghis Khan p,1:51.4 ($983,467), Try Scotch p,1:54.3 ($956,770), Tijuana Taxi p,1:54.3 ($784,306), Apollo’s Way p,1:56 ($502,536), Freedom Fella p,1:54.4 ($491,790), Tender Loving Care p,1:52.4 ($327,822) and Superman 1:58.1 ($140,794).

In his short career he amassed 2,291 wins and $12,942,265 in purse money. At the time of his death he was eighth in the North American driver standings. He was inducted in the Canadian Harness Racing Hall of Fame in 1983.