Action Aplenty At Cal Expo As Harness Racing Ensues

Profile Picture: Frank Cotolo

March 29th, 2020

Friday, March 27

The dual Cal Expo programs began very well for us and as compared to the other outlets covering programs’ analysis.

On program one of two, we were the sole source to give players the highest paying winner of the program—Casey N Grinegon ($25.00, $9.80, $5.80). In Race 6, we included the second finisher, Nightgirl ($3.40, $2.60), for a cold $1 exacta worth $43.90.

This night, only three races did not include a winner in our selections (which vary from one to as many as four, though not always in particular order). Strewn into 30 races, our suggested contenders hit the board (plus fourths for superfectas), 18 times, a strong list of paying horses that equals 60 percent.

Among the mentioned winners were Budgie Smuggler ($6.80, $3,40, $2.60); Best Dream Seeker ($8.00, $3.00, $2.60); Who Dat Love ($4.20, $2.40, $2.10); Royal Mistress ($3.60, $2.40, $2.20); Casey N Grinegan ($25.00, $9.80, $5.80); Dontcloseyoureyes ($4.20, $2.80, $2.10); and Contemporary Legend ($7.60, $5.00, $2.80).

The only actual top pick was Casey N Grinegan.

Finishing second were Als Briefs ($2.40, $2.20); Fly Away ($$3.00, $2.20); Sing Along ($2.60, $2.40); Nightgirl ($3.40, $2.60); Giggle Monster ($4.60, $3.80); Greekona ($2.80, $2.10); and Western Devil (5.80, $3.40).

Finishing third were Bunkerhill Bill ($3.20) and He Grins Again ($2.20).

Superfecta elements, finishing fourth, were Key Word; Dancers Fancy; and Bet Together.

Saturday, March 28

A rougher evening closed the weekend, with a few of the 10 races presenting breaks, traffic problems and scratches.

As a 6-1 won the first race while our top choice, Naked Burner (21-1) played into the superfecta, finishing fourth. Our other two contenders made up two-thirds of the trifecta. They were Pedigree Blue Chip ($3.20, $2.40) and Imma Tank ($2.80).

In Race two, a pair of our contenders—Ahead By A Century and Glitter N Ginger—scratched, leaving a win-mutuel-only field where we finished a priceless second with One Gorgeous Gal (n/p, n/s).

We rebounded in Race three with the winner, Custards Dungeon ($7.20, $3.60, $2.10) and a superfecta fourth, Cut A Rug (5-2).

Our sole focus in Race 4, Drink Me Pretty, scratches.

In Race 5, our third choice, Explainnotcomplain ($3.00, $2.60, $2.10), won, with Cenalta Diesel (43-1) finishing fifth and top-choice Ramsay (14-1) back in seventh.

A 9-2 shot won Race 6, while our choice, Five Card Draw N ($4.40) took third. Bettors Promise (5-2) was a dud, as we feared, finishing sixth, and PH Hippie (20-1) wandered home fifth.

Antics in the Race-8 mile caused impeding as a 41-1 shot took advantage of the rumbling. Our sole choice in the race, Reys N A Ruckus (23-1) was caught in the traffic and still finished a superfecta fourth.

In the penultimate event, a 6-1 won, while our Place At The Beach (23-1) finished fifth.

Race 10, closing the program, was won by the crowd favorite. We were second with Outlawintriguedbyu ($3.20, $2.20), completing an $8.40 exacta.

News & Notes

The COVID-19 mitigation continues..

Some raceways approaching opening dates are making plans to join the dark ones. Running Aces will delay the opening of its horse area to May 18. “We are continuing to review stall applications. … We are also evaluating and planning … for our live season to begin on or around June 2.” Details, of course, are pending regarding state and national status of the pandemic.

The Ohio State Racing Commission announced that horse racing at all Ohio racetracks is officially cancelled through April 6. The commission will be in contact with the permit holders and horse-people to discuss further cancellations, if needed. The racetracks are to be maintained and made available for training. Horse people and racetrack employees are strongly encouraged to practice safe social distancing procedures. The commission continues to keep everyone informed and will post updates when pertinent information becomes available.

The pandemic continues to affect harness Down Under. More track cancellations were announced due to a racing participant testing positive for the virus. Harness Racing New South Wales (HRNSW) reported the person is an employee of the Penrith Harness Racing Club and was not in physical contact with any trainers, drivers or stable hands at the harness meeting on March 19 and there was “no opportunity for any contact between the employee or any licensee before, during or after the race meeting.”

Harness Racing New Zealand (HRNZ) announced that all racing in the country has ceased for a four-week period, beginning March 24. Additionally, HRNZ said that government is providing financial assistance to those that are impacted.

On March 25, officials with the Meadowlands Racetrack addressed how the track will handle horses by trainers that have been indicted. The Meadowlands official statement says that any horse that was being trained by a trainer named in the recent federal indictments at the time those indictments were handed down will not be accepted to race at the Meadowlands, Tioga or Vernon in overnights or stakes for 60 days from the date that the tracks re-open for live racing.

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