Unfiltered Seeks Open Repeat At Cal Expo

Harness racing at Cal Expo

Fresh from a sparkling coast-to-coast victory at the head of the class, Unfiltered eyes a repeat score in Friday night’s $8,000 Open Handicap Pace at Cal Expo.

Watch and Wager LLC will present 11 races with first post set for 6:45 p.m.

Unfiltered is a five-year-old son of Always A Virgin who races for Qks Racing, is conditioned by Quentin Schneider and will have to do his work from the outside post in the field of 10.

Unfiltered has been having an outstanding meet, with victories in the Steve Wiseman Memorial and last week’s Open from his last three trips to the post.

Sent off as the second choice in last week’s top dance over a sloppy track with Mel Mullet at the controls, Unfiltered went right to the front, shook off a challenge past the half, then had enough left to hold safe over Chase The Gold by a length in a game mile, clocked in 1:55.4. Gerry Longo is listed to drive on Friday.

Chase The Gold also carries the Qks banner with Schneider training and has gone many huge miles over this layout. Elson Miller will guide him and he is coming off a conditioned score, an exacta completion in the DHA Free-For-All two weeks ago and then his solid runner-up finish to his stablemate in his most recent appearance.

Dancin Lance has three Open scores to his credit from his last seven outings and looms large for owner Juan Pacheco and trainer Leon Smith.

An Open winner last time out on Feb. 11, Keystone Tenacious is the 3-1 morning line favourite with Shawn Thayer listed to drive for trainer Travis Ellis and owner Timothy Gordon.

Looking ahead to Sunday night, the $12,500 Gary Budahn Memorial Trot will be the main event.

Cenalta Hawk turns in flawless performance

Cenalta Hawk and Mooney Svendsen teamed up for a powerful win in last week’s $20,000 California Sire Stakes for four-year-old pacing males over the sloppy going.

The homebred son of Allamerican Merlin races for Alberta connections Gordon, Helen and Myrna Empey, with Gordon the conditioner. He got his picture taken for the third time from his last four trips to post.

After scoring back-to-back conditioned wins with Chip Lackey at the controls, Svendsen took over for the first stakes clash for this group two weeks ago and a break on the far turn cost them the win.

“I’d driven this horse last year and he was great on the straightaway but had trouble on the turns,” related Mooney. “That night, he was going well to the final turn and then bobbled and made a break and still only got beat a little over a length.

“I was pretty sure I knew what the problem was and a made a suggestion to Gordon that I thought would solve the problem.”

Racing over a sloppy track last week, Cenalta Hawk was on his best behaviour, rallying from last in the compact field to win going away in 1:59, with his :27 flat final quarter being the fastest of the night.

“Of course I was concerned about the sloppy track and was driving him cautiously, but he was absolutely flawless. When I asked him in the stretch, he took off and it was extra special to win for such nice people as Gordon and Helen.”

(With files from Cal Expo)