A Filly and Mare Open Pace headed by Shark Festival; the Jim Grundy Trot Prep and a California Sire Stakes for four-year-old trotters headline the Friday night action at Cal Expo.
Watch and Wager LLC will present a 13-race card with first post set for 5:55 p.m.
The Distaff Open will be the third race; the Grundy Prep has been carded as the fourth event, and the sire stakes will be a non-betting affair prior to the regular program.
Shark Festival is a six-year-old daughter of Shadow Play who is owned by Medinah Racing and Scot Ehrlich, hails from the Kathleen Plested barn and will have Mooney Svendsen at the controls. She has a powerful stretch kick and will be gunning for her third straight victory.
Looking at the Grundy, Delta Breezeoflodi is a four-year-old daughter of Little Steven and the Spicy Charlie mare Magna Kay who is owned by Mary Harris and Pierre Girard, is conditioned by Girard and will have Luke Plano in the sulky.
The bay miss has two wins and two seconds from her last four trips to the post, including a victory in the opening leg of the Gary Budahn Trot two weeks ago. She made the winning move at the half in that affair and went on to a length and a half-score over a ‘good’ track.
Wheeled back in last week’s Budahn Final, Delta Breezeoflodi was sent off the 5-2 second choice. She made a powerful brush to command down the backside, showed the way to the stretch with a clear advantage but was unable to hold safe over a hard-charging Talkin Tootsie and had to settle for the place money.
Completing the field for the Grundy Prep are Helen Noel, JK Journey, Broadway Jose, Every Day Hanover, Swift Cougar, Hatfield and McCoy and Manley Stanley.
One And Only Gets Back To The Circle
After a string of runner-up finishes, the classy One And Only captured last week’s Open Pace in coast-to-coast fashion with Luke Plano, polishing off a 1:53.1 mile in the process.
The nine-year-old son of Bettors Delight, who is owned by Richard Morita and David Yamada and takes his lessons from Lino Pacheco, pushed his career bankroll over the $245,000 mark with the score.
“It was great to see One get his win after so many second place finishes in 2016,” Morita related. “We've been so spoiled with his many wins over the years. After shipping back from Pennsylvania, Lino asked us if he could race him a few times before we gave him a rest after his tough campaign back East.
“One has a special place in our stable since he has made every one of his lifetime starts for us and Lino has a great time with him. After one of his recent training trips, Lino came off smiling and said ‘You know what a Cadillac feels like? That's him!’ He also says he can tell that One and Only knows he’s home, because he just acts so happy around the barn.
“He is a one of a kind horse for Dave and me, racing good horses all over the country. Lino has said you don't see many like him, such a fast racehorse with little in the way of physical problems and he’s never raced on Lasix. He just races with hopples and an open bridle. We're also very fortunate that Luke drives him for us. They also have a special relationship as Luke knows him so well and gets the most out of him.”
There was a time a couple of years ago when One And Only went through a very trying period, but the veteran recovered and is back winning races.
“He got very sick after shipping east in 2015,” Morita explained. “We have to thank Lou Pena, who helped us connect with our east coast trainers, Jennifer Sabot and Matias Ruiz. Lou called us right away, got him shipped to the clinic, and made sure he got aggressive treatment immediately. As you know, respiratory infections can end a horse's racing career.”