A $7,000 Open Pace featuring the hard-hitting A Major Omen, the invading Albergo Hanover and last week’s upset winner Dancin Lance heads the Friday night (Feb. 11) action at Cal Expo.
There will be 10 races presented under the Watch and Wager banner this week with first post set for 6:45 p.m., followed by a special 10-race card on Saturday evening that will get underway at 5:45 p.m.
A Major Omen is having a solid meet for his owner/driver/trainer Gerry Longo with a victory in the Dave Goldschmidt and two Open scores to his credit. He set all the pace in last week’s clash and could not hold pocket-sitting Dancin Lance.
A Major Omen is a six-year-old son of Art Major from the Western Hanover mare Omen Hanover who comes into this assignment with 17 wins from his 76 career outings with just shy of $200,000 in his bank account and a 1:49.2 mark that was established two years ago at the Meadowlands.
Dancin Lance was 20-1 when he upset this group last week for owner Juan Pacheco, conditioner Leon Smith and Luke Plano. He left into the two-hole, got room late in the game and kicked home smartly.
Completing the field are Allmyxsliventexas, Ragged But Right, Captain Terminator, Albergo Hanover and Frewil Dakota Sven.
Special Saturday card this week
Due to the Super Bowl, this week will see the trotters and pacers in action on Friday and Saturday night, with a return to the regular Friday/Sunday evening schedule next week.
A reminder there are three wagers offered each night that come with a reduced 16 per cent takeout rate – the 20-cent early and late Pick 5 and the 20-cent Pick 4, with the latter featuring a $30,000 guaranteed pool.
To give you some idea of the added value, check out last Sunday night’s Pick 5.
Despite the sequence ending with a 2-5 winner in Summer Fantasy and a 9-5 victress in Raider Rose, a couple of upset winners in the previous legs resulted in a nice $2,069 payoff for each correct 20-cent ticket.
Looking ahead to next week’s action for the pacers, the second round of Sire Stakes will be decided for the four-year-old horses and geldings and four-year-old mares, while the first big-money gathering for the three-year-old colts and three-year-old fillies are also on tap.
Chase The Gold got the cheese in the first Sire Stakes for the four-year-old males two weeks ago, as he was parked to the lead at the quarter, took a tuck behind Alilthundadownnda, the re-rallied to collar that rival by a neck to make it seven straights win at the meet for owner Qks Racing and trainer Quentin Schneider.
Meanwhile, Senga Nightmare proved a punctual favourite in the contest for the four-year-old mares for owner/driver/trainer Ryan Grundy while using her patented late charge to prevail by a length and a quarter.