Closer look comments for Friday night

Race 1

#1 SHEWENTHATAWAY … No threat on opening week, then made a first-over bid in most recent and was unable to come up with the needed response. Rail would seem to be main plus here.

#2 TARTAN PATCH … Looked more like 1-5 than a 22-1 shot here on opening week, as she tracked early, attacked past the half and went on to a nearly five-length romp after coming in from Canada. Up a notch and Goulet representative gets a lot more respect now.

#3 ALWAYS GLAD … Came back from vacation ready to rock and roll for Wilkinson and Plano, as she shot right to the front, was able to back down the fractions and came home with plenty in reserve for her overdue second career snapshot. Tougher task now, but feeling good.

#4 SENGA NIGHTMARE … Took the short way around in her initial outing since coming in from Century Downs and made a little late progress for a minor share. Race over the track will help the cause.

#5 UNIQUEROCK … Showed the way for a half without pressure, then got seriously tested from that point and battled it out gamely the length of the stretch to be third in a blanket finish. Race under her belt now and helps make things interesting.

#6 ROCKIN THE DRAGON … A multiple Sire Stakes victress here in the spring, she returns from Fraser Downs for the solid Anderson/Graham team with Kennedy handling the lines. Been away a month, but has to be respected.

#7 MAY DAY MAGGIE … Hammered down to 40 cents on the dollar in last week’s local debut, she was used early for position, got shuffled past the half and then ignited late to be on the wrong end of a nose photo. Looks like the one to beat for leading driver Roland.

Race 2

#1 DANCE TRAVELLER … Made a nice impression in his return to California last week, coming home in :27 1/5 for second money while unable to menace the winner that evening. Moving up in class for this assignment with some tough customers on his outside.

#2 TERROR OF THE NITE … Went a big mile for the exacta completion on opening week, then lost his best chance in the most recent when he visited shuffle city at the half. Has 12 wins on the year and goes from trainer Pacheco to Kennedy in the sulky for this go-around.

#3 IMMA TANK … Left smartly, sat a trip and lacked a response last week in what was his first evening appearance since April. Will attempt to work out another nice journey in this contentious line-up.

#4 QUEENACE BLUE CHIP … Both races here for Plested  have been strong, reporting home a punctual 3-2 favorite last week with a perfect drive by Mooney. Wheels right back at the same level and obviously has a good chance to do an encore.

#5 FRISKY PEDRO … Used to command through a pretty snappy opening quarter, showed the way to the stretch without pressure and then was no match for tonight’s rivals Queenace Blue Chip and Artspice when push came to shove. Odds will drift up now.

#ARTSPICE … Nice score at this level opening night, then came second over in last week’s foray and finished willingly, although unable to catch the pocket-sitting Queenace Blue Chip. Roland leads the driver standings with 13 victories through the first three nights of action.

Race 3

#1 MARILYN … Likely needed last week’s outing, as it was her first evening performance since March. Gets a positive post switch for this assignment and retains the services of Svendsen.

#2 HI FIDELITY … Veteran mare is making her 290th career trip to the post, so hats off for that as she approaches her 14th birthday. Like her inside neighbor, looked to be in need of last week’s return to the wars.

#3 HURRY HOME … Ventures down from Canada for driver/trainer Goulet and will be making her first start since October 24. Hard to know exactly where she fits here at this point and there are some readiness concerns.

#4 ROARING HOME … Away since late July at Hawthorne, she got a nice tune-up in last week’s qualifier, tracking the modest fractions and then motoring away through the stretch with her conditioner in the sulky. Gets Plano now and won in 1:54 1/5 at the last meet.

#5 BIG CHUTE … Went a long mile opening week, then was third over on the cover train in that last one and rallied for a slice. Junquist tries his hand.

#6 SENSELESS BEAUTY … Got a nice tightener opening week, then did all the heavy lifting in last week’s mile and was unable to match the winner’s close in a strong performance. Could be ready to seal the deal tonight with Roland back at the controls.

#7 CENALTA SUNRISE … Has had to be happy with minor awards in the first two outings since coming down from Canada. Gets a negative post switch tonight, but should appreciate the easier company and has to be considered.

Race 4

#1 JESSE’S STUDENT … After a miscue before the start on opening week, he was able to mind his manners last time and failed to seriously menace. Looks to have his work cut out, despite the presence of the leading pilot.

#2 HOT CHAPTER … Was able to sit a nice trip behind pace-setting favorite Major Al-Mar last week and gained the place while no threat to that rival. Now he’s back to the Open facing Pridecrest, so looks to be climbing a tall mountain.

#3 BOASTER COASTER … After a solid qualifier, he lost his chance in the local debut when he jumped it off on the final bend while sitting a sweet trip. Came back two nights to put in a clean mile in a qualifier, but the outside pair would appear to be too much for him tonight.

#4 SILVERHILL VOLO … Has gone some huge miles over this layout for owner/driver/trainer Lackey and was facing some solid company this summer at Hawthorne. Tuned up sweetly in last week’s qualifier and has the advantage of being drawn inside his main rival.

#5 PRIDECREST … The track record-holder looked every bit the 1-9 shot on opening night as he glided to the front for Svendsen and prevailed with confident handling. Versatile veteran is eyeing his 47th career snapshot with over 400K in the bank and the races goes through him.

Race 5

#1 VILLA FOR RENT … Had a perfect tightener on opening week and then overcome an early problem to go coast-to-coast last time over a softer group while being re-united with Mooney. Gets a tougher assignment tonight, but moves from the No. 8 slot to the cozy rail.

#2 CALIFORNIA ROCK … Had the thankless task of chasing a monster in Allmyx’sliventexas last week it what was his first evening action since April. Wilkinson charge has had a race now and figures to be very much at home for Lackey with this group.

#3 THREE GRAND … Like his inside neighbor, had his work cut out last week mixing it up with Allmyx’slivntexas and failed to threaten. Had some races this summer at Running Aces that would certainly put him in the picture.

#4 OUTLAW BLUE BY YOU … After a needed outing opening week, he came back last week to just miss in a much-improved mile that should set him up perfectly fort this go-around.

#5 MIKI’S MAGIC RIDE … Bet down to 4-5 last week after a big try on the opening-night card, he made a big brush on the backside to assume command, showed the way to deep stretch and then had to settle for the show spot in a blanket finish. Could easily make amends with Luke in this spot.

#6 HOWTOTRAINURDRAGON … Left to the pocket, came first-over by the half, loomed to the drive and then was unable to make the needed impression while checking in third. Every right to move forward as that was his first race since early September in Minnesota and he has Roland handling the lines.  

6th race

#1 MARLON’S MAGIC … Tracked early, had to come three wide on the final turn to make his bid and went evenly in the late stages for the show money. Lands the rail and has a race under his belt now after coming in from Century Downs.

#2 CRUISIN FOR YOU … Took some money last week while taking a slight drop in class off his opening-week mile but was unable to make any impression. No surprise if Plano reined-and-trained performer is able to turn things around.

#3 I’M AN ATHLETE … This warrior has made 55 trips to the charmed circle, including a 1:51 mile here three years ago. He had little chance with last week’s trip and now has Kennedy to navigate.

#4 BOBS TIME … Been away from the wars since early October, but got a nice tightener in last week’s qualifier while carving out the fractions with his conditioner at the controls. Has had breaking issues, so must mind his manners.

#5 FAST TRACK … Made a real nice move forward off the opening week foray last time as he left to command, was covered up to the last turn, then ignited late to get the job done. This is where Roland lands and an obvious threat right back.

#6 THEREALGOODS … Got some class relief for last week’s assignment, was sent off the 9-5 choice and was no match for the winner, who he followed from the outset. Hasn’t been real big on winning the last couple of years, but has to be respected with these.

#7 DREAM CHASIN … Has been knocking heads with much tougher company in his two starts since returning from a Running Aces campaign and this Rios trainee figures to be right at home with this group. Will be looking to work out a trip from this outside slot.

7th race

#1 CHASE THE GOLD … Had some issues at the start on opening week, but no such problems in last week’s faster of the two elimination heats as he sat a tracking journey, attacked first-over by the half and gamely dug in the length of the stretch to post the neck upset over the favorite. The rail and Junquist sticks with him.

#2 IVAR … After a needed outing opening week, he shot right to the front for in last week’s first of two elimination heats, had a clear advantage until deep stretch and then held by a nose over pocket-sitting Infinite Horizon. Have to think front-end tactics will once again be employed as Kennedy takes over.

#3 STARSTUCK COWGIRL … Tracked early, came second-over behind Urkillnmesmalls by the half, then could not come up with the needed late kick while being edged out by the one who led her up for the show money. Kentucky invader should move forward with that one under her belt.

#4 URKILLINMESMALLS … Left to assume the two-hole behind Ivar, was out first-over into that rival going to the last bend, loomed large turning for home but was no match for the top pair that night while just holding the show spot as the 4-5 favorite. Looking to make amends at better odds.

#5 NIGHT DELIGHT … Failed to threaten behind Chase The Gold in his elimination in what was his first start since early September in Minnesota. A minor award appears the ceiling tonight.

#6 PROMISING FLIGHT … Canadian invader has been unable to make much impact in the two starts at this meet and would a surprise in here.

#7 THIS DOG WON’T HUNT … Off a good try on opening week, he was well-supported in the faster of the two elimination heads, carved out all the fractions but was unable to hold off the first-over challenger and the pocket sitter when things got serious. This is where Kennedy lands and looking to make amends.

#8 BELIEVE IN DRAGONS … Sent off the 4-5 choice last week off a big runner-up try here on the opening card, sat a pocket journey to the lane then came home smartly to just miss in a solid outing. Figures right in thick of things no matter how thing shake out away from gate. 

#9 INFINITE HORIZON … Left cleanly from the rail, assumed the pocket into the final turn, tracked to the drive and then ignited late to just miss catching Ivar in their elimination mile. Will be tighter now with a race over the track and certainly makes things interesting despite the negative post switch.

8th race

#1 SUMMER FANTASY … Sent off the mild 2-1 choice last week while making first start since mid-September in Canada, she carved out the fractions without challenge and was no match for tonight’s rival Delightfully Wild when things got serious. Race under belt now, gets the cozy draw once again and retains Roland.

#2 ONEIDA BLUE CHIP … Off a good qualifier, the Minnesota invader was hammered down 3-5 for last week’s first start in seven weeks, had pace-setting duties to the lane and then was gave way in deep stretch. Improves post, has had a start now and will have much more attractive odds tonight.

#3 DELIGHTFULLY WILD … Classy mare was recording her 42nd lifetime victory last week when she came off the bench for Pacheco and Grundy and motored by for the impressive score. Stepping back up the ladder tonight, but that she has plenty of past class.

#4 ALWAYSALITTLEMORE … Finished smartly despite some traffic issues facing the boys on opening week, then made a big move for Luke by the half while racing with these distaffers and gamely held safe over the one she led up. Make her the one to beat right back.

#5 GO AWAY N PLAY … Crushed a softer group on opening week on the ship-in from Running Aces, then stepped up to this league last week and put in a big effort to just miss to Alwaysalittlemore. Gets a lot more respect now.

#6 RIVER LASSENA … Lost her chance when she lacked clearance in the drive last week vs. her two inside foes at this level. With that effort under her belt and a clean journey, she could prove very tough with Kennedy eyeing a little revenge.

Race 9

#1 DARK HORSE WINS … Has been unable to menace in the two appearances since coming in from Minnesota, now she moves inside and gets some class relief in hopes of turning things around.

#2 NIGHTGIRL … Been away from the wars since April, but that was a real nice qualifier last week where she surged on the money to get up by a neck. Has to be considered despite the vacation.

#3 LA DIVA DE ROSA … Has been well beaten in both the outings at this session, but does get a bit easier assignment tonight.

#4 CABBIE’S DELIGHT … Has brought up the rear in both his starts at this session and it’s been a long time since he’s reached the circle, but the presence of leading driver Roland is going to attract attention.

#5 SKYWAY RAIDER … Got a shuffle past the quarter last week and lost his best chance. That was his first start since in a month since coming in from Hoosier Park and looking for major improvement with a cleaner trip in this enticing spot.

#6 HEZA BIG DEALER … Considering he was parked the entire journey last week, finishing 4th beaten only 7 lengths was a pretty good effort for this Tremblay trainee. Obviously looking to work out a better trip tonight.

#7 CHIEF SARATOGA … Needed the race opening week, then rode the pocket last week and was unable to come up with the needed kick. Kennedy takes over the controls from the trainer for this go-around.

#8 MAJOR TED … Had some tough post position assignments this summer when racing at Hawthorne, then was just a bystander last week while knocking heads with tougher company. Worst of the draw, but should be much tighter now and has Luke in the sulky.

Schneider holds strong hand in Friday’s Arnstine Pace

Quentin Schneider sent out last week’s two elimination heat winners and will now try to take down the final of the $10,000 Donald Arnstine Pace with Ivar, Chase The Gold and Believe In Dragons on Friday night at Cal Expo.

A nine-race card is on tap with first post at 6:45 p.m. and the main event goes as the seventh on the evening. There is also a $7,200 Open Trot headed by Pridecrest going as the fourth contest on the program.

A reminder that Watch and Wager LLC is now hosting the trotters and pacers on a Friday/Sunday basis.

Both Ivar and Chase The Gold are owned by Qks Racing and were ably handled last week by James Jungquist, who will go with the latter on Friday. Ivar captured his division as the 5-2 second choice, while Chase The Gold lit up the toteboard at $27 in his end.

Ivar is a 4-year-old son of Jk Royal Flush who has now won six of his 24 starts with a 1:54 3/5 mark that was set this summer at Running Aces. He made every pole a winning one last week, holding safe by a nose over Infinite Horizon in a 1:56 3/5 tour.

Chase The Gold is a 3-year-old by Mystery Chase and was picking up his second lifetime score from 13 trips to the post last week. Jungquist tracked early, came first over by the half and gamely got the job done by a neck over favored Believe In Dragons while stopping the timer in 1:55 4/5 that evening.

Taking them on in the finale, from the rail out: Starstruck Cowgirl, Urkillnmesmalls, Night Delight, Promising Flight, This Dog Wont Hunt, Believe In Dragons and Infinite Horizon.

Life Isa Shortwalk heads Sunday’s Vallandingham Pace

Life Isa Shortwalk, a sharp 6-1 upsetter last week, figures to get a lot more respect at the windows in Sunday night’s $15,000 Bill Vallandingham Pace for fillies and mares.

The Vallandingham headlines a nine-race Watch and Wager LLC card that is set to get underway at 5 p.m.

Life Isa Shortwalk is an 8-year-old daughter of Keystone Rodeo who carries the banner of Set The Pace Racing LLC and is reined and trained by Nick Roland. She comes into this assignment just shy of the $200,000 earnings mark with a 1:52 4/5 standard that was set at Plainridge Racecourse.

Leaving from the No. 2 post last week, she was unhurried early and then came second-over down the backside. Roland made a sweeping move with his mare off the final turn to grab command and she went on to a two and a quarter-length decision while stopping the timer n 1:55 3/5.

Casa Mia put in a solid late bid to complete the exacta in that affair for owner Gretchen Smith, trainer Nathalie Tremblay and pilot James Kennedy and will be looking to turn the tables on Sunday.

The 9-year-old Driven To Win mare has clicked in six of her 30 trips to the post this season, with the most recent snapshot coming in mid-September over the Hawthorne course. Her 1:53 2/5 lifetime mark came three years ago over a sloppy track at the Meadowlands.

Taking them on in the Vallandingham are Wizzel Stix, Brooklyn Moonshine, Helen’s Girl, Machet Time and Shes A Live Wire.

Delightfully Wild adds another snapshot

For owners Richard Morita and David Yamada, the 8-year-old pacing mare Delightfully Wild is the gift that keeps on giving.

When she captured her first start at the meet last week for trainer Jessie Pacheco and pilot Ryan Grundy, it was her 42nd victory from 169 lifetime trips to the post with over $220,000 in her account and a 1:51 1/5 mark.

“She really surprised us,” Morita said following the score, which came in her first appearance since late August.

“She had a full summer campaign and then returned for a little rest. We turn out our horses with Sheri Burns in Wilton, and she does a great job giving the horses their rest and rehabilitation.

“We’ve been doing this for years, which may account for why our aged horses have been so productive.”

For the record, those performers include Delightfully Wild and the likes of Pancetta, Bettor’s Promise and One and Only.

In last week’s score, Delightfully Wild tracked the leaders for a half, came first over at that point and showed her class through the stretch to win clear in a 1:54 2/5 tour of the oval.

“Plenty of credit to Jessie for having her ready and Ryan for a nice drive. By the way, it’s great to have Ryan back at Cal Expo this season,” Morita added.

Races honor memory of Arnstine, Vallandigham

This week’s feature races are named for Bill Vallandingham and Donald Arnstine, who both had a major impact on harness racing in California.

Bill Vallandingham passed away earlier this year at age 74 due to complications from a lung transplant performed in 2014, while Donald Arnstine passed away in September of last year at the age of 85.

“Billy V”, as Vallandingham was affectionately known, was the starter here at Cal Expo for 20 years before health issues forced him to leave the job seven years ago, but he did return to limited duties in 2018.

He wore many hats around the racetrack, including groom, paddock judge, horse identifier and horse tattooer before assuming his stint as the starter in 1994. Bill Vallandingham was a veteran of the Army who served in Vietnam.

Donald Arnstine was a longtime owner and industry activist who along with his wife Barbara campaigned harness horses in California for five decades. They claimed their first horse, Big Time, in 1973 with the Desomer Stable and over the years they had many stars with that barn, including Quaker Byrd.

During the late 1970s and early 1980s, Arnstine was active in the Western Standardbred Association, now known as the California Harness Horsemen’s Association.

 He served as president of the organization in 1978, overseeing the legislation that created the state’s sire stakes program and he also helped negotiate horsemen’s agreements with Los Alamitos, Hollywood Park, Bay Meadows and Cal Expo.

While Donald Arnstine had a full and successful life in academia, including a long and accomplished university teaching career and author, his passion was always his wife of 56 years, his children, his grandchildren and harness racing.

Nick Roland registers win No. 2,000

Nick Roland joined the 2,000-win club Friday night at Cal Expo when he guided Hi Ho’s Little Rev to victory in the second race.

Roland has two more wins on the Friday program and then made five trips to the winner’s circle on Sunday evening, giving him 13 wins for the first three nights of racing and the lead atop the driver standings.

Purse Schedule

Watch and Wager and the CHHA is proud to announce our 2021/2022 purse schedule. Overnight purses will be increased by 5%.2,319People Reached576Engagements+5.8x HigherDistribution ScoreBoost Post

242415 SharesLikeCommentShare