Alan Horowitz Pace atop Friday marquee

The $30,000 Alan Horowitz DHA Free-for-All Pace headlines the Friday night action at Cal Expo, with Handsome Harvey and Allmyx’sliventexas heading the cast.

Watch and Wager LLC will present nine races and things get underway at 6:45 p.m.
Handsome Harvey made a break to lose his chance in last week’s Lloyd Arnold Free-For-All, but has turned in several solid miles at this meet for owners Dave Haness and Luke Plano, with Plano doing the driving and training.

His most recent snapshot came following the April 5 DHA Free-For-All, when he came flying with a :27 1/5 final quarter to hang a nose decision on Allmyx’sliventexas.

The latter comes into this assignment having captured 64 of his 209 outings with $355,000 in his bank account and a 1:50 mark.

The Wayne Knittel homebred, who is conditoned by Bob Johnson and will as usual have Mooney Svendsen guiding, last graced the winner’s circle on Marcy 17 when he captured the DHA Free-For-All in coast-to-coast fashion.

Its Pointless is making his first start in a year, but the Mark Anderson-owned, Gordie Graham trainee has a couple of very impressive qualifers and must be respected with James Kennedy.

Completing the cast are Outlawnoghnbutsmart, Daniel’s Son, Gee Wilikers, Ragged But Right, Polar Storm and Bunkerhill Phil.

Championship events set for closing night May 3

Following this week’s action on Friday and Sunday nights, there will be just one program remaining at the meet on Friday, May 3.

Featured on that card will be a pair of $50,000 Championship events for the 4-year-old pacers, with Gotubydashorthairs and Made Of Mischief heading the contest for the distaffers while Bin A Mystery and Polar Storm figure to battle it out in the male end.

A reminder that the closing-night card will also feature mandatory payouts in all wagers.
Speaking of those bets, there are two wagers offered each night that come with a reduced 16 percent takeout rate – the 20-cent Pick 5 and the 20-cent Pick 4 – with the latter featuring a $25,000-guaranteed gross pool.

Looking at the driver and trainer standings going into the final three programs, the driving crown was decided long ago with Jake Cutting dominating, while Luke Plano is currently six wins ahead of Nick Roland in the trainer race.

Sunday spotlight on Stan Bergstein FFA Trot

Pridecrest and Jack Rabbit Slims, who have dominated at the head of the class here of late, get the top billing in Sunday night’s $12,500 Stan Bergstein Free-For-All Trot.

There will be 11 races presented by Watch and Wager LLC with first post set for 5:05 p.m.

Pridecrest is coming off back-to-back, front-end Open Scores for owner Chris Schick, trainer Kathie Plested and pilot Mooney Svendsen.

He comes into this assignment with 63 wins from his 245 starts, $544,000 in his bank account and a 1:53 2/5 mark that was established over this track seven years ago.

Jack Rabbit Slims accounted for the Gary Budahn in March and followed with an Open score, but has had to settle for the exacta completion in his last two appearances.

Like Pridecrest, he races for Chris Schick, with Luke Plano doing the driving and training. He is eying his 12th win from 41 starts with a 1:54 mark that was set two years ago at Hoosier Park.

In those last two tries, Jack Rabbit Slims has found himself with too much work to do while Pridecrest was having things his own way.

Taking on this pair are TSS Hot House, Mandeville, Omaha Storm Chaser, Serene Hall, Silverhill Volo, Help Page, Snap Krackle NTrot and Louis.

Alien Art Form paces out of this world

Alien Art Form saved his best for last, at least as far as the Sire Stakes are concerned, capturing the final big-money event for the 3-year-old male pacers last weekend.

The son of Outrageous Art, who is owned, trained and driven by Ryan Grundy, did the perfect track-and-attack in that contest to prevail by three-quarters of a length over favored Fiery Combination while rewarding his backers at 10-1.

It was just the fourth lstart for Alien Art Form and he has improved with each trip to the post.

“He wasn’t quite ready as a 2-year-old, so I decided to wait until this year,” Grundy noted.

“He’s trained well right along, and after his first start here last month I could start to see some real talent.”

Alien Art Form was fourth in the first Sire Stakes attempt, then made a nice move forward in last week’s trophy earner.

“The plan all along was to follow Gerry Longo’s horse (Fiery Conclusion) and it couldn’t have worked out any better. When I asked him he had a real nice finish.”

Ryan explained that his sophomore pacer will next have a date with some stakes races up in Alberta, with a return to Sacramento when the next meet gets underway in November.

California Sire Stakes moving in right direction

This meeting features a total of $420,000 in California Sire Stakes events, including a pair of $50,000 finales for 4-year-olds to be decided on May 3.

To give you some idea how things have improved, in 2017 there was a total of $54,000 paid out for the Sire Stakes with a pair of $10,000 finals.

The California Sire Stakes program was on the verge of extinction when legislation was passed in 2017 that opened up these races to horses bred in other jurisdictions.

Eligible now are horses from Alberta, Iowa, Minnesota, Wisconsin, Michigan and Maine and from only a dozen horses that were able to compete in 2016 there are now 60 eligible performers this year.

This was all due to the hard work of Watch and Wager, the Sire Stakes Committee and the California Harness Horseman’s Association working diligently with the state legislature.