Closer Look comments for Sunday program

1st race

#1 PADDY MURPHY

Met tougher in the one start on the new year in the HorowItz Final and earned a minor prize. Neatly drawn with trainer back in sulky and best puts him in the picture.

#2 WESTERN DEVIL

Looks like one to beat as he’s won 3 of his last 5 when guided by leading man Roland. Sat the pocket behind Villa For Rent last week and blasted home in the stretch for score.

#3 DANCE TRAVELER

Had some traffic issues last week and now he drops a notch for this assignment in hopes of coming up with the effort on New Year’s Night that earned him a solid victory.

#4 VILLA FOR RENT

Has had a good meet for Plested/Svendsen combination. Took them all the way two back, then tried similar tactics in last and was unable to hold off pocket-sitter Western Devil.

#5 SOME PLAYA

Was able to work out a good trip behind Villa For Rent and Western Devil last week and was unable to muster the needed rally and had to be happy with a slice. Similar scenario?

#6 ALMOST CUT MY HAIR

Has been knocking heads with some tough customers since shipping in from Chicago and hasn’t been able to threaten. Figures to be more at home with this group and must respect.

#7 FOX VALLEY TRITON

Took the measure of a softer group three back on the front while rolling 3’s in the last pair at this level after being forced wide to the drive. Likely coming from behind here.

#8 FOX VALLEY HOSS

Earned shares in all three Horowitz legs, had a tough journey in the next and then was unable to keep up with the cover train in most recent and was outpaced. Post no help.

Race 2

#1 PROMISING FLIGHT

First of half-dozen in here exiting the race won by Mibwest Kid. Was able to work out a pocket trip behind that one and while no match, did finish ahead of the rest that evening.

#2 CENALTA FIREDRAGON

Was stuck next-to-last behind a crawling half last week, followed cover to the drive and managed to get the show money while no threat to the pair he faces again in this event.

#3 BELIEVE IN DRAGONS

Stalked the modest pace carved out by Mibwest Kid in that last outing and was unable to make any impact. Needs to find the pace he had when competing in the Arnstine legs.

#4 MIBEST KID

Blasted to front for Nick, got away with a slow second quarter and then turned it on to romp over many of these in overdue score. Make him strictly one to beat right back.

#5 DEVILS BROTHER

He finished up 2021 with 3 straight sharp efforts, had a tough journey in the next and has been disappointing in his last pair, with a break in that Jan. 9 effort. Must turn it around.

#6 NIGHT DELIGHT

Faced streaking Chase The Gold two back and weakened, then tried a first-over move into Mibwest Kid last time as the pace was picking up and gave way in the drive.

#7 OUTLAWNOTHNBUTSMRT

Only one in here not coming out of the Mibwest Kid race. Looked sharp crushing them three back and another in here who will appreciate getting away from Chase The Gold.

Race 3

#1 JESSE’S STUDENT

Has had to be happy with a couple of minor prizes when doing his work against the dynamic trio at the head of the class here and looks to have work cut out once again.

#2 HOT CHAPTER

Made a break vs. these in the Lighthill and then faltered after sitting the two hole when last seen two weeks ago. Another who appears to be in too steep with this group.

#3 MAJOR AL-MAR

Has a win at the meet when able to get away from the Big 3, but it’s been tough sledding when doing his work at the level. Will likely follow along and hope for a slice.

#4 BRINGTHEGOLD

Making first appearance since mid-November in Kentucky. Turned in a solid qualifier for driver/trainer Roland in last week’s qualifier and drawn inside his major opposition.

#5 SILVERHILL VOLO

Veteran lost heartbreaker in the Lighthill, followed with two solid scores and then did the heavy lifting last week and was no match when pocket-sitting Mandeville came calling.

#6 PRIDECREST

Track record holder started meet in style, including the Lighthill win in the slop, loomed large when he came out from 3rd to bid last week but was unable to match the top pair.

#7 MANDEVILLE

Last week was his turn to shine with Plano guiding, as he left into the two hole, tracked to the drive and then motored up rail to win going away. Drawn outside for this match-up. 

Race 4

#1 HAY HAY ALRIGHT

Handled these two back when able to work out a perfect pocket trip, then set the fractions under pressure last week and gave way. Lands inside and odds are going to drift tonight.

#2 IMPRESSIVE ART

Sat to the stretch at a big number last week and finished with a nice kick to miss by only a length. Seems to be more comfortable with the minor awards, but last encouraging.

#3 FRISKY PEDRO

After setting pace in previous pair, he was able to take a stalking position in that last one, found room to come between rivals and was up by a nose over tonight’s rival Artspice.

#4 IMMA TANK

Victory at this meet CAME over a sloppy track last month. Well back on the cover train last time and unable to serious menace while facing several of these. Outsider.

#5 QUEENACE BLUE CHIP

Skipped last week’s gathering at this level. Had the 9 post when last seen two weeks ago, was caught behind a poor flow and couldn’t menace. His best makes him dangerous.

#6 ARTSPICE

Hits very hard when competing in this league for driver/trainer Roland. Lost a heartbreaker last week from the 9 slot after an extended first-over bid. Deserves nod.

Race 5

#1 DAYBREAK GIRL

Posted a nice score over an easier group two back with the track-and-attack, then stepped up to this group for last week’s tour and got shuffled past the half. Lands inside again.

#2 D VIGILANTE

Coming off back-to-back solid efforts, just missing with a strong surge and then gamely getting the job done in first-over fashion last week. Cisneros trainee deserves long look.  

#3 SHES A SHOWSTOPPER

Has made breaks in three of her last four starts, then was on her best behavior in last week’s qualifier with her trainer at the controls. Solid fit with these if she can stay flat.

#4 CENALTA SUNRISE

Worked out a neat trip and overpowered an easier group three back, then had pretty good trips in the last pair and came away with a place and a show. One of many possibilities.

#5 SENGA NIGHTMARE

Looked super taking the Funicello Final, then had to settle for runner-up finishes in both Williams events behind the hard-hitting River Lassena. Grundy mare looms major player.

#6 GO AWAY N PLAY

Made it look pretty easy two back after being parked to command, then was hammered down to 4-5 for last week’s foray, had a clear advantage turning for home and weakened.

#7 JENNIE ANN

Came back sharp to start the meet with a solid win over softer, but hasn’t been able to replicate that success in the interim. Hard-used first over last time and paid the price.

#8 MAY DAY MAGGIE

Off at even-money vs. softer company, she left into an eventual pocket, tracked to the lane and got the job done. Might prove to be confidence builder, but tougher task now.

#9 NIGHTGIRL

Gamely battled it out last week to end up on the right end of the nose photo off a pocket trip while facing softer foes. Goes from the rail to the No. 9 post and loses Roland.

Race 6

#1 DARK HORSE WINE

Hard used from an outside post to make the lead by the quarter last week, showed the way to deep stretch and weakened while racing with an easier group. Has to do better.

#2 STARSTRUCK COWGIRL

Set all the fractions in that last one, showed the way to the drive under pressure and faltered late, finishing behind tonight’s rival Hurry Home. Roland gives it another try.

#3 RAIDER ROSE

Sat patiently through the early stages, began to pick up momentum when swung out on the final bend and kicked home nicely to score with Plano. Looks tough right back.

#4 HURRY HOME

Has certainly been pounding on the door for driver/trainer Goulet. Strongly backed at this level in last, rode live cover to the drive and just missed. May finally get over the hump.

#5 WILD ANGEL

Had pace-setting duties two back and couldn’t match strides when things got serious, then did a steady fade in the most recent. Facing a tougher group, so work is cut out.

#6 UNIQUEROCK

Most recent snapshot came in the opening leg of the Funicello last month. Made a menacing bid to the stretch last week and finished behind Raider Rose while losing whip.

Race 7

#1 MACHET TIME

Left to command, was covered up before the half, tracked to the drive and then finished evenly for the show spot behind tonight’s rival More More More. This is Luke’s choice.

#2 KISS ON THE LIPS

Lost a heartbreaker last week as she did all the heavy lifting up front and was nailed right on the money by the even-money pocket sitter. Longo handles 51-time victress tonight.

#3 ROARING HOME

Gets some class relief tonight after failing to ignite in last while doing her work from the demanding No. 9 post. Pacheco trainee captured two of her three outings in December.

#4 A LITTLE RUSTY

Left into a pretty nice tracking trip last week while racing with this caliber and had to settle for the show money. Re-united with Roland, who was in sulky for Dec. 12 score.

#5 DANCINGONTHESAND

Looped the field to pick up first victory at the meet two back, then moved back up to this level for the most recent and lacked the needed kick after following cover to the drive.

#6 PROM QUEEN

Been making menacing noises in the last pair. Was able to rally to the lead between calls in the stretch in that last one, but was unable to hold off tonight’s foe More More More.

#7 ROYAL MISTRESS

Took a class dip to this league for last week’s outing, brushed to the front on the backside, battled it out to deep stretch and then gave way late. Odds will drift now.

#8 MORE MORE MORE

After racing on the lead in her previous four tries, she changed tactics last week for Lackey and stormed home from off the pace to sweep by three of tonight’s foes.

#9 CENALTA GLORY

Win here came against a softer group three back in facile fashion, a tough trip at next asking and then finished evenly after a first-over bid in last. What’s plan from this post?

Race 8

#1 DANCIN LANCE

Closed for a share in the Horowitz Final to start the year, finished willingly to get the distant place spot last week at this level while chasing home Pancetta. Needs very best.

#2 OFFICER JIM

Changed tactics to come from off the pace in that Pancetta race and made some mild progress for a minor share. Last month’s score came on the engine vs. easier rivals.

#3 THISISHOWWEDOIT

First of 4 in this cast dropping out of the much tougher Open Pace won by Its Pointless. Covered to the drive in that mile and finished evenly. Mooney has a win with him here.

#4 CAPTAIN TERMINATOR

Class drop last week and rallied from back with live cover to be up in time. Facing come customers as he climbs back up ladder, but that may have been a nice confidence booster.

#5 I’M AN ATHLETE

Past-classer gamely prevailed over easier group two back with his trainer in the bike, then couldn’t match his inside neighbor last time after showing the way as the 3-5 choice.

#6 RAGGED BUT RIGHT

Started meet handling softer, back-to-back exacta completions and then lost his chance vs. Pancetta when he suffered broken equipment in the stretch. Will need to dig deep.

#7 RIDONKULOSO

Recorded two straight wins over Allmyx’sliventexas and Pancetta, then stepped up with the big boys last time and visited shuffle city past the half. Plano trainee looms large.

#8 FREWIL DAKOTA SVEN

Deserves top billing after squaring off against the best on the grounds in all his recent tries. That was a huge mile last week to just miss to the big guns off a first-over journey.

#9 HE GRINS AGAIN

Another who will appreciate getting away from Its Pointless and A Major Omen. Goes from the rail to the. 9 slot for this assignment and will have to work out some kind of trip.

Race 9

#1 CHASE THE GOLD

Working on five-race win streak, including the Arnstine Final and last week’s clash with these where he rode cover to the drive and ignited when it counted in a career standard.

#2 MAJOR TED

First of a Pacecho pair. Fanned wide early last week vs. this group before dropping into a spot and failed to menace. Appears to need softer rivals to get the job done at this stand.

#3 URIKILLINMESMALLS

Major Ted’s stablemate got a ground-saving grip from a rail start last week vs. these and lacked the needed response. Victory at the meet came over a softer group three back.

#4 BOBS TIME

Was out to make his bid at the half, kept to his task the length of the drive but had to settle for a minor award behind a trio in tonight’s line-up. Predicting similar outcome.

#5 SPECTACULAR SUNSET

Made two moves to command at half, was engaged by Chase The Gold in deep stretch and could not hold that rival safe while clear of rest. Had 5 straight wins to start meet.

#6 THIS DOG WON’T HUNT

First of a Graham pair. Settled early, was out and moving first-over on the backside, attempted to engage the favorite turning for home and stopped. Has work cut out.

#7 RIVER LASSENA

The other Graham charge and victress in the Williams Final. Used to command last week, was covered up by Spectacular Sunset past the quarter and finished evenly for the show.

Race 10

#1 CALIFORNIA ROCK

His victory at this session came over a sloppy track five weeks ago. He followed with a pair of non-threatening tries and has missed the last few weeks. Does land the cozy post.

#2 MARCED MAGIC

After losing a heartbreaker by a nose two back, he was on the right end of the photo after a gutsy mile last week in what proved to be a very crowded finish. Back up the ladder.

#3 ALWAYS CLOSE

Makes first start since mid-December at Rosecroft Raceway. Will likely need a race before we see his best. Note the 8 wins to go with 24 place and show finishes.

#4 DISLOCATOR

Did all the heavy lifting up front last week, showed the way to the stretch under pressure and was no match when push came to shove. A solid fit if he comes with his “A” game.

#5 MIKI’S MAGIC RIDE

Has had to be happy with minor awards at this session while racing at/or about this level.

Rode live cover to the lane last week in the Frisky Pedro race and finished evenly.

#6 COWBOYS DIRTYBOOTS

Racing with this caliber last time, he made a bold move to the lead on the final bend, showed the way to deep stretch and was just collared. Major player with a repeat effort.

#7 GIGGLE MONSTER

Making initial appearance since mid-September at Running Aces for driver/trainer Roland. Had excellent tightener in that qualifier and lots of respect for comebacker.

Race 11

#1 DASHBOARD

Well beaten in all his recent tries here, but at least he gets some improvement in the post position department. Would be a surprise for more than a minor share.

#2 A AND C ARTIS

Was unable to keep up on the cover train and failed to threaten while facing a saltier group last week. Another who will need to step up his game if he wants to threaten.

#3 SKYWAY RAIDER

First of 5 in here exiting the race won by Tink And Tiger. Sent off second choice in that affair, he sat a nice trip and had to settle for the show money that evening.

#4 GUNNY WILSON

Hasn’t been able to make much impact at this meet and was no factor in last week’s qualifier behind Race 10 participant Giggle Monster. Looking in other directions.

#5 CHIEF SARATOGA

Bid first-over at the half and was finished early. Did upset Tink And Tiger three back when that rival had a troubled journey, but last two tries have been disappointing.

#6 JUPITER JOHNNY

Fired right to the lead for Jesse, showed the way to the lane with Tink And Tiger breathing down his neck and gave way when it got serious. Has to find more stamina.

#7 THREE GRAND

Left from the outside to a good early spot, rallied to the lead in the lane but could not contain Tink And Tiger when that one came calling at crunch time. Main threat again.

#8 HEZA BIG DEALER

Won here last month while taking them coast-to-coast, while last pair has seen him facing tougher company and giving way after making first-over bids. Consider at a nice price.

#9 TINK AND TIGER

14-year-old has found a new lease on life here with 3 wins in last 4 starts. Hung mile last week while three-wide at five-eighths and it didn’t matter as he motored by with Nick.

#10 HOLDONWE’REROLLING

Drops out of a tougher level for this assignment, but didn’t get any breaks landing this marooned post while having a literal Tiger drawn just to his inside. Will need some help.

Chase The Gold heads Steve Wiseman Pace on Sunday

Chase The Gold, who has rattled off five straight victories at this meet, looks to keep the streak alive as he tops the cast in Sunday night’s $12,500 Steve Wiseman Pace.

The main event headlines an 11-race card under the Watch and Wager LLC banner with first post set for 4:55 p.m. Th co-feature is a $7,700 Open Trot that rematches the dynamic duo of Mandeville, Pridecrest and Silverhill Volo.

Chase The Gold is a 4-year-old son of Mystery Chase who is owned by Qks Racing, takes his lessons from Quentin Schneider and will be handled by James Kennedy while leaving from the cozy rail slot in the field of seven.

During the course of his streak, Chase The Gold has posted a six and a quarter length romp in the Donald Arnstine Final on December 3 and set a new lifetime mark of 1:54 1/5 in winning last week’s Wiseman elimination/prep.

Spectacular Sunset was the runner-up in that latter event as the 7-5 favorite and will be looking for some revenge this weekend after carving out most of the fractions and getting beat a length by Chase The Gold.

The 4-year-old son of Artspeak competes for Set The Pace Racing LLC and is reined and trained by Nick Roland. He started off this meet with five straight victories while steadily working his way up the class ladder.

Completing the field are Major Ted, Urkillinmesmalls, Bobs Time, The Dog Won’t Hunt and River Lassena.

Race honors memory of Steve Wiseman

Sunday night’s feature is named for longtime California horseman Steve Wiseman, who passed away last March at the age of 53.

Wiseman was a third-generation harness horseman, as his grandfather drove the starting gate in British Columbia and his father Raleigh was a respected horseman in both Canada and the United States.

Steve came to California as a teenager and not long after that went to work with Tim and Denise Maier, followed by a stint with the Jim Perez stable. He eventually went to Chicago where he was second trainer to Joe Anderson, who encouraged him to strike out of his own.

It was at this point that Wiseman returned to California to start his stable. Soon after he met his wife of 21 years, Kathie Plested, and they had their daugher Tyler, now 21.

Steve and Kathie had made Sacramento their home while operating one of the largest stables at Cal Expo in the fall and winter and Running Aces in Minnesota in the spring and summer with a number of driving and training titles to show for those efforts.

Steve was on the board of directors of the CHHA, a member of the California Hall of Fame committee and the drivers track committee.

Steve’s favorite performers included Magna Kay, Cashimir Dow Jones, Rhianna Seelster and Silverlode, the latter breaking the North American record for a trotter at mile and a half with a 2:57 2/5 victory here at Cal Expo in the Joe Lighthill Memorial.

“Steve Wiseman was the consummate horseman,” said Steve and Vickie Desomer. “Professional and friendly whether training or driving or working around the barn.  When we raced coupled entries, it was always our hope and good fortune when Stevie consented to drive for us.  He will be sorely missed as he remained one of the horsemen that gave our industry a good name.  Rest in peace Stevie.”

From Tim and Denise Maier: “We have always considered Steve part of our family.  It was a pleasure to see the amazing man he became. The paddock at Running Aces will not be the same without him. I hope God appreciates his humor.”

“Horse owners will tell you about the money they are making or losing, but after 50 years, this small owner will admit, it’s about the joy of harness racing,” said Barbara Arnstine. “In creating that joy, Steve Wiseman was rightly named the Magician. I’ve had my worst mare and one of my best in his barn over the years, and thanks to his magic, they were both wonderful experiences.”