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Going to the Bank on this trotting filly
Wednesday, November 26th - Mark Ratzky, publicity – Cal Expo Harness
 
After having to settle for minor awards in her first 18 starts, Bank Of Lodi is making up for lost time by registering three straight victories here for trainer Pierre Girard.
 
Girard co-owns the homebred 3-year-old trotting filly with Mary Harris and Luke Plano has been in the bike for this month’s hat trick, which has found Bank Of Lodi showing the way past every pole.
 
“Her dam (Banker Babe) raced for us and this is her first to the races,” informed Girard. “She was a little thing and had some ability, but she was injured. I would say Bank Of Lodi is more like her sire New Age Hanover.”
 
Bank Of Lodi did a lot of her work earlier this year in Sire Stakes company, and Pierre explained that she should be much tougher when the next round of big-money races roll around the middle of next month.
 
“She’s catching up with those other 3-year-olds now and the experience is really helping,” he said. “This filly is a natural puller, and even though we’ve tried all different types of bits and bridles, that’s the way she is. I can tell you that jogging her is like a visit to the gym.”
 
As mentioned earlier, the bay mare hasn’t given her rivals a chance in those last three appearances, going right to the front for Plano and never looking to be in danger in any of those miles.
 
“He’s been letting her roll and it’s been working out nicely. We do know that at some point she’s going to have to be able to sit in a hole. She won’t have it as easy going to the front when the competition gets tougher. For now, though, she’s gaining a lot of confidence.”
 
Sire Stakes brings out sophomore pacing colts
 
A $10,000 Sire Stakes for 3-year-old pacing males headlines the Saturday night action at Cal Expo, with King Of The Crop and Rikybrnthegaragdwn getting the top billing.
 
A 12-race card is on tap with first post set for 6:10 p.m. A reminder that the trotters and pacers are now in action on Saturday and Sunday nights, with Friday racing being added to the schedule beginning on December 26.
 
King Of The Crop is a homebred son of Little Steven out of the Real Artist mare Romance Me who carries the banner of Frank Nevarez, is conditioned by Gordie Graham and will be handled by Bruce Clarke.
 
The bay pacer already has multiple stakes trophies on his mantle and will be looking for his eighth trip to the winner’s circle from 19 appearances. He sports a 1:54 3/5 mark and will be making his first outing since late June at Balmoral Park.
 
Rikybrnthegaragdwn is a son of Living It Up who races for Maryann Plano and Nikki Hudson and is reined and trained by Luke Plano. He is also a multiple Sire Stakes victor with a 1:55 career standard and is making his first evening appearance since April with two solid qualifiers under his belt.
 
Completing the field are Holme Base with Mooney Svendsen; Full Moon Rising, to be guided by Dave Siegel; Tony Cheesecake and Chip Lackey; Geevil; Laissez Moi Passer, Wil,liams Hernandez; and Lil Stevie Oneder.
 
Looking ahead to Sunday, there will be an 11-race card that gets underway at 4:40 p.m. The Open Trot heads that program with Its Not Over and El Azteca renewing what has become a pretty good rivalry at the head of the division.