Stylish victory at Cal Expo
Tuesday, January 18, 2011 – by Mark Ratzky, publicity – Cal Expo
Tuesday, January 18, 2011 – byTuesday, January 18, 2011 – bTuesday, January 18, 2011 – by Mark Ratzky, publicity – Cal Expoy Mark Ratzky, publicity – Cal po Mark Ratzky, publicity – Cal Expo
Still Stylin was heavy on the minor awards last season, clicking just
twice from his 37 appearances while second or third on 15 occasions. The
Indiana-bred 5-year-old got a snapshot last week, however, as James
Kennedy gave his charge a confident drive and was rewarded with a nearly
five-length score in a 1:56 3/5 tour here at Cal Expo.
“I’ve had Still Stylin for about six weeks now,” Kennedy related following the romp at 3-1 odds. “The horse had been making some breaks, and I think the owners had in mind to give him to a trainer who also did the driving.
“My goal from the start was to get him to stay flat, because I knew if I was able to do that, he has the ability to be a good horse. It was just a matter of putting in lots of time with him, and it was pretty much the same thing I did when Haggin Oaks was having her breaking troubles last year.”
Still Stylin, who races for Keith Ballard and Lester Hunsucker, dropped a hint two back when he outfinished his double-digit odds to be a close third behind Hi Ho Steverino, then left little doubt in his last dominating performance.
“He raced awfully well the week before, so I had confidence in him,” James said. “My plan was to right to the front, but that didn’t quite work out, so I just waited and then brushed him to the lead at the half. He was very good, and I was very happy that mile.”
Friday night will find the finale of the Peter Lobell series, and if it’s anything like last week’s penultimate leg, it should be quite a race. Fakeutu Bluegrass is seeking a sweep of the event, prevailing by a length over Vic The Brick in the first leg, then getting the narrowest of victories last time in a desperate finish that found those two and Art Of Arts separated by just a head.
Trotters have Cal Expo spotlight
Alpine Hawk, coming off back-to-back victories for Rich Wojcio; and Berkshire and Meringue, who are getting some class relief, have the top billing in Thursday night’s $3,400 headliner for the trotters at Cal Expo.
Alpine Hawk is a 10-year-old New York-bred who is owned by Jim Winske, is trained by Gordie Graham and has Wojcio back at the controls. He comes into this assignment with $137,000 on his card and a 1:56 4/5 standard that was established three years ago.
The veteran closed out 2010 with a coast-to-coast score on New Years Eve, then was used early in his most recent trip before settling into the pocket and tracking to the drive. He pounced at that point and went on to a handy two and a quarter length score in another solid performance.
Berkshire is capable of a powerful late kick and should be right at home under Thursday’s conditions. Earl Kennedy conditions the Ron Lingle colorbearer and he went some very strong miles to get the job done at the head of the class here last season, pouring it on through the stretch in those tallies.
The Revenue S offspring established his mark when he was a 1:56 1/5 victor over this layout and has been doing all his recent work against tougher company. Last week he rallied for the show money behind Jam And Jelly and Big Baller, and will no doubt appreciate the fact that they are not in this field.
Meringue is a 6-year-old son of Jonathan Lobell who helps make things very interesting. Owned by Dawn Evango with Kennedy Lindsey training, the dark-hued trotter has $186,000 in the bank with a 1:55 1/5 lifetime-best tour and has proven he can get the job done up front, from a stalking spot or from well off the pace. He will have to do his work from the outside post for this go-around.
Rounding out the cast are Rompaway Brandon from the cozy rail with Tim Maier; Twice The Ruckus from the George Reider shedrow; Forever Bachelor for Rick Plano; Jess Or No with Luke Plano guiding; and Foxy Lady De Vie, who gives the Kennedy barn two looks at the outcome.
Live racing resumes at Cal Expo on Thursday (January 20) and continues through Saturday (January 22). Post-time on Thursday is 5:30 p.m. (PST). Post-time on Friday (January 23) and Saturday is at 6:00 p.m. On Thursday and every live card, Cal Expo offers free admission, as well as free preferred & general parking after 4:30 p.m. Also on Thursday night from 6:00 p.m. to 8:30 p.m., Cal Expo offers a complete Lasagna dinner, which includes salad and bread, for just $3.00. Additionally on Thursday, beer & wine can be purchased for $3.00 each as well.
On Saturdays, Cal Expo offers a reduced 15 percent takeout rate on both the Early & Late Pick-4 wagers with both Pick-4’s having a $10,000 gross guaranteed pool. Additionally, on Saturdays, for winning wagers made on the Late Pick 4 online at TwinSpires.com or on track at Cal Expo, a bonus payout of 17.65 percent of the gross Late Pick 4 mutuel payoff will be paid.