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Claudius Augustus Is Doing Double Duty
Thursday, April 21, 2011 - by Mark Ratzky, Publicity -- Cal Expo

Claudius Augustus is pretty busy these days, as in addition to his training and racing at Cal Expo, the classy trotter is shuffling off to the Desomer Farm on a frequent basis for stallion duty.

Claudius Augustus, who is unbeaten in three starts this year, is just shy of $270,000 in earnings and sports a sparkling 1:53.3 career standard that was established two years ago.  The 7-year-old carries the banner of Debra Budahn with Bob Johnson the conditioner, and this unusual schedule is nothing new for the trainer.

“I went through this with Givemewhatineed for two seasons,” Johnson explained.  “You just learn to work the schedule around it.  I’ll tell you one thing, he’s making more noise around the barn these days, and when it’s time to leave, he knows what it’s all about now and really perks up.”

The roster of mares who have, or will be visiting Claudius Augusutus this season is pretty impressive.  Included in this group is Jack Coffey’s Firey Star, a daughter of B Js Superstar who is a 100 percent producer of stakes winners.

Rick and Maryann Plano have sent Simply Royal by Donerail, she being the dam of Thatssomebracciola and Franky Provolone; while Walt and Patty Peterson are breeding their popular California champion Kimmie Girl.

Tim and Denise Maier in partnership with Desomer Stables are visiting the court of Claudius Augustus with Smooth Jazz, the champion pacing-bred trotter by Tulane who banked over $100,000; and Cherry Tree Salome, a Donerail offspring.

Team Desomer is also sending Charlotte’s Web, a California Sire Stakes divisional leader by Website; and Ahh Saundra, who banked over $100,000 in her career and a champion divisional leader. Katie Scott has Geadingurl, Frey Star and Champolina, while trainer Johnson is breeding Skeeter Repellant.

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On Saturday nights, the guaranteed gross pool for the Late Pick 4 has been increased to $15,000.  Both the Early and Late Pick 4's on Saturdays have a reduced 15 percent takeout, with a bonus payout of 17.65 percent for winning Late Pick 4 tickets played on track at Cal Expo or at TwinSpires.com

Sire Stakes, Trot Share Saturday Cal Expo Spotlight

Two $15,000 California Sire Stakes for the 3-year-old colts headed by Shamderock and Lodi Nickolus; and a trotting event that finds Cherry Tree Nicole seeking her eighth win on the season are on tap Saturday evening (April 23) at Cal Expo.  Both stakes will go as non-betting events prior to the regular program. 

Shamderock is a homebred son of Hi Ho Silverheels who carries the banner of D&E Racing Inc with Rick Plano reining and training.  He has swept the first five stakes races for the pacing colts, leaving little doubt on any of those occasions.

The Plano representative absolutely crushed his rivals in the first big-money clash of the season two weeks ago, brushing to command at the half and then drawing off in the stretch for a 14-length romp, then came back last week to capture a conditioned event while lowering his lifetime standard to 1:54.4 in the process.

Challenging Shamderock will be four members of the Vickie Desomer barn.  Achy Breaky Art will be guided by Steve Wiseman; Spoons has Lemoyne Svendsen; Millions will be driven by Tim Maier and Steve Desomer calls the shots with No Strings.

The trotting Sire Stakes will match Lodi Nickolus (Pierre Girard) against I’m So Sulky (Steve Desomer); Final Chapter (Rich Wojcio); and Haveadrink On Me (Rick Plano).
 
Meanwhile, win machine Cherry Tree Nicole attempts to add yet another snapshot in the evening’s ninth race for owner/breeders Denise Maier and Alan Kirschenbaum.  The Tim Maier trainee made 13 trips to the winner’s circle last year and already has seven scores to her credit from 11 trips to the post this year.
 
Live racing resumes at Cal Expo on Thursday (April 21) and continues through Saturday (April 23).  Post-time on Thursday is 5:30 p.m. (PDT).  Post-time on Friday (April 22) & Saturday is 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 Thursday nights Cal Expo offers the Late Pick-4 with a $10,000 guaranteed pool.  The wager will be conducted on races six through nine and will be offered through May 5.  Further, the takeout for the Late Pick-4 will be lowered to 15 percent, as it will also be on the Early Pick-4.