Joe Lighthill Trot brings out Pridecrest

Sacramento, CA — Pridecrest, the track record holder here at Cal Expo who has posted two dominating wins at the meet, gets the marquee treatment in Sunday night’s (Dec. 12) featured $10,000 Joe Lighthill Trot.

A 10-race card is on tap under the Watch and Wager LLC banner with first post set for 5 p.m. There will also be three elimination heats for the Alan Horowitz Memorial Pace on the program.

A 9-year-old son of Angus Hall from the Wesgate Crown mare Spilled Milk, Pridecrest is owned by Chris Schick, takes his lessons from Kathie Plested and will once again be guided by Mooney Svendsen.

He comes into this assignment with 47 wins from his 192 starts, $409,477 in his account and a 1:53.2 mark from four years ago, which also happens to be the fastest mile ever trotted over this layout.

Pridecrest has been the heavy favorite in both of his outings at this meet and has not disappointed his many backers, scoring back-to-back victories in coast-to-coast fashion and most recently coming home with 12 lengths to spare.

Silverhill Volo should prove to be the main rival for owner/trainer/driver Chip Lackey as he’s had a race over the track now. This 10-year-old Muscle Hill gelding is eying his 30th career snapshot from 154 trips to the post and is working his way to the $200,000 earnings plateau.

Completing the field are Boaster Coaster from the Jenna Cornelison barn; the Marco Rios-trained pair of Hot Chapter and Hypocrisy; Major Al-Mar from Rick Bertand’s shedrow; the Richard Schneider-trained Jesse’s Student and the Gerry Longo reined-and-trained Mandeville.

Hay Hay Alright has sights on bigger prize

Hay Hay Alright, who suits up in one of three Alan Horowitz eliminations on Sunday night, is fresh from lighting up the board at 37-1 in his second appearance since coming in from Century Downs in Canada.

The 6-year-old son of Vertical Horizon is owned, trained and driven by Ryan Grundy, who is now setting his sights on bigger game with last week’s upset win.

“He had a good summer in Alberta, but I could see how he would be a longshot leaving from the outside post the other night if you just look at his first race here. Often times they need a race after shipping down and missing a few starts, and that’s what happened with him.”

In last week’s conditioned affair, Hay Hay Alright lagged last for the opening half, rallied off cover to the drive and ignited when it counted with a :27.3 final quarter to seal the deal by three-quarters of a length.

“It looked like there was some speed in there, so we just took back and looked for some kind of flow. It all worked out and he had a real good kick when I asked him in the stretch.”

The water gets deeper now for Hay Hay Alright, as he looks to land a berth in the Alan Horowitz Memorial with hard-knockers set to line up this weekend in the first of two weeks of elimination heats for that $20,000 contest.

As for Grundy, he has brought six performers down from the North and is looking to pick up as many catch drives as possible. Ryan spent four winters here before missing the last two meetings, the most recent due to restrictions in crossing the border.

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