Sacramento, CA–Major Al-Mar, who chased home track record holder Pridecrest in last week’s Open Trot, finds a much cozier spot in Friday evening’s (Nov. 26) $5,850 trot.
A reminder that beginning this week, Cal Expo will be racing on a Friday/Sunday night schedule.
A nine-race Watch and Wager LLC card is on tap with first post set for 6:45 p.m. and the main event goes as the fourth on the program. There will also be an Open III Pace and two elimination heats for the Donald Arnstine Pace.
Major Al-Mar is a 5-year-old son of Money Talks from the Andover Hall mare Vestal Hanover who is owned by Richard Bertrand and Vikki Pfeilsticker and is conditioned by Bertrand and will once again have the driving services of Tony Sucarotte.
A winner of 10 of his 72 starts, including a 1:55.1 standard established over this track earlier this season, Major Al-Mar was able to sit the pocket behind heavily-favored Pridecrest on opening week with Sucarotte in the sulky and while holding his own, was no match for the 1-9 Pridecrest that evening.
Boaster Coaster turned in a sharp qualifier here on Nov. 19 and may prove the main threat as he invades from the east for trainer Jenna Cornelison, who co-owns the trotter with Tyler Gunderson.
The 3-year-old son of Trixton sports a sparkling 1:53 mark at Lexington this year and looked very sharp going coast to coast in his qualifier in a 1:58 mile that saw him increasing his advantage in the lane.
Taking them on are the Richard Schneider-trained Jesse’s Student from the rail slot; Flameon from the Gordie Graham barn; and Hot Chapter, who takes his lessons from Marco Rios.
Roland, Svendsen fly from the gate
Mooney Svendsen and Nick Roland turned in :26 and change quarters on last Friday’s (Nov. 19) opening night card, each making five winner’s circle appearances on the 12-race program.
Among Svendsen’s winning drives was the Kathie Plested-trained Pridecrest in the featured Open Trot, living up to the 1-9 backing with a coast-to-coast romp.
“This is the 22nd year I’ve been coming out here and I love it,” Svendsen related after his five-bagger. “I looked over the card and thought I had a lot of good chances, but you never know.
“Usually on an opening night like that one with so many horses coming off layoffs, I would tend to take them back and come on late, but this year I decided to be more aggressive and it worked out.”
Pridecrest, who owns the 1:53.2 track record here, was winning for the 46th time in his career and is now just over the $400,000 mark in career earnings. Svendsen went right to the front with son of Angus Hall and never looked back.
“I’ve been driving him for three or four years now and he was just too classy for those horses,” said Svendsen. “You can drive this horse any way you want, to the lead, tracking or from the back, and he’s always going to give you 100 percent. He’s been awesome all year.”
For the record, Svendsen’s other victories came behind Its Pointless in the co-feature, Changing Colors, Dislocator and Bombay Hanover.
“Its Pointless is another classy horse and I was very impressed with Dislocator, who we just got a month ago,” he said. “He made a huge move at the half and had every right to get a little tired at the end. I’m looking forward to more wins with him.”