Sacramento, CA – Nathan Sobey will have two looks at the outcome in Saturday night’s (Dec. 15) Alan Horowitz Memorial Pace, as he will be represented by the two mares that until recently both raced in Canada, Brighten Your Life and Smilys Amira.
Brighten Your Life was an eye-catching winner of the second division of the Horowitz Eliminations last week in her California debut, while Smilys Amira checked in fourth behind a very impressive Scary Harry in the first division.
Sobey made the decision to bring a string of performers from Alberta, Canada around late October and is off to a good start at this session. “I’ve got 18 horses here right now and we’re looking to stay until about April,” he related.
He claimed Brighten Your Life two months ago at Northlands Park and it looks like she is enjoying her new surroundings, if her victory in the Horowitz Elimination is any indication.
“I’d had my eye on her for some time, because she was a real nice 2-year-old and I didn’t think she was racing to her abilities” said Sobey. “We did some work on her and I’m very happy with the way she’s come around.
“I knew we were going into last week’s race a little short, but I thought we at least had a good chance to make the final. I was a little shocked how strong she raced considering, but she is a very tough mare and loves these nice big turns.”
Smilys Amira will be making her third appearance at this meeting and also figures to benefit from the experience. “She’s not the easiest mare to train or to drive, but she always gives you everything she has,” Sobey said.
Open Pace, Bill Conlin Prep share billing
Friday night’s (Dec. 14) Cal Expo harness action will include an Open Pace, with a well-matched field set to face the starter, and the Bill Conlin Prep.
An 11-race program is on tap under the Watch and Wager LLC banner with first post set for 6:10 p.m. The Open Pace goes as the third race, while the Conlin Prep will occupy the sixth-race slot on the evening.
Looking ahead to Saturday night, the Alan Horowitz Memorial Pace will hold the spotlight with last week’s Elimination winners Scary Harry and Brighten Your Life headlining that contest.
Scary Harry has posted four straight impressive victories at this meet for owners Kenneth Seastrom and Chip Lackey, with Lackey doing the driving and training.
The bay performer was winless in 27 starts on the year when he arrived here in November, but has been on a tear ever since and has not come to closing in his four trips to the winner’s circle.
Despite having the demanding post position nine in a division of last week’s Horowitz Eliminations, Scary Harry was sent off the 3-5 choice and made it look like a gift. Parked to the lead at the half, he took complete control from that point and waltzed home with 6-3/4 lengths to spare in a 1:54.4 mile.
There will be no live racing at Cal Expo next week, with the trotters and pacers returning to action on Friday (Dec. 28). There will be mandatory payoffs on all wagers Saturday (Dec. 29) night.