Robert Gordon Pace headlines Cal Expo card

Sacramento, CA – Rockinscience, fresh from a sparkling victory for driver-trainer Luke Plano, takes on a solid cast in Saturday night’s (Jan. 23) featured $9,700 Robert Gordon Pace.

Watch and Wager LLC will present 13 races with first post set for 4:55 p.m. and the main event will go as the eighth contest on the evening.

There are several major contenders in the Gordon lineup, with Rockinscience likely to have his share of backers as he goes for the hat trick this weekend. The 4-year-old son of Rockin Image carries the banner of Nikki Hudson and Dave Haness.

After taking the measure of a softer group here on Jan. 10, the bay performer came back last week and streaked home in :27.1 to make it two in a row while stopping the timer in 1:52.2, shaving two full seconds off his lifetime mark.

Bobs Time will be gunning for his third career snapshot and is another major player. Rick Bertrand owns and trains the 4-year-old with Jake Cutting in his usual spot in the sulky.

Bobs Time proved a punctual even-money favorite last week as he sat the pocket early, brushed to command on the final bend and went on to a length and a quarter score over Cut A Rug, who will again be among his rivals in the Gordon with Doug Chappell at the controls.

Rounding out the field are Paddy Murphy, to be handled by Cordarius Stewart; Its Pointless, Tony Kerwood; Villa For Rent with Mooney Svendsen; and Artspire, who will leave from the outside slot with Nick Roland guiding.

Low takeout wagers offer true value

There are three wagers offered at Cal Expo each night that come with a reduced 16 percent takeout rate – the 20-cent early and late Pick-5s and the 20-cent Pick-4, the latter featuring a $25,000-guaranteed gross pool as part of the USTA Strategic Wagering program.

To give you some idea of the value that comes as a result of the lower takeout, take a look at last Sunday night’s (Jan. 17) 20-cent Pick-5 that covered the first five races on the card.

There was an even-money winner, three horses clicking at 3-1 and one scoring at 5-1, with the 20-cent investment coming back a nifty $353.68, which equates to a much higher return than the parlay and a nice increase on what the regular takeout payoff.

Robert Gordon Pace honors former driver, trainer and racetrack executive

This weekend’s Robert Gordon Pace is named for the noted driver-trainer and track executive who passed away at age 65 in 2006.

Bob Gordon started his 40-year-career in Ohio and learned his lessons under the outstanding horseman Bob Farrington. He eventually settled in California and was a mainstay at the top of the standings from the late 70s through the early 90s, conditioning such starters as Stand By N, Theora Hanover and Pack Leader.

Gordon was a past president of the Western Harness Standardbred Association and the California Harness Horse Breeders Association, while in the early 90s he served as a director of the United States Trotting Association.

He was president of Premier Harness Racing, which raced at Los Alamitos, and was instrumental in keeping the sport alive in the mid-90s at a time when harness racing was definitely on the ropes.

Bob Gordon was also director of backstretch operations for the Sacramento Harness Association and helped in starting the not-for-profit corporation, which was operating at Cal Expo at the time of his death.

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