Ain’t She Special in Cal Expo spotlight

Sacramento, CA — Ain’t She Special, fresh from going coast-to-coast in last Sunday night’s Filly and Mare Open at Cal Expo, headlines Friday evening’s main event for pacing fillies and mares.

There will be nine races presented under the Watch and Wager LLC banner with first post set for 6:45 p.m.

Ain’t She Special is a 5-year-old daughter of American Ideal out of the Camluck mare I’m Just Special who is owned by Dave Haness and Luke Plano with Luke doing the driving and training.

She comes into this assignment having posed for pictures following 17 of her 54 trips to the post with nearly $80,000 in her bank account and a 1:52 mark that was established last year at Running Aces.

Sent off at 4-1 in last week’s clash at the top rung, Ain’t She Special motored right to the top from the No. 2 post, was able to carve out the fractions without challenge and held sway by three-quarters of a length over Give Me This Dance and Graceful Horizon.

Taking her on Friday, from the rail out, are Starzznstripes, Wild Blue Wonder, Velocity McSweets, Divine Art, Wish I Had Thyme, Changing Colors and Crazy Cute.

Looking ahead to Sunday night’s 10-race card that gets underway at 5:05 p.m., A Major Omen will gun for his third straight victory at the head of the class in the Open Pace. Luke Plano will guide the razor-sharp performer for owner/trainer Gerry Longo.

California Sire Stakes for sophomores underway

The California Sire Stakes action for the 3-year-old pacers kicked off last week with Celebrity Status and Another Tuff Woman picking up trophies.

Another Tuff Woman left little doubt as to her dominance among the fillies as she romped by 17 lengths with Luke Plano guiding for owner/breeders Alan and Cheryl Sandbulte and trainer Jose Castillo.

Celebrity Status was likewise impressive among the males as he rallied off cover to the stretch as the 3-5 choice for Set The Pace Racing LLC and driver/trainer Nick Roland.

A total of $420,000 is up for grabs among the 3- and 4-year-old pacers in the Sire Stakes at this meet with a pair of $50,000 championship events set for closing night, May 3.

Going into this week’s action, Jake Cutting has opened a daylight lead in the driver standings with 55 victories to 40 for Luke Plano and 39 for James Kennedy.

Things are much tighter among the trainers, however, as Plano and Nick Roland are tied at the top with 23 victories, while Darryl Cutting and Gerry Longo are close behind with 20 snapshots while Kathie Plested and Jose Castillo are next with 18 and 17 scores, respectively.

It will be interesting to see how things play out among this group as the meet continues.

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