Cal Expo cards Sire Stakes, Alan Kirschenbaum

Sacramento, CA — Chase The Gold eyes his ninth straight victory in the $20,000 California Sire Stakes while Life Isa Shortwalk and River Lassena are the leading lights in the $10,000 Alan Kirschenbaum Pace for fillies and mares on Sunday evening (March 13) at Cal Expo.

There will be 11 races presented under the Watch and Wager LLC banner with the action set to get underway at 5:20 p.m.

Chase The Gold has been outstanding this season for owner Qks Racing, trainer Quentin Schneider and pilot James Kennedy and looms the solid choice in the Sire Stakes for the 4-year-old horse and gelding pacers.

He captured the Jan. 30 contest with a game re-rally and had a much easier time of it in the most recent stakes clash on Feb. 20 as he went coast-to-coast while prevailing by 2-3/4 lengths over his main rival Alilthundadownunda.

Taking on that pair this weekend are Im A Magic Man, Sd Watch Me Now and Believe In Dragons.

Meanwhile, Life Isa Shortwalk and River Lassena figure to get plenty of attention in the co-featured Kirschenbaum.

The former does her work for Set The Pace Racing LLC and driver/trainer Nick Roland and is coming off a solid conditioned score last weekend.

River Lassensa is likewise fresh from an impressive win and accounted for the Jack Williams final earlier in the stand for owner Mark Anderson, trainer Gordie Graham and driver James Kennedy.

Rounding out the field are Shes A Showstopper, Brooklyn Moonshine, Roaring Home and Prom Queen.

Wilkinson, Lackey add to the memories

Trainer Jim Wilkinson and driver Jim Lackey, aka Junior and Chip, joined forces last Sunday to get California Rock his first win of the year over a pretty good cast in a career-best 1:53.1 mile.

“He’s a good, solid pacer and Chip couldn’t have driven him any better if I’d given him a road map,” Wilkinson noted.

Junior figures he’s won at least 50 races over the years with the now 70-year-old Lackey at the controls, including a couple of memorable ones.

“Back in the day, when I had a big barn, my main drivers were guys like Ross Croghan, Rick Kuebler and Rich Wojcio, while Chip drove for some of the other larger barns,” Wilkinson recalled.

“I remember when he drove a horse for us named Axelrod in his first start, because he paid $34 that night and we bet our money. I also remember back in the 90s at Los Alamitos he drove a horse for us named Gundaroo who paid over $100.”

As for California Rock, who went off at 12-1 despite having just missed in his last mile after carving out all the fractions, last week’s journey was a dream.

“He was able to leave and sit behind the favorite Giggle Monster,” Junior noted. “Then Bombay Hanover came up and challenged that one while we were sitting in the catbird seat. It all worked out perfectly.”

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