George Reider expecting things to heat up

by Mark Ratzky, publicity, Cal Expo Harness

Sacramento, CA — George Reider admits his barn “hasn’t been lighting them up so far” at this Cal Expo meeting, but he’s optimistic that things are headed in the right direction.

“We had a good meet this summer at Running Aces,” Reider noted. “At the end of that meet we purchased a few horses and now it’s just been a case of getting to know them.”

One pacer in the barn that George is really pinning his hopes on is a 2-year-old who answers to the name of Pride Of The Sierra.

“I think he’s going to be a real nice colt. We’ll be qualifying him in a few weeks.”

Meanwhile, the Reider barn of 14 is starting to warm up and you can look for him to be making his share of winner’s circle appearances in the near future and through the end of this session in the spring.

George also mentioned that he’s very pleased that his good friends Nick Roland, Jessica Johnson and Terry Kaufman are among the new connections competing here at Cal Expo.

“They’ve really added to our races and I’m so glad to see them competing here.”

Pair of Opens sit atop the marquee

A $6,600 Open Pace featuring Jazzmanian Devil and Firedrake and a $5,500 Distaff Open Pace headed by Sparkin Your Fire and Capitol Hill are the main events on Friday night’s (Dec. 8) Cal Expo program.

Jazzmanian Devil is a 6-year-old son of Sand Shooter from the Artsplace mare Artbeat who is owned by William Condon, takes his lessons from Kathie Plested and will have Mooney Svendsen giving directions.

The long-fused performer looped the field to prevail at 6-1 in the Nov. 4 Open, had to settle for the show money at this level the following week, then got back to his winning ways at most recent asking as he came home in a sizzling :26 to get the job done by a neck.

Firedrake also has two Open victories to his credit at this meeting for Set The Pace Racing LLC and driver/trainer Nick Roland. The Dragon Again gelding has posed for snapshots following 11 of his 20 starts on the year with a 1:51.2 lifetime standard that was recorded at Running Aces over the summer.

Firedrake accounted for the Oct. 28 top dance despite a tough trip from the demanding No. 10 post and also captured the Nov. 10 Open as the 3-5 favorite, but has had to settle for a third and fifth behind Jazzmanian Devil in the other two contests for the top pacers on the grounds.

Looking at the Filly and Mare Open, Sparkin Your Fire carries the banner of Peg Hoffman with Gerry Longo the conditioner and Mooney Svendsen handling the lines.

She got a nice prep race in her local debut in the Nov. 25 distaff Open, then stormed home to prevail at 9-2 in the most recent clash at the top level for the pacing fillies and mares while taking the measure of favored Capitol Hill.

The latter mare won three of her four outings at this Open level between Nov. 4 and Nov. 25 and had to settle for second in the most recent clash after being hard used on the front end. George McChrystal and Kathie Plested own, Plested is the trainer and Steve Wiseman will be in the sulky.

There are two wagers offered here each night that come with a reduced 16 percent takeout rate, affording players the chance to get some real value. They are the 50-cent Pick-5, which is decided on the first five races of the evening; and the 20-cent Pick-4, which covers the penultimate four contests on the program. The Pick-4 comes with a $30,000-guaranteed gross pool.

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