Roughingthepasser hits paydirt again at Cal-Expo

by Scott Ehrlich, publicity director, Sacramento Harness Association

Sacramento, CA — Even with her main rival in the pocket behind her, Roughingthepasser wouldn’t be tackled for a loss.

Conditioned trotters, racing for a $4,500 purse, were featured on the first night of Sunday racing (January 13) at Cal-Expo, in which Roughingthepasser blitzed the field.

In advance of starting from post position six in the field of a half-dozen, driver Rick Plano needed no reminder as to whom the horse was to beat.

“She had proved to me that she was the best of this group at this moment,” said Plano. “The post was a bit of a concern, but she had the gate speed to overcome it.”

Leaving and making the point an eighth of a mile after the start while on the way to a :29.2 opening quarter, Plano would cleverly rate his mare through a :31.2 second quarter, thus reaching the half-mile station in a soft 1:00.4, but with the 6-5 second choice Fox Harbor lurking tightly in the pocket.

“It’s always a concern when the horse you’re concerned about is on your bumper, but that :31.2 second quarter was a good breather for my horse and that meant all she had to do was trot one good quarter — which was the last quarter — to win.”

Reaching the three-quarter pole, timed in 1:30.4, this after a gaining Fox Harbor had pulled midway through the final turn, was Plano worried?

“I wasn’t really concerned because I knew my mare would be ready to trot when I called on her.”

Now in full gear at the top of the stretch, as was Fox Harbor, Plano still had another source for more speed as he popped the earplugs of his mare at the seven-eighths pole.

“We were coming :28, and when you come :28, not too many are going to get by you. I got after her late because she can get a little lazy and I just wanted to keep her to her task. In my mind though, I was never losing once I got to the half in 1:00.4 without any pressure.”

Holding off the surging Fox Harbor to win ($3.60) by a well-measured neck, the Charlie Veon bred, owned, and trained 5-year-old would stop the timer at 1:58.4, thus equaling a seasonal mark while winning her third in a row. Fox Harbor had to settle for second, and Prize Prelude (Rocky Stidham) finished another three lengths back in third.

“It was a nice race for her and she has about two or three more starts in this class — hopefully they’ll all be wins,” Plano concluded.

Live racing will resume at Cal-Expo on Thursday (January 17) and continue through Sunday (January 20). Post time each night is scheduled for 5:35 p.m. (PST). On Thursday, Cal-Expo offers Fiesta Thursdays, in which fans can enjoy $2.00 frozen margaritas and tacos! The estimated total Pick 6 pool on Thursday is $20,000.

Cal-Expo offers guaranteed $10,000 pools on all Pick 4’s!

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