Trotting gals shine at Cal-Expo

by Scott Ehrlich, publicity director, Sacramento Harness Association

Sacramento, CA — A pair of conditioned trots, each for a purse of $3,300, were contested on Thursday night (January 10) at Cal-Expo, in which there was no doubt who the best were in their respective divisions.

In the first division, contested over a track listed as ‘good,’ Worldly Possession would dominate.

Getting the lead from post five after 3-16ths of a mile, the 5-year-old mare would yield the lead at the quarter-mile pole, timed in :30.

“This week I tried to get her into a position where she could maybe handle the footing a little better than she did last week when she didn’t race as well as I thought she would on the sloppy track,” said driver Todd Ratchford.

Racing two lengths off the lead at the three-eighths-mile marker and remaining that way at the half-mile pole, timed in 1:00.2, Worldly Possession would close the gap at the five-eighths-mile pole.

“When I pulled the earplugs just past the half she came to life like she did two starts back when she won — all unlike last week when she was just ‘there’ when I popped the plugs. Through the final turn, it was just a matter of hanging on to her so that she’d keep to her task.”

Moving with authority while first-over to the middle of the final turn, Worldly Possession would draw even with the pace-setting Just Hunky Dory (Tim Maier) at the three-quarter-mile pole, timed in 1:31.1, but wouldn’t be on equal terms for long as the daughter of Self Possessed would take a 1-1/2 length lead into the stretch.

“Once we straightened out, she would go on to win handily,” Ratchford concluded.

Owned by Del Campbell in partnership with trainer Jean MacDonnell, Worldly Possession would score ($4.00) by three lengths while totally under wraps in 2:01.2. K D Shenanigans (Steve Wiseman) finished in second, and Just Hunky Dory finished another 1-1/2 lengths farther back in third.

In the second division, Bankers Babe would get all the cash.

Coming away in fifth, driver Rick Plano let the pace, or lack thereof, dictate his strategy.

“They were going so slow (:31.1) at the quarter pole that I just headed out and made the front (past the 7-16ths),” said Plano. “Once I got to the half in 1:03, I thought my chances were pretty good from there.”

Reaching the three-quarter-mile station, timed in 1:33.3, Plano would have the 6-year-old mare in full gear into the lane.

“I reached up and pecked her a couple times at the head of the stretch and she trotted right away from them and kept to her task.”

Opening up at the seven-eighths and more so from that point on, the Jeff Waltenburgh owned and trained lass would win ($6.20) in a no-doubter by 3-1/4 lengths in 2:03.1. General Jag (Rich Wojcio) finished in second and Twice The Ruckus (Lemoyne Svendsen) finished a half-length farther back in third.

“It was an easy race for her and she raced well,” Plano finished.

For the third consecutive card, driver Lemoyne “Mooney” Svendsen recorded a driving triple.

Live racing will resume at Cal-Expo on Friday (January 11) and continue through Sunday. Post time on Friday and Saturday is at 6:20 p.m. (PST). Post time on Sunday is scheduled for 5:35 p.m. On Friday, Cal-Expo offers Happy Hour between 6:00-8:00 p.m., where $1 beer, $2 wine and $3 orders of buffalo wings are offered.

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

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