Unfiltered gets top billing at Cal Expo

Sacramento, CA — Unfiltered gets some class relief Friday evening (March 24) and heads the cast for the $7,000 Open II Pace at Cal Expo.

Nine races are on tap under the Watch and Wager LLC banner with first post set for 6:55 p.m.

Unfiltered, who races for QKS Racing, hails from the Quentin Schneider barn and will be handled by James Kennedy, has won three of his nine starts this year with an Open score on Feb. 26 being his most recent. He has been assigned the outside post in the field of seven and figures to be motoring away from the gate, as is his custom.

Looking ahead to Sunday night, the $12,500 Don Fowler Memorial DHA Pace headlines the program. Firenado, who has been knocking heads with the razor-sharp Officer Jim in the Open, gets the top billing for owner/trainer Kelly Crump and pilot Brad Irvine.

Firenado has had to settle for third in his last three outings versus Officer Jim, but getting away from that rival should put him in prime position to return to his winning ways on Sunday.

A reminder there are three wagers offered here each night that come with a reduced 16 percent takeout rate — the 20-cent early and late Pick-5 and the 20-cent Pick-4, with the latter featuring a $25,000 guaranteed gross pool.

Catfish Jack looks like one to watch

Catfish Jack served warning last week that he’s a youngster to follow, going coast-to-coast and waltzing home by a half-dozen with Mooney Svendsen at the controls.

The sophomore pacer is by BJ’s Bequia and goes about his business for owner/trainer Kelly Crump and was only making his third lifetime trip to the post last weekend.

“He’s by our signature sire and out of a good producer,” Crump related after the victory. “We raced him once last year up at Century Downs, but his mind wasn’t in the right place and we gave him some time to mature.”

Catfish Jack was away from September until a qualifier here early this month, then finished nicely for a share in his local debut two weeks ago after being forced wide to the stretch.

There were no such issues in his most recent appearance, however, as Svendsen motored right to the front and never looked like a loser over the sloppy track while being sent off as second choice.

“Mooney said it was as easy as it looked and he really likes him,” Crump noted. “He’s not eligible to the stakes here, so we’ll just race him through his conditions and point for the stakes races up north.

“We’ve used that pattern before and it’s worked out pretty well, so hopefully we can have this one ready for those races.”

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