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Sacramento, CA --- It’s been some time since we’ve seen as heated a rivalry as the one at the top of the trotting ranks between Silverlode and Flameon, with the pair splitting the six Open Trots decided at this Cal Expo meeting.

Silverlode got the best of the battle when the pair met last week, leaving into a pocket journey for Luke Plano and overpowering the pacesetting Flameon when push came to shove.

Silverlode is an 8-year-old daughter of British Serling out of the multiple stakes-winning Website mare Charlotte’s Web who was bred and is raced by Steve and Vickie Desomer. She is working her way toward the $150,000 earnings mark with a 1:55.1 mark that was set last year over this strip.

"I think the rivalry stands out because the field is usually short and a top-class event,” Vickie noted after Silverlode’s most recent photo session. “Steve and I don’t remember ever being involved in such a rivalry in the past.

“I don’t think the post position is too important in this case, because both Silverlode and Flameon can each benefit from the other if not used too hard early.

“I guess the most surprising thing to us is that Silverlode, like Steve, seems to be defying her age!”

Well stated, Vickie.

Marvin Shapiro final heads the marquee

The $8,800 Marvin Shapiro final for fillies and mares holds the spotlight Saturday night, with last week’s elimination winners Dickies Motel and A Wish For Wings getting the top billing. First post is 6:15 p.m.

The feature is named for Marvin Shapiro, who was the son of L.K. Shapiro, who owned the Hall of Fame Thoroughbred and California-bred champion Native Diver. He was the president of Western Harness Racing Inc. in the 1960s and spearheaded legislation that sanctioned night racing in California. He died in 2003 at the age of 83.

Dickies Motel is a 9-year-old daughter of Camystic who is owned and trained by Richard Schneider and will have Luke Plano in the sulky. She will do her work from the No. 5 post in the field of 10.

Sent off the mild 5-2 favorite in her elimination heat, the bay miss left into a stalking trip for Plano, ignited when the question was asked in the stretch and drew off to a 3-1/2 length victory in a lifetime best 1:55.3 clocking.

A Wish For Wings is a 5-year-old Royal Mattjesty offspring who is owned and trained by Stephen Crump with James Kennedy at the controls. She is perfect in two starts on the year, on both occasions tracking the leaders to the lane and then doing her best work when things got serious.

The even-money choice in her elimination, the Crump color-bearer left little doubt as she inhaled the leader into the stretch and waltzed home with four lengths to spare while lowering her career standard to 1:56.2 in the process.

Completing the field are Soul Diva, Moonshinenmonkeys, Duet, Blue Gem, Perfect Pitch, Blue Note, Speak English and Mystery Affair.

There are two wagers offered here each night that come with a reduced 16 percent takeout rate. They are the 50-cent Pick-5, which is decided on the first five races; and the 20-cent Pick-4, which covers the penultimate four races on the program.