Marlin Hanover, going in razor-sharp form at the moment with back-to-back victories at the top rung, heads the cast for Friday night’s (February 3) featured $4,500 Winners-Over Pace at Cal Expo.
A 5-year-old son of Bettor’s Delight from the Big Towner mare Maura Hanover, Marlin Hanover carries the banner of Richard Morita and David Yamada, is conditioned by Liberio Pacheco and will once again have the services of Luke Plano. The hard-hitting pacer has used similar tactics to account for his last two trips to the post, on both occasions making what proved to be the winning move to the lead by the quarter.
Marlin Hanover held safe by a neck over One And Only in the first of those tallies while coming a smart :27.1 final quarter, then showed the way to the line by three-quarters of a length over Amigo De Garcia at most recent asking with the 1:54.1 clocking being a tick off the standard he established here last season.
Amigo De Garcia is a 5-year-old by Little Steven who won eight of his 36 attempts last year and is looking for his initial snapshot of 2012 with three thirds and that recent runner-up finish behind Marlin Hanover. Steve Wiseman reins and trains for owner Robert Bacon.
One And Only took the measure of a softer group to kick off the new year on January 7 and has two seconds and a third since moving back up to this top level. The 4-year-old also campaigns for the Morita/Yamada combination and trainer Pacheco with Jim Lackey at the controls.
Haggin Oaks will attempt to return to her winning ways after failing as the odds-on favorite in her last pair. The multiple stakes-winning 6-year-old daughter of Hi Ho Silverheels competes for Shari Burns, Ferris Funk and Gerald Cimini and James Kennedy does the driving and training.
Haggin Oaks had a solid 2011, winning nine of 29 tries with a 1:53.2 mark, then started off this season with a strong wire-to-wire performance on January 7. She broke in her next outing, then faltered after showing the way early in the last gathering at this level. Cycle Power completes the field from the rail for Nathalie Tremblay and driver Scott Cisco.
Live racing resumes at Cal Expo on Friday (February 3) & Saturday (February 4) at 6:00 p.m. (PST). On every live card, Cal Expo offers free parking & free admission after 4:30 p.m. On Friday, Cal Expo offers Happy Hour from 4:00-7:00 p.m. on which Beer; Well Drinks & Wine are offered at $4 each, while a Burger with fries is offered at $5.
Cal Expo now offers a reduced 15 percent takeout rate on all Pick 4’s (Thursday/Friday nights in partnership with the USTA Strategic Wagering Committee). In addition, all Late Pick 4’s will come with a $10,000-guaranteed pool. On Saturday night, there will be a 0% takeout on successful Late Pick 4 tickets made at Cal Expo or at Twinspires.com.