She is coming off back-to-back solid second-place finishes, lands the cozy inside slot for good measure.
“She’s improved immensely since moving to Johnson’s barn,” Mooney related. “When she got here, she was hot and wouldn’t even stand still to get hooked up to the bike. In the race, she refused to sit in the hole and just wouldn’t relax.
“Now she’s calmed down and able to do her best work. You can leave strong with her or take back, and you can basically drive her with two fingers. It’s made all the difference.”
Svendsen also pointed out that in Saturday’s assignment, Dudis Angel gets away from stable-mate Franks Best and the hard-hitting veteran Alpine Hawk, the trotters who have stood between her and the winner’s circle in her last two trips to the post.
“It’s also nice, because this way I get to drive both her and Franks Best this week,” Mooney noted.
Haggin Oaks Gets The Marquee Treatment On Saturday At Cal Expo
Haggin Oaks, fresh from beating the boys in a very strong mile; and Marlin Hanover, who had his three-race win streak snapped in that affair, head the cast at Cal Expo for Saturday night’s (February 18) $4,500 Winners-over Pace.
Rounding out the field are Ivegotwhatuneed, the runner-up to Haggin Oaks last time at 17-1; Albion, Cycle Power, One And Only and Amigo De Garcia.
Haggin Oaks is a 6-year-old daughter of Hi Ho Silverheels and the Incredible Finale mare Ladyladybemylady who races for the partnership of Shari Burns, Ferris Funk and Gerald Cimini with James Kennedy doing the driving and training.
A multiple stakes winner who is closing in on the $100,000 earnings plateau with a 1:53.2 mark from last season, the dark-hued distaffer has clicked twice from her five trips to the post in 2012. In the most recent mile, she was hard used while wide in the opening quarter, took control of things at the half and then had enough left to hold safe over a charging Ivegotwhatuneed in a 1:54 performance.
The latter is a 9-year-old by Givemewhatineed who is owned and trained by Bob Johnson and will once again have Lemoyne Svendsen giving directions. He has over $290,000 in his account while sporting a 1:52 standard from three years ago and comes into this event having completed the exacta in his last three trips to the post.
Marlin Hanover was 80 cents on the dollar in the most recent clash at the top level following three straight victories, but found himself well back early and unable to make an impression. The Bettor’s Delight offspring goes about his business for Richard Morita and David Yamada, takes his lessons from Liberio Pacheco and has Luke Plano in his usual spot in the bike.
He looked awfully sharp accounting for those three straight races between January 21 and February 3, setting his 1:53.4 mark in the last of those scores where he made every pole a winning one as the even-money choice.
Live racing resumes at Cal Expo on Friday (February 17) & Saturday (February 18) 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 currently offers a reduced 15 percent takeout rate on all Pick 4’s (Thursday/Friday nights in partnership with the USTA Strategic Wagering Committee). This Friday & Saturday night, all Late Pick 4’s will come with a $10,000-guaranteed pool. Additionally, there will be a 0% takeout on successful Late Pick 4 tickets made at Cal Expo or at Twinspires.com.
In addition to both Pick 4’s at Cal Expo continuing to offer a reduced 15 percent takeout rate, beginning February 24, the Late Pick 4’s on Friday and Saturday will come with an increased $15,000-guaranteed gross pool.
Also starting that weekend, the Friday Late Pick 4 will offer a 0% takeout on all winning wagers made on track or at Twinspires.com, while the Saturday Late Pick 4 will be broadcast on TVG.