by Al Cimaglia
January 21, 2022
Cal Expo starts the weekend with a 10-race card. The betting headliner is the 0.20 Pick 4 which begins in Race 7. The sequence has $30,000 guaranteed pool with a 16% takeout, and it will be my focus.
Comments and selections below are based on a fast track.
1-Hi Ho's Little Rev (7/5)-Beat the $5k claimers in November and then was in too tough. Put in 2 starts and showed little but now is eligible to drop to the basement. Expecting this 10-year-old to bring his best in the softest of spots and Roland gets the assignment.
4-Keystone Charles (7/2)-Has struggled all meet, even at this level. But was facing better and now with money off his card drops to the bottom class. Gets a fresh set of hands as Plano takes the lines. The new pilot may provide a spark in a suspect field.
2-Helen's Girl (6-1)-Beat #6 last week and paid off a 33.70-1. That price is gone but the effort shouldn't be forgotten. Raced the back half in 56.1 and came 1st over. This field looks deeper but is well worth a swing at anything close to the morning line.
4-Capital Hill (9/2)-Won versus better 2 starts ago and now drops in for tag. Plested gets her 1st call driver in Svendsen back and should be a threat with a top effort.
6-Lickcreek Speedway (7/2)-Team Kennedy veteran is a one move type that can roll late. Did close without much help in a .26 last quarter and almost caught #2. Fractions could be hotter this time which should help the cause.
7-Summer Fantasy (2-1)-Wired the field in last, beating #5 and was off almost 3 weeks before that start. Has hit the board in 4 of 6 at CalX and Roland should be rolling off the gate.
1-Rockinscience (7/2)-Plano pupil has not been able to seal the deal all meet but now drops to a spot to shine. Knows how to compete taking 8 pictures in 38 starts in 2021 and has 7 wins in 26 tries at CalX. Plano should put in play and race near the top of the stack.
4-Gorgeous For Real (5/2)-Raced well in last from the 8 hole, saved ground and just missed. Would expect a similar plan here and drawing inside should increase chances for a trip to the winner's circle.
5-Major Mac (2-1)-Wired the 12k claimers in last, loses Plano but Roland will take a seat. Could win right back if lands on the point easily and controls the pace.
1-Ivy B Poison (2-1)-Roland is between the pipes as Rosecroft invader makes its CalX debut. Usually works on the 5/8's but should fit nicely in this class. Looks like a player if takes to the larger oval and did post 7 wins in 28 starts last year.
6-Opulent (4-1)-Stewart trainee also makes its CalX debut and comes off 2 nice qualifiers on Lasix. Has only 1 win in 2021 but rolled the back half in the last qualifier on 1-16 in 57.3. May get overlooked at the windows, the 1-23 record in 2021 may be cause for pause. Appears fast enough to be a player.
0.20 Pick 4
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