by Al Cimaglia
December 29, 2018
Tonight's headliner at Cal Expo rolls in Race 4, the Bill Conlin Pace with a $8,400 purse. Conlin was a long-time sportswriter in Sacramento who passed away in 1997 at the age of 84. Conlin was an avid harness racing fan and it was one of his favorite sports to cover.
The 12-race card has a 0.20 Pick 4 which begins in Race 8 and has a 16% takeout with a $40,000 guaranteed pool. That competitive sequence will be my focus as I try to improve on three out of four for Friday's ticket. The 5/10/4/5 winning combination paid $91.78 on a 0.20 wager.
Last night at Cal Expo the drivers with the hottest hands were James Kennedy, Gerald Longo, Dean Magee, Luke Plano and Mooney Svendsen each recording two victories. There was not a trainer on the card who had more than one trip to the winner's circle.
Comments and selections below are based on a fast track.
4-Gorgeous For Real-Form hasn't been great but this field may bring out the best in competitive 4-year-old.
5-Why Ask Why-Grundy drives for Plano barn, this guy appears to have a better chance than #2 which Plano owns.
7-Icy Blue Shotter-Sobey may find a better cover flow in 3rd CalX try and grind his way to the wire.
1-Dandy's Dududidudu-Needs an efficient trip and some luck. Racing better and could trip out at a price.
5-Awesum World-Looking for a more aggressive effort and should be in the hunt to the wire.
6-Nutmegs Desire-Has had consistent efforts versus the same crew and will respect connections again tonight.
8-Poorlittlerichgirl-Plano found the live cover needed in last, when 10-year-old gets good can stay that way for a while.
3-I'm Blue Too-Winner of 3 straight but this time stays at the same class, has been too good to ignore.
4-Best Dream Seeker-Price shot does best work with an up-close seat and that could be in the cards here.
5-Blue Star Maverick-Looking for 1st win since back in town, steps down to a more comfortable spot and draws well.
6-Burntisland Billy-Drops to a better level for success, could blast out and pop at long odds.
3-Bettor In The Bank-Slow starter gets a new pilot and can win at a square price if within striking range at the 1/2.
4-Justabitcrazy-Got to top and had a sharp win for Team Grundy, not much gate speed here, could get on the engine again.
9-Last Dragon-Has been facing Open Company and Lackey could get the 11-year-old a good early seat and rally late.
0.20 Pick 4
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