Cal Expo continues its current meet with programs on Tuesdays and Wednesdays. The post for these programs will be 3:30 p.m. Pacific Time, 6:30 p.m. Eastern. As promised, TwinSpires harness blog is dedicating itself to the Cal Expo programs until the scheduled end of the meet on April 25.
Watch for the Weekly Update to be posted on Wednesdays.
Cal Expo / Races 1—10
Tuesday / March 31
Gunny Wilson should best be measured from her race two back, where she boldly took to the outside path without cover and got the lead briefly before the strain of the trip allowed her to be passed by three others. She was 7-1 in that conditioner. Last week she was unable to find such a path and finished sixth at 23-1. She drops for a tag race here, where a challenge to Uringoodhands is potent and will offer good coin.
Lincoln got third at 6-1 with a good, early brush that secured position, beating three others in this field. Lukes Cowboy drops slightly but is still for sale.
Six with decent recent races take on each other in this claiming pace. Four of them should be tough on one another, especially Who Dat Love, a winner last out who leaves from the rail.
The obvious quartet aside, we like Major Jesse, Jessie Pacheco’s pacer, who finished closely threatening Best Dream Seeker in his win on March 27. Pacheco’s namesake can use his strong routing ability to take advantage of the other’s concentration on one another and be first at the wire for a good win price. A single.
Sand And Rocks raced almost as well as Casey N Grinegan, the 11-1 winner we gave you on March 27. Nick Roland’s entry is in a smaller field here and is easily as good as the obvious choices, Nightgal, Brooklyn Moonshine and Thats How It Goes. The former should be in the exotic mix but the other two will result in better prices with Sand And Rocks on top, winning.
A And C Artist was a top choice in similar company on March 22 and finished second. He will get play, but coupled with Waitin Ona River in the top exacta position (plus a win bet) there’s money to be made. Waitin Ona River made up near 10 lengths to be third at 17-1 on March 15 at Fraser.
Mystic Ruler is a good trifecta addition for third, after using those each in first and second spots..
It’s hard to deny that Rockinaroundheaven’s most recent race was poor, at best, but he was well intended, going off at 3-1 and it was his first race of 2020. As well, this is a horrible field. The public should lean on James Lackey’s “Rockin” pacer, but don’t count out the other old-timer Californian’s entry, Gordy Again.
”Gordy” is Gerald Longo’s addition, and if he races as he did two back among this familiar company he could surprise with a win and a decent price.
Ten conditioned pacers, strugglers all, go in this mile. There is nothing truly impressive about Budgie Smuggler’s win last week or Villa For Rent’s close second to him. The best of these last out was Crookshanks.
Crookshanks gave the field 11 lengths off the gate and did not get started chasing until three-quarters, where Pacheco’s pacer continued to make up ground, finishing within 1 ½ lengths of the two noses mentioned above, doing so at 14-1.
Fred N Roz was in that troubled race won by an 81-1 opportunist. He broke on the lead at the half, rushed back first over and almost took the lead again before faltering. He finished fifth and was placed sixth amid the rumble. In that rigmarole mile, he was 25-1. These two might be worth a Dutch if they go off high enough to make up for one losing bet.
A few mares step up into this Open, making for a tasty blend of arguments per the eight involved. Of the Open-class returnees, our winning contender from March 20, Velocity McSweets, looms boldly here. This is only her third 2020 race. Trainer Jennifer Sabot, who skillfully places her stock, winds up in a good spot here, with conditioners trying the top rung as well as pacing mares of which “McSweets” has already dallied.
Dancingonthesand has not won in nine starts but got support again last week, being 5-1 agains McSweets, Bertha Vanation and Alwaysalittlemore, the other Open gals. The latter could wind up the favorite, as “Always” seems always hitting the board (seven wins and places in 10 starts is the best of this bunch).
All that being said, Dancingonthesand is the bet you want to cash. She will ignite exotics and could go off here a lot higher than 5-1. If she races near her last Open, her shots are better than the crowd will measure.
Hi Ho’s Little Rev was a huge favorite last week and gave way to a 5-1 shot. He will again be pounded at the windows, and why not, since little force appears to be avilalable from the other nine entries.
Wet Shark, however, likes to finish with his number appearing on the tote. His six across-the-board finishes catch the keen eye of smart bettors as a fine upset candidate in this uneven matched conditioner. This is a win wager only affair for us.
Two recent winners show up in this field of seven; Bet Together is not one of them. Still, Bet Together may be the one to surprise the bunch. Richard Bertrand’s pacer raced well at 7-1 last weekend against what could be argued was a tougher field. In any event, Bet Together had the eventual winner drafting him as he cut the outer turf and was barely beaten for third. None of the three horses that beat him are in this group.
A good exacta price could be guaranteed with the partnership of Herecomesthethundr, who is the least raced of the field and has taken the second exacta spot two of five times.
Another lightly raced Richard Bertrand pacer, Dancer’s Fancy, fires from post 1 in the programs finale. We like his chances beating the other eight, including the obvious crowd choice, Dontcloseyoureyes. That one has five wins for 13 starts this season andcould be a few steps short leaving from post 8. In fact, we would go for a trifecta here with Dancer’s Fancy atop a criss-crossed Greekona and Dontclosyoureyes. As well, an exacta with only Greekona second could be a killer combination.