A pair of California Sire Stakes championships headline Friday night’s harness racing action at Cal Expo Harness, with Senga Nightmare featuring prominently in the $50,000 contest for 4-year-old mares , while Give Me This Dance is the one to beat in the $15,000 deal for 3-year-old fillies.
A 10-race card is available Friday under the Watch and Wager LLC banner with the first post set at 6:45 p.m.
Senga Nightmare represented all four Sire Stakes decided at this meeting for his division for his owner/trainer/rider Ryan Grundy. She has showcased her class and versatility during these scores and the Vertical Horizon girl will be tough no matter how early things unfold.
Tenaya with Chip Lackey takes her; Doubleontherocks for Luke Plano; Witch Hunter, Cordarius Stewart; May Day Maggie, Nick Roland; Tartan Patch with Rene Goulet; Rockin The Dragon, Mooney Svendsen and Shewentthataway with James Kennedy.
Meanwhile, Give Me This Dance is looking for its seventh consecutive victory in the competition, including the Sire Stakes decisions on March 18 and April 1. She is owned and bred by Alan and Cheryl Sandbulte with Nick Roland reining and training.
She left little doubt in either of those stake decisions and returned last week to let off steam on conditioned rivals while lowering her lifetime standard to 1:55 1/5 in the process. .
Seeking to post an upset Friday, Cenalta Flash with Mooney Svendsen; Toot Toot for James Kennedy and Anotherblazinwoman with Luke Plano giving instructions.
Officer Jim does his job in style
Officer Jim’s victory in the fifth race last Sunday night was particularly sweet for owner Robin Clements, as the race is named after the late George Hanford.
“It was special to win a race named after George,” Clements said after the win. “He was a great guy and always ready to help people. I was lucky to know him.”
Starting from the outpost in the field of seven for trainer Quentin Schneider and driver James Kennedy, Officer Jim was used twice in the lead, then fought back gallantly down the stretch to win by three-quarter lengths.
Officer Jim is a 6 year old son of American ideal who was winning for the 17th time in 59 career trips to the post and he set his mark of 1:52 3/5 on that tape earlier in the year.
“I claimed Jimmy for $7,500 last summer at Running Aces and he turned out to be a nice guy. Kim and Quentin Schneider did a great job with him because when we first got him , he was pretty rammy from running up front.
“Now he’s become quite versatile in that he can run at the back or has the speed to run up front. He’s one of those horses that always seems happy, which helps him too, and he just makes you smile to be with him.
By Mark Ratzky, for Cal Expo Harness