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A desperate housewife

February 02, 2007

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She hadn\'t beaten her archrival in her last two, and to make matters worse, she drew two slots outside of that foe, but when the dust settled, Desperatehousewife had defeated Benn\'s Fire. Trotters were spotlighted on Thursday night at Cal-Expo Raceway in an $8,500 Invitational Handicap, in which Desperatehousewife roughed it up and scored impressively.

In advance of starting from post position seven in the field of the same number, driver Tim Maier knew what to expect.

\"I liked her chances as I had driven her before and I know she has ability,\" said Maier. “As far as how I thought the race would develop, I figured I was going to follow Benn\'s Fire (Bruce Clarke) second-up.\"

Figuring he\'d follow Benn\'s Fire, who had post position five, was a perfectly reasonable assumption, given that Benn\'s Fire almost always races from behind, plus the horse from post position six, Appian Way (Gilbert Herrera), was sure to leave. On this night though, the classy 10-year-old mare reminded everyone of her good gate speed, as she, along with three others, all left for the lead, which had them four across the track to the first turn.

\"I knew when Benn\'s Fire left that I was probably going to be first-up,\" Maier laughed. \"At that point, I was just hoping that they would set a good pace.\"

Racing in last while nine lengths off the lead at the quarter-mile pole, timed in a speedy :28, Maier was pleased.

\"That was a pretty good first-quarter, and I knew it would help.\"

With the pacesetting Appian Way now in need, and getting a second-quarter mile breather after a tough lead, the field would bunch up.

\"We came together like an accordion when the pace slowed up and I pulled her first-over to the seven-sixteenths pole. I did see a couple of guys give me a look like they might pull, but no one came, plus I wasn\'t looking for cover.\"

Beginning to move up on the outside while sixth and 6 1/2 lengths back at the half-mile pole, timed in :58.1, Maier knew his mare knew what to do from there.

\"I know she\'s a good mare and from the half-mile pole on, all you have to do is point her and go.\"

Continuing to march up on the rim and now gaining momentum at the 111/16ths pole, Maier would soon attack Appian Way at the three-quarter mile pole, timed in 1:28.4, while just a long neck back.

\"I popped her earplugs at the three-quarter mile pole and knew I was getting by Appian Way as I had looked over and noticed he didn\'t have much trot. I didn\'t, however, know if anyone else might catch me. Once I cleared Appian Way, I just kept my mare to her task.\"

Taking the lead into the stretch and drawing clear by two lengths with less than three sixteenths of a mile to go, Maier would urge his charge on to the seven-eighths mile pole where the 5 year-old would respond by trotting strongly.

\"She kept to her task and I put the whip away for the final sixteenth of a mile, when all I did was yell at her.\"

Owned by Carol Campbell in partnership with trainer Jean Mac Donell, Desperatehousewife would score by 2 3/4 lengths, in 1:57.1, a seasonal best.

\"The mare raced well, Jean had her ready,\" Maier concluded.

Benn\'s Fire, for the 34th time in her career, finished in second, and Stormy Hall (Luke Plano) finished another three-quarters of one length back in third. (Cal Expo)
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