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Coal Younger rebounds at Cal-Expo

April 22, 2010
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He disappointed as the public's choice in his last, but for those who gave him a second chance, Coal Younger backed their confidence.

Conditioned-claiming pacers were featured at Cal-Expo on a special Wednesday night (April 21) card, on which Coal Younger got back on the winning track.

In advance of starting from post-position two in the field of a half-dozen over a sloppy track, driver Luke Plano had good logic for tossing out the last outing by his charge.

"He didn't race that good last week, but I'll chalk it up to maybe him not liking the front, plus he had also been off 12 days," stated Plano.  "Since he had been in good form prior to his last race - - I thought his chances were as good as any."

Coming away in fourth position through first-half fractions of :29.3 & :58.3, Plano moved his gelding to third-over position midway through the final-turn, but soon moved three-wide to the three-quarter mile pole, timed in 1:28.3.

"My cover was having trouble keeping up and I had quite a handful at that point - - so I felt I could make my move at any time and be tough from there."

Now charging late in the final-turn, Plano asked for a little more just into the stretch.

"I popped the earplugs and he responded smartly and forged to the lead.  I thought I was in pretty good shape at that point."

Flying into the lead at the seven-eighths mile marker, the four year-old looked gone, but things got a little interesting late.

"Once he got to the front he seemed to wait for Got No Troubles (John Chappell) to get to maybe his throatlatch before he would get going again.  But once Got No Troubles got to his throatlatch - - my horse seemed to start digging, plus we were at the wire."

Lasting to hold on, but while only urged some, Coal Younger won ($5.20) by a head.  Bred by owner Jan Crowell, the Rick Plano trained junior stopped the timer at 1:58.  Got No Troubles finished in second, and Above Timberline (Troy Thomas) finished 1-1/4-lengths farther back, in third.

"I thought the horse bounced back nicely and raced fine," finished Plano. (Cal-Expo)
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