Open Trot getting Saturday Cal Expo marquee treatment
March 20, 2020
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Pridecrest, Mandeville and Its a Horse, who have each had victories at the top rung at this meet, square off in Saturday night’s featured $6,700 Open Trot.
The headliner will go as the fifth contest on an 11-race Watch and Wager LLC program and things will underway at 6:10 p.m.
Pridecrest scored three straight Open victories between January 24 and February 15, then had to settle for third after a first-over trip while leaving from the demanding No. 10 slot in last week’s get-together at the head of the class.
An 8-year-old son of Angus Hall, Pridecrest is owned by Heather Mathews, is conditioned by Steve Wiseman and has Mooney Svendsen guiding from the outside post in the field of seven.
He comes into this assignment with 38 wins from his 150 lifetime trips to the post, with $318,000 in his bank account and a 1:53 2/5 standard that was established here three years ago.
Mandeville got the job done with these last week in coast-to-coast fashion with Gerry Longo in what marked his third start back since a slight vacation. Longo owns and trains and Nick Roland will drive the Majestic Son gelding this weekend.
Its a Horse packs a big punch in the stretch and deserves plenty of respect for owner Ray Alan Miller, trainer Marco Rios and pilot Dean Magee. His most recent victory came in the Joe Lighthill Trot on December 13 over a sloppy track. Dougs Hobby Horse, Majestic Lady Jo, Windsun Galaxie and Big Hero complete the field.
Veteran Mandeville back in the spotlight
After a couple of runner-up finishes following some time off, Mandeville returned to his winning ways last week in the Open Trot.
With his owner/trainer Gerry Longo in the sulky, Mandeville went right to the top, withstood a strong challenge from Pridecrest turning for home and went on to a length victory over the sloppy track. He will be guided by Nick Roland for this weekend’s assignment.
It was the 24th lifetime tally for the Majestic Son gelding and pushed his career earnings over $226,000. He set his 1:54 2/5 lifetime mark last season at Saratoga.
“I bought him in Kentucky late last year after he won back-to-back Opens at that new track,” Longo explained.
“When I first got him, his feet were in pretty bad shape and he was racing with glue-on shoes. Between myself, the blacksmith Louie and my groom Oscar, we did lots of work with him and his foot finally grew out.”
In addition to Its a Horse, who was runner-up in last week’s Open, Mandeville will have to deal with Pridecrest. That one peeled off three straight victories at this level going into last week’s tour, where he left from the challenging No. 10 post and did his work in first-over fashion.