Sun burns at Cal Expo
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He was left alone on the lead and his pilot called the tune to his liking, which resulted in Eweburn Sun making every pole a winning one. Invitational Handicap trotters, racing for a $7,900 purse, were featured at Cal-Expo on Thursday night, in which Eweburn Sun was the easiest of winners.
Before drawing post-position one in the field of five for owner, trainer, and driver Rick Plano, Plano had reason to believe the outcome of this event would be better than the previous outing.
\"He didn\'t race good last week when he broke, but the track was pretty loose,\" said Plano. \"So with a better track to race on that wasn\'t loose, which was the case tonight, combined with having the one hole, he had as good as chance as anybody. Having said that, it\'s hard to think that you can beat Desperatehousewife (Gilbert Herrera), as good a mare as she is. The strategy was just to leave a little bit. As it turns out, everybody ducked off.\"
Setting a deliberate early pace and leading by 2 1/4 lengths at the quarter-mile pole, timed in :29.3, Plano was pleased.
\"I had control at the quarter, and I thought I had a good chance at that point as long as he behaved himself. You see, he interferes with one knee, and there\'s always a concern he could make a break.\"
With no movement in the second quarter mile, Plano would actually pick up the tempo a bit with a :29.1 quarter, which was part of his strategy.
\"I wanted to keep everybody lined up as I didn\'t want somebody to try and get the lead from me early in the second quarter, which they might have done if I had gone slow.\"
Reaching the half-mile pole, timed in :58.4, the strategy for Plano wasn\'t changing.
\"At the half, I was going to let him trot the rest of his mile on his own--while continuing to go faster. I still thought his chances were good, as long as he kept behaving.\"
Never once taking a look back to see where his competition was, which included the 3-5 favorite Desperatehousewife, who had pulled first-over from the half, Plano had good reason.
“Phipps (Lou Pena) was gapping in the two hole, and that combined with me having a lot of horse left, gave me no reason to look back.\"
Unchallenged and reaching the three-quarter mile pole, timed in 1:27.3, Plano was now very confident.
\"I figured at the three-quarters that they were going to have to be pretty good to beat me.\"
In full gear at the top of the stretch, Plano would continue to keep his eyes glued forward, all while his whip remained in the tucked position.
\"From the three-quarter mile pole on, it was a rocking-chair drive because I know he can trot a quarter in :28, plus he had a lot of trot. I knew nobody was getting close to him.\"
Scoring by 2 1/4 lengths while under wraps in a solid mile, Eweburn Sun would stop the timer at 1:56.3, a seasonal best. For Plano, the victory was part of a training triple, and the second of four driving wins.
\"Everything went my way and that\'s what it takes to beat the best horse sometime. He was very good, and I hope it works out the same next week,\" Plano finished.
I\'m Dam Goog (Tim Maier) finished in third, but was placed second, the 69th time he has gotten second money, and Desperatehousewife finished in fourth, but was placed third. Phipps finished in second, but was disqualified by the stewards and placed fourth for failure to lose ground while on a break in deep stretch. (Cal Expo)