Will it be war in Cal Expo feature?
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An evenly-matched field of trotters will do battle in Wednesday’s $4,900 headliner at Cal Expo, and NV Warlord should have his share of backers after posting solid efforts in his last two tries while going off at healthy odds.
Set to match strides with that one are Easter Call, who has been knocking on the door; and Bangers And Mash and British Columbia, who are looking to recover after making breaks in their most recent tours. Jess Or No, Ohoka Jasper and Photo Delight round out the contentious line-up.
NV Warlord is a 6 year old who is owned by Michael Brown and reined and trained by Rocky Stidham. He comes into this assignment with four victories from his 20 starts on the year and a 1:57 flat career standard.
The Stidham trainee established that mark two weeks ago in an 8-1 upset over claiming company. He sat a tracking trip through the early stages, attacked first-over to get the lead turning for home and went on to an easy three length triumph while lowering his record in the process.
Moving up to this league for his most recent tour and off at 13-1, NV Warlord took advantage of breaks by some of his rivals to make the lead at the quarter. While no match for Simply Made, who will move up to the Invitational on Thursday, he did easily hold for second and figures to get more respect at the windows this time around.
Bangers And Mash and Easter Call will give trainer Lou Pena two looks at the outcome. He will handle the former, who races for Katherine Bardis, while Rick Kuebler will do the honors behind Easter Call, who competes for John Darrah and Nick Ruscigno.
Bangers And Mash will be an elusive target if he stays on gait, as he proved in his solid victories on Sept. 22, Sept. 28 and Oct. 6. He set a mark of 1:57.2 in the latter of those scores, but has made breaks on either side of that victory, including last week’s try where he was the 2-1 second choice.
Easter Call could also give trainer Pena a victory here. This gelding picked up his most recent win with this kind on Sept. 14, and has been nibbling in the interim. He was third in last week’s get-together after sitting a pocket journey to the lane. (Cal Expo)