Sacramento, CA --- Amanda Fraser will send out a pair of pacers in Saturday’s (Nov. 24) Survivor 1 finale at Cal Expo and while Hell N Damnation and Fairway Gypsy don’t figure to be early factors, they should be making their presence felt when push comes to shove.
Both pacers are owned by Fraser and Scott Cisco, with Cisco guiding Hell N Damnation and Mooney Svendsen handling Fairway Gypsy. The latter was fourth in his division of the second leg of the series, while Hell N Damnation looped his rivals to win the other division going away in a very impressive mile.
“We’ve had Hell N Damnation for three years and he’s a nice one,” Cisco related. “When we first got him, he always came from well back, but he’s a little more versatile now even though he still does his best from off the pace. Opening week he didn’t have the best cover and it didn’t take us that far, then last time he was loaded.”
In that November 10 mile, the 8-year-old found himself in last and third-over by the half, exploded four wide off the final bend and won going away by two lengths.
“He can handle any kind of track, and as far as the missed week because of the cancellation, everybody is in the same boat,” Cisco said.
Fairway Gypsy was the victim of an early break in the opening leg of the Survivor, then was fanned wide turning for home in his last engagement and finished with interest to be beaten only two lengths by Asgoodasioncewas.
“He hit a divot in that first start, which is why he made the break, and he had poor cover and a wide trip in that last one.
“If they got a fast pace out there, which is usually the case when there is some kind of a final, it would help both these horses. Hopefully, they’ll be coming strong at the end and a one-two finish would be great.”
Survivor finales, Sire Stakes on tap
The Survivor 1 and Survivor 2 finales, which were delayed one week; the first round of fall Sire Stakes action for the 3-year-old trotting and pacing males; and the Richard Fowler Memorial Pace will be featured on Saturday night’s Watch and Wager LLC program at Cal Expo. First post for the 16-race program is 5:30 p.m.
Both Survivor finals feature full fields of 10 with an $8,800 purse. Take No Prisoners and L S Orchardwinner looked strong getting the job done in their divisions of last week’s second leg of the Survivor 2, while four different pacers prevailed in the two legs of the Survivor 1 and that event looks wide open.
L S Orchardwinner races for Juan Pacheco, trainer Lester Smith and driver Chip Lackey and has left little doubt in his wins in the opening legs. He played the role of stalker in the first score, then immediately took matters into his owns hands last week and cruised home in coast-to-coast fashion by nine lengths.
Take No Prisoners has likewise proved clearly best in his two divisions of the opening legs with David Siegel guiding him on opening week and James Kennedy doing the honors last time for trainer Raul Escobedo. He lands the cozy rail for this assignment while L S Orchidwinner will do his work from the eight slot.
You can make a strong case for many of the pacers in the Survivor 1 final, but Gene Vallandingham has them in the numbers department with four of his charges in the line-up, including last week’s upsetter Asgoodasioncewas with his owner/trainer handling the lines. The other Vallandingham trainees are Blissful Winds, to be guided by Paul Welence; Village Benjamin with Steve Wiseman; and Schemes, who has Tim Maier in the sulky.
Ra Ra Steven hails from the Junior Wilkinson barn and gets top billing in the Sire Stakes for the pacing colts, while Rite After Disbeer for Kennedy Lindsey and the Marco Rios-trained El Azteca boost several trophies in the trotting event and should be major players once again.
The stakes races will go as non-betting events prior to the regular program.