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Windsun T Bird was rested and ready
Wednesday, November 08, 2017 - by Mark Ratzky, publicity, Cal Expo Harness

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Sacramento, CA --- Windsun T Bird is still going strong as her 11th birthday approaches, with the pacing mare getting her Cal Expo meet off to a nice start with a 7-1 upset last Friday night for owner/trainer Robin Clements and pilot Nick Roland. 

“Miss T Bird, as we call her, had been in quite a few tough races with a few being track record breaking at (Running) Aces, so I knew she needed a good break,” Clements related. “I gave her a month off when she returned and she really took advantage of her rest.

“When I started her back she felt like her old self, very strong and happy. I was actually amazed how well she was training back. I decided that I would qualify her, but with the rain predicted I decided to race her instead and give her that one race to tighten up.”

Robin originally put David Siegel up, but as he had a horse in the race, she found a very able replacement in Nick Roland, who is making a very nice impression in his first Cal Expo invasion. 

“Nick never drove T Bird before, but had raced against her the last few years at Aces and was familiar with her style,” Robin said. “When they were sitting fifth during the race I didn't expect much out of her, but when he pulled her past the five-eighths pole and she had her momentum going, I knew we had a chance to win.

“Nick did a great job and gave her a perfect trip. I like that Nick always liked the mare and that makes for a great combination when a driver has respect for your horse.”

Clements added, “Maria Alvarez has done a great job grooming Miss T Bird and had taken care of her at Running Aces while she worked for Timmy and Denise Maier, and Jack Olsen who helps me train has done a great job as well with my horses. It was definitely a team effort.

“Windsun T Bird is a gutsy mare who puts everything she has on the track, it's all business with her, yet she is such a pleasure to work with and around and is our barn greeter so it’s no surprise she is one of the favorites in the barn.”

Pair of Opens, Horowitz eliminations set

A $6,600 Open Pace for fillies and mares that features a contentious cast of nine; a $5,500 Open Pace that rematches Firedrake and Jazzmanian Devil; and two elimination heats for the Alan Horowitz Memorial get the spotlight on Friday night at Cal Expo.

There will be 11 races presented under the Watch and Wager LLC banner with another 11 contests set for Saturday evening. First post each night is 6:10 p.m.

Jazzmanian Devil is a 6-year-old son of Sand Shooter who carries the banner of William Condo with Kathie Plested training and Mooney Svendsen again handling the lines.

After getting a solid qualifier under his belt two weeks ago, Jazzmanian Devil was dismissed at 6-1 in last week’s Open Pace. Last of the half-dozen turning for home, he exploded for Svensen once straightened for home and got the job done by a half-length in a 1:54 tour.

Firedrake was the 4-5 choice in that contest but had to settle for a close third. He was a game winner on opening week from the tough No. 10 post, as he was hard used for position, tracked to the drive and dug in when it counted for the score.

A 4-year-old son of Dragon Again from the Artsplace mare Everything’s Easy, he races for Set The Pace Racing LLC with Nick Roland doing the driving and training. He was a 1:51.2 victor at Running Aces in early September.

Completing the field are Senga Nitro, Baylor Out and Ragin’s Flight. 

There are two wagers offered here each night with a reduced 16 percent takeout rate. They are the 50-cent Pick-5, which is conducted on the first five races, and the 20-cent Pick-4, which covers the penultimate four races on the evening and comes with a $25,000 guaranteed pool.

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