Today is a massive raceday at Caymanas Park. Millions of dollars are up for grabs – for trainers, owners and other stakeholders at the track.Punters will not want to be left out. Many will be seeking their ‘Christmas money’. With so much at stake, there will be surprises and several ‘value bets’ will be lurking under the radar.Here are three which we think will be worth your while and may even ensure a merry Christmas, 20 days before the big day.Race 1CRUCIAL VALOR: This Carl Anderson-trained three-year-old gelding ran his best race on October 31 when finishing four lengths behind recent upset winner SIR BUDGET over 1000 metres straight.That race appears to have been just a warm-up for today’s big day. On Wednesday, CRUCIAL VALOR showed he is in fine condition by beating stable companion TWILIGHT CITIZEN by a length (35.4 to 36.0) at exercise. TWILIGHT CITIZEN, on September 12, slammed maidens by six lengths and with just 51kg on his back CRUCIAL VALOR is the one to be on in the day’s opener at 10:10 a.m.Race 4BLACK BOY: AWESOME CAT is all the rage in the fourth race, but BLACK BOY will be tough. The latter got off the mark over today’s distance on June 13 and was a winner less than a month later going 1400 metres. He has found the going tough among non-winners of three but today’s distance is just what the doctor ordered.Main rival, AWESOME CAT, was slammed by 13 lengths by SPORTING CLAY on October 31. On November 7, BLACK BOY was just seven lengths behind SPORTING CLAY and with a clear run today should reward backers at a good price.RACE 14CLASSICAL TRAIN: This is the one to be on in the last race. Forget her last two runs in the higher claiming group. The last time she was this low, and over this same distance, she won by a city block behind splits of 23.2×46.3. Nothing in this race can go that fast. Jockey Robert Halledeen rides the highly fancied PERFECT NEIGHBOUR in the Diamond Mile (Race 13) and he should be celebrating a fine double.
MONTEBELLO – Two individuals filed nomination papers Thursday in the recall election of Councilman Jeff Siccama, the City Clerk’s Office announced. Leo Rodriguez and Mary Anne Saucedo’s papers have been submitted to the Los Angeles County Registrar’s Office for verification, said Debbie Kosareff, Montebello deputy city clerk. Rodriguez is running in the Nov. 6 council election, and Saucedo is a former council member. The recall election is set for Dec. 18. It’s the first in the city since 1932, according to city officials. Siccama was targeted by the public action group Montebello Citizens for Honest Government in a petition drive last April in response to efforts to explore the county taking over the city’s fire services. On Aug. 22, the Los Angeles County Registrar-Recorder’s Office verified 5,028 signatures of registered voters of the 6,717 total signatures filed. At least 4,713 verified signatures were required to trigger a recall election. “I support the right of the voters and the democratic process,” Siccama, 46, said in a prepared statement after the election was announced. “I do not question the validity of the signatures themselves, but I believe the voters were misled.” The City Clerk’s Office is expecting to get verification from the county by Tuesday. Conservancy to mark 20th year WHITTIER – The Whittier Conservancy is celebrating its 20th anniversary at 6 p.m. today at the historic home of Mary Sullens, 6235 Bright Ave. Members of the conservancy, founded in the aftermath of the 1987 Whittier Narrows Earthquake, will reminisce and celebrate 20 years as a force in preserving the historic charm and character of the community with “its historic buildings, tree-lined streets and pristine undeveloped hillsides.” The night’s festivities include citing examples of historic preservation and community enhancement projects and giving recognition to the people behind them. Admission at $25 per person includes a dinner catered by Crepes and Grapes Restaurant. There will also be a silent auction. Proceeds will help with the conservancy’s annual operating costs. Gardens at Whittier sets Oktoberfest WHITTIER – The Gardens at Whittier, 8101 S. Painter Ave., is hosting an Oktoberfest event from noon to 1 p.m. Wednesday. The event will include plenty of food. Entertainment will be provided by Joe Tater. For more information and reservations, call (562) 698-0696, or go to www.emeritus.com. Weekly movie showings to begin LA MIRADA – The La Mirada Activity Center, 13810 La Mirada Blvd., welcomes families to its At the Movies program at 1 p.m. every Saturday, starting today. Today’s movie is “The Haunted Mansion.” Free popcorn and punch will be served. You are advised to come early to get a good seat. The entire schedule is: “Everyone’s Hero” (Oct. 13), “The SpongeBob Squarepants Movie” (Oct. 20) and “Monster House” (Oct. 27). The movies are sponsored by Movie Express, 15775 Imperial Highway. For more information, call (562) 902-3160, or visit the Web at www.cityoflamirada.org. Chamber plans network luncheon PICO RIVERA – The Chamber of Commerce is hosting a network luncheon at noon Tuesday at Casa Gamino, 9060 Slauson Ave. The event, sponsored by Banco Popular, will include lunch, an opportunity to meet new people and promote your business and a presentation by guest speaker Monica Contreras of Banco Popular. The cost is $10 for members and $20 for non-members. There will also be a members-only cash drawing. The winner must be present. For more information, call (562) 949-2473. – From staff reports 160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set!