It looked like he'd get a perfect trip, he got a perfect trip, and Franks Best knew what to do with it.
Winners-Over trotters, racing for a purse of $4,500, were featured at Cal Expo on the first Thursday (October 20) card of the Fall meeting, on which Franks Best won for the 17th time in just 45 starts.
Prior to starting from post-two in the field of five, the only question was how fit Franks Best was off 13 days.
"That never really bothers that little horse because he comes off of time off real good," stated driver Lemoyne Svendsen. "I knew my chances were real good right from the draw."
With the field coming away in post-position order as the formbook clearly suggested, Svendsen and his charge sat in the expected garden-spot behind the talented Putoneonnetformom (James Kennedy) through first-half fractions of :30.2 & 1:00. With Kennedy picking up the pace even more in a :28.3 third-quarter, he still couldn't shake off the stalking Franks Best, who had his nose stuck to the back of Kennedy's helmet at the three-quarter mile station, timed in 1:28.3.
"I knew I had a lot of horse left at that point and wasn't really too worried about not being able to out-brush Putoneonnetformom."
With Kennedy popping the earplugs of his trotter at the head of the lane and drawing clear by 1-1/2 lengths, Svendsen moved his four year-old to the outside just into the lane.
"I knew I had Putoneonnetformom in my sights and it was just a matter of letting everything get straightened out and going by."
With Kennedy asking his trotter to go on and Svendsen not until one urge to the seven-eighths mile pole, the gelding responded and quickly got closer at the seven-eighths, then took over the lead to mid-stretch.
"He's strong off of a trip like that and is very hard to beat. When I urged him with about an eighth of a mile to go - - he kicked it in and gives you everything he's got, as he does every time - - especially off a trip like that. He was strong through the lane and at the wire as well."
Drawing clear to the finish after one urge with a sixteenth of a mile to go and a wheel-disc urge just after that marker, the Bob Johnson bred, owned & trained trotter won by 1-1/4 lengths, in 1:57.1, a lifetime mark. Putoneonnetformom was clearly second best, and the Bob Johnson trained Giles L S Hanover (Steve Wiseman) finished five lengths farther back, in third.
"It was a nice easy race for him and he was like his trip, perfect," finished Svendsen.
Live racing resumes at Cal Expo on Friday (October 21) & Saturday (October 22) night at 6:00 p.m. (PDT). On Friday, Cal Expo offers free parking & free admission after 4:30 p.m. Also on Friday, Cal Expo offers Happy Hour between 6:00-8:30 p.m., where $2 Beer, $2 Wine & $2 Buffalo Wings an order is offered.
On Saturday, Cal Expo offers a reduced 15 percent takeout rate on both the Early & Late Pick-4 with the Late Pick-4 having a $10,000 gross guaranteed pool. Additionally, for winning wagers made on the Late Pick-4 online at TwinSpires.com or on track at Cal Expo, a bonus payout of 17.65 percent of the gross Late Pick 4 mutuel payoff will be paid.
This Saturday, October 22, Cal Expo will feature The Bronte Epilepsy Research Foundation Amateur Series. The event is being sponsored by Lou Pena and some of his owners and between their generosity and the driver fees, a total of $7,000 beyond the purse monies will go to the Foundation. Two separate pacing events, one for the males and one for the mares, will be held over three Saturdays. The first two legs are going for $3,000, while a $10,000 pot will be waiting at the end of the respective November 5 finales.