Bobby Baccala comes into this week’s action at Cal Expo seeking victory No.12 on the season and his fourth snapshot from his last five trips to the post for trainer George Reider and pilot James Kennedy. He will once again take on his arch rival Franky Provolone in Saturday night’s (November 26) first race.
“When Rick Plano left for New York last spring, Dave and Rob Haness approached me and asked if I’d like tackle a handful and train Bobby Baccala,” Reider related. “Dave told me the horse was temperamental, and would be a bit of a project, but Luke Plano got along with him pretty well and would continue to drive him, if possible. I said sure and the project began.”
As noted earlier, the experiment has been a success as the 4-year-old son of New Age Hanover has made a steady stream of winner’s circle appearances in the interim. As things turned out, Luke Plano has a horse of his own in the same class in Frank Provolone, so James Kennedy has been deputizing in the sulky and has been doing a great job.
From the last five times Bobby Baccala and Franky Provolone have shown up for battle in the same race, the Reider trainee has won three and Luke’s trainee has accounted for the other pair.
“Hanne (Bainter) has given wonderful attention to Bobby and he has responded,” George continued. “Bobby and Franky Provolone have been racing well and are taking turns beating each other. It’s a fun rivalry not only because of the horses, but the drivers.
“James and Luke are two of the best. Luke is a tactician, studies every race and is so good at putting his horses in good spots. James always has to be concerned where Luke and Franky are, and fortunately has been up to the task in most of their tries lately. We will be very wary of taking them on again this week.”