For Opinion, click here for View from the Racetrack Grandstand

Wednesday, December 28, 2016

Cal Expo Friday advance

By Mark Ratzky, publicity – Cal Expo Harness

Nobody likes a forced retirement, but the rules of the game say Frankthebank will be making his final start in Friday night’s 13th race as the pacer officially turns 15 years old on Sunday.

A son of Sportsmaster out of the Incredible Finale mare Go Go Coco, Frankthebank has made 443 starts in his career, with $470,000 in his bank account and a 1:51 mark that was established five years ago.

Frankthebank is owned by Rick and Marlene Thomas and will be sent out for the final time in his racing career by longtime conditioner George Reider. Luke Plano will be in the sulky.

Reider has trained Frankthebank for 125 of his trips to the post, and that includes 11 wins, 23 seconds and 17 third-place finishes. Bernie Wolin had the most starts with the pacer, sending him out for 191 starts.  

“It’s going to be a sad day when he leaves for his retirement, like saying goodbye to a good friend and a good buddy,” Reider said.

“We’ve traveled a lot of places together and I’m pretty sure he’s going to miss being at the barn. Hopefully he’ll adjust to his new life quickly.

“Frankthebank is the definition of an iron horse, especially when you think of all the places he’s been and all the different barns. As we’re getting close to the end of his career, it makes me kind of sad.”

Instead of giving Frankthebank a gold watch, George has something more practical in mind for the pacer. “On the first day of 2017, he’ll be eating a 25-pound of carrots – just not all at the same time. I’ll ration them.

“When he heads to his home just outside of Yosemite Valley, I’ll have the fondest memories of my boy.”

Cal Expo salutes Frankthebank and wishes him the best in his retirement!

Pair of Carryovers, Goudreau Prep on tap

A $10,140 carryover in the Pick 5, a $1,523 carryover in the Pick 6 and the prep for next week’s Shelly Goudreau Final are among the main attractions on Friday night’s Cal Expo program.

The card is conducted under the Watch and Wager LLC banner with first post at 5:55 p.m.

The Pick 5 is a 50-cent bet encompassing the first five races on the card and comes with a reduced 16 percent takeout rate. The 20-cent Pick 4 also comes with the 16 percent takeout rate and is decided on the four penultimate races of the evening, while the Pick 6 is a 50-cent wager.

The Goudreau Prep has lured a full and contentious cast. Eastender figures to be one of the major players in the line-up for driver/trainer Luke Plano and owners Maryann Plano and Nikki Hudson.

A 5-year-old son of Cheyenne Rei, Eastender was runner-up and a close third in his first two starts after coming in from Hoosier Park, then put it all together at most recent asking while posting a two and a quarter-length score as the 1-5 favorite.

Total Classic is a Ron Rettig-Zucchi-owned, James Kennedy reined-and-trained performer who fits well in the Goudreau. He scored a 14-1 upset here on December 3 and was hard used in his last start before checking in fourth in a tight finish.


There will be no Saturday racing this week, with a special Sunday program that will have a first post of 4:45 p.m. The trotters and pacers will return to the regular Friday and Saturday night schedule next week.