Franky Provolone back where he belongs
By Mark Ratzky, publicity – Cal Expo Harness
After a brief hiatus, the 10-year-old trotter Franky Provolone entered the winner’s circle last weekend while returning $25 to his backers in the process.
The veteran sidewheeler is owned and trained by Robin Clements and was given a perfect trip by Mooney Svendsen from the cozy rail start, igniting when it counted to post a two-length score over the sloppy going.
“I figured Franky would run well, but I wasn’t expecting to beat (4-5) Cadet as we were going up in class,” Clements related after the win. “The race fell his way and Mooney gave him the perfect drive.”
The win pushed the son of Armbro Scribe over the $212,000 earnings plateau and he established his lifetime standard of 1:55 4/5 three years ago.
“He’s my all-time favorite horse and a pleasure to be around and work with,” Robin noted. “He’s got a great personality and is such a happy horse. Yet he does have a little playful side to him when he takes a nip at you and then looks the other way, as if to say I didn’t do that.”
It’s horses like Franky Provolone that make harness racing so much fun to follow, as they go out there each and every week and give everything they have. Here’s hoping this guy makes a lot more trips to the winner’s circle before he calls it a career.
By the way, his upset last Friday night sparked some pretty nice payoffs in addition to this $25 win mutuel. The exacta paid $123 for a buck, the trifecta came back $85 for a mere 20-cent investment and the superfecta payout was $120 for each winning 10-cent ticket.
Sire Stakes, Open II Pace headline card
A California Sire Stakes for 4-year-old trotters featuring My Little Susie and an Open II Pace that brings out Jazzmanian Devil and Why Ask Why are the highlights on Friday night’s program at Cal Expo.
There will be 12 races presented by Watch and Wager LLC, with first post set for 7:15. The Sire Stales goes as the third event, while the Open II Pace occupies the eighth-race slot.
My Little Susie is clearly the one to beat in the Sire Stakes as this mare has dominated both big-money events for the division decided this year. The 4-year-old daughter of Claudius Augustus is owned by A Piece Of The Action LLC, is conditioned by Gene Vallandingham and will have Mooney Svendsen at the controls.
The bay miss was a seven and a half-length victress in the initial Sire Stakes for his group on May 3, then played the role of stalker in the most recent clash on March 3 and drew off in the stretch by three and three-quarter lengths. No matter how things shake out early, she figures to be tough once again.
Taking her on are Lodi Bank Robber for Pierre Girard; Breezani, Chip Lackey; Yes She Will, who will have the services of William Hernandez; and Delta Breezeoflodi with Luke Plano at the helm.
In the co-featured Open II Pace, Why Ask Why is a 7-year-old son of No Pan Intended who carries the banner of Windy City Farm with Chip Lackey doing the driving and training.
He was a sharp runner-up to Barbarian in the March 17 Open and will be looking for his third win on the year from a dozen trips to the post. Completing the field are Jazzmanian Devil, Bettormeboy, Anderlecht, Buddy’s Hope and Rusty Carter.