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Owner Enjoying "Once In A Lifetime Claim"

Published: December 12, 2012 10:21 pm ET

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Coming off a solid summer campaign at Running Aces in Minnesota, Robin Clements had high hopes for her trotter Franky Provolone at this Cal Expo meeting and he has not disappointed.

Four of his five appearances at this session with Tim Maier in the sulky have ended up in the winner’s circle and that makes the son of Armbro Scribe an eye-catching 15-for-39 on the year with over $50,000 in seasonal earnings. His 15 scores ranks him seventh in the country among winningest trotters and he’ll attempt to add another on Friday night, which just so happens to be his owner’s birthday.

Clements red-tagged Franky Provolone last May with trainer Vickie Desomer and it’s proven to be an extremely shrewd purchase.

“I am very lucky to have him,” she related. “He is that once in a lifetime claim that we horsemen dream of. Vickie and I have a joke between us every time he wins where she will say to me about how did I get so lucky with this horse and I’ll reply back that I listened to my trainer!”

Tim Maier has developed a great rapport with Franky Provolone and Clements acknowledges that is an important part of the equation.

“Tim says he’s a very nice horse, easy to drive and really has the desire to win,” she said.

While the Clements performers normally spend their time at the Desomer farm and ship in for their races, the recent rainy weather didn’t allow that luxury and they actually stayed at Cal Expo.

“I was finally able to take 'Franky' and Taxi Dancer back to the farm after last Friday’s races and Saturday morning they got turned out in their grass paddock.

“They bucked and played for 15 minutes and then it was time for 'Franky’s favourite thing to do, which is to head for the mud hole for a good roll. By the time he gets done playing in that he looks like he’s been off-roading as he’s covered in mud from head to hoof. I just try to keep him happy as I really believe a happy horse makes a good horse, and 'Franky' is gleaming right now.”

It will be interesting to see if the razor-sharp trotter can keep the momentum going on Friday night, with things getting a bit tougher as he does his work from the outside slot for this go-around.

The second leg of the Bob Staats Pacing Series for fillies and mares headed by Dont Hurry Love and RD Iou and an Open Trot featuring the streaking Franky Provolone headline the Friday night action at the Watch and Wager LLC meeting at Cal Expo.

Dont Hurry Love accounted for the first leg of the Staats two weeks ago in her California debut for owner Ed Actkinson, trainer Bob Johnson and pilot Bruce Clarke and then was third in a conditioned affair at most recent asking.

The dark-hued three-year-old invaded from Indiana and had no trouble with some missed time and the sloppy track in the Staats opener. She tracked early from third, came first-over to launch her bid at the half and proved clearly strongest through the stretch with a sharp :28.2 final quarter under some challenging conditions.

RD Iou is a four-year-old Iowa-bred miss who races for Denise and Tim Maier with Steve Wiseman handling the lines. She has accounted for eight of her 23 appearances on the year, including a lifetime-best 1:54.1 tour at Running Aces, and carved out all the pace in the first leg of the Staats before yielding to Dont Hurry Love. She was able to turn the tables in that aforementioned conditioned event last Saturday night, making every pole a winning one in a game mile.

Rounding out the field are Drawing Dead, who leaves from the rail with Williams Hernandez; Twentyone Guns, who gives trainer Johnson two looks at the outcome with Scott Cisco in the bike; In Regal Attire for Dan Gassien; and La Madawna De Rosa, to be handled by Luke Plano.

The holiday schedule at Cal Expo will find the trotters and pacers in action on Friday through Sunday (Dec 21 to 23) with first post on each of those special daytime cards being 2:35 p.m. The following week will see a Wednesday (Dec. 26) program with a 5 p.m. starting time, followed by racing on Friday and Saturday (Dec 28 and 29) with a scheduled first post of 5:55 p.m.

(Cal Expo)

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