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Little 'Frank' Stands Tall; Plano Wins Six

Published: March 25, 2012 6:41 pm ET

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Mother Nature huffed and puffed, but couldn't blow Franks Best down.

A field of five Winners Over trotters, racing for a purse of $4,500, were featured at Cal Expo on a fairly windy Saturday night (March 24), on which Franks Best scored for the 23rd time in his career.

Softly leaving from his assigned Post 5 to get around a longshot opponent, the five-year-old came away fourth into a :29 opening quarter. Staying put in the second quarter while racing tight, driver Lemoyne Svendsen was forced to change his strategy when the pacesetting Putoneonnetformom (James Kennedy) scooted off by two and three-quarter lengths at the half-mile juncture, timed in :58.3.

"I really didn't want to pull yet at that point," stated Svendsen. "But Putoneonnetformom was starting to get away from me too far, so I knew I had to go."

With Kennedy having a good handful with his trotter to the final turn while on top by four lengths, Svendsen moved his charged uncovered just past the 9/16ths mile marker and started moving forward, but with a little hitch in his giddy-up.

"He did have a little bit of a bounce to him, but the wind was affecting him a lot around the last turn and was blowing him all over the place because he's just a little guy. At that point all I wanted to do was get around Giles L S Hanover [driven by Steve Wiseman] and get back to the inside."

Crossing over to the inside as he wanted while now racing in second, Franks Best suddenly picked up Putoneonnetformom to the 1:27.4 three-quarter mile pole and cut the margin to a diminishing three lengths with a quarter of a mile to go.

“As soon as I cleared Giles and went inside, it seemed like it cut a hole in the wind for me and my horse closed the gap right away. I knew I had Putoneonnetformom beat then."

Quickly narrowing the gap to only one and a half lengths and out for the drive with 3/16ths left to trot, Svendsen didn't have to do much to get the lead.

"I pulled him and hardly had to urge him -- just a few light taps -- and he went right by at the seven-eighths and would be real good through the stretch."

Only under just a bit of minor urging until late, the gelding won ($3.80) pretty comfortably by one and a quarter lengths. Bred, owned and trained by Bob Johnson, Franks Best stopped the timer at 1:57.4, a seasonal best while repeating. Putoneonnetformom finished in second, and Shelby County (Rocky Stidham) finished a half of one-length farther back in third.

"He was fine, he was real good," finished Svendsen.

On the 15-race program, leading driver Luke Plano had six winners.

(Cal Expo)

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