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Svendsen, Franks Best Great Team At Cal Expo
Thursday, March 1, 2012 - by Mark Ratzky, Publicity -- Cal Expo

Franks Best may miss here and there, but it’s never too long before Bob Johnson’s trotter makes another Cal Expo winner’s circle appearance, and that was the case in last week’s featured trot with regular pilot Lemoyne “Mooney” Svendsen.
In addition to owning and training the 5-year-old son of Amrbro Scribe, Johnson also bred Franks Best and has been rewarded with countless stakes trophies, $123,000 in earnings and a 1:57 career standard from last season.
In last week’s victory at the Winners-over level, the hard-hitting performer played the role of stalker for a half-mile.  He came out first over for Svendsen at that point, took aim on the leader once straightened for home and won going away by a length and three-quarters.
“The track last week was a little strange, and the horses didn’t seem to have the same kick in the stretch,” Mooney pointed out.  “Franks Best dug in though, and beat them on the square.  He just loves to pass horses in the lane.”
Like most performers the trotter has his quirks, with Svendsen making adjustments since joining forces with the Johnson color-bearer as a youngster.
“He could be kind of funny at 2, then he got better at 3,” his pilot noted.  “He’s pretty good now, although every once in a while he’ll toss in a squirrelly effort.”
According to Svendsen, what makes Franks Best so tough on a week in and week out basis are his good manners.
“You can basically do anything you want with him off the gate and then put him anywhere you want.”
Give this guy a decent trip and a target, which was the case last time, and most likely it’s going to end with pictures being taken.  Franks Best will attempt an encore when he suits up in Friday night’s (March 2) co-featured second race.
Cal Expo Late Pick 4 Guarantee Increases Again
For the second week in a row, the guarantee on the Friday and Saturday night Late Pick 4’s at Cal Expo has been increased, as they will now feature $20,000 guaranteed gross pools.
All Pick 4’s here at Cal Expo come with a reduced 15 percent takeout rate.  On Friday nights, there is a 0% percent takeout on winning wagers made on track or at, while the Saturday Late Pick 4 will be broadcast on TVG.
“Our players have spoken with their wagering dollars and we are answering by increasing the gross guarantees of these pools,” said Director of Racing Dave Elliott.  “We will make every effort to provide value in these races by offering competitive and full fields and will continue to offer a reduced 15 percent takeout on all Pick 4’s.”
Friday night’s (March 2) 14-race card finds co-features, with Franks Best and Shelby County in the main trot, while Albion looks to get back to his winning ways in the best pacing contest on the program.
Franks Best comes into the second event on the evening off a smart win for owner/breeder/trainer Bob Johnson and regular driver Lemoyne Svendsen. He is looking to add to a $123,000 bank account with a 1:57 mark that was set her last season.
The 5-year-old son of Armbro Scribe and the American Winner mare Inside Edition is a multiple stakes winner who captured nine of 27 tries last year and has two snapshots from eight trips to the post in 2012.  He did the stalk-and-pounce to perfection last week to win going away at juicy 6-1 odds.
Taking him on are the Rocky Stidham reined and trained Shelby County from the cozy one-hole; Giles L S Hanover, who gives the Johnson barn two looks at the outcome with Steve Wiseman guiding; Alpine Hawk for Rich Wojcio and Meringue with Luke Plano.
Live racing resumes at Cal Expo on Friday (March 2) & Saturday (March 3) at 6:00 p.m. (PST).  On every live card, Cal Expo offers free parking & free admission after 4:30 p.m.   On Friday, Cal Expo offers Happy Hour from 4:00-7:00 p.m. on which Beer; Well Drinks & Wine are offered at $4 each, while a Burger with fries is offered at $5.
Cal Expo currently offers a reduced 15 percent takeout rate on all Pick 4’s (Friday nights in partnership with the USTA Strategic Wagering Committee). Additionally, all Late Pick 4’s now come with an increased $15,000-guaranteed gross pool.  Also, the Friday Late Pick 4 will offer a 0% takeout on all winning wagers made on track or at, while the Saturday Late Pick 4 will be broadcast on TVG.