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Luck Has Nothing To Do With It For Just Plum Lucky At Cal Expo
Thursday, January 5, 2012 - by Mark Ratzky, Publicity -- Cal Expo

Just Plum Lucky certainly finished up 2011 in style at Cal Expo for owners Rick and Marlene Thomas and trainer George Reider, landing in the winner’s circle following four of her last five trips to the post.
While the daughter of Power Of Art is a homebred, she was actually red-tagged last year and then re-claimed by Team Thomas and Reider two months ago.
“Plum was actually the first horse Rick and Marlene bred and I broke her as a yearling,” George related.
“There are certainly some sentimental feelings there.  After she was claimed from us, I told them to sit tight and if she ever goes in a $2,500 race, we’ll take her back.  When she turned up for that price in November, we reached back in for her.”
The move has certainly paid off.  Just Plum Lucky won her first try back in the Reider barn, had a troubled trip at next asking, and has since rattled off three in a row.  The most recent saw the dark-hued mare romping home by six lengths with a :27.1 final quarter for James Kennedy.
“She is a hard horse to read and maybe some of my personality rubbed off on her," he said jokingly.  “I know that she’s definitely happy to be home.”
The conditioner is especially pleased to see things going well for his clients.
“Rick and Marlene put so much time and money into our industry and I’m happy this is working out for them.  We have a 3-year-old brother to Plum and we need him to have some of her speed, and then there’s another brother I’ll be breaking in a few months.
“When you have partners like Rick and Marlene Thomas and Dave, Rob and Robert Harness, it’s a joy to go to work.”
Putoneonnetformom, Franks Best Do Battle On Friday At Cal Expo
Bob JohnsonFranks Best and Putoneonnetformom, who have dominated the top ranks among the trotting set at this meet, continue this excellent rivalry in Friday evening’s (January 6) $4,500 headliner at Cal Expo.  A 15-race card is on tap, with the feature going as the opener.
From their last seven meetings, Franks Best has posed for pictures three times, while Putoneonnetformom has gotten the job on the other three occasions.  Rounding out the field are Shelby County, Giles L S Hanover, Meringue and Broadway Victory.
Franks Best is a 5-year-old son of Armbro Scribe and the American Winner mare Inside Edition who is owned, trained and was bred by Bob Johnson and will once again have Lemoyne Svendsen giving directions.  He is at the $116,000 earnings mark and sports a 1:57 mark.
He completely dominated his rivals on November 17 and December 1, putting his versatility and class on display.  Franks Best made every pole a winning one in the first of those scores, coming home with two and three-quarters length to spare that evening.  He sat off a wicked pace at next asking, looped the leaders turning for home and drew off in a romp while establishing the 1:57 career standard.
Sent off at 30 cents on the dollar in the most recent get-together at the top level, he had to be happy with a third-place finish after sitting last to the stretch while his archrival enjoyed a clear advantage to the lane and turned the tables that evening.
Putoneonnetformom is an 8-year-old Trot For Joy homebred has been turning in some huge efforts here since returning from a vacation.  His most recent tally put him at $125,000 in earnings and he has a 1:57.2 mark on his card.  He carries the banner of Jeff, Gerald and Diana Cimini, hails from the Rocky Stidham barn and has James Kennedy again doing the honors.
In that last score, Kennedy made what proved to be the winning move with the trotter past the quarter.  Putoneonnetformom opened up turning for home and came to the wire by a length and three-quarters over stable-mate Shelby County while Franks Best was another length back in third.  Other driving assignments find Tony Succarotte guiding Shelby County; Steve Wiseman drives Giles L S Hanover; Luke Plano will handle Meringue and John McKeon pilots Broadway Victory from the rail.
Live racing resumes at Cal Expo on Friday (January 6) & Saturday (January 7) at 6:00 p.m. (PST).  On Friday, Cal Expo offers free parking & free admission after 4:30 p.m.   Also on Friday, Cal Expo offers Happy Hour between 6:00-8:30 p.m., where $2 Beer, $2 Wine & $2 Buffalo Wings an order is offered.  

Cal Expo now offers a reduced 15 percent takeout rate on all Pick 4’s (Thursday/Friday nights in partnership with the USTA Strategic Wagering Committee).  In addition, all Late Pick 4’s will come with a $10,000-guaranteed pool.  On Saturday night, there will be a 0% takeout on successful Late Pick 4 tickets made at Cal Expo or at