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Hey, It's Franky Provolone At Cal Expo!
Friday, March 16, 2012 - by Mark Ratzky, Publicity -- Cal Expo

There are a few things that can make a horse a fan favorite, among those a catchy name and a proclivity for landing in the winner’s circle.  Say hello to the trotter Franky Provolone.
 
This guy obviously has the type of moniker that catches your attention, while his current four-race winning streak makes him popular with those who frequent the windows.
 
Franky Provolone was actually a wedding present from Rick and Maryann Plano to son Luke when he married his wife Nikki a couple of years ago, and it is one of those gifts that keeps on giving.  It sure beats the heck out of blender.
 
Using his patented late charge, the trotter has left little doubt over the past four weeks, rewarding the chalk-players on each occasion.  He will attempt to keep the momentum going at Cal Expo in Saturday evening’s (March 17) fourth race with his trainer at the controls.
 
“He’s in a pretty comfortable class right now, because there’s no in-between level like there was before and some of the tougher ones have moved up,” Plano explained.  “He’s shown he’s a little better off a trip, which is what I’m trying to give him every week.”
 
Luke notes that Franky Provolone has also brought wife Nikki closer to the game.
 
“She doesn’t come from a racing background, but she’s grown to be very close to this horse and it brings her out to the barn all the time.”
 
Franky Provolone is actually the only performer directly under Luke’s care at the moment, but he is preparing a trio of babies that are showing plenty of potential.
 
“I’ve got two Kentucky-bred trotters for D & E Racing, and also a full sister to Pacinello named Stefania who is doing every right to this point.”
 
In the meantime, Franky Provolone is shouldering the load quite nicely and will attempt to add another notch to the win column on Saturday night.
 
 
Saturday Pacing Main Event At Cal Expo Brings Out Albion
 
Steve WisemanAlbion, fresh from one of the most dominating victories of the season, gets the top billing at Cal Expo in Saturday night’s (March 17) $3,600 headliner.  A field of eight will face starter, with Albion leaving from the No. 2 slot.
 
A 6-year-old son of The Panderosa and the Artsplace mare Arcatraz, Albion is conditioned by Matias Ruiz and is owned by the trainer, Dan Tulio and James Mascola with Luke Plano making a return appearance in the sulky.
 
In last week’s mile, Albion was sent off the 3-5 choice while racing under these same conditions and made those odds look like a gift.  Plano buzzed him right to the front from his one-hole draw and he set the fractions without challenge.  He opened up four on the field at mid-stretch and the official winning margin was seven and three-quarter lengths while stopping the timer in 1:53.3 that evening.
 
Ivegotwhatuneed was the runner-up in that affair and is back with Lemoyne Svendsen in his usual spot at the controls.  Trainer Bob Johnson co-owns the 9-year-old son of Ivegotwhatuneed with Marty Garey and he is closing in on the $300,000 earnings plateau with a 1:52 mark from three years ago.
 
Completing the line-up are Cycle Power with James Kennedy; Myra’s Hiho, who gives the Johnson barn two looks at the outcome; One And Only with Jim Lackey; Whipped Dreams for Rich Wojcio; Stanza with Steve Wiseman; and Western So, who does his work from the outside and has Tony Succarotte at the helm.
 
Live racing resumes at Cal Expo on Friday (March 16) & Saturday (March 17) 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.  Additionally, all Late Pick 4’s now come with an increased $20,000-guaranteed gross pool.  Also, the Friday Late Pick 4 will offer a 0% takeout on all winning wagers made on track or at Twinspires.com, while the Saturday Late Pick 4 will be broadcast on TVG.