Watch and Wager LLC will raise the curtain on its new harness meeting at Cal Expo on Friday night, with the Alan Kirschenbaum Memorial Pace heading the card. It will go as the eighth race on a 14-race program.
The Watch and Wager meeting will run through May 11, with Friday and Saturday programs until Dec. 22, then three nights per week for the remainder of the meet on a Thursday-through-Saturday basis. The exception will be a special Wednesday, Dec. 26, card with no racing the following evening.
The feature was named for the longtime owner and breeder and past president of the California Harness Horsemen's Association, Alan Kirschenbaum, who died last Friday, Oct. 26. There will be a memorial service on the track.
Kirschenbaum was a major factor in California as an owner, breeder and amateur driver for many years. With his stallions Little Steven and British Sterling standing at Cherry Tree Farm in Wilton, Cal. He helped support the industry in California.
In past years, he even waived his stallion fees to help the California horsemen breed their mares to help the horse population survive in the Golden State. He was also a huge supporter of the California Sire Stakes and amateur races.
The Kirschembaum Memorial is a $3,400 pacing event with a solid field of nine set to face the starter. There will also be a $6,000 Open trot on the card that will go as the third race on the evening and will match Shelby County, Dudis Angel, Giles L S Hanover, Alpine Hawk and Franky Provolone.
Post time for the live action will be at 5:55 p.m., Pacific and racing will continue on Saturday with a 13-race program.
There will be a 50-cent Pick-5 beginning with the third race, a $1 Pick-4 with a guaranteed gross pool of $25,000 starting on the 10th race and a 10-cent Super High-5 conducted on the finale. All of these wagers feature a reduced, 16 percent takeout and will have carryovers if there is no winning ticket.
After enhancing his reputation in Minnesota this summer, Franky Provolone has returned to Cal Expo and owner Robin Clements is looking to having some fun with this distinctively named trotter.
Clements claimed Franky Provolone for $3,750 here on May 18 and he has made 13 starts for his owner while under the direction of Steve and Kathy Wiseman, Jim Covemaker and Vicky Desomer, coming away with a pair of victories, six seconds and three thirds. He established a new mark of 1:57.1 during his Running Aces stint while pushing his bank account for the year over the $40,000 mark.
"Franky was born at the Desomer Farm and he's by Armbro Scribe out of the mare Simply Royal,”
Clements related. "I felt a closeness to him right away because I took care of the dam for Rick Plano after she had a bad foaling experience two years later and almost lost her Revenue S foal.
"Simply Royal was a timid but very sweet mare and Franky has all her traits, right down to the dapples in his brown coat. He shipped back from Minnesota in September and we gave him a month off before going back to work to get ready for this meet. He's been spending his days at the farm with his pasturemate Taxi Dancer and I'm really looking forward to seeing them both racing here again.”
At least a part of Franky Provolone's success may be owed to a very special member of his rooting section.
"That would be my mom Jan, who just turned 83,” Clements pointed out. "She's Franky's biggest fan and encouraged me to claim him back in May. She followed his progress all summer and we never expected him to have the kind of meeting he had at Running Aces. He was the underdog who surprised everybody.” (Cal Expo)