Franzo used some quick leg action early to score a gate to wire win Thurs. Feb. 8 at Rosecroft. The veteran Indiana pacer rallied home in the conditioned pace in 1:52.4 for the win.
Post eight did not deter Franzo from seeking the lead, and as the announcer noted, he followed the gate out in a fury headed to the top. Only one other horse left for the lead as well and Windemere Frank and Declan Donoway slipped into the two hole as Franco passed the quarter in :27.0. He got a breather to the half in :56.1 before the outer flow began to form, led by race favorite Crystal Beach and Jared Moyer. Franzo picked up the pace at the three-quarters in 1:23.3 and Crystal Beach could not keep up, forcing traffic three wide around the final turn.
Coming out of the turn, Russell Foster popped the earplugs on Franzo who headed straight to the wire, unfazed by horses coming at him from both sides. In the end, he was a one length winner over Stellar Blue Chip and Jonathan Roberts on the outside. Fast Chat and Trae Porter moved along the inside for third.
Franzo paid $18.40 for the win. The 12-year-old son of Rockin Image is owned and trained by Thomas Lord of Maryland. Steve Schmucker bred the old timer, who earned his first win of 2024 and his 48th overall. With 232 career starts, Franzo has more than $420,000 on his card. His career best time of 1:49.1 was taken at five at Miami Valley. The one-time Indiana Sires Stakes contender started off at The Meadowlands under the direction of Jimmy Takter before joining the Tim Wilson Jr. barn in Indiana.
Franzo sold at the Hoosier Classic Yearling Sale for $67,000. Wilson signed the ticket as agent for Takter. He sold under the name Rocky Island and was consigned by Peninsula Farm Inc. He has gone through many owner changes over the past 10 years and has been with his current owner Lord for almost two years.
Franzo’s dam, Trinity Islands, took a mark of 1:50.3 and earned a quarter million during her career. She has produced several tough racehorses over the years. Franzo is one of her richest. Island of the Sea is her quickest with a mark of 1:48.4.