Franks' Gold Ruckus Wins Lafayette 'Cap

A day after his death Dec. 31, John Franks' homebred Gold Ruckus rallied from off the pace to win the $81,000 Lafayette Handicap at Golden Gate Fields Thursday.

Franks, 78, a four-time Eclipse Award-winning owner who led the nation in wins six times, died in Shreveport, Louisiana.

"We will all miss Mr. Franks," said Jerry Hollendorfer, who trains Gold Ruckus and has conditioned horses for Franks on and off since the 1990s.  "He has been a great boost for horse racing and will be missed."

Gold Ruckus, ridden by Kevin Radke, won his fourth straight race by a length over Truly a Judge. Bring Home Thegold was third, four lengths behind the winner. The time for the one-mile dirt test on a wet-fast track was 1:34 2/5.

Cappuchino, the 119-pound high weight and 2-1 favorite in the field of six, was fourth.

Gold Ruckus, carrying 116 pounds, broke alertly, then fell back as Cappuchino established the pace (:23 2/5, :46 3/5 and 1:10). The winner angled four wide on the final turn and wore down Truly a Judge with a steady bid in the late stages.

Gold Ruckus' 10th win 27 career starts was worth $47,250 and swelled the 6-year-old Gold Alert gelding's bankroll to $248,570. Gold Ruckus' previous three wins during the current victory streak were all in claiming races, the most recent coming on soft turf at 1 1/16 mile Dec. 13.

Gold Ruckus paid $7.20, $3.40 and $2.60. Truly a Judge returned $3.20 and $2.80. Bring Home Thegold's show was $2.80.

(Chart, Equibase)