Joey Franco moved to the lead with authority on the far turn and went on to post a one-length victory under jockey Patrick Valenzuela in Saturday's $91,325 Ack Ack Handicap at Hollywood Park.Corey Nakatani, the jockey on second-place finisher Kela, claimed interference on the far turn, but was overruled by the stewards. Publication finished third, while favorite Crafty C.T. – the 120-pound high weight in the field of seven – finished fourth. "He was just cruising with me all the way around until about the three-sixteenths pole when I asked him, and he accelerated real well," Valenzuela said. "I think Corey Nakatani, around the turn when he called the inquiry, was watching the leader (Cappuchino) and he drifted off the rail a little bit. Maybe Corey hesitated, I don't know, but I went well in hand past him. I gave him plenty of room so I don't know what he was thinking about when the inquiry arose."
Joey Franco, a 4-year-old owned by Jerry Frankel and trained by Darrell Vienna, covered the 7 1/2 furlongs in 1:27 under 118 pounds. He paid $7.40, $4.20 and $3.40. Kela returned $7 and $4.40, while the show payoff on Publication was $3.40.The victory, worth $60,275, boosted Joey Franco's earnings to $371,091. He has won six of 13 lifetime starts.(Chart, Equibase)