Ronnie Franklin made a successful comeback at Pimlico today when he piloted Harry G. Hopkins' Bold Road to a three-quarter-lenth victory over long-shot Chwesboken in the $28,150 J. Edgar Hoover Handicap.
Droopy closed well to be third. The running time was 1:10 1-5.
Chwesboken's saddle slipped at the three-eighths pole, just as Franklin was making his move with the winner. Bold Road was left with a clear lead that could not be overcome as jockey Hector Pliar could not persevere with his lightly regarded mount.
It was Franklin's first day of racing since he was arrested in Anaheim, Calif., Monday on charges of possession of cocaine.
Asked why Bold Road had run so weakly in his last start (eighth place), trainer Bud Delp said, "I was out of town when he ran and the rider (R. A. Ussery) told me he felt the horse was sore. He can give an inexperienced rider that impression with his funny way of going. Of course, Ronnie knows the horse and rode him every step of the way."
Franklin, who finished second today with his only other mount, said, "I wanted to ride him early but didn't feel I had to have the early lead. I didn't have to switch sticks; I only had to hit him right-handed."