Day At The Track

$20,000 2-year-old finals at Plainridge

12:24 PM 24 Sep 2019 NZST
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Bettors Fire N, harness racing Han Solo, harness racing Life Is A Feast, harness racing
Bettors Fire N and driver Ron Cushing
Tom Melanson photo
Han Solo and driver Kevin Switzer, Jr.
Tom Melanson photo
Life Is A Feast and driver Howard Parker
Tom Melanson photo

Plainville, MA --- The $20,000 Wood End Light Trot and $20,000 Nauset Light Pace finals, both for 2-year-old harness racing starters, were held at Plainridge Park on Monday afternoon (Sept. 23) and both winners were Massachusetts-bred horses.

In the Wood End Light, Life Is A Feast (Royalty For Life-Luau Hanover) went off the prohibitive favorite and didn't let his backers down. Driver Howard Parker cut fractions of :28.1, :58.2 and 1:27 with a gapped two-length advantage going into the last turn. Life Is A Feast hit the top of the stretch all alone and trotted home a wrapped-up 3-1/2 length winner in 1:56.3.

The time was a new lifetime mark for the winner and also tied the track record for 2-year-old trotting geldings set by Hashtagmadeyalook (also bred in Massachusetts) in 2017.

It was the second straight win for Life Is A Feast ($3.00) and owners Al Ross and Paul Fontaine. Karen Carroll bred the winner.

Later in the Nauset Light another Mass-bred, Han Solo (Mister Big-Leah) scored his third win in a row after leading the whole race by a length while stopping the timer in :27.1, :57.4 and 1:25.4. Around the last turn and into the stretch driver Kevin Switzer Jr. sat confidently in the bike as Han Solo paced sharply and hit the wire on top by 1-1/4 lengths in 1:55.4.

Han Solo ($4.00), who set the track record of 1:54.1 for 2-year-old pacing colts two weeks ago, is owned by Monique Cohen who also bred and trains the horse.

Life Is A Feast and Han Solo should be considered early favorites in their prospective divisions of the $1.8 million Massachusetts Sire Stakes which get under way this Sunday afternoon (Sept. 29) at Plainridge Park.

The weekly featured $14,000 Winners-Over Handicap pace was won by the 1-9 Bettors Fire N (Ron Cushing) who led every step of the way. After backing the half down to :56.4 with no one pushing the pace, Bettors Fire N brushed home in :55 flat going away in an easy 1:51.4 victory.

It was the eighth win of the year for Bettors Fire N ($2.10) who now has banked $144,470 in 2019 for owners Kevin Sywyk, Ron Cushing and Frank Ranaldi. Heidi Gibbs is the trainer.

Mitchell Cushing, Drew Monti and Jim Hardy all had driving doubles on Monday and Hardy also trained both of the horses he won with.

The Wicked Hi-5 carryover pool continues to grow and will be worth $42,450 in the sixth race on Thursday when racing resumes at Plainridge Park at 2p.m.

by Tim Bojarski, for the Standardbred Owners of Massachusetts 
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