Day At The Track

Artful Way displays career best in Open

01:14 PM 02 May 2017 NZST
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Artful Way
Artful Way
Tom Melanson photo

Plainville, MA---After winning feature races at the Meadowlands and Saratoga Raceway in recent weeks, Artful Way ($4.20) brought his harness racing traveling road show to Plainridge Park and captured the $13,000 Open Handicap pace on Monday afternoon (May 1).

It was a mad rush for the lead when the gate released the field. Marital Bliss (Chris Long), Artful Way (Bruce Aldrich Jr.) and last week's Open winner Hickory Icon (Eddie Davis Jr.) all battled for the front before they settled in past the quarter in :26 flat. Hickory Icon leading, was followed by Artful Way and Marital Bliss and the rest of the field did what it could to keep up. But when they hit three-quarters in 1:21.4, it became a two-horse breakaway as Hickory Icon and Artful Way showed their superior class.

At the top of the lane Artful Way pulled out and paced up next to Hickory Way and from there, Davis and Aldrich bounced in their bikes in unison down the stretch. About one hundred yards from the wire, Artful Way got stout and put his head in front for good and hung on to win in 1:50.2.

It was Artful Way's third win in four weeks and included victories over three different sized tracks. And those wins tied his existing lifetime mark twice and established a new one of 1:50.2 at Plainridge Park.

It was the fourth win in eight 2017 starts for Artful Way and it raised his annual income to $32,020 for owner Kellogg Racing Stables LLC. The 5-year-old gelded son of Artistic Fella is trained by Jackie Greene.

In the co-featured $10,000 "Old Ironsides" starter event, Cherokee Hiflyzane (Chris Long) stalked the favored pacesetter Escape The News (Ron Cushing) before out-legging him down the lane in 1:52.2. It was the third victory in four starts this year for Cherokee Hiflyzane ($8.60) and his owners Roger Farrar II and Barrie Farrar, who also trains the winner.

Bruce Aldrich Jr. and Greg Merton both had driving doubles on Monday and Barrie Farrar and Dan Gill each scored two wins on the training side.

Racing resumes at Plainridge Park on Tuesday afternoon (May 2) with the first post set for 4 p.m.

By Tim Bojarski for the Standardbred Owners of Massachusetts
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