Day At The Track

Crystalline breaks stake record

10:50 AM 07 Oct 2019 NZDT
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Crystalline,Harness racing
Crystalline set a new stake record for her group in her $38,500 contest.
Tom Melanson photo

Plainville, MA --- The second leg of the $1.8 million Massachusetts Sire Stakes (MASS) got underway on Sunday (Oct. 6) at Plainridge Park with the second-year class competing in four harness racing divisions.

3-year-old trotting filly Crystalline (Chapter Seven-Royalty Free) stole the show as she set a new stake record for her group in her $38,500 contest.

Crystalline (Shawn Gray) got away fourth and watched as Ev's Girl (Steve Smith) flew to the quarter in :27.4. Gray pulled the 2-5 Crystalline past that station and rushed to the front midway through the second turn. The field bunched up on the backside with Mother Teresa (Drew Monti) coming first-over with Just Dreamin (Mike Stevenson) behind her and Ev's Girl on the pylons just a length off.

After they hit the three-quarters in 1:26 flat, Crystalline opened up a length lead over the competition and as she made her way through the last turn, continued to extend the gap. Heading down the stretch Gray was a mere passenger as Crystalline just cruised home to a 3-3/4 length win in 1:55.4.

The time was a new lifetime mark for Crystalline and it also broke the MASS stake record of 1:56.1 that was set by this filly just last week.

It was the second straight MASS win and sixth win of the year for Crystalline ($2.80) who has now earned $74,575 for owner Ray Campbell Jr., who also bred the filly. George Ducharme trains the winner.

There were no surprises in the three other divisions either as the favored horses finished on top.

MASS $39,200 trot for 3-year-old colts and geldings

Driver Jimmy Whittemore left strong from post six with Simple Kaos (RC Royalty-Ksenia) and then had his way with the field. He cut fractions of :28, :57.1 and 1:26.3 while Jake G's Champion (Shawn Gray), The Fixer (Howard Parker) and RFL's Lord Command (Jim Hardy) tried to mount an assault. But Simple Kaos was just too good and pulled away in the lane to win by 2-1/4 lengths in 1:56.4.

After scoring his second win of the stake, Simple Kaos ($3.20) has now earned $56,820 this year for owners the George Ducharme Stable and Michelle Larson. Ducharme trains the gelding that was bred by Larson.

MASS $39,200 pace for 3-year-old colts and geldings

Sent off at 1-9, CBF Bantam (Baron Biltmore-Cohenucopia) settled in fifth while Levi (Scott Renz) took the field to the quarter in :28. Driver Shawn Gray then pulled CBF Bantam and took the lead while passing the stands before the half. The pace increased up the backside and so did the heat, as Victorias Maverick (Heath Campbell) came calling during the :28.4 third quarter and got within a length of the leader around the far turn. The race headed into the stretch with Victorias Maverick and Levi both in hot pursuit and gaining ground, but CBF Bantam would not relent and won by a half-length in 1:55.1.

CBF Bantam ($2.10) remains perfect in the MASS this year and has pushed his earnings to $79,223 as a result for owners Glenn Harris and Marion Phelps, who also bred the gelding. David Crochere trains the winner.

MASS $37,800 pace for 3-year-old fillies

The lone non-betting event of the day saw driver Jim Hardy push Karan's Choice (Sportswriter-Denverlove) off the gate to take an early lead. He then stacked up the field by backing off the half to 1:00.1 and then let Karan's Choice sprint home in back to back quarters of :28.3 and :28.1 to win by 1-1/2 lengths in 1:57 flat.

Karan's Choice is now two for two in MASS action and has banked $60,724 for owner Al Ross, who also bred the filly. Driver Jim Hardy also trains Karan's Choice.

The second leg of the MASS for all 2-year-old performers will be held at Plainridge Park on Monday afternoon (Oct. 7). There is one non-betting race with a post time of 1:30 p.m. and then four more events carded as race one through four on the regular pari-mutuel program. Post time for the first race is 2 p.m.


By Tim Bojarski

for the Standardbred Owners of Massachusetts

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