Day At The Track

Front end speed prevails at Plainridge

07:27 AM 27 Nov 2020 NZDT
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Opus Blue Chip, harness racing
Opus Blue Chip owned by Scott Dillon and trained by Joe Nelson
Tom Melanson photo

Plainville, MA --- A pair of $18,000 condition contests highlighted the harness racing action at Plainridge Park on Wednesday afternoon (Nov. 25) with front-end speed prevailing in each.

In the District 9 special event "The Brown", Opus Blue Chip (Kevin Switzer Jr.) went right to the front and paced to the half unencumbered in :56.4. Then during the second half he turned back a mid-race challenge from Simply Susational N (Ron Cushing) and held off a late stretch run by Biggie (Mitchell Cushing) to win by 1/4 length in 1:53.4.

It was the third win of the year for Opus Blue Chip ($5.40) who is owned by Scott Dillon and trained by Joe Nelson.

Then in the 5-year-old and under condition, Whata Foolbelieves (Matty Athearn) got away third at the quarter but pulled at that point and took command by the half in :55.2. Right there Touch Of Character (Steve Wilson) pulled alongside and started to match strides with the leader. The two paced in tandem to three-quarters and around the far turn where Whata Foolbelieves took command by a length and held off late rushes from three closers to win by 1/4 length in 1:53.3.

It was also the third win of the year for Whata Foolbelieves ($3.00) and owners Joan Harmon, Normand St. Clair and Michael Foley. Gretchen Athearn does the training.

Whata Foolbelieves

Whata Foolbelieves

Team Graffam had a big day at The Ridge as Nick Graffam had a driving triple and Mike Graffam had a training double to lead all horsemen in their respective categories.

There is no racing on Thanksgiving Thursday (Nov. 26) but live racing will resume for the last time in 2020 on Friday (Nov. 27) at 1 p.m. Plainridge has announced that Friday's Hi-5 wager -- which is offered in race six -- will carry a guaranteed $75,000 pool with a mandatory payout. The Wicked Hi-5 on Friday will be part of the United States Trotting Association's Strategic Wagering program and as such, a free program page for the race will be available on the USTA's website or by clicking here.

The $75,000 guaranteed pool is the largest ever offered in the 21-year history of Plainridge Park.

By Tim Bojarski, for the Standardbred Owners of Massachusetts

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