Day At The Track

It's a Grand Slam for Shawn Gray

10:32 AM 26 Nov 2019 NZDT
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Quicksilver Kemp, harness racing Zinny Mach N, harness racing
Quicksilver Kemp and driver Shawn Gray
Tom Melanson photo
Zinny Mach N and driver Ron Cushing
Tom Melanson photo

Plainville, Ma --- Driver Shawn Gray kicked off the final week of harness racing in Massachusetts in a big way, winning four races on the nine-race card at Plainridge Park on Monday afternoon (Nov. 25) including the $16,000 Open Handicap trot.

In the feature race, Gray drove Quicksilver Kemp from post four an got away last in the field of five while Nows The Moment (Mike Stevenson) stepped lively on the front with a gapped lead to the half in :57.2. The heavily favored O So Easy (Bruce Ranger) pulled first-over and Gray followed with Quicksilver Kemp as the race motored up the backside. Then O So Easy found a seat second behind the leader before the three-quarters and that left Quicksilver Kemp out in the breeze.

As the race rounded the far turn Quicksilver Kemp was winding up and continued to gain momentum before really starting to trot at the apex of the bend. Now reeling in Nows The Moment with every stride, Quicksilver Kemp drew even at the top of the stretch and then blew right by under a hand drive and won by 1-3/4 lengths in 1:55.4.

It was the third win in the last five starts and fifth win of the year for Quicksilver Kemp ($12.80) and it pushed his 2019 earnings to $72,595 for owner/trainer Joel Wheeler.

Gray completed his Grand Slam with Good Heavens (1:57.2, $10.80), Jericho (1:56.3, $3.00) and All Night Credit (1:57, $10.00).

The top pace on the card was a $14,000 conditioned event that saw Zinny Mach (Ron Cushing) pull first-over at the half and methodically advance towards the leading No Ordinary Man (Drew Campbell) before catching and out-duelling him in the stretch to win by a head in 1:53.2.

The win was the second straight and third in the last four starts for Zinny Mach ($15.00) who is owned by Frank Sywyk, Ron Cushing and Frank Ranaldi. Heidi Gibbs is the trainer.

Whereas Gray led all driver on Monday, trainer Nancy Longobardi was the top conditioner on the card sending two of her students to the winner's enclosure for photographs.

Live racing resumes at Plainridge Park on Wednesday afternoon (Nov. 27) with post time at 1 p.m. There is no racing on Thursday this week due to the Thanksgiving holiday and the meet will wrap up on Friday (Nov. 29) with a 1 p.m. post time.

By Tim Bojarski, for the Standardbred Owners of Massachusetts
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