Day At The Track

MASS eligibles score big wins at Plainridge Park

12:18 PM 03 Aug 2019 NZST
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RFLs Lord Command, harness racing Good Heavens, harness racing
RFLs Lord Command and driver Jim Hardy
Tom Melanson photo
Good Heavens winning at Plainridge Park
Tom Melanson photo

Plainville, MA --- The Massachusetts Sire Stakes (MASS) are still about two months away, but horses eligible to the $1.8 million (est.) series are already preparing to compete in that stake in competition at many tracks. At Plainridge Park on Friday afternoon a pair of 3-year-olds, one on each gait, moved one step closer to being ready after adding solid wins in their respective races.

RFL's Lord Command (Royalty For Life-Tetiana) put in a gutsy performance in the $10,000 conditioned event for 5-year-old and younger trotters and continues to build an impressive body of work as a sophomore.

RFL's Lord Command (Jim Hardy) sat third to the quarter and then pulled by the half to pressure the leading Pembroke Monet (Drew Campbell) for the next half-mile. After hitting the three-quarters in 1:27.1, RFL's Lord Command took control from Pembroke Monet but still wasn't in the clear.

He then had to deal with Valentin (Wally Watson) who was trotting up a storm on the outside. Valentin got within a head of RFL's Lord Command at the top of the lane but the leader would not submit and RFL's Lord Command stayed tough to the wire, winning by 1/2 length in 1:57.

It was the fifth win in only nine starts this year for RFL's Lord Command ($4.00) for owner/breeder Al Ross. Jim Hardy trains the winner.

RFL's Lord Command is a 3/4 brother to Muscles Jared who was a 2-year-old MASS champion in 2016.

On the pacing side, Good Heavens (Rock N Roll Heaven-Ms Pininfarina) scored an equally impressive win in the $10,000 conditioned event for 5-year-old and younger side-wheelers and kept his winning streak alive in the process.

Good Heavens (Drew Campbell) left for position from post eight and dropped in fifth by the quarter. But that pylon position was vacated after they hit the front straight as Campbell brought Good Heavens first up to challenge Radical (Jim Hardy) who was cutting the mile. By the time they hit the half these two tangled eye to eye and were pacing strong up the backside in a :27.1 split.

At the three-quarter, Good Heavens cleared and opened up a length advantage in the final bend. But as they were heading down the stretch, Radical found new life on the outside and was barreling down on the leader. The two hit the wire together, but Good Heavens hit it first by a neck in 1:54.2.

It was the third straight win for Good Heavens ($4.80) and the winning time equaled the geldings lifetime mark set just last week.

Nancy Longobardi owns Good Heavens who is trained by Ivan Davies. The gelding was bred by Frederick Hertrich III.

Drew Campbell had a driving Grand Slam on Friday, pushing him to 72 wins for the meet at Plainridge.

Live racing resumes at Plainridge Park on Monday (Aug. 5) with post time at 4 p.m. and there will be a $16,715 carryover in the sixth race Wicked Hi-5 Pentafecta jackpot wager.

By Tim Bojarski, for the Standardbred Owners of Massachusetts
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