Day At The Track

Massachusetts Sire Stakes kick-off Monday

02:59 PM 24 Sep 2017 NZDT
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Plainridge Park, Harness Racing
Plainridge Park

Plainville, MA---The first of five harness racing dates for the $1.35 million (est.) 2017 Massachusetts Sire Stakes (MASS) program is Monday (Sept. 25) and $221,766 in purses will be up for grabs between the age, gait and gender divisions at Plainridge Park.

There are a total of nine stake races Monday, four of which are non-betting and the action begins at 1 p.m.

Horses that have already competed in breeding programs in New York, Pennsylvania, Maine, Ohio and Ontario will now be eligible to the lucrative Massachusetts program as a result of the resident broodmare registration that gives the breeder the flexibility to select any top stallion in any state and bring the mare to Massachusetts to foal. The foal is then eligible to the Massachusetts Sire Stakes program as well as the state program where the stallion is standing.

All four 2016 MASS 2-year-old champions are back at three to try and repeat their success at three and all four look to be favored in their respective competitions.

Here is a preview of the top horse(s) in each division.

3-year-old trotting colts and geldings

Muscles Jared (Muscle Massive-Tetiana) was the 2-year-old MASS champion and this year has competed heavily on the Grand Circuit as well as in the Pennsylvania Sire Stakes (PASS). He has finished second in his last four starts including the $252,000 PASS final behind Dover Dan in 1:53.3. Muscles Jared took a lifetime mark of 1:54 at Vernon Downs in June and now has $297,721 in lifetime earnings.

Trainer George Ducharme has Chris Lems up to drive Muscles Jared who leaves from post two in the second non-betting race. (PT-1:15 p.m.)

3-year-old pacing colts and geldings

Lindy The Kid (Artistic Fella-Lindy's Bandita) took sophomore honors in the division last year and has been lightly raced coming into this start. After competed in Ontario at the beginning of summer, he was given a break in July and brought back with a sharp 1:55.3 qualifier that he followed up with a 10-1/2 length, 1:54 victory in an overnight event. If he minds his manners he will give his competition all they can handle.

Greg Merton will pick up the lines for trainer Frank Antonacci as Lindy The Kid leaves from post two in the third non-betting race. (PT-1:30 p.m.)

3-year-old trotting fillies

Onangelwings (Archangel-Anotherpennyplease) was an undefeated champion in MASS action in 2016 but has made only one start this year back in June. Most recently the filly has qualified twice at Vernon Downs in preparation for this series; the last time finishing second to the second leading money-earning 3-year-old trotting filly in North America, Barn Bella.

George Ducharme and Chris Lems once again team up as Onangelwings starts from post five in the first non-betting event. (PT-1 p.m.)

3-year-old pacing fillies

Spoxy's Girl (Neutralize-Royal Ribbons) was never off the board in MASS action last year and has come back in 2017 in fine form as she has been racing in the Maine Sire Stakes (MESS) with much success. With two wins, four seconds and two thirds in the series she currently sits fourth in points there. She comes into this race winning two out of her last three starts and has the most money earned this year in the race.

Trainer Mike Graffam has Nick Graffam in the bike behind Spoxy's Girl who has been made the morning line 3-2 favorite from post three in the fifth race on the regular card. (PT-3:50 p.m.)

Delaware Heat (Western Ideal-Shady Sabrina) is the fourth returning champion from last year and this will be her first start back at Plainridge since she won the final last October. After racing at Harrington Raceway over the summer, Delaware Heat moved to Maine and put in two solid overnight efforts at Scarborough Downs and the Farmington Fair where she won easily in 1:59 by open lengths.

Trainer Kevin Switzer has assigned Shawn Gray to drive and they are the 9-5 choice from post four.

2-year-old trotting colts and geldings

Kinda Lucky Lindy (Lucky Chucky-Kinda Crazy Lindy) has been tested hard this year racing in the New York Sire Stakes (NYSS) and then two major stakes at Mohawk Raceway. He finished second in the $75,104 Champlain Stake before qualifying for the $328,000 final of the William Wellwood where he drew post seven and chased a runaway winner in 1:52.4. He certainly comes into this race tight as a drum and ready to roll.

Frank Antonacci has Greg Merton up for the first time behind Kinda Lucky Lindy who leaves from post six at 3-5 in the fourth race on the regular card (PT-3:30 p.m.).

2-year-old pacing colts and geldings (This group goes in two divisions)

Twelve (Shady Character-Sabine Hanover) is the most seasoned entry in this division having competed in the MESS. There he is the fifth highest point-getter and is nine out of 10 in the money with $23,597 on his card. He comes into this event fresh off a lifetime best win of 1:57.4, wire to wire.

Eddie Davis Jr. both trains and drives Twelve who is 7-5 from post three in race one on the regular card (PT-2:30 p.m.).

Master Of Love (Vintage Master-Denverlove) won an Ontario Sire Stake at Mohawk on Monday
(July 10) in 1:55.3 after trailing ninth by 14-lengths at the quarter. He was then off for two months before qualifying at Vernon Downs where he suffered broken equipment.

Ducharme/Lems send out Master Of Love from post five at 3-5 in race three of the regular card (PT-3:10 p.m.).

2-year-old trotting fillie

Ithinkthatsmine (RC Royalty-Super Starlet) had some early success in the NYSS finishing second, third and fifth in three starts. But the filly was rested in July and has just qualified back last week at Vernon Downs where she won handily in 2:02.

Steve Smith drives from post two for George Ducharme in the fourth non-betting race (PT-1:45 p.m.).

2-year-old pacing fillies

Rock Me Threetimes (Rock N Roll Heaven-Love Rocks) finished third in her first lifetime start at Harrington Raceway the first week of September before shipping to Maine to win an overnight event at Farmington in 2:01.1 last week.

Shawn Gray drives for Kevin Switzer from post five and is listed at 1-1 in the second race on the regular card (PT-2:50 p.m.).

A chief rival will be Delco Dusty (Jereme's Jet-Gypsy's Good Girl) who just finished third from post eight in an overnight at Saratoga Raceway in 1:55.2. She is winless in nine starts but has also drawn poorly all year.

Delco Dusty is 2-1 from post three and trainer Heidi Rohr has Greg Merton up to drive.

Here is the complete schedule of dates for the Massachusetts Sire Stakes:

September 25

2 & 3 Year Old First Leg $25,000 added

October 2

2 & 3 Year Old Second Leg $25,000 added

October 23

2 Year Old Third Leg $25,000 added

October 30

3 Year old Third Leg $25,000 added

November 6

2 & 3 Year Old Finals $85,000 est.


By Tim Bojarski, for the Standardbred Owners of Massachusetts


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