Day At The Track

Track record set at Plainridge Park

12:14 PM 02 Oct 2020 NZDT
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Benny Is A Jet, harness racing
Benny Is A Jet setting a track record with driver Mitchell Cushing in the sulky.
Tom Melanson photo

Plainville, MA --- Benny Is A Jet has only made five starts at Plainridge Park this year but it's not how many starts you make, it's what you do when you make them. And on Thursday (Oct. 1) Benny Is A Jet made history as he rewrote the track's record book after becoming the fastest 3-year-old pacing gelding in the tracks 21-year history.

In a $15,000 conditioned event four 4-year-olds and under, Benny Is A Jet (Mitchell Cushing) got away second behind Prince Galaxy (Matty Athearn) who paced to the quarter in :26.4. But he only remained in the second seat for another eighth of a mile as Cushing pulled him in front of the stands and took the lead before the half, and from there he raced against the clock.

Benny Is A Jet burned up the backstretch in another :26.4 quarter and opened up a three-length lead by the top of the stretch. As the race headed towards the wire, Benny Is A Jet extended his lead to six under a hand drive with the plugs in and stopped the timer in 1:50.4, which was a new lifetime mark and track record.


It was the fourth win in the last five starts for Benny Is A Jet ($9.00) who is owned by Bradford Veilleux and Anthony Loiko. James Dunn trains the new record-holder.

The $17,500 weekly featured Winners-Over pace went to recent Australian import Leonidas A, who had been racing at Yonkers Raceway.

Major Leaguer (Kevin Switzer Jr.) and Rock Diamonds N (Ron Cushing) argued vehemently for the lead with Major Leaguer grabbing the front in :25.4. Leonidas A (Shawn Gray) pulled early and was trekking up the rim around the second turn, drawing even with Major Leaguer by the five-eighths and taking the lead by the three-quarters. But the race wasn't over yet. Military Master A (Bruce Ranger) was charging hard on the outside and Major Leaguer bounced back along the pylons. All three paced in close proximity down the lane but Leonidas A hung on to win by only 1/4 length in 1:51.3, which was a new lifetime mark.

It was the second win in only five North American starts for Leonidas A ($2.10) who is owned by the Jesmeral Stable and trained by Sheena Mcelhiney.

Five horsemen registered two victories each at Plainridge on Thursday. Drivers Mitchell Cushing, Kevin Switzer Jr. and Bruce Ranger along with trainer Jimmy Nickerson and Artie Brewer accounted for those 10 wins.

Racing resumes at Plainridge Park on Friday (Oct. 2) with post time at 2 p.m. The Massachusetts Sire Stakes resume this week at Plainridge on Sunday (Oct. 4) and Monday (Oct. 5). Post time for both of those cards is also 2 p.m.

by Tim Bojarski, for the Standardbred Owners of Massachusetts
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