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Plainville, MA --- Major Leaguer tripped-out to the head of the lane and then brushed hard to the wire to win the $17,500 Winners-Over harness racing feature pace at Plainridge Park on Monday afternoon (Sept. 21). Heavily favored Paternity Suit A (Drew Monti) pushed away the gate and led the field to the quarter in :26.3 with Major Leaguer (Nick Graffam) tucked in the garden spot. Just before the group reached the half, JK Will Power (Mitchell Cushing) came first over and pushed the pace to :27.1 in the third quarter, where Paternity Suit A opened up a two-length advantage. Rolling around the far turn Major Leaguer was in the perfect spot to strike and eventually shook loose at the top of the lane. With a margin to reel in, Graffam kept after Major Leaguer and they methodically made up ground on the leader, eventually catching Paternity Suit A by ½ length at the line to win in 1:50.4.   It was the fifth win of the year for Major Leaguer ($17.60) and owner Jimmy Whittemore. Marissa Chadbourne trains the winner. The co-featured $15,000 condition for 4-year-olds and under went to Pacer Racer (Drew Monti) who took the lead past the half and closed the deal with a one length win over a fast closing Finnbar (Ron Cushing) in 1:54.2. Pacer Racer ($4.80) registered his second win of the season for his owners Paul London, Michael Sepinuck, Kathleen Brewer and Andrew Kelson. Artie Brewer II is the trainer. Drew Monti led all drivers on Monday with four wins followed by Nick Graffam and Shawn Gray with two apiece. Sheena Mcelhiney was the top trainer with two wins. Racing resumes at Plainridge Park on Thursday (Sept. 24) with post time at 2 p.m. The Massachusetts Sire Stakes begin on Sunday (Sept. 27) at Plainridge Park and run through Monday (Oct. 26). There are three preliminary legs for each age, gender and gait followed by the finals. For more information on the MASS please log onto the Standardbred Owners of Massachusetts at www.sominc.net. By Tim Bojarski, for the Standardbred Owners of Massachusetts

Plainville, MA --- A pair of 4-year-old mares won co-featured $12,000 distaff paces at Plainridge Park on Thursday afternoon (Sept. 17), each employing a different harness racing strategy to get the job done. First in a mid-level conditioned event, That's Incredible (Drew Monti) drafted along fifth while Avery Seelster (John Nason) marshaled the group to the half in a quick :54.3. At that point Monti had That's Incredible out and rolling on the outside as they made their way up the backside. Passing horses quickly, That's Incredible drew alongside Avery Seelster in the last turn and took the lead at the head of the stretch. Under mild urging, That's Incredible stayed in front of the late closing Shady Caroline (Nick Graffam) and Certified Ideal (Mitchell Cushing) to win in 1:53.2, which was a new seasonal mark.   That's Incredible ($3.60) scored her fourth win of the year for owner Joseph Trice and trainer Jimmy Nickerson. Then in the non-winners of six lifetime condition, Mary Goodnight (Shawn Gray) took the lead at the quarter and stayed on top all the way to the wire. Posting fractions of :27.3, :57 and 1:25.1, Mary Goodnight turned for home and held off the hard charging After The Lovin (Ron Cushing), Cornerd Beach (Bruce Ranger) and Ry's Red Rocket (Matty Athearn) all the way down the stretch to win by a length in 1:54.   It was the third win in a row and fourth out of the last five starts for Mary Goodnight ($2.40) who is owned by Joey Mcwhinnie and trained by Scott Rollins. Driver Bruce Ranger had the hot hand again, winning three races on the card while Kevin Switzer Jr. and Jay Randall each won two. Trainer Melissa Beckwith registered three winners as well with Robert Gale posting two. Racing resumes at Plainridge Park on Friday afternoon (Sept. 17) with post time set for 2 p.m. By Tim Bojarski, for the Standardbred Owners of Massachusetts

Plainville, MA --- After drawing three consecutive outside harness racing posts, Paternity Suit A found himself starting third from the pylons and made it pay as he won the $15,000 Winners-Over pacing feature at Plainridge Park on Monday afternoon (Sept. 7). Driver Drew Monti pushed away the gate with Paternity Suit A and grabbed the lead immediately and with the field in single file behind him, backed the half down to :55.3. As the field motored up the backside, last week's feature winner Tom Me Gun N (Shawn Gray) pulled first over into the breeze and mounted a challenge against the leader. Tom Me Gun N got to within a length of Paternity Suit A around the last turn but when they hit the top of the stretch, Monti tapped the bike twice and Paternity Suit A swelled up and pulled away to a 4-3/4 length lead at the wire and won in 1:50.3.   It was the fourth win in the last six starts for Paternity Suit A ($6.00) who is owned by Tony Gruppo and Tim Bojarski. The second fastest mile of the day was posted by Avatartist in the $12,000 upper level condition pace who won after taking a bit of air. Mitchell Cushing pulled Avatartist first over from fourth at the half and motored up the outer rim in a 1:22 three-quarters. From there, he continued to wear down the front running Quick Shot (Bruce Ranger) in the lane and tripped the beam 1-1/4 lengths ahead in 1:50.4. It was the fourth win of the year for Avatartist ($6.60) and trainer Mark Eaton who co-owns with Bob McHugh, Robert Griffin and Russell Young. Racing resumes at Plainridge Park on Thursday (Sept. 10) with post time at 2 p.m. By Tim Bojarski, for the Standardbred Owners of Massachusetts

Batavia, NY --- After winning the top class pace going gate to wire last week, Black is Back did it again from off the pace on Saturday evening (Aug. 29) in the $8,500 Open I pacing feature at Batavia Downs. Black Is Back (Drew Monti) started from fifth and watched the action from there as Mr. Euroman N (Billy Davis Jr.) led the race to the half in :56.3. At that station Long Train Runnin (Denny Bucceri) came first up and provided live cover for Black Is Back, who was eagerly following. Long Train Runnin was grinding away at Mr. Euroman N up the backside to the three-quarters and into the final bend where Monti tipped Black Is Back three deep and threw the lines at him for more speed. Black Is Back responded and methodically overtook everyone as he paced down the lane to the wire and won by 3/4's of a length in 1:53.4, which was a new seasonal mark. It was the third Open win at Batavia this year for Black Is Back ($12.60) who is owned by Curtis Edholm and Mihajlo Zdjelar Sr. Mihajlo Zdjelar Jr. is the trainer. Drew Monti also scored a win in the underbilled $7,500 Open II pace with Stratosphere, who led every step of the mile before kicking away to a 2-1/4 length victory in 1:53.3, just missing his lifetime best by 1/5th of a second. It was the second straight win for Stratosphere ($3.20) who is owned by his driver and trained by Darrin Monti. Drew Monti capped off a big night with two more wins with Cultural Paradise (1:56.4, $4.00) and Charmbo Orbit (1:55, $11.80) giving him a grand slam for the evening. Jim Morrill Jr. also scored a grand slam, winning with Sir Richie N (1:57, $2.90), Triple Seelster (1:55.4, $4.50), Littlebitaclass (1:57.2, $2.90) and Mr. Sideburns (1:57.1, $4.40). Other horsemen tallying multiple wins included driver Billy Davis Jr. and trainers Mihajlo Zdjelar Jr. and Gerry Sarama who all garnered two wins on the night. After Saturday's action, Jim Morrill Jr. continues to lead all drivers for wins during the meet with 32 victories, Billy Davis Jr. is second with 23 and Drew Monti jumped into third Saturday with 15. Dave McNeight III (14) and Ray Fisher Jr. (12) round out the top five. Racing resumes at Batavia Downs on Wednesday (Sept. 2) with post time at 5 p.m. By Tim Bojarski, for Batavia Downs

Batavia, NY --- The third time was the charm for Class Six who scored his first top class harness racing victory in three Batavia Downs tries after he won the $8,500 Open I pace on Saturday (Aug 15). Drew Monti pushed Class Six off the gate and to the lead where he would stay the entire mile. After getting to the half in :58.2, Under Paid (Denny Bucceri) launched a mild bid on the outside going to three-quarters, but never got close enough to contend and Class Six rimmed the final bend and headed down the lane. Iluvtomakemoney (Ray Fisher Jr.) who sat the garden spot for 7/8th's of the mile, popped the pocket and made a run, but that was futile as well and Class Six held on to win in 1:55.1. It was the fourth win of the year for Class Six ($7.70) who is owned by Eric Prevost and trained by Sabrina Shaw. In the $7,500 Open II pace, Western Conquest (Ray Fisher Jr.) also took advantage of the night's front-end bias and went gate to wire with little opposition and denied the heavily favored Atlantis (Jim Morrill Jr.) at the wire in 1:57.1. It was the second win in three starts and the fourth win of the year for Western Conquest ($17.00), owner Tanah Merah Farms and trainer Ryan Swift. Several horsemen had a multiple win night led by Shawn McDonough who drove three winners while also training two of them. Billy Davis Jr. had a driving hat trick ahead of Jim Morrill Jr. and Ray Fisher Jr. who each scored two pilot victories. Trainers Ryan Swift and Jim Clouser Jr. both sent two horses to the Purple Haze winner's enclosure. Racing resumes at Batavia Downs on Wednesday afternoon (Aug. 19) at 5 p.m. By Tim Bojarski, for Batavia Downs

Plainville, Ma --- Overlooked on the morning line and also at the windows, 36-1 shot Royalty Again turned a furious stretch drive into an instant harness racing jackpot in the $12,000 distaff pacing feature at Plainridge Park on Monday afternoon (Aug. 3). Ry's Red Rocket (Matty Athearn) grabbed the lead and took the field to the half in :54.3, and it was there things started getting interesting. Rockin Ellie (Bruce Ranger) was parked and made her way to the leader in the second turn. Behind her was For Chips Sake (Mitchell Cushing) and Free Exchange (Drew Campbell), leaving Royalty Again (Drew Monti) last at the five-eighths. At the three-quarter pole all seven horses were now only three lengths apart from each other and fanned three deep heading into the last turn. Ry's Red Rocket put away the challenge of Rockin Ellie leaving Free Exchange now breathing down her neck. Right behind Free Exchange was Royalty Again who was swinging four wide and still four behind, but pacing like the wind down the lane. About 100 feet from the wire, Royalty Again bolted past everyone, took the lead and won by 3/4 of a length in 1:53.3, which was a new lifetime mark.   It was the first win of the year for Royalty Again ($74.00) who is owned by Richard Knight and trained by Randy Bickmore. In the secondary $10,500 event for pacing mares, Weekend Getaway (Mitchell Cushing) came first-over from sixth at the half and chased down the leading That's Incredible (Drew Monti), eventually taking the lead at the top of the stretch and pulling away to a 1-1/2 length victory in 1:52.3. It was a new seasonal mark and the third straight win for Weekend Getaway ($17.60) who is owned by Jeffrey Kaylor and trained by Joe Therrien. Drivers Drew Monti and Bruce Ranger both scored driving hat tricks on Monday. Monti is currently the leading dash driver at the meet with 20 wins, Ranger is second with 15, Nick Graffam is third with 12 and Mitchell Cushing is fourth with 11. The 11-race card yielded new lifetime marks for seven of the winning horses. Racing resumes on Thursday at Plainridge Park with post time set for 4 p.m. By Tim Bojarski, for the Standardbred Owners of Massachusetts

Plainville, MA --- It was 95 degrees in Plainville, Massachusetts on Monday (July 20) but the temperature wasn't the only thing that was hot at Plainridge Park. Driver Drew Monti won five of the 11 races on the card including a natural hat trick in races five, six and seven. Monti's top win came in the $20,000 featured Freedom Trail pacing final for Plainridge-based horses and geldings with Cherokee Hiflyzane. After getting away third behind the front-stepping Gd Cruise For Gold (Bruce Ranger), Cherokee Hiflyzane pulled first-over before the half, cleared on the backside and then opened up a 1-1/2 length lead at the top of the stretch. From there he held off a fast closing Mansome (Pat Curtain) down the lane and hung on to win in 1:53, which was a new seasonal mark.   It was the second win in two 2020 starts for Cherokee Hiflyzane ($4.60) who has now bankrolled $15,000 for owners Barrie Farrar and Roger Farrar, who also trains the winner. Monti rounded out his five-bagger with Tucker Creek (1:52.4, $3.60), Magic Joe Lindy (1:52.2, $2.20), Tisadream N (1:52, $3.00) and What A Hooligan (1:54, $6.20). Driver Kevin Switzer Jr. and trainer Benson Merrill each scored two wins on Monday as well. The biggest payouts of the meet so far occurred in the fourth race when 24-1 shot Western Victory (Wally Watson) steamrolled home in :28.4 to win in 1:52.2, 2-1/4 lengths ahead of 45-1 shot Commondiscourtesy (Nick Graffam). Besides the $50.20 win and $39.60 place prices, the $2 exacta combination of 6-8 paid $1,017, the $2 6-8-4 trifecta returned a whopping $18,667.20 and the $2 superfecta of 6-8-4-2 retuned $11,808.40. Racing resumes at Plainridge Park on Thursday (July 23) at 4 p.m. On Sunday (July 26), Plainridge Park will host the Grand Circuit featuring the $250,000 Spirit of Massachusetts Trot and the $100,000 Clara Barton Distaff Pace during a special matinee card that gets underway at 2 p.m. By Tim Bojarski, for the Standardbred Owners of Massachusetts  

Plainville, MA --- After not racing since February 8 at Menangle Park in Australia, Paternity Suit A made his North American harness racing debut a winning one after going from last to first in the $12,000 Winners-Over pace at Plainridge Park on Thursday afternoon (July 16). Bettors Fire N (Ron Cushing) took the lead before the quarter and stepped off a quick :26.1 panel while the field lined up single file behind him. At the half, JK Will Power (Mitchell Cushing) pulled first over and started his march towards the leader with Beachchip Hanover (Kevin Switzer Jr.) on his back. Up the backstretch, it was a battle between Bettors Fire N and JK Will Power as they paced side by side past the three-quarters and into the last turn. It was there that Beachchip Hanover tipped three deep in pursuit, but Paternity Suit A (Drew Monti) who had been shuffled to last, tipped four deep as the race spiraled into the stretch and was gaining momentum. Monti tapped the disc and Paternity Suit A responded with a furious stretch drive that launched him past the field to the lead and a victory in 1:53.2. It was the third win in six starts this year for Paternity Suit A ($9.80), pushing his earnings to $19,776 in 2020. The 7-year-old gelded son of Rock n Roll Heaven is owned by Tony Gruppo and Tim Bojarski and is trained by Scott Rollins. The fillies and mares also had the spotlight on Thursday with a pair of conditioned events that saw their winners put in strong efforts. The $12,000 5-year-olds and younger event saw Rockin Ellie (Bruce Ranger) pull from sixth at the three-eighths pole and follow cover until the three-quarters where she tipped three deep into the last turn to run down the race long leader, Maverick Fiber (John Nason) to win by 2-1/2 lengths in 1:54.2. Rockin Ellie ($5.00) is owned by Just Enough LLC and Michael Girouard, who also trains the winner. Then the $12,500 Freedom Trail series for resident Plainridge distaff pacers went to Life Isa Shortwalk (Shawn Gray) who went wire to wire from post seven to win by a nose over Avery Seelster (John Nason) in 1:55.4. Life Isa Shortwalk ($13.60) is owned and trained by Ed Blash. Several drivers had multiple win efforts on Thursday's card. Drew Campbell led all and registered a driving triple while Nick Graffam, Shawn Gray and Bruce Ranger all visited the winner's circle twice. Racing resumes on Friday (July 17) at Plainridge Park with a 12-race card that features the $12,000 Winners-Over trot scheduled to go in race five. Post time for the first race is 4 p.m. By Tim Bojarski, for the Standardbred Owners of Massachusetts

When opportunity knocked, Drew Monti answered. It led to the best season of the 25-year-old driver's career. Monti was amid what he called a "pedestrian" campaign at his home track, Buffalo Raceway, when he was presented an opportunity to drive regularly at Plainridge Park. It gave Monti the chance to make new, as well as strengthen previous, connections and drive in an increased number of stakes. By the end of 2019, his purse earnings were a career-best $2.24 million. Prior to last year, Monti had driven in two races worth at least $100,000. In 2019, he drove in 11. He won a Massachusetts Sire Stakes championship with Odds On Orlando and competed in Grand Circuit events at multiple tracks. He did not arrive at Plainridge until early June, but with the notable backing of Lindy Farms, posted 89 wins the rest of the meet. Only Mitchell Cushing and Drew Campbell won more races during that time. Monti also enjoyed success at Red Mile, winning 13 of 75 starts (only Dexter Dunn won more among drivers with fewer than 130 starts at the Lexington oval) while still finishing third in the standings at Buffalo and fourth at Batavia. "It was definitely my best year so far, including exposure," Monti said. "It's nothing even compared to what I'd gone through. Even just going to Plainridge for Lindy Farms and stuff, I feel like I made some big strides as far as taking it to the next level. "It's a great circuit at home, but if you really want to be in the game and do well, you have to get out there. Lindy really got me going. They got me out there and the rest of it snowballed from there. I'm very grateful to them for that." Monti has kicked off this year by driving at The Meadowlands and Buffalo. It is his first trip back to the Big M since the winter of 2017. He has nine wins in 86 starts at The Meadowlands heading into this weekend's action, when he will have a total of 17 drives on Friday and Saturday. "I talked with people about coming down and I'm glad I did," Monti said. "I'm happy to be there. It's been going pretty well, I think. "It's hard to pick where you're going to go. You kind of go where you're needed. Obviously, you've got to have enough work to make it worth your while. Anyone can say they're going somewhere, but to actually compete and have enough work to make it worthwhile is the key." Monti, a Buffalo native, has won 1,532 races in his career with earnings of $9.50 million. In addition to driving, he helps his dad, Darrin, with the family's training stable. The family ties make for difficult decisions when it comes to traveling. "I don't think it's a secret, I love Buffalo," Monti said. "I'm not saying I would be opposed to moving anywhere, but I like the area I live in and I'm very close with my family. That was one thing that was difficult for me. You can't be everywhere all the time. You've got to make sacrifices. Sometimes it was with our own horses back home. I'd be watching our horses race and it was the first time I wasn't the one driving them. That said, I can see the rewards. "I'm very happy with the last couple years and the way things have progressed. I'd like to continue at that pace. I'm not one to really push things. I like to kind of let it come to me. (Early last year) I was a little bummed because I wasn't doing that great at home. I was winning races, but it was just very pedestrian. It's funny; it just shows you how things can change." Monti, who so far in his career has won two driving titles at Batavia and one at Buffalo, hopes to have a schedule similar to 2019 this year. "I'm planning on going back to Plainridge, I'm planning to be available for stakes, Grand Circuit, stuff like that," Monti said. "I'll still make appearances at Buffalo as much as I can. It's hard to say because things can change so quickly and unpredictably. It's hard to plan exactly what you're doing." Because you never know when opportunity will knock.  by Ken Weingartner, for the USTA   

Batavia, NY --- After racing at Northfield Park the last two weeks, Down On My Luck returned to Batavia Downs and his winning ways as he captured the $12,500 Open I Handicap harness racing pace on Saturday night (Dec. 7). Cultural Paradise (Billy Davis Jr.) took the lead from the pegs with the field following him in post position order. After going to the half is a very pedestrian :59.1, Driver Drew Monti tapped the gas and pulled the pocket with Down On My Luck, rocketing alongside and then past Cultural Paradise to take the lead at the three-quarters in 1:27.1. From there Down On My Luck strode out to a two length lead at the head of the stretch and won easily from there by 1-¾ lengths under the light in 1:55.1. It was the seventh win in only 10 starts at Batavia Downs and the 11th win of the year for Down On My Luck ($6.30) who is owned by Robert Woodburn and trained by Patrick Shepherd. The $11,000 Open II pace was an interesting affair after Brunello N (Drew Monti) and Lucky McTrucky (Dave McNeight III) battled for most of the second half of the mile and then paced side by side down to the wire where they stopped the clock simultaneously in 1:57.2, resulting in a dead heat. Brunello N ($2.30) got his third win of the year for owner Carl Monti and trainer Darrin Monti and Lucky McTrucky ($3.00) got his seventh win of 2019 for owner Tessa Roland and trainer JD Perrin. Monti ended up having a big night, scoring a Grand Slam Saturday. Besides the aforementioned Down On My Luck and Brunello N, Monti also won with Way To Go Fabio (2:00, $2.80) and Santana Beach (1:56.4, $21.40). Other horsemen having multiple successes during the evening included Denny Bucceri who scored the driving hat trick along with Jim McNeight Jr. and Renaldo Morales III who each had two driving wins. Trainers Jim McNeight and Steve Andzel also both sent out two stable members to victory. With no winner in the Pick-5 wager on Saturday, there is a $1,164 carryover and a $3,500 guaranteed pool for the Pick-5 wager on Friday (Dec. 13) when racing resumes at Batavia Downs. The pool is part of the United States Trotting Association's (USTA) Strategic Wagering Program and as such, there will be free program pages available on the USTA's website on Wednesday morning (Dec. 11). Post time for Friday (Dec. 13) is at 6 p.m. By Tim Bojarski, for Batavia Downs

Batavia, NY --- Sir Pugsley took full advantage of a rare inside post, a favorable trip and a failed favorite to light up the tote board in the $12,500 Open I Handicap harness racing pace at Batavia Downs on Saturday night (Nov. 30). Driver Drew Monti tucked Sir Pugsley in second behind last weeks winner Howmac Dancer (Renaldo Morales III) going to the quarter as the heavy favorite Crocketts Cullen N (Larry Stalbaum) failed to negotiated the first turn and made a break as a result. Stalbaum gathered his 1-9 shot back together and rushed up the rim to pull close to the leader and remained there for the rest of the mile. The top three horses continued to pace in that order -- Howmac Dancer on top, Sir Pugsley in the hole and Crocketts Cullen N on the outside -- to the half in :57 and three-quarters in 1:25.4. When they rounded the last turn and headed into the stretch, Crocketts Cullen N faded just enough to allow Monti to extract Sir Pugsley off the pegs and he came out with a full head of steam and mowed down Howmac Dancer in deep stretch to win by a length in 1:55.2. It was the seventh win of the year and third of the meet at Batavia Downs for Sir Pugsley ($18.80) who has now earned $88,270 this year for owner Robert Woodburn. Patrick Shepherd trains the winner. In the co-featured $11,000 Open II Handicap, Rise Up Now (Shawn McDonough) tripped-out behind the front-running Brunello N (Drew Monti) for over 7/8th's of a mile before popping the deuce mid-stretch and brushing to the lead at the beam to win in 1:56.2. It was the fifth win of the year for Rise Up Now ($34.80) who is owned and trained by Steve Andzel. Driver Shawn McDonough continued his hot streak in the bike winning three more races on Saturday and he rewarded his backers with premium mutuels with all three. His longshots included Dark Horse ($44.60), the aforementioned Rise Up Now and Willey Bite ($26.40). In the last three nights McDonough has won seven races. Also on Saturday night drivers Ray Fisher Jr. and Renaldo Morales III each scored two wins. Trainers Ryan Swift, Joe Skowyra and Steve Andzel all had two wins apiece as well. Racing resumes at Batavia Downs on Friday (Dec. 6) with post time at 6 p.m. By Tim Bojarski, for Batavia Downs  

Plainville, MA --- A pair of $12,000 conditioned events for trotters under 6-years of age were contested at Plainridge Park on Friday afternoon (Nov. 22) and it was girl power all around as 3-year-old fillies Lindy Pearl and Crystalline were much the best in their respective divisions despite weather that continued to decline as the day went on. Lindy Pearl (Drew Monti) got away sixth; seven lengths behind the leading Hs Marcia (Drew Campbell) who took to group to the half in :59.3. Monti was out and rolling with Lindy Pearl at that point and moved methodically up the rim as the race went to three-quarters. There they took the lead, turned for home and stretched out to a four-length win in 1:58.2. It was the second straight win for Lindy Pearl ($2.40) who is owned by Lindy Farms of Connecticut and trained by Domenico Cecere. Meanwhile, using a completely different strategy, driver Kevin Switzer Jr. pushed Crystalline right to the front and moved through fractions of :28.3, :58.4 and 1:28.4 where the team had opened up a commanding four-length advantage. Crystalline then turned into the stretch and trotted home ahead by two at the line in 2:00. Crystalline ($3.00), who is the 2019 Massachusetts Sire Stake 3-year-old trotting filly champion, captured her ninth win of the year and enhanced her earnings to $147,465 for owner Ray Campbell Jr. Scott Renz trains the winner. Monti and Switzer each added another victory during the card and joined Mitchell Cushing as the leading drivers for the day with two wins apiece. Racing resumes at Plainridge Park on Monday afternoon (Nov. 25) at 1 p.m. By Tim Bojarski, for the Standardbred Owners of Massachusetts  

Plainville, MA --- Driver Drew Monti captured the 1,500th win of his harness racing career on Thursday afternoon (Nov. 21) at Plainridge Park when he guided the venerable trotter Hailstorm Volo to a gate to wire victory in the second race. For his career, Monti now has 1,501 wins, 1,346 seconds and 1,295 thirds out of 9,320 starts with a Universal Driver Rating (UDR) of .299 and as a result of his work, the horses he's driven have earned a total of $9,259,976 during his brief seven year career. This year Monti has 256 wins, a UDR of .303 and earnings of $2,149,908. However the bulk of those numbers came just during the last five months. Starting in July, Monti divided his driving time between Batavia Downs, Plainridge Park and The Red Mile and at one point was listed as one of the top four drivers for wins at all three tracks. He was the primary driver for Lindy Farms at Plainridge and became a sought-after catch driver there in the process. He also drove Lindy's horses in the Massachusetts Sire Stakes and most of their entries in the Kentucky Sire Stakes as well. As a result of the multi-track schedule he maintained since getting his first win at Plainridge on July 10, Monti has won 170 races and bankrolled $1,574,959 during that short span. Although he did have more wins in 2017 (294), this year's earnings is a milestone for Monti and the first time in his career that he eclipsed the $2 million mark. With the Plainridge meet down to four days and the Batavia meet down to nine, Monti plans to take up residency at the Meadowlands right after the holidays. Driver Bruce Ranger was in top form at Plainridge Park on Thursday and put on a driving clinic while winning the feature as well as four other races on the nine-race card, which included a natural hat trick in races four through six. In the $12,000 pace for upper-level condition horses, Ranger left with Opus Blue Chip from post eight, went right to the front and never looked back. After cutting quarters of :26.3, :56.2 and 1:24.1, Opus Blue Chip took a three-length lead into the stretch and made it last to the wire, defeating a fast closing Betterlatethnnever (Mitchell Cushing) in 1:53.2. For Opus Blue Chip ($14.20) it was the eighth win of the year and it pushed his earnings to $94,530 for owner Scott Dillon. Joe Nelson trains the winner. Prior to that Ranger won with Bet On Joe (1:55, $17.00), Chief Altawick (1:54, $4.20), Burkes Bandit (1:54.4, $5.80) and JJs Shark (1:54, $15.20). The five wins pushed him to 200 for the year which is the most driving tallies he has had since 2013. Ranger now has 9,159 wins and $37,379,248 in earnings during his distinguished career. Ranger is a member of both the Florida and New England Halls of Fame. Racing resumes at Plainridge Park on Friday (Nov. 22) at 1 p.m. By Tim Bojarski, for the Standardbred Owners of Massachusetts  

Plainville, MA --- Drafting off the pace early in pursuit of a stiff fraction, O So Easy rallied first-over past the half, grinding it out to capture the $20,000 Open Handicap harness racing trot at Plainridge Park on Monday afternoon (Nov. 4). Madhatter Bluechip (Kevin Switzer Jr.) took his usual position on the front end off the gate and flew to the quarter in :26.3. Shorething Fashion (Nick Graffam) was keeping a fairly close stance while the rest of the field was gapped-off as they moved past the stands. Moving into the second half O So Easy (Drew Monti) pulled and was rolling in the breeze methodically making his way towards Madhatter Bluechip, who was still strong on the lead all through the final bend. Coming off the far turn O So Easy was outside of Madhatter Bluechip with the tripped-out Shorething Fashion trotting freely along the pylons. All three drivers were working their rides hard through the stretch where O So Easy did the best work and got up by a neck in 1:54.3. It was the fifth win of the year for O So Easy ($5.60) who is owned by Greathorse of Massachusetts and trained by Domenico Cecere. The best pace of the day came in the $12,000 conditioned event for 6-year-olds and under where the recently imported Zinny Mach N (Ron Cushing) took control of the race on the front, backed down the half to :56.4 and then posted back to back quarters of :27.1 and :28 to cruise home a wrapped-up winner by 2-1/4 lengths in 1:52. The time was a new lifetime mark for the winner. It was the second North American win for Zinny Mach N ($9.40) who has acclimated well since shipping over. The 4-year-old gelded son of Mach Three-Zingara is owned by Kevin Sywyk, Ron Cushing and Frank Ranaldi. Heidi Gibbs trains the winner. Drivers Ron Cushing, Kevin Switzer Jr., Matty "Ice" Athearn and Nick Graffam all had driving doubles on the card. Trainer Heidi Gibbs also had two winners on Monday. Racing resumes at Plainridge Park on Thursday (Nov. 7) at 1 p.m. By Tim Bojarski, for the Standardbred Owners of Massachusetts

Batavia, NY --- The formidable harness racing team of owner Robert Woodburn, trainer Patrick Shepherd and driver Drew Monti struck again in prime time to win both feature races on Saturday night (Nov. 2) at Batavia Downs. In the $12,500 Open I Handicap pace, Down On My Luck scored his sixth win in only eight starts at Batavia Downs this year after he made a second-over move past the half, took over the lead from the front-running Howmac Dancer (Ray Fisher Jr.) at the top of the stretch and then held off a late rush by Tullow N (John Cummings Jr.) to win by a nose in 1:55.3. It was the 10th win overall this year for Down On My Luck ($3.50) who now has $63,492 on the card in 2019. Then in the $11,000 Open II Handicap pace, Sir Pugsley left from his assigned seven post and dropped in third by the quarter. But he was out and rolling early moving up to second by the half, taking over the lead from China Dream (Billy Davis Jr.) at the three-quarters and then clearing and pulling away down the lane to win by a wrapped-up 3-1/4 lengths in 1:55.3. It was the sixth win of the year for Sir Pugsley ($3.00) and pushed his bank to $81,020. Monti ended up the leading driver on the night, scoring a total of four wins and three seconds during the card. Besides Down On My Luck and Sir Pugsley, Monti also won with In Runaway Bay N (1:55.3, $8.10) and Brunello N (1:55.1, $3.60). Billy Davis Jr. also finished the night strong getting a natural hat trick in the final three races. Racing resumes at Batavia Downs on Wednesday afternoon (Nov. 6) with post time at 5 p.m. By Tim Bojarski, for Batavia Downs  

ANDERSON, Ind.-October 25, 2019- The track was lightning fast on Friday, October 25 at Harrah's Hoosier Park Racing & Casino, while the track hosted harness racing divisions of The Circle City Stakes for three-year-old fillies and colts of both gaits. The night provided several impressive performances, including a track record-setting performance and two track recording-equaling performances. Pure Chance set the new track standard for three-year-old trotting fillies while Tellmeaboutit matched the record for three-year-old pacing geldings and Summer Charm equaled the record for three-year-old pacing fillies. The evening's racing action kicked off with Pure Chance and Trace Tetrick going gate-to-wire, lowering the track standard for trotting fillies to 1:52:2 in the first race on the program. Pure Chance clicked off fractions of :27:3, :56:4 and 1:25:2 before crossing the wire to re-establish Meadowbrook Grace's 1:52:3 track record time. The Christopher Beaver trainee paid $2.40 to win. The other division of the stakes action for trotting fillies was won by Grand Swan who also went to gate to wire with LeWayne Miller in the bike in 1:53:3. The second record show came from Tellmeaboutit with Michael Oosting in the first division for pacing geldings. The Alvin Miller trainee waited patiently with a pocket trip through fractions of :26:2, :53:2 and 1:20:4. Once the field turned for home, it was a calvary charge toward the wire but Tellmeaboutit bested his competitors. Stopping the clock in 1:48:3, he tied the record set by Always A Prince the previous year. Tellmeaboutit returned $2.40 to win at the betting windows. The New York Sires Stakes Champion Hickfromfrenchlick returned to Hoosier Park for the second time this season to score his eighth consecutive victory in the other pacing colt division in 1:49:3 with Trace Tetrick in the bike. Summer Charm and Drew Monti turned in the second record-tying performance of the night when the Ron Burke trainee equaled the 1:49:4 pacing filly record set by Wisdom Tree in 2018. The track record for three-year-old pacing fillies is now co-held by Summer Charm, Wisdom Tree and Rockin Nola. Summer Charm benefitted from a pocket seat through fractions of :26:3, :55:1 and 1:23:0 and dug in gamely late in the lane to best her rivals. Summer Charm paid $13.00 to win in the slight upset. The other pacing filly division was captured by Fully A Virgin with Michael Oosting in 1:50:2. The evening's 13-race card also featured two divisions of the Circle City Stakes for the three-year-old trotting colts and geldings. Whata Swan and Robert Taylor were able to withhold all challenges and score in 1:55:2 to pull the slight upset in the first division for trainer William Crone. Lucky Weekend with Peter Wrenn followed suit to pull another upset in the second division of the stakes action, scoring in 1:53:3 for trainer Melanie Wrenn. he lone division of The Madison County Stakes for two-year-old pacing geldings on the card was won by Odds On Osiris with Peter Wrenn, grabbing back-to-back stakes wins in 1:52:2 for trainer Melanie Wrenn. Grand Circuit racing at Harrah's Hoosier Park will continue on Saturday, October 26 with a 10 race card featuring divisions of the Madison County Stakes for two-year-olds. In conjunction with the live racing action, Harrah's Hoosier Park will host Fright Night at the Races, a family-fun Halloween event. The 2019 live racing season at Harrah's Hoosier Park will be conducted through November 9. For more information on the upcoming entertainment or live racing schedule, please visit www.harrahshoosierpark.com. by Rose Flood, for Harrah's Hoosier Park    

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