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Monticello NY- Harness racing drivers Jim Taggart Jr. and Greg Merton both will be enjoying a festive Thanksgiving as Taggart won 4 races and Greg Merton won 3 on Wednesday November 25 at Monticello Raceway. For Taggart the last time that he recorded this feat was just a month ago on October 26. The day started off on the right foot as Taggart won race 1 aboard Grave Dancer who scored a 3 length victory in 1:58 for trainer Dan Gill. 2 races later Taggart was back in the winner circle with the Gary Messenger trained KJ Owen who earned his 2nd win of the year after pacing the mile in 1:55.4 in a 7 length romp. His 3rd win came virtue of a Dead Heat in race 8 with Chip Chip Conway and Hot Summer Knight (Cory Stratton) the pair trotted the mile in 1:58.4. Superiorcourt was win #4, the Rick Harp trained son of Conway Court went wire to wire from post position 7 to win in 1:59.1 to notch his 3 win of the year. Greg Merton won with Threehundred Wirth 1:57.2 - $4.40, Rise Up Now 1:57.1 - $4.70 and Tinos Pulse 1:58.3- $16.40. Also of note on the card Cory Stratton drove 2 winners, Trainer Gay Messenger and Dan Gill each trained 2 winners on the 13 race program. Jim Taggart Jr. trails Bruce Aldrich for leading dash winning driver at the Mighty M by 20 wins. by Shawn Wiles, for Monticello Raceway  

Monticello, NY - Harness racing driver Greg Merton won three races in succession at Monticello Raceway on Monday November 9, the triple started in the 5th race aboard Partagas Blue Chip (PP5), the 5 year old son of Shadow Play picked up his second win of the season as he went wire to wire to score in 1:59 - $6.80 for trainer Thomas Merton. Spilling The Beans was next up, the Camluck gelding took a ton of air on the outside but prevailed in 1:57.1 - $9.70 to notched his 4th seasonal win. In race 7 it was the Thomas Milici trainee Checkout Terror who went down the road to win by a scant neck over Kiss My Sass in a photo in 1:58.2 - $2.50. Greg currently is in 5th place for leading dash winning drivers with 60 wins, trailing his brother Michael who has 63 wins. by Shawn Wiles, for Monticello Raceway

Monticello, NY - On Monday September 21, Monticello Raceway hosted its first live racing card since March 12, due to a 6-month hiatus from COVID-19, Race Secretary Eric Warner was able to card 7 races for the first harness racing program. Greg Merton sat the pocket in the first race with Love Trumps Hate following Pine Tab the entire mile, Pine Tab made a miscue in the stretch, giving Merton the lead and the win in 2:02 for trainer Wesley Miller. Merton would also go on to win with Sea's Ideal in race 5. Mcgwire Sower also had a driving double on the afternoon and trainer Steve Ray had a training double win with the hardy campaigner Racingtowardsadream and With Our Luck. On hand for the opening was Charlene Cushing, Cushing was the former longtime Marshall at Monticello Raceway, often referred to as the "best outriderin the industry" Cushing made the 8 hour trek from Farmington Maine to be on hand for the first race at Monticello. Cushing has made the transition from harness racing to nursing after moving to Maine, Charlene graduated Nursing school a year ago and now works as a nurse in Franklin Memorial Hospital in Farmington Maine. Charlene is married to Mike Cushing of Farmington Maine, Mike is the President of the Maine Harness Horseman's Association. Ironically today marks her 30th anniversary of when she first started as Marshall at Monticello Raceway, Charlene brought her favorite steed to Monticello Raceway for the occasion, Leo Shady Jack a registered quarter horse. by Shawn Wiles, for Monticello Raceway

The weather may have been cold and windy, but Greg Merton was not deterred and had the hot hand and drove 4 harness racing winners on Thursday January 16 at Monticello Raceway. Fly'N With Royalty was Merton's first winner of the card in the 3rd race, the Thomas Milici trained son of Panspacificflight scored a wire to wire 3 length win 1:59.2 - $3.70 for his second win of the young season. Merton would catch fire and won the cards final 3 races, Brookstone from post 3 won by a neck over Victory At Last in 2:01.2 - $9.90 for trainer David Dziengiel, next up came the out of town invader Mansome who won in a wire to wire 5 length romp in 2:00.4 - $3.00 for Elisha Lafreniere. In the last race Tinos Pulse starting from the rail, lead every step of the way to win by 2 for trainer Dawn DeVaux in from the rail in 2:02.3 The early season leading dash driver is James Devaux with 13 wins, Greg's 4 wins on the afternoon has him in second place with 12 wins. Monticello Raceway will be dark in Monday January 20th for Martin Luther King Day and will resume live racing on Tuesday January 21 with a 12:25 post time by Shawn Wiles, for Monticello Raceway  

Monticello, NY - The weather may have been damp and rainy on Monday October 7, but Greg Merton was hot as he won four races out of the eight race program over a sloppy track. Ginger Spice ($3.30) would start the afternoons quartet in Race 4, starting from post position 5, the Tinted Cloud mare scored a wire to wire win in 1:58, with a 5 length winning margin. Julio's Girl ($4.60) won the following race in 1:57.2 for her 5th win of the season. Ginger Spice and Julio's Girl are trained by Nick Surick. Miss Bling ($4.70) would account for win 3 on the afternoon, the 6-year-old I'm Gorgeous mare won in 1:59.3 for leading Monticello Raceway trainer Jim Doherty Jr. Hurrikane Shorty ($3.00) would complete the 4 bagger in the last race from post position 6, the win gave Nick Surick a training triple on the afternoon. With the 4 wins on the card Greg Merton in now in 10th position for leading dash wining drivers, his brother Mike leads the pack with 204 wins by Shawn Wiles, for Monticello Raceway

Greg Merton led Tag Up And Go ($7.00) to a win in the harness racing featured Open Handicap Trot ($12,000) at Tioga Downs. Dragin The Wagon (Aaron Byron) put up all the early fractions (:28.1, :58.0, 1:26.1). The Last Chapter (Mike Simons) took the lead at the top of the stretch. Tag Up And Go, who is trained by Patti Harmon for owners Lester Gelardi Jr. and Anthony Passafaro, went second over fourth as they hit three-quarters. He would go four wide in mid-stretch. The Last Chapter went off-stride in deep stretch and Tag Up And Go went by to win in 1:55.2. Dragin The Wagon settled for second best. Prairie Fortune (Jim Meittinis) finished third. Tag Up And Go is 9-year-old gelding by Angus Hall. It was his seventh win of 2019 including the last five in a row. He now has 46 career victories. Merton's five wins included two more wins with trainer Patti Harmon. Their other two wins came with Tropical Trice ($5.70) and Quick Deal ($14.00). His other driving wins came with Kabang ($16.60) and Choochoocharlie ($13.80). Tioga Downs returns to live racing on Sunday (June 2) with a 13 race card starting at 1 p.m. For more information go to John Horne for Tioga Downs

Prairie Panther (Tyler Buter) takes the featured Open Handicap Pace ($12,000) at Tioga Downs harness racing on Sunday (May 5). Americanprimetime (Greg Merton) went to the lead from his outside post and put up all the early fractions (:27.1, :56.3, 1:24.0). Prairie Panther ($5.70), who is owned bu Laurie Poulin and trainer Mike Deters) road in the pocket seat the whole way.  He went first-over at the top of the stretch and wore down second place finisher Americanprimetime to win in 1:51.1. Finishing third was Owosso Flash (Fern Paquet Jr.) Priarie Panther is a 5-year-old gelding by Royal Millennium.  He is now four for seven in 2019.  It was career victory number 25. Buter had a driving triple on the day.  His other wins came with Seel The Deal N ($8.40) and Race Me Villa ($5.80). Father and son, Mike Simons and Shawn Simons each had a win on the card.  Mike took All About Rusty ($13.40) to the winner's circle.  Shawn got his win with Wildcat Hilton ($3.40). Tioga Downs returns to live racing on Saturday (May 11) with a post time at 6:15 p.m. For more information go to   John Horne for Tioga Downs.

2018 leading driver Mike Merton padded his lead with seven wins including both co-features at Tioga Downs on Friday (September 21). Coveredndiamonds N (Merton) wins Fillies & Mares Open Pace ($13,000). K J's Caroline (Jim Taggart Jr.) led to the first quarter in :27.2. Coveredndiamonds N ($2.50) took over just after the quarter and led to the half in :57.0 and hit the three-quarter mark in 1:25.0. Trained by Rob Harmon for owners Seth Rosenberg Racing LLC., and Joel Kahan, she flew home in a last quarter of 27.0 to win going away in a lifetime best of 1:52.0. Northern Dali (Mike Simos) came up to finish second with K J's Caroline holding on for third. Coveredndiamonds N is a 5-year-old mare by American Ideal. It was her eighth win of the season and her 13th career victory. Kinetic King (Merton) charges late to capture Open Trot ($13,000).   Buff (Corey Braden) went right to the front and controlled all the early fractions (:27.2, :57.1, 1:24.1).   Kinetic King ($9.10) was fifth after three-quarters. Trained by Patti Harmon for owners Brian Kleinberg and Harmon Racing Stable LLC., he went three-wide at the top of the stretch and blew right by to win in a lifetime best of 1:53.3. Prairie Fortune (Jim Meittinis) finished second best with BJ Lorado (Aaron Byron) getting third money.   Kinetic King is an 8-year-old gelding by Ken Warkentin. It was his fourth win of 2018 and his 21st career victory.   Know as the "Magic Man" at Tioga Downs, Mike Merton had a magical night with seven wins. He got his five other wins with Rollingndiamonds ($4.30), Modern Mercury ($4.40), Persistent Bettor ($4.70), QB Kemp ($3.90), and Sweet Kix ($28.60). Tioga Downs returns for live racing for the last time in 2018 on Saturday (September 22). The 13 race card has a special post time of 5:30 p.m. with fireworks following racing. For more information go to by John Horne, for Tioga Downs

Plainville, MA---Starznheaven remained undefeated at Plainridge Park after scoring his third consecutive top-class win when he went from worst to first in the blink of an eye to win the $16,000 Winners-Over Handicap pace on Monday afternoon (June 18). Starting from post eight, driver Greg Merton hit the pylons last while Mysharona Bluechip (Eddie Davis Jr.) and Kenrick N (Ron Cushing) were engaged in a knock-down, drag-out fight for the lead. Those two went at it to the quarter in :26.1 and the half in :53.3 before Mysharona Bluechip pulled away from Kenrick N up the backside while Quick Shot (Drew Campbell) and Starznheaven moved up on the outside at the three-quarters in 1:21. At the top of the last turn Starznheaven tipped three-deep around Quick Shot and was under a full head of steam. With a high-line in the left hand and minor urging with the right, Merton gave Starznheaven his head and the horse responded by scooting away from the pack to a four-length victory in a new lifetime mark of 1:49.4. It was the eighth win of the year and 30th lifetime for Starznheaven ($4.20) who has now banked $79,375 this year for owners Burke Racing Stable, Weaver Bruscemi, Donald Emond and Lawrence Karr. The 6-year-old son of Rock N Roll Heaven is in the midst of a career year. The time of 1:49.4 was the fastest race at Plainridge Park since Givenupdreaming won by three lengths in 1:49.3 on July 5, 2016. Givenupdreaming was also owned by Burke-Weaver-Bruscemi. In the co-featured $15,000 conditioned pace, Moonlight Artist (Mitchell Cushing) turned a two-hole trip behind J J S Jet (Drew Campbell) into a hard-fought one-length victory in 1:51.3, which was a new lifetime mark. Andrew Adamczyk owns the winner that is trained by Jaymes McAssey. The $10,000 claiming series named the "The 2007 Sox" kicked off with three legs on Monday, each being contested for a $10,000 purse. The first leg went to Grand Gallup Semalu (Drew Campbell) who went gate to wire and romped by six lengths in 1:53. Grand Gallup Semalu ($2.60) is owned by William Mc Elvain Jr. and is trained by James Dunn. The second division saw Upfront Lorne (Shawn Gray) come first-up from fourth at the half to out-muscle SB Mike's Hot Beach (Steve Nason) at the wire and win by a head in 1:53, which was a new seasonal mark. Upfront Lorne ($6.40) is owned by Andrew Adamczyk and trained by Jaymes McAssey. And the final leg was won by Mom's Crossroads (Shawn Gray) who got the lead past the quarter and never looked back, winning by a length in 1:52.4. Mom's Crossroads ($4.00) is owned by Andrew Adamczyk and trained by Jaymes McAssey, giving them the owner/trainer hat trick. Mitchell Cushing closed out the card by making some noise in the eleventh race. In a spirited drive from the back of the pack, Cushing urged BP Diet Food up the outside and down the lane to catch BJ's Guy (Shawn Gray) at the wire and win in 1:52.2 at 70-1. BP Diet Food paid $156.20 for the win and triggered a 3-6-7 trifecta that returned $10,726.20 for a two-dollar wager. The drive also gave Cushing a driving double. Other drivers scoring multiple wins Monday included Shawn Gray with three and Drew Campbell and Greg Merton with two apiece. Racing resumes at Plainridge Park on Tuesday afternoon (June 19) at 4 p.m. by Tim Bojarski, for the Standardbred Owners of Massachusetts

Plainville, MA---It might be that fresh New England air or the fact he's been back on a five-eighths mile track where he seems to do his best work. Either way, the razor-sharp Starznheaven has now registered back-to-back feature race victories at Plainridge Park after winning the $16,000 Winners-Over Handicap pace on Monday afternoon (June 11). Quick Shot (Drew Campbell) left sharply and grabbed the lead from He's Marvelous (Nick Graffam) around the first turn. Maintaining a gapped advantage on the point, Campbell set fractions of :26.1, :55.4 and 1:23 with only a mild bid by One To Draw To (Shawn Gray) during the middle half. Starznheaven (Greg Merton), who had gotten away seventh, pulled before the half and was following One To Draw To second-over up the backstretch and when that one's bid failed around the final bend, Merton swung three-deep coming into the lane and had his charge pacing with conviction as the race headed towards home. Starznheaven drew alongside and then passed Quick Shot before hitting the wire a length in front in 1:51. It was the seventh win in 17 starts this year for Starznheaven ($5.40) who has now amassed a single season high $71,375 in earnings for owners Burke Racing LLC, Weaver Bruscemi LLC, Donald Emond and Lawrence Karr. The 6-year-old son of Rock N Roll Heaven is trained by Jim Nickerson. In the co-featured $12,000 fifth race, Mysharona Bluechip (Greg Merton) took no prisoners for the fifth time in the last six weeks, going gate to wire in impressive fashion stopping the clock in 1:51, which was a new seasonal mark for the winner. Owned by a Piece of the Action LLC, Mysharona Bluechip ($2.40) scored his sixth victory of 2018 and pushed his earnings to $39,175 for the year under the tutelage of trainer Eric Beach. Mysharona Bluechip was also claimed out of the race by Richard Knight for $20,000. Greg Merton and Shawn Gray each had three driving wins on Monday. It was a big payday for the owner of the winning ticket in the sixth race Wicked Hi-5 pentafecta. The combination of 1-5-4-3-2 returned $21,770.20 for a one-dollar wager, with the even money favorite winning the race. Racing resumes at Plainridge Park on Tuesday afternoon (June 12) at 4 p.m. by Tim Bojarski, for the Standardbred Owners of Massachusetts Publicist  

K J's Caroline (Mike Merton) wins the featured fillies and mare pace ($9,000) at Tioga Downs on Friday night (June 8). Driving grand slam for Mike Simons. Milky Way Rae (Aaron Byron) controlled the first half of the race with a first quarter in :26.4 and the half in :55.4. K J's Caroline ($5.10) , who is owned by Scott Woogen and trained by Gary Messenger, charged to the front to hit the three-quarters in 1:23.2. She took off in the stretch to win easily and equal her career best time of 1:51.2. Gigi From Fiji (Jim Meittinis) came up to finish second. Northen Dali (Corey Braden) was third. K J's Caroline is an 8-year-old mare by Roddy's Bags Again. She won her fourth race this season. She captured career win number 42. Tioga Downs top driver of 2017, Mike Simons won four on the night. He won with Chilicheatum ($5.90), Winning Shadow ($4.00), Eldorado Of Gold S ($4.00), and Truth Isalwaysbest ($16.80). Gary Messenger had three training wins on the night. Along with K J's Caroline, he had wins with Connie Keeper ($15.60) and Six Bax ($15.80). Tioga Downs returns to live racing on Saturday (June 9) with a 13 race card starting at 6:15 p.m. For more information go to by John Horne, for Tioga Downs    

Plainville, MA---Lindy Racing head trainer Domenico Cecere brought a group of their prospects from the farm's Somers, Connecticut base for some early season work and at the end of the day, captured the pair of $10,000 conditioned trotting events at Plainridge Park on Thursday afternoon (June 7). In the first feature, Kinda Lucky Lindy (Greg Merton) got away second and sat the pocket behind On First (Mark Athearn) to the half when the outer flow eventually locked him in moving to the three-quarters. Leading that rim-rush was Now's The Moment (Mike Stevenson) who cleared and opened up a four-length advantage. Still looking for racing room and seemingly out of it around the last turn, Kinda Lucky Lindy got a break when Pirate (Ivan Davies) made a break, clearing the way for Merton to pull his charge around the fading On First and set dead aim on the leader. With a lot of ground to make up in the last eighth of a mile, Kinda Lucky Lindy went to work and trotted like the wind under a mere hand drive by Merton and closed the gap with every stride to win by a length in 1:55.4, which was a new lifetime mark. After starts in the New York Sires Stakes and elimination of the Empire Breeders Classic, Kinda Lucky Lindy ($9.60) scored his first victory of 2018 for owner Lindy Farms of Connecticut. The second $10,000 event saw French Moni (Patrizio Ancora) get away third off the gate before making an early move for the front at the quarter and once there, led the rest of the way. As they passed the half in :58.1, One Swan For All (Wally Watson) came barreling up the outside and drew within a neck of French Moni by the three-quarters. But Ancora sped up that third panel to :28 flat and quenched the threat of One Swan For All. Now in command by two heading off the last turn, French Moni had one more bid to put away as the pocket-sitting L Dees Yoyo Ma made a late lunge at the leader, but the attempt was too little too late. Ancora had French Moni all but wrapped-up and crossed the wire an easy winner in 1:55.3. It was the second win of the year for French Moni ($5.20), both of which were registered at Plainridge Park. The Moni Maker Stable owns the 4-year-old son of Love You. At the end of the day Cecere had the training hat trick as he also took the first race with the Greg Merton-driven Shortie Joe ($2.20) who won his second in a row this year, lifetime and at Plainridge Park. The 1:56.4 clocking was also a new lifetime mark for the Fred Monteleone Stable LLC-owned 3-year-old Chapter Seven colt. Greg Merton was Thursday's winningest driver with three trips to the circle. Racing resumes at Plainridge Park on Friday afternoon (June 8) at 4 p.m. By Tim Bojarski, for the Standardbred Owners of Massachusetts      

Plainville, MA---Caviart Shelly was razor-sharp in May and she kicked off June the exact same way, tripping out to a big win in the $14,000 fillies and mares Winners-Over Handicap feature at Plainridge Park on Tuesday afternoon (June 5). Driver Drew Campbell found himself smiling for pictures five times on Tuesday as he put on a show for the fans. Campbell won with Acefortyfour Alex (1:54, $3.00), Briar's Creek Angel (1:56, $3.00), Paradise Skies (1:55.4, $6.00), Mc Attagirl (1:53.4, $5.20) and Rock Market (1:55, $4.60). Campbell's pentad of pay dirt now gives him 52 wins for the meet, six ahead of the second place Merton. in the feature pace, Western Stepp (Drew Campbell) was fleet of foot leaving from mid-pack and grabbed the lead quickly. Iced Out (Greg Merton) was second until she made an uncharacteristic break before the quarter, allowing Caviart Shelly (Wally Watson) to move into the garden spot where she stayed until the stretch. The two front-runners played follow the leader through fractions of :27, :56.1 and 1:24.2 without anyone else getting close enough to challenge. At the top of the lane Western Stepp had a two length advantage but Watson pulled Caviart Shelly off the pylons and she found another gear; blowing right by the leader to easily win by a length in 1:52.3, which was a new seasonal mark. It was the second win in nine starts this year for Caviart Shelly ($11.80) who now has $20,195 in the bank for owner Fox Ridge Stable. Lisa Watson is the conditioner. In the $12,000 fillies and mares undercard, Hidden Land (Greg Merton) shipped into Plainridge from Yonkers and wasted no time flashing her back-class when she led from the gate to the wire in a swift 1:52.3, winning by four lengths. The time was a new seasonal mark for Hidden Land ($4.60) and the fastest win time for the mare since October 22, 2016. The 7-year-old Badlands Hanover progeny is owned by the Jesmeral Stable and is trained by Monique Cohen. Racing resumes at Plainridge Park on Thursday afternoon (June 7) at 4 p.m. By Tim Bojarski, for the Standardbred Owners of Massachusetts      

Plainville, MA---After making a break over an off-track in his last start at Yonkers Raceway 23 days ago, Starznheaven shipped into Massachusetts and regained his winning ways in taking the $14,000 Winner-Over pacing feature at Plainridge Park on Monday afternoon (June 4). Starznheaven (Greg Merton) got away sixth in the field of seven as Pretty Boy Hill (Ron Cushing) seated One To Draw To (Shawn Gray) and took the group to the quarter in :26.4. At that station Electric Western (Mitchell Cushing) came with a rush and an outer flow in tow that consistied of Quick Shot (Drew Campbell) and Starznheaven. Now with four in and three out stacked up on the backside, Pretty Boy Hill gave way at the three-quarters and the outside horses took turns taking the lead. First Electric Western cleared and then Quick Shot drew alongside and went by him at the top of the lane. But Starznheaven was next to challenge for the lead, coming three deep on the outside to do it. Campbell and Merton were rocking and knocking Quick Shot and Starznheaven all the way down the stretch before Starznheaven got a slight advantage and won by a head in 1:51.2. It was the sixth win of the year and fourth in the last seven starts for Starznheaven ($5.20) who now has bankrolled $63,375 in 2018 for owners Burke Racing Stable LLC, Weaver Bruscemi LLC, Donald Emond and Lawrence Carr. Jim Nickerson trained the winner. In the co-featured $12,000 condition pace, Mysharona Bluechip (Greg Merton) left like a rocket off the gate and led at every station after that to win again easily by two lengths in 1:51.3. It was the fourth win in the last five starts for Mysharona Bluechip ($5.00) who is owned by A Piece of the Action LLC and trained by Eric Beach. Greg Merton, Shawn Gray and Nick Graffam each had a driving hat trick on Monday afternoon. Whereas Merton's winners were not unexpected by the betting public, Gray and Graffam opened some eyes by posting big payouts in two separate races. In the second race, Gray urged Sounder Hanover from worst at the half to first at the wire in 1:55.1 at 39-1. Owner/trainer Don Billingsley Jr. saw his Sounder Hanover set a new lifetime mark, return $80.00 for the win and top the 7-8-3-2 Superfecta that paid $18,911.20 for a two-dollar bet. And not to be outdone, in the fourth race Graffam steered Mic Woodrow in the exact same fashion to win in 1:55 at 67-1! Mic Woodrow, who is trained by Mike Graffam that co-owns with TFD Shadewood LLC, took a new lifetime mark for himself while returning $137.80 in the upset. The win also triggered a 9-3-5-8 Superfecta payoff of $20,650.80 for a two-dollar wager. The dash driving leaderboard looks like this after Monday's card of racing: Drew Campbell-47 wins, Greg Merton-44 wins, Shawn Gray-42 wins and Nick Graffam-23 wins. Racing resumes at Plainridge Park on Tuesday (June 5) at 4 p.m. By Tim Bojarski, for the Standardbred Breeders of Massachusetts        

Plainville, MA---Plainridge Park leading trainer Monique Cohen sent out four winners on Thursday (Sept. 7) and two of them captured both $12,000 feature races on the afternoon's harness racing card. In the top conditioned pace for fillies and mares, Beautiful Lady (Greg Merton) floated outside fifth passed the eighth pole as everyone seated off the gate. Then Merton hurried her to the front and dictated the pace from there. Getting to the half in :55.2 and three-quarters in 1:23.4 with only a mild bid from Hilaria (Nick Graffam), Beautiful Lady dropped her head, flagged her tail and paced away down the lane to win by two-lengths in 1:52.2. It was the fifth tally of the year for Beautiful Lady ($3.40) who is owned by Lester Gelardi Jr. and Anthony Passafaro. Then in the featured conditioned trotting event, Georgina Corner (Steve Nason) took to the pylons as horses argued for the lead three-deep to the quarter and then three-deep once again from the half to the three-quarters, before finding room up the pylons half-way down the stretch and trotting away from the field to win by two-lengths in 1:57. It was the first win of the year for Georgina Corner ($21.80) who is owned by Steven Finkelstein. Cohen also added wins to her statistics from Someplace Special (1:53.2, $2.60) and Fire N diamonds (1:54.3, $19.80) Greg Merton extended his already insurmountable dash win lead at The Ridge by five as he scored with Sgt Molly Pitcher (1:53.1, $3.40), Someplace Special, Beautiful Lady, Carolina Hurricane (1:54.3, $4.40) and Coco Lindy (1:56.4, $2.60). Cohen now leads all trainers at the meet with 45 wins and Merton has amassed 167 wins so far; more than double that of his nearest competitor. Racing resumes at Plainridge Park on Friday afternoon at 2:30 p.m. By Tim Bojarski, for the Standardbred Owners of Massachusetts  

Plainville, MA---With competing in the New York Sire Stakes, Empire Breeders Classic and having just won the Zweig consolation already this year, Ostrich Blue Chip came into today's race at Plainridge Park with a solid harness racing resume. And her class showed as she won the $12,000 conditioned trotting feature at The Ridge on Tuesday afternoon (Aug. 29). Ostrich Blue Chip (Greg Merton) got away fourth as Shorething Fashion (Chris Long) took the lead. But as that one cleared the quarter in :28, Merton pulled Ostrich Blue Chip and went to the front and that would be the final lead change of the race. Ostrich Blue Chip was motoring along comfortably up the backstretch when Back Stage (Ivan Davies) tried his luck and performed admirably for a while, trotting stride for stride with the favorite to the three-quarters in 1:27.1. But past that station, the curtain came down on Back Stage and Ostrich Blue Chip started trotting away from the field. With a sizable lead heading for home, Merton had her wrapped up early and she cruised to a one-length victory in 1:55.3. It was the fourth win in six starts for Ostrich Blue Chip ($3.20) and also her third in a row. The 3-year-old daughter of Chapter Seven is owned by the Fred Monteleone Stable LLC and is trained by Frank Antonacci. In the $10,000 co-featured condition trot, Tuff Lil Tune (Jim Hardy) tracked the heavy favorite Donomoni (Greg Merton) from third until the three-quarter pole when Hardy pulled the big trotter and drew even with the leader. From there the two trotted side-by-side down the lane before Tuff Lil Tune got the edge and won by a head in 1:56.3, which was a new lifetime mark. It was the second win in three starts this year for Tuff Lil Tune ($23.20) and also his second win in a row. The 4-year-old Muscle Mass gelding is owned by Tony Gruppo and Tim Bojarski and is trained by Scott Rollins. Greg Merton had another Grand Slam at Plainridge on Tuesday winning with Muscana (1:56.2, $3.20), Fast N Victorious (1:54.1, $3.40), The Date Rocker (1:54.4, $3.80) and Ostrich Blue Chip (1:55.3, $3.20). Jim Hardy also had a driving triple and trainer Scott Rollins sent two of his students to the winner's enclosure for pictures. Racing resumes at Plainridge Park on Thursday afternoon at 4 p.m.   From the Standardbred Owners of Massachusetts  

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