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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 www.tiogadowns.com. 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 www.tiogadowns.com   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 www.tiogadowns.com 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 www.tiogadowns.com. 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  

Plainville, MA--- After leaving and being pressured much of the mile, He's Marvalous hung on until the very end and won the $14,000 conditioned harness racing  feature at Plainridge Park on Monday afternoon (Aug. 28). He's Marvalous (Nick Graffam) rolled down the highway in :26.4 with everyone seating behind him. But after a fairly soft second panel, Prince Aston (Scott Renz) advanced outside at the three-eighths and started to chase the leader. At first Prince Aston seemed to be prompting more than challenging as he hung about a half-length off. But as they passed the three-quarters he drew even with He's Marvelous and the battle was on. Around the final turn He's Marvalous and Prince Aston were literally stride for stride with both drivers bouncing in rhythm with their horses. As they came down the lane it was so tight, it was anyone's guess who would get the advantage. With the leaders in an all-out war, the rest of the field was closing in and now the finish was really in doubt as Terror Hall (Wally Watson) and Warrawee Nonsuch (Mark Beckwith) were closing in. When they hit the finish, He's Marvalous got the win by a nose over Prince Aston with Terror Hall third only a head behind in 1:52.1. In the photo, six horses were across the wire within a length of each other. It was the second win of the year for He's Marvalous ($19.80) who recorded a lifetime mark of 1:50.4 here at Plainridge in June. The 4-year-old gelded son of Delmarvalous is owned by P. Richard Shaw and Mike Graffam, who also trains the winner. The undercard was a $12,000 conditioned pace and it had more lead changes than a ballroom dance. Major Leaguer (Jimmy Whittemore) took the front early but yielded it to Trigger Finger (Chris Long) by the quarter. The race rolled to the half in :56.2 when Lindy Beach (Greg Merton) pulled and brushed ahead of Major Leaguer by the three-eighths and directed the proceedings form there. A mild bid from a weak outer flow failed to make an impact on the leaders up the backside and Lindy Beach took the field confidently around the far turn and into the stretch. Before they straightened out Major Leaguer pulled, paced up to Lindy Beach and then went right on by. Major Leaguer shifted gears and opened up a three-length advantage and with Whittemore striking a pose for the photographer, won in 1:51.3. Major Leaguer ($6.40) registered his 12th win in 15 starts this year for Jimmy Whittemore who also owns the horse. Dennis Whittemore does the training. Plainridge Park's leading driver Greg Merton had another big day at the track, winning five races and finishing second three times in his nine starts on the card. That gave him an astounding .740 UDR for the afternoon. Merton won with Crazyblond (1:56.2, $8.20), Destination Moon N (1:52.1, $4.60), Vegas Dream (1:52.1, $3.60), Flirtnwithdisaster (1:54.3, $3.60) and Jus' Like A Virgin (1:52.2, $4.60). Racing resumes at Plainridge Park on Tuesday with post time set for 4 p.m.   By Tim Bojarski, for the Standardbred Owners of Massachusetts

Plainville, MA---The old saying "there are horses for courses" couldn't be proven more right than by Mambo Lindy who scored yet another decisive harness racing victory in the $15,000 Open Handicap trot at Plainridge Park on Thursday afternoon (Aug. 24). Seeking Steven (Chris Long) appointed himself dictator of fractions as he took the front without argument from anyone off the gate. He then led the field to a modest :57.2 half before Mambo Lindy (Greg Merton) pulled from fourth and started his trek to success. With little effort and looking like he knows what to do, Mambo Lindy drew alongside Seeking Steven and continued on by as they rounded the final turn. At the head of the stretch, Mambo Lindy was clear and trotting his hips off while opening up a five-length advantage at the wire to win in 1:53.4. Mambo Lindy ($2.20) has now won seven races this year, every one of them at Plainridge Park and those efforts have earned him $64,000. It was also his 21st lifetime win in only 35 starts. The 6-year-old gelded son of Donato Hanover is owned by Greathorse of Massachusetts and is trained by Frank Antonacci. In the co-featured $14,000 conditioned trot, Tag Up And Go (Greg Merton) chased down the front-running Guiltywithanexcuse (Jim Hardy) from the three-eighths all the way to the wire and just got up in the final strides to win in 1:55.4. It was the seventh win of the year for Tag Up And Go ($2.80) who has now enriched his owners Lester Gelardi Jr. and Anthony Passafaro with $86,660 in proceeds this year. Greg Merton and Mark Beckwith both chimed in with three driving wins on Thursday while trainer Monique Cohen also watched as three of her students entered the winner's enclosure. Live racing resumes at Plainridge Park on Friday afternoon with the first race post time set for 4 p.m.   By Tim Bojarski, for the Standardbred Owners of Massachusetts  

Plainville, MA---In what could only be described as an overpowering performance, Artful Way took no prisoners en route to a career matching harness racing performance in the $18,000 Open handicap pacing feature at Plainridge Park on Monday afternoon (Aug. 21). Artful Way (Greg Merton) took an immediate lead off the gate and everyone seated behind him except Deetzy (Gary Mosher) who continued to drive for the front. He cleared by the quarter in :26 but before settling on the pylons, Artful Way was back out and rolling to regain the lead by the three-eighths pole. By the half, Quick Shot (Nick Graffam) pulled first-over and drew alongside the leader and paced stride for stride with Artful Way to a 1:22.4 third panel, but that's where the race ended. Quick Shot started to fade but it was more that Artful Way found a new gear and simply put the field to bed. Pacing home in :27.2, Artful Way drew-off by eight lengths under a hand-drive by Merton and won in 1:50.1, which equaled his lifetime mark. Artful Way ($3.60) now boasts earnings of $82,600 for the year on the strength of seven wins for his owner, Kellogg Racing Stable LLC and trainer Jackie Greene. In the co-featured $14,000 conditioned pacing event, Calvin B (Gary Mosher) sat off the pace and watched a three-quarter mile match race between Track Master D (Chris Long) and Major Leaguer (Jimmy Whittemore) before pulling from fifth, tipping three-deep around the last turn and pacing away from the field down the lane to win by a length in 1:51.3. It was the fifth win in 18 starts in 2017 for Calvin B ($10.80) and it raised his earnings to $39,742 for owner Dolores Smiel. The 7-year-old altered son of Bettors Delight is trained by Heidi Rohr. Drivers scoring multiple wins on the card included Greg Merton with three and Shawn Gray and Gary Mosher with two apiece. Racing resumes at Plainridge Park on Tuesday (Aug. 22) with post time at 4 p.m.   By Tim Bojarski, for the Standardbred Owners of Massachusetts

Plainville, MA---Although there were two Open Handicap trots on the Thursday afternoon (Aug. 17) harness racing card at Plainridge Park, the best performance of the day came from a mid-level conditioned contest. And the one constant no matter what race was run; Greg Merton remains on fire. In the first $15,000 Open trot, Seeking Steven moved up in class for the third week in a row yet extended his winning streak, all while being let go at 11-1 by the bettors. Guiltywithanexcuse (Jim Hardy) was cutting the mile with little resistance until Black Broadway (Greg Merton) pulled at the half, bringing Seeking Steven (Chris Long) and Bloodstockshalltab (Jim Whittemore) with him. After the two tiers tripped the three-quarters in 1:26.1, Seeking Steven tipped three-wide at the top of the far turn and with Long bouncing up and down like he was sitting on a spring, Seeking Steven flew down the lane and held off a fast closing Bloodstockshalltab to win by a neck in 1:56.1. It was the third straight win for Seeking Steven ($22.20), two of which were at Plainridge Park. The 5-year-old son of Muscle Mass is owned by Arthur Mergenhagen and is trained by Dan Hennessey. In the co-featured $14,000 Open trot, Buff executed a personal best effort while easily putting away his six competitors. Buff (Greg Merton) got away second behind Dial A Chic (Joe DiStephano) and their positions remained stagnant through quarters timed in :26.4, :56.2 and 1:25.2. At that point Buff pulled and trotted alongside the fading leader through the turn. By the time they hit the head of the stretch, Buff had opened up a three-length advantage and with no serious bids behind him, trotted home a winner in 1:54.4. Buff ($4.20) scored his eighth win of the season and the 1:54.4 time also gave him a new lifetime mark. He has now earned $54,901 in 2017 for his owners Bill Reepmeyer, the Jackie Rousse Stable LLC, Frank Witz and Jill Witz. The winner is trained by Jackie Greene. But the fastest trot of the day came in the first race where early-season Plainridge Open winner Tag Up And Go dropped in class and toyed with the field, getting him closer to his third $100,000+ earnings year. Tag Up And Go (Greg Merton) sat a loose third while Tuscanelle (Jim Hardy) took the race to the half in a speedy :55.4. Merton sat and waited until the five-eighths pole when he yanked the right line and put his horse in gear. Tag Up And Go trotted around Maximus Deo (Pat Curtain) and then drew alongside Tuscanelle and those two drew off around the last turn. But when they hit the straight, Tag Up And Go got up and went; down the lane with Merton sitting stoic, to a very impressive five-length win in 1:53.4. It was the sixth win of the year for Tag Up And Go ($2.40) and a new seasonal mark. The win pushed his bank for the year to $79,660 for owners Lester Gelardi Jr. and Anthony Passafaro. Monique Cohen trains Tag Up And Go. Driver Greg Merton keeps rolling merrily along at The Ridge as he chalked-up another six-win afternoon. There were smiles all around as the following horses had their pictures taken with "Mass-Merton": Tag Up And Go (1:53.4, $2.40), Olivia's Z Tam (1:53.3, $3.20), Fire N Diamonds (1:55, $7.00), Well Wishers (1:54.2, $5.60), Buff (1:54.4, $4.20) and Paparazzi Prince (1:54, $8.80) Merton now has 140 wins for the meet, more than double the number of his nearest competitor. He also continues to perform at an extremely high level in every driving category including a .450 UDR, 31% win and 61% in the money percentages. Not to be overlooked in the day's proceedings, Chris Long had a driving double while conditioners Monique Cohen and Jackie Greene each sent two students to the winner's enclosure. Live racing resumes at Plainridge Park on Friday afternoon with post time set for 4 p.m.   By Tim Bojarski, for the Standardbred Owners of Massachusetts  

Plainville, MA---After finishing second and third in new track record times in back to back weeks, Mambo Lindy got back to his harness racing winning ways taking the $17,000 Open Handicap trot at Plainridge Park on Thursday afternoon (Aug. 10). Mambo Lindy (Greg Merton) got away sixth while Guiltywithanexcuse (Jim Hardy) and Black Broadway (Mark Beckwith) took turns with the lead going to the quarter, the latter winning that tussle before slowing the half to a moderate :57. Realizing the brakes were on, Merton pulled the Donato Hanover gelding first-up and started a methodical approach towards the leader. Fourth, third, second; Mambo Lindy could smell blood in the water as he drew alongside Black Broadway at the three-quarter pole and at that moment he dug-in and took off. Mambo Lindy opened up a five-length advantage by the head of the stretch and with Merton deciding his best side for the picture, Mambo Lindy cruised away to a seven-length win in 1:53.2; last quarter in a sparkling :27.2. It was the sixth win in nine starts, all at Plainridge Park, for Mambo Lindy ($4.00) and it enhanced his bank to $55,000 for owner Greathorse of Massachusetts. Frank Antonacci trains Mambo Lindy. In the co-featured $14,000 conditioned trotting event, One Swan For All (Wallace Watson) took the overland route to victory, scoring a 1:56.2 win and blowing up the tote board in the process. Owned by Joel Wheeler and trained by Lisa Watson, One Swan For All was disregarded at 23-1 and paid $49.00. It was tag-team Thursday at The Ridge as three sets of driver/trainers combined for two wins apiece. Greg Merton doubled with two Frank Antonacci charges, Mark Beckwith scored with two Elisha Lafreniere trainees and Wallace Watson won with two of Lisa Watson's students. Live racing resumes at Plainridge Park on Friday with a Wicked Hi-5 pentafecta carryover of $10,976.45 in the sixth race. Post time for the first race is at 4 p.m.   By Tim Bojarski, for the Standardbred Owners of Massachusetts  

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