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Plainville, Ma --- Trainer Heidi Gibbs and driver Ron Cushing brought their big guns Bettors Fire N and Mach Doro A to Plainridge Park to make their first starts since the Levy series at Yonkers Raceway in April and both horses fired in a big way, winning the top two pacing classes at the harness racing track on Monday afternoon (May 13). Bettors Fire N won the $16,000 Open Handicap pace with the fastest mile of the meet to date. Cushing left from post four with Bettors Fire N and dropped in second behind Avatartist (Mark Eaton) who was on a mission to the quarter in :25.4. But shortly after that panel he tugged the right line and Bettors Fire N was out and on the move, drawing alongside Avatartist at the half and by the three-quarters clearing in 1:22.1. He paced sharply around the last turn and after Cushing tapped the disk once at the top of the stretch, Bettors Fire N was on cruise control and the big horse motored home to win in 1:50.1. Bettors Fire N ($5.80) scored his 48th lifetime win and pushed his earnings to just under $790,000. The winning time was also a new lifetime mark. Earlier in the card stablemate Mach Doro A stood out in victory in the $14,000 Winners-Over pace. Mach Doro A got away last while fellow countryman Lettucerockthem A (Jay Randall) was the keeper of the quarters. After stopping the clock in :26.4, :56 and 1:24.1 Lettucerockthem A was doing a good job of holding off a three-horse outer flow that tracked him since the three-eighths. But as they were fanning off the final turn Mach Doro A was wound up from the back of the pack, tipping four-wide under a hand drive. He cleared the leaders at the top of the lane and cruised home as Cushing sat chilly to win handily in 1:52.2. Mach Doro A                                 --Tom Melanson photo Mach Doro A ($8.00) paced his back-half in :55.3 on the rim and also took a new lifetime mark for his effort. Both horses are owned by Kevin Sywyk, Frank Ranaldi and their driver Ron Cushing. Shawn Gray led all drivers on Monday with a Grand Slam performance. He scored with Spark A Dream (1:58.3, $2.20), Deetzy (1:52, $8.00), Modern Yankee (1:56.2, $3.60) and Beachchip Hanover (1:54.3, $4.00). Gray sits in first place this meet for dash wins with 33, six ahead of the second place Mitchell Cushing. Racing resumes at Plainridge Park on Thursday afternoon (May 16) with post time at 4 p.m.   By Tim Bojarski for the Standardbred Owners of Massachusetts

Plainville, MA --- After watching several in the field take their best shot early, Shesjustadelight N made her move and took control late en route to winning the $15,000 fillies and mares Winners-Over pacing feature at Plainridge Park on Tuesday afternoon (Sept. 11) over a rain-soaked track. The front-end was a hot piece of property as the leaders changed hands fast and furiously. Empty Gesture (Chris Long) took an early lead before Watts Was I Drinkn (Jim Hardy) grabbed it from her at the quarter. But as soon as she hit the pylons, Show Runner (Greg Merton) was out and rolling and made the front as they passed under the wire for the first time. But positions were still up for grabs as this restless group of girls produced another attempting the front past the half. Shesjustadelight N (Mitchell Cushing) was out and rolling into the second turn with Seventimesavirgin (Nick Graffam) following her. Shesjustadelight N got to Show Runner's wheels at the five-eighths and stayed there until the three-quarter pole when Show Runner was starting to tire. Around the final bend Shesjustadelight N cleared the front and Seventimesavirgin tipped out for the stretch drive. But Shesjustadelight N had a one-length advantage and Cushing made sure it stayed that way as he rocked her down to the wire to win in 1:51.4, which was a new seasonal mark for the mare. It was the third win in only 14 starts this year for Shesjustadelight N ($3.80) who now has $51,600 on her card for owners Kevin Sywyk and Ron Cushing. Heidi Gibbs is the trainer. Cushing had a big day at The Ridge, winning four races on the card. Besides the already mentioned Shesjustadelight N, Cushing also scored with Zoe Blue Chip (1:54.2, $17.60), Le Gambe (1:55.4, $4.40) and Freetime (1:54.2, $4.40). Not to be overlooked, Jim Hardy also had a driving hat trick that included two horses that he also trains. The Wicked Hi-5 Pentafecta in the sixth race that had a carryover of $10,380 today was finally hit. A 20-cent ticket on the straight combination of 6-9-2-5-8 returned $11,892.06. The $1.3 million (est.) Massachusetts Sire Stakes will once again be contested at Plainridge Park starting in October. There will be three weeks of $25,000 (est.) preliminary legs starting on Monday (Oct. 1) with the $85,000 (est.) finals to be held on Tuesday (Oct. 30). For more information on this state-bred series, log onto www.sominc.net . Racing resumes at Plainridge Park on Thursday with post time at 2 p.m. by Tim Bojarski, for the Standardbred Owners of Massachusetts

Plainville, MA---An assigned outside post and three inside leavers did not dissuade Kenrick N from his preferred style of racing and at the end of the mile, the local wonder from down under notched another big win in the $14,000 Winners-Over feature pace at Plainridge Park on Memorial Day Monday (May 28) in front of a large trackside crowd. Leaving from post seven, driver Ron Cushing floated Kenrick N off the gate and waited for Sailor Jerry (Nick Graffam), Quick Shot (Drew Campbell) and Pretty Boy Hill (Greg Merton) to find the pylons before he urged his horse to the front just before they hit the half in :53.4. From there the race was basically over. Moving up the backstretch, there were three horses out and three horses in behind the leader but none were making any headway. Cushing popped the plugs right at the three-quarter pole and Kenrick N responded big time. Under mild urging Kenrick N opened up a quick three-length advantage as they approached the top of the stretch where Cushing looked over his shoulder and saw the gap he had opened. Then he simply put his hands in his lap and let Kenrick N cruise to the wire at his own pace a wrapped-up, four-length winner in 1:50, which was a new lifetime mark. Now sporting two wins, a second and a third in five North American starts since arriving in April, Kenrick N ($4.40) is well on his way to a career year for owners Kevin Sywyk and Ron Cushing and his trainer Heidi Gibbs. In the secondary feature $12,000 condition pace, Mysharona Bluechip (Greg Merton) played give-and-go with Treasure Mach (Ron Cushing) before taking the lead for good at the quarter pole, en route to a solid one-length victory in 1:51.3. It was the third win on the last four starts for Mysharona Bluechip ($7.00) and his owner A Piece of the Action LLC. Eric Beach was the successful traine Three drivers won nine of the eleven races on Monday. Shawn Gray registered a grand slam while Greg Merton scored a hat trick and Drew Campbell doubled up. Racing resumes on Tuesday at Plainridge Park with post time at 4 p.m. By Tim Bojarski, for the Standardbred Owners of Massachusetts  

Scarborough, Maine - July 6, 2017 ... The sophomore trotting divisions of the Maine Sire Stakes program made their premier stop at Scarborough Downs on Thursday (7/6) with a grand total of 16 colts and fillies gathered to vie for their share of purses totaling $30,328, in what remains a rather lucrative, yet apparently under appreciated harness racing opportunity, along the national sire stakes circuit. The common theme in pocketing the lion's share of those rich stakes purses though, was the pocket journey, a strategy that executed flawlessly in all three stakes splits. Let's Get It All remained perfect in sire stakes action this season as he backed up last week's Bangor Raceway score with an identically timed 2:01.3 effort at the Downs, in the first of two colt divisions. Driving for trainer Heidi Gibbs, Ron Cushing sat a patient pocket trip behind King Cast (M. Athearn) before pulling at the head of the stretch, then measuring the 3/4-length margin of victory at the wire. The Noble Venture-Bimmelibim gelding is owned by the consortium of Lucia Les, Kenneth Clairmont and Ron Cushing and claimed the lion's share of the $10,003 purse offering. King Cast held for runner-up honors while Prydwen (I. Davies) finished third. The benefits of the pocket journey continued to hold sway in the second $10,003 colt division as Fox Cast and driver Wallace Watson stalked Pembroke Morgan (H. Campbell) twice around the oval before just nosing out the rabbit at the wire. Trained by Maine State Hall of Fame member Donald Richards for Thomas Dillon and Walter Hight, stalwart owners along the Pine Tree Circuit, the son of Current Cast-Celebrity Image strode to a new lifetime Mark of 2:02.4. Pembroke Morgan settled for second while Bruizn (K. Ireland) was third. Fuzzy Sweater unraveled the best laid plans of the competition in the $10,322 filly division, as the Eddie Davis, Jr piloted state-bred parlayed a perfect pocket strategy en route to establishing a maiden speed standard of 2:05. The daughter of Noble Venture-Fuzzy Slippers tracked the front-running Noble One (I. Davies) throughout the mile before getting the nod at the wire by the slender margin of a head. Fuzzy Sweater is trained by Brian Lamb for owner Di Stefano & Son Stable. Noble One claimed bridesmaid honors while Quote This (M. Cushing) finished third. Maine Sire stakes action returns to the Downs on Saturday (6/8) as the three-year-old colt pacers take their turn in the limelight. Scarborough Downs is pleased to present twilight harness racing cards on a Thursday and Saturday schedule at 4:30 PM (EDT) with the Sunday matinee heading to post at 1:30 PM. For more information, visit www.ScarboroughDowns.com or visit our Facebook page. By Michael Sweeney for Scarborough Downs

Plainville, MA--- Shesjustadelight N was one of the harness racing stars of Yonkers Bluechip Matchmaker Free-For-All series earlier this year after winning two legs and making the final. With a freshening month off, she's back and rolling with a second last week in the mares Open at Yonkers and now scoring a win in the $12,000 filly and mares Open Handicap at Plainridge Park on Tuesday afternoon (June 13). Shesjustadelight N (Ron Cushing) left best at the start and took a lead she would not relinquish. With the remainder of the scratch-shortened field in post-position order behind her, Shesjustadelight N flashed a quick :26.4 quarter, but then backed off the middle half to :58.2. As the pace slowed during that time, Better Said (Shawn Gray) rushed up on the outside and got within one-length of the leader around the final turn. But with a mere tap, Cushing alerted his mare it was time to go and she responded by gapping two lengths immediately. Then under mild urging down the lane, Shesjustadelight N cruised home to an easy two-length win in 1:52.3, which was a new seasonal mark. It was the third win in 11 starts this year for Shesjustadelight N ($2.60) and today's effort boosted her 2017 earnings to $99,640 for owners Kevin Sywyk and Ron Cushing. Heidi Gibbs trains the winner. Since being imported from New Zealand in August of 2016, Shesjustadelight N has won 15 of 23 starts (including a perfect 12 for 12 last year) and has made $180,640 as a result of her efforts. In the $10,000 distaff co-feature, Verry Well Pretty (Eddie Davis Jr.) put in an impressive performance, winning off a first-over trip and posting a new lifetime mark of 1:53.1. It was the fourth win in 10 starts for the 5-year-old daughter of Well Said who returned $15.80 to her backers. Verry Well Pretty is owned by William Phipps and is trained by Adam Gray. Plainridge Park's leading driver was at it again. Greg Merton won five more races on Tuesday, pushing his total for the meet to 73. He scored with Boston Bay ($41.80, 1:55.2), Toe Tag ($4.00, 1:56.3), Olivia's Z Tam ($15.40, 1:54.2), See To Believe ($2.60, 1:53.1) and UF Dragon's Hanover ($3.40, 1:54). Last year, Merton set a track record for most wins in a year by posting 229 victories. At his current rate of success, Merton could easily shatter that mark by the end of the meet as he is currently on pace for 292 wins. Live racing resumes at Plainridge Park on Thursday (June 15) with the first post set for 4 p.m. By Tim Bojarski, for the Standardbred Owners of Massachusetts  

New England harness racing invader She'sjustadelight N (Ron Cushing, $11.20) picked off pace-setting Bedroomconfessions (Scott Zeron) in a two-speed number Friday night, winning Yonkers Raceway's $45,000 Filly and Mare Open Handicap Pace. As the lead suggests, both ladies were put in play, from post position Nos. 5 and 6, respectively. There was some early daylight as Glenferie Bronte N (Mark MacDonald) gapped badly from the three-hole. After a :27.3 opening quarter-mile and :56.4 intermission, Frost Damage Blues (Dan Dube) moved from a distant fourth. That one never really was an issue in and out of a 1:24.4 three-quarters. 'Bedroom' owned a length-and-a-half entering the lane, but company was coming. She'sjustadelight N edged inside, while last week's victress, Mach it a Par (Jordan Stratton), offered her usual late arrival as this week's slight 2-1 choice. She'sjustadelight N whipped Bedroomconfessions by a neck in 1:53, with Mach it a Par, Frost Damage Blues and Motu Moonbeam N (Brent Holland) rounded out the payees. For fourth choice She'sjustadelight N, a 6-year-old Down Under daughter of Bettor's Delight co-owned by her driver & Kevin Sywyk and trained by Heidi Gibbs, it was her 13th win in 23 seasonal starts. The exacta paid $37.60, the triple returned $102 and the superfecta paid $367.50. Note that since no one took down Friday night's Pick 5, Saturday's gimmick begins with a carryover of $2,041.73 (50-cent base wager, now races 6 through 10). Frank Drucker

Scarborough, Maine - October 13, 2006 ... The Maine Standardbred Breeders and Owners Association and Scarborough Downs will present the harness racing annual Festival of Champions Day on Saturday October 15, 2016 with first post time slated for 1:30 pm. For the first and only time this season, all the top-rated three year-old Maine-bred racehorses will be gathered in one spot, on one day, as the championships of the Maine Sire Stakes program will be decided, and with nearly $370,000 in purse money on the line, Saturday will be the richest day in state-of-Maine harness racing this year. Seeley Man, undefeated in 23 career starts, has been cast in the 'leading man' role, as the sophomore gelding will attempt to add the three-year-old championship trophy to last year's freshman crown in an almost unheard of bid to sweep the table in the ultra-tough arena of Maine Sire Stakes competition. "This is indeed an historic bid" said Seeley Man's breeder, Lynn-Marie Plouffe of Saco, Maine. "A horse may well have remained undefeated at some point during the 40-plus seasons of the Maine Sires Stakes program, but none have done it in recent years. It takes a special animal to pull off such an impressive feat and we are so proud that Seeley Man has represented our breeding farm in such gallant fashion." Seeley Man was born on March 3, 2013 at the picturesque Dupuis Farm in southern Maine and was trained to a perfect 11 for 11 race record by Gerald Smith for owner Florence O'Keefe as a two-year-old. Retaining a share for herself, O'Keefe sold the budding star at the conclusion of that campaign to a partnership which includes Kevin Sywyk of Swartz Creek, Michigan and the Ben, Bill and Will Stable of Carmel, Maine. The gelding has been effectively driven by Ron Cushing for trainer Heidi Gibbs throughout the 2016 season and has now amassed career earnings in excess of $133,000. A win on Saturday would push his seasonal earnings total to over $100,000 - an eye-popping tally for a horse raced almost exclusively in Maine. The horses competing in these finals are bred, trained and stabled here in Maine, and have been competing in stakes races at the fairs and at tracks around the state all racing season. The top eight horses in each of the four divisions will vie for purses of $85,000 each, which are the largest in Maine horse racing history. "We're so excited to be hosting such an important event in Maine harness racing," said Scarborough Downs owner Sharon Terry. "Our commitment has always been to support the farms, families, and fairs of Maine, and this event is exemplary of all of those things." The fall/winter meet will continue at the Downs through the first weekend of December with live harness racing featured weekly on a Thursday through Sunday schedule with a 1:30 PM (EDT) post time. For more information, visit www.ScarboroughDowns.com or visit our Facebook page. By Michael Sweeney for Scarborough Downs  

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