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Plainville, MA --- The feature harness race at Plainridge Park on Friday afternoon (June 14) was the $14,000 Winners-Over Handicap trot and Sortie Hanover made a bold move to capture the winner's share. Nows The Moment (Mike Stevenson) left from post seven and took an early lead. But he soon surrendered that spot to Lindy The Great (Drew Monti) who recovered from an early break to rally to the front by the half in :56.4. Positions remained unchanged until midway up the back straight when Drew Campbell pulled Sortie Hanover from fourth and blew right by the three horses ahead of him to clear and take the lead by three-quarters in 1:25.3. From there Campbell just high-lined his horse and Sortie Hanover did the rest; trotting home first by four lengths in 1:55. Sortie Hanover ($12.00) got his fifth win of the year and a new lifetime mark for owner Mark Ford and Elisha Lafreniere, who trains the winner. The first race wasn't the feature trot, but it was the fastest. In the $8,500 mid-level condition event, Mayfair Johnny B (Jay Randall) pulled second over from fifth at the half, tipped three-deep at the three-quarters, overtook the leading Nathaniel (Drew Campbell) in the last turn and then trotted home in :28.4, opening up a 13-length lead in the process to win in 1:54.1. An 11-time winner in 2018, Mayfair Johnny B ($4.20) registered his third win of 2019 and a new seasonal mark for owner Kellogg Racing Stable and trainer Jackie Greene. Stealing the show among all drivers on Friday was Mitchell Cushing who won five of the 11 races on the card. He scored with Run And Tell Pap (1:56.2, $10.60), Neverdie (1:56.2, $3.00), Northern Breakout (1:56.3, $12.60), Katkin And Coke (1:58.2, $2.40) and Tango Glider (1:59.4, $31.40). Cushing has been on a tear this week at The Ridge, winning four races on Monday, four more on Thursday and then capped off the week today with five more tallies. As a result of the 13 wins, Cushing is now only two wins behind Shawn Gray (57-55) for the meet's driving lead. Live racing resumes at Plainridge Park on Monday afternoon (June 17) with post time at 4 p.m.   By Tim Bojarski for the Standardbred Owners of Massachusetts  

Plainville, MA --- After matching his lifetime mark in an April win at the Downs at Mohegan Sun Pocono, Con Air Hall had not been able to come close to that harness racing performance in the months since. But that all changed on Thursday (June 13) when the 6-year-old got his game back on track and romped in the $10,000 conditioned trotting feature at Plainridge Park. Con Air Hall (Mitchell Cushing) dropped in second behind Count On Rosie (Todd O'Dea) and smartly sat there until the five-eighths pole when Cushing pulled right leather and popped the pocket. Now under a full head of steam, Con Air Hall marched right by Count On Rosie and slid back to the pylons while opening up a two-length advantage past the three-quarters in 1:27.1. As the race swept around the last turn Count On Rosie faded, Spark A Dream (Shawn Gray) made a break and the only horse close enough with a shot was Hs Marcia (Drew Campbell) who tried her best to pursue but came up short as Con Air Hall was on cruise control and trotted to the wire on top by three in 1:56.4 over the sloppy-rated track. It was the second win of the year for Con Air Hall ($11.20) who is owned by Mark Ford and trained by Elisha Lafreniere. Mitchell Cushing remains the hottest driver on the grounds at Plainridge over this past week. After registering a Grand Slam on Monday (June 10), Cushing came right back and won four more races during Thursday afternoon. Besides winning the feature with Con Air Hall, Cushing also had his picture taken with Neon Sky N (1:53, $10.00), Cruiserwillwin (1:54.3, $18.20) and Beverly Hill Billy (1:55.3, $7.60). Drivers Shawn Gray and Drew Campbell each doubled on the card and as a result, the driving leader board has gotten crowded at the top. Gray is the current pace-setter with 57 wins, Cushing is second with 50 and Campbell is third with 37. There was a huge carry over pool in the Wicked-Hi 5 pentafecta wager today and it was hit in the ninth race. The winning combination of 3-6-7-4-1 returned a whopping $18,923.24 for a 20-cent bet. Racing resumes at Plainridge Park on Friday (June 14) with an 11-race, trot-heavy card featuring the $14,000 Winners-Over Handicap for the diagonal gaited. Post time for the first race is 4 p.m.   By Tim Bojarski for the Standardbred Owners of Massachusetts  

Plianville, MA --- As had been the case in his last two harness racing wins at Plainridge Park, Mach Doro A once again performed like a man against boys in winning the $14,000 Winners-Over Handicap feature pace on Monday afternoon (June 10). Leaving from post seven, Mach Doro A (Ron Cushing) flew to the front to set up shop and once there unchallenged, backed off the fractions to :27 and :56.2. By the time Bet You (Mitchell Cushing) pulled first-up to try and push the pace, Mach Doro A was on his way home. With his driver snugly holding two hands full of leather, Mach Doro A ripped-off back to back quarters of :27 and :27.3 to fly home in :54.3 unencumbered with a three-length victory in 1:51, which was a new lifetime best. It was the third win in the last four starts and fourth win of the year for Mach Doro A ($2.60) who is owned by Kevin Sywyk, Ron Cushing and Frank Ranaldi. Heidi GIbbs trains the winner. The next race on the card was a $12,000 upper-level conditioned event that went to Windsun Gotham (Mitchell Cushing) who pulled first-over past three-eighths and drew alongside the frontrunning Cruzing HIll (Drew Campbell) on the backstretch. From there the two tussled to the three-quarters and around the final bend before Windsun Gotham took the lead and then held off a late charge from Gillys Boy (Jay Randall) and Rockin Cougar (Nick Graffam) to win by a length in 1:52.1. Windsun Gotham It was the second win in a row for Windsun Gotham ($2.80) who is owned by Rick Howles and trained by Eric Beach. Racing resumes at Plainridge Park on Thursday (June 13) and it will feature a $14,169 carryover pool for the Wicked Hi-5 Pentafecta in the sixth race. Post time for the first race is 4 p.m.   By Tim Bojarski for the Standardbred Owners of Massachusetts    

Plainville, MA --- Bouncing back from a break and an outside post in recent starts, Make It A Double surprised the harness racing betting faithful and took the top prize in the $16,000 Open Handicap trot at Plainridge Park on Friday afternoon (June 7) at 12-1. Make It A Double (Mark Athearn) got away fourth as even-money favorite Wings Of Royalty (Shawn Gray) marched at the head of the group to the quarter in :27.4 and the half in :57.2. With no one making a move and the field still in single file, Athearn finally pulled Make It A Double at the five-eighths pole and started the advance towards Wings Of Royalty. Make It A Double drew alongside the leader just past three-quarters and the two then tangoed around the far turn. But by the time they hit the straightaway, Wings Of Royalty had faded out of contention and Make It A Double had established a clear advantage. A late charge by Jericho (Joe Di Stefano) in mid-stretch made it interesting for a moment, but Make It A Double stayed the course and hit the wire first in 1:55. It was the fourth win of the year and all at Plainridge Park for Make It A Double ($26.40) who is owned by William Phipps and trained by Gretchen Athearn. The $12,000 conditioned undercard trot went almost as fast as the feature as Sortie Hanover (Drew Campbell) took the lead just past the half and then stepped off to a :58 half and 1:26.1 three-quarters. From there he simply trotted away from the field by almost four lengths under no urging to win in 1:55.3 and establish a new lifetime mark. Sortie Hanover                                --Tom Melanson photo Also claiming his fourth win of the year, Sortie Hanover ($3.20) now has $37,055 on the card for owner Mark Ford. Elisha Lafreniere trains the winner. Driver Drew Campbell had the hot hand in the bike on Friday winning four races on the card. Besides the aforementioned Sortie Hanover, Campbell also won with Vodkancaviar (1:57, $6.80), Gias Boy (1:57.4, $7.60) and Somekinda Hanover (1:56.4, $3.60). Campbell came into the day with 4,995 career victories and despite having four trips to the winner's circle, came up one short of reaching the 5,000 win lifetime milestone. However it appears he won't have to wait long to achieve that goal as he has 10 drives at Scarborough Downs on Saturday (June 8). Once again there were no unique winners in the Wicked Hi-5 pentafecta in either the sixth or ninth races today and as a result, there will be a $9,286 carryover pool available in the sixth race on Monday (June 10) when live racing resumes at Plainridge Park. Post time for the first race is 4 p.m.   By Tim Bojarski for the Standardbred Owners of Massachusetts

Plainville, MA --- After cruising to easy wins in two of her last three outings at the Downs at Mohegan Sun Pocono, Write Me A Song shipped into Massachusetts and put on quite a show while winning the $14,000 Winners-Over Handicap pacing feature for harness racing fillies and mares on Thursday afternoon (June 6) at Plainridge Park. Leaving from post seven, Write Me A Song (Mitchell Cushing) was a blur off the gate and out-hustled Shez Sugarsweet A (Ron Cushing) to the front, smoking the first quarter in :25.4. With the field moving in single-file order towards the :54.2 half, Gw Show Faith (Drew Campbell) pulled first up and tried to apply some pressure. That became a failed bid on the backstretch as the tempo picked up with Write Me A Song and Shez Sugarsweet A a tight one-two and pulling away from the field. When the breakaway pair hit the three-quarters in 1:22 it appeared the race could go either way. But when Shez Sugarsweet A tipped at the head of the stretch for her final lunge, Write Me A Song shifted into overdrive, pulled away from the threat and cruised most handily to the wire by 1-1/2 lengths in 1:51.2. It was the 14th win in only 30 lifetime starts for Write Me a Song ($2.20) who now boasts a $259,527 lifetime bankroll. The 4-year-old daughter of Sportswriter-Song Writer is owned by William Hartt and trained by Lance Hudson. Earlier on the card, Magic Joe Lindy made his seasonal debut a winning one after being challenged multiple times during the mile in the sub-featured $10,000 conditioned event for 5-year-olds and under. Magic Joe Lindy                                               --Tom Melanson photo After watching Mantario (Mcgwire Sowers) take an early lead, Magic Joe Lindy (Patrizio Ancora) pulled out past the eighth and took command by the quarter. But a rest would not be on the schedule for this horse today as Notabadgame (Heath Campbell) came first over and drew alongside the leader, pushing the race to 1:23.1 at the third panel. It was there Notabadgame folded allowing the pocket-sitting Mantario an opening to move and he was full of pace. Mantario advanced to Magic Joe Lindy's flank and almost got even. But Magic Joe Lindy held sway and toughed-out the win in 1:51.2. A 2-year-old Kentucky Sire Stake finalist, Magic Joe Lindy ($2.80) got his 3-year-old campaign off to a stellar start for owner Lindy Farm of Connecticut and trainer Domenico Cecere. Shawn Gray and Mike Stevenson led all drivers on Thursday scoring three wins apiece on the card. Trainer Joel Wheeler was the top conditioner sending two from his barn for pictures. The Wicked Hi-5 pentafecta carryover pool continues to grow as it was not hit again on Thursday. The pool for that bet will start at $6,077 in the sixth race when racing resumes at Plainridge Park on Friday (June 7). Post time for the first race is 4 p.m.   By Tim Bojarski for the Standardbred Owners of Massachusetts  

Plainville, MA --- In what could only be described as a powerful performance, Rock Diamonds N toyed with a top field of harness racing pacers at Plainridge Park on Monday afternoon (June 3) and came away with his third consecutive win after taking the $14,000 Winners-Over Handicap in gate to wire fashion. Leaving from post six, Rock Diamonds N (Ron Cushing) set up shop on the point by the eighth pole and opened up a two length lead while cruising to the quarter in :26.4. By the time the race reached the half it was in two rows with Late Night Joke (Shawn Gray) moving on the outside and Quick Shot (Drew Campbell) stalking from the pocket, but the chasers were still a long-length behind the leader and that margin was not diminishing. The race remained unchanged to three-quarters and around the last turn when Rock Diamonds N hit the head of the lane and Cushing merely tapped his tail, put his hands in his lap and just held on for the ride as the stout-hearted son of Rocknroll Hanover pulled away to a four-length lead and ran away with a wrapped-up victory of 1:51.1. The winning time was a new lifetime mark. Since making his first North American start on April 8, Rock Diamonds N ($4.00) has now won five out of seven races for owners Kevin Sywyk, Ron Cushing and Frank Ranaldi. Heidi Gibbs trains the winner. Cushing also won the co-featured $12,000 conditioned pace with JK Will Power who out-fought Cruzing Hill (Drew Campbell) for the lead past the quarter and then set every fraction from there. After registering a tepid :56.4 half, JK Will Power then put up back to back :28.4 splits and held off a late charging Cruzing Hill from the pocket as well to win by one-half length in 1:54.2. JK Will Power                             --Tom Melanson photo It was the fourth score of the year for JK Will Power ($3.60) who is owned by Michael Goldberg Racing and trained by Jeff Lieberman. During the afternoon, Patrizio Ancora, Mitchell Cushing, Jim Hardy and Jay Randall all scored driving doubles. Trainers Domenico Cecere, Eric Beach and Shawn Answeeney doubled up as well on the conditioning side. The Wicked Hi-5 pentafecta remains the most elusive bet at The Ridge and as such, has produced yet another healthy carryover pool of $3,729 that will be available in the sixth race on Thursday (June 6) when live racing at Plainridge Park resumes. Post time for the first race is 4 p.m.   By Tim Bojarski  for the Standardbred Owners of Massachusetts

Plainville, MA --- After finishing second twice in five previous top-class trot attempts at Plainridge Park this year, Nows The Moment got the job done on Friday (May 31) as he won the harness racing $16,000 Open Handicap at The Ridge on a beautiful spring afternoon. Nows The Moment (Mike Stevenson) left the best of the three who opted to and took the lead position before the quarter that went in :27.1. Soon after, an outer flow formed on the rim with Make It A Double (Mark Athearn) leading the charge. As the race proceeded up the backside things got interesting as the outside challenger eventually drew alongside Nows The Moment at the three-quarters while Namesmuscle (Matt Athearn) tripped-out behind him just waiting to pounce. As they were spinning out of the far turn, Stevenson threw the lines at Nows The Moment and his horse responded well by opening up an immediate two-length advantage. Make It A Double tailed off outside and Namesmuscle tried to chase from the pylons but but couldn't make up any ground. Halfway down the lane Nows The Moment was trotting away wrapped-up and coasted to a two length win in 1:54.3. It was the fourth score in 17 starts this year for the Credit Winner gelding Nows The Moment ($13.00) who is owned by Sonya Mac Donald and trained by Allison Mac Donald. Nows The Moment was only one of four wins registered by the day's leading driver Mike Stevenson. He also scored with Wind And A Prayer (1:56, $15.20), Gd Cruise For Gold (1:55.1, $4.40) and Dr. Ds Jodine (1:57.3, $3.20). In the co-featured $10,000 conditioned trot, One Swan For All (Wally Watson) found class relief to be the ticket and he scored his first win of the year off the 20-1 drop and pop, coming first-over from fourth at the five-eighths to overpower the leading Sortie Hanover (Drew Campbell) down the stretch and win by a length in 1:55.1. One Swan For All ($43.60) is owned by Joel Wheeler and trained by Lisa Watson. One Swan For All Racing resumes at Plainridge Park on Monday (June 3) with post time set for 4 p.m.   By Tim Bojarski, for the Standardbred Owners of Massachusetts

Plainville, MA --- A trio of $12,000 condition harness races that included one pace and two trots, headlined the card at Plainridge Park on Thursday afternoon (May 30) and when the dust had settled, two of them provided some handsome returns. In the  pacing edition, Legal Power (Shawn Gray) took an early lead and dictated the entire mile. After going :27, :55.4 and 1:23.4 without anyone getting closer than a length, Gray loose-lined Legal Power at the head of the lane and he paced away with no further encouragement to score an easy two-length win in 1:52.4, equaling his lifetime mark. Legal Power ($3.40) claimed his seventh career victory for owners Dandy Farms Racing and FT Racing Stable. Jimmy Nickerson is the trainer. On the trotting side, Hs Marcia (Drew Campbell) took the lead from Southwind Rich (Jim Hardy) before allowing that one to retake, and then sat the pocket trip the rest of the way. At the head of the stretch Campbell pulled Hs Marcia and out-legged Southwind Rich to the wire while holding off a late charge from Tobasco (Joe Di Stefano) to win in 1:58.3. Hs Marcia            --Tom Melanson photo Hs Marcia ($15.40) is owned by Emery Pelletier and is trained by Randy Bickmore. Then in the book-end trot the lightly regarded Aces And Eighths (Wally Watson) got away last by 13-lengths and eventually pulled third-over in a dull outer flow at the half before tipping three-deep at the top of the final bend where he was full of trot and then blew by the field in deep stretch to win by two-lengths in 1:57. The 17-1 Aces And Eights returned $36.20 for owner Jeffrey Epstein and triggered a 1-3-6 trifecta that paid $3,264.60. Jamie Gerard does the conditioning. Aces And Eights                     --Tom Melanson photo Drew Campbell had the driving Grand Slam on Thursday. Besides scoring with the aforementioned Hs Marcia, Campbell also won with Gw Show Faith (1:52.4, $4.20), Kitty Russel (1:55, $21.20) and Shady Secret A (1:54.2, $7.20). The Wicked Hi-5 pentafecta which had not been hit in recent days and as a result, produced a hefty carryover pool was claimed today in the sixth race when one lucky bettor had the 1-5-3-2-9 combination and won $8,670.12. Racing resumes at Plainridge Park on Friday (May 31) with post time at 4 p.m.   By Tim Bojarski, for the Standardbred Owners of Massachusetts  

Plainville, MA --- A pair of Winners-Over paces topped the Memorial Day card at Plainridge Park on Monday (May 27) and there was no one to laughing at Late Night Joke's harness racing performance in the fastest of the two divisions. In the $13,000 seven-horse leg, Quick Shot (Drew Campbell) played hardball with Late Night Joke (Shawn Gray) on the point but eventually relented past the 26-flat quarter. But as soon as Late Night Joke cleared, Quick Shot came right back out to reclaim the lead. These two paced strongly atop the field from the half to three-quarters with only a mild bid from Rockin' Cougar (Nick Graffam) during that time. Around the far turn it became a two-horse race and Late Night Joke pulled the pocket before the stretch and drew alongside Quick Shot when they finally did straighten out. From that point on Gray had the whip tucked and Late Night Joke cruised home to a two-length victory in 1:50.4, which was a new seasonal mark. Late Night Joke ($10.80) scored his second consecutive win and third of the year for owner Dandy Farms Racing and Ft. Racing Stable. Jimmy Nickerson trains the winner. In the $14,000 second division, Avatartist (Mark Eaton) found his way to the front once again but after three straight weeks of :25.4 first panel splits, this time in a more controlled :27.4. With no one pushing the issue, the race continued to the half in :57.3 and it was really over at that point. Avatartist then went back to back quarters in :27.2 and :27.4 and held off late charges by Sir Pugsley (Shawn Gray) and Fashion Bythebeach (Mitchell Cushing) to win by a length in 1:52.4. Avatartist                                --Tom Melanson photo Driver Mark Eaton also trains and co-owns Avatartist ($10.40) with Bob McHugh, Robert Griffin and Russell Young. Driver Jay Randall had a big day at The Ridge scoring a Grand Slam on the afternoon. Randall won with Goddess Ofgoodness (1:57.4, $4.00), My Mind Is Madeup (1:52, $6.40), Fuzzylegsandall (1:54.4, $14.40) and Weekend Fling (1:55.1, $12.80). Racing resumes at Plainridge Park on Thursday (May 30) with post time at 4 p.m. As a result of no one picking the winning combination once again, there is a $7,170 carryover pool for the Wicked Hi-5 pentafecta wager in the sixth race on Thursday.   By Tim Bojarski for the Standardbred Owners of Massachusetts

Plainville, MA --- After five non-winning starts in the Open trot, Namesmuscle did the drop and pop on Friday (May 24) to win the $12,000 conditioned feature for the diagonally gaited at Plainridge Park. Namesmuscle (Matt Athearn) took early command and rebuffed a quick bid from Fluff Me Up (Jay Randall), seating that one by the quarter. With the field in single file, the group marched to the half in :57.3 where Front Street (Mitchell Cushing) pulled first over with Sortie Hanover (Drew Campbell) right on his tail. As the race progressed to three-quarters Front Street was unable to get closer than a length to the leader so in the far turn, Sortie Hanover went three wide around him to continue to track down Namesmuscle. But Namesmuscle had slipped away with a two-length lead and trotted smartly on the front to the wire where he won in 1:55.2, which tied his lifetime mark. It was the second win of the year for Namesmuscle ($4.00) who has now bankrolled $21,720 in 2019 for owner William Phipps. Gretchen Athearn trains the winner. When live racing resumes at Plainridge Park on Memorial Day Monday (May 27) there will be a $5,273 carryover pool for the Wicked Hi-5 pentafecta wager in the sixth race. Post time for the first race is 4 p.m.   By Tim Bojarski for the Standardbred Owners of Massachusetts  

Plainville, Ma --- On the heels of facing top Open mares like Shartin N and Bettor Joy N in the Blue Chip harness racing series at Yonkers Raceway this spring, Betterb Chevron N shipped into Massachusetts and captured the $14,000 Winners-Over Handicap pace for fillies and mares at Plainridge Park on Thursday afternoon (May 24). Shez Sugarsweet A (Ron Cushing) got off the wings best and led the field to a comfortably rated :56.2 half. Betterb Chevron N (Mitchell Cushing) came first-over there with Spilling The Beans (Mike Stevenson) tagging along on the rim. Betterb Chevron N drew alongside Shez Sugarsweet A in the back straight and the two mares paced in unison to the three-quarters and around the far turn before Shez Sugarsweet A grudgingly gave way allowing Betterb Chevron A to take a short lead going into the stretch. With a length separating her from the her closest rival as she headed down the lane, Betterb Chevron N coasted to the wire and won in 1:54. After winning her first three North American starts back in January and February, Betterb Chevron N ($3.00) now added her fourth victory of the year to the card for owner William Hartt and trainer Lance Hudson. Cushing also won two more races to claim a driving Hat Trick on Thursday. In the $12,000 conditioned event Notabadgame ($25.80) got away sixth off the gate and trailed the leader by 10-lengths before pulling second-over at the half, tipping three-deep at the five-eighths and opening up a five-length lead that would get him home first in 1:53.1 Jackie Greene owns and trains the winner. Notabadgame                                       --Tom Melanson photo Then Cushing helped extend the streak of the winningest horse of the current Plainridge meet to five when Gitn Drunkonaplane ($2.80) led at every station before cruising home by a length in 1:54.3. Owned by Simzer and Derue and trained by Brett Derue, Gitn Drunkonaplane has yet to taste defeat at The Ridge in 2019. Racing resumes at Plainridge Park on Friday (May 24) with a 12-race card that goes to post at 4 p.m. The Wicked Hi-5 pentafecta in race six features a carryover pool of $4,172.   By Tim Bojarski for the Standardbred Owners of Massachusetts

Plainville, MA --- On Monday afternoon (May 20) Mach Doro A asserted his dominance for the second week in a row and overpowered a full field of nine top pacers as he took the $16,000 Open Handicap pace at Plainridge Park. Avatartist (Mark Eaton) left from post nine and seated the whole harness racing field as he sped to the quarter in :25.4 over the sloppy track. As the race passed in front of the stands, J JS Delivery (Shawn Gray) pulled first-over and brought Bet You (Heath Campbell) and Mach Doro A (Ron Cushing) with him in the outer flow. The race hit the half in :55 and J JS Delivery was drawing closer to Avatartist, but he wasn't doing it fast enough for Mach Doro A as Cushing tipped that one three-deep up the backside and blew past the field. By the three-quarter pole Mach Doro A had cleared in 1:23.1 and that marked the beginning of the end of the race. As he rounded the turn he started pulling away with the rest of the field double-decked behind him. Cushing looked over his shoulder at the top of the stretch and saw he was home free and Mach Doro A strode-out to an unprompted seven-length lead at the wire where he won in 1:52. The time was the second consecutive lifetime mark for Mach Doro A. Now a winner of 33 out of 83 races and $296,246 lifetime, the 8-year-old Mach Doro A is also two-for-two at Plainridge Park this year for owners Kevin Sywyk, Ron Cushing and Frank Ranaldi. Heidi Gibbs is the trainer. In the co-featured $14,000 conditioned pace, Passport To Art (Shawn Gray) got a perfect pocket trip behind Pokerface Bluechip (Mitchell Cushing) before tipping in the last turn to launch a strong stretch drive that wore down the leader at the wire where he won in 1:51.4, which was a new lifetime mark. Passport To Art ($12.20) is owned by Elizabeth and Dyce Spaluto and is trained by Alicia Gray. Passport To Art                     -Tom Melanson photo Shawn Gray had a huge day at Plainridge on Monday, winning five races on the card. Besides the already mentioned Passport To Art, Gray also scored with Queen For Life (1:59.2, $5.00), Jake G's Champion (1:57.3, $19.00), Chip Walther (1:52.3, $9.40) and Sir Pugsley (1:51.4, $3.00). With that performance Gray now has a commanding lead in the dash win race for the meet topping Mitchel Cushing by 12; 42-30. Racing resumes at Plainridge Park on Thursday (May 23) at 4 p.m. With now winner in the Wicked Hi-5 pentafecta in race six or nine on Monday, there is a carryover pool of $1,995.95 for that same bet in race six on Thursday.   By Tim Bojarski for the Standardbred Owners of Massachusett  

Plainville, MA --- Making a second-over trip work to perfection, Nick Graffam guided Only Passing Thru to a strong come from behind harness racing victory to capture the $16,000 Open Handicap trot at Plainridge Park on Friday afternoon (May 17). Joey Bats (John Beckwith) and Namesmuscle (Matt Athearn) argued heartily for the lead before Joey Bats took it over at the quarter. As the field moved towards the half an outer flow began to form with Northern Skyway (Bruce Aldrich Jr.), Only Passing Thru and Nows The Moment (Mike Stevenson) marching forward in that order. The race stayed the same up the backside until Joey Bats hit three-quarters in 1:24.4 and started to fade, leaving Northern Skyway on top in the middle with Only Passing Thru tipping three-deep for the stretch drive. When Only Passing Through hit the straight he swelled up and trotted right on down the road and to the wire leaving his competition behind him to win by a length and one-half in 1:54.3. It was the fourth win in 13 starts this year for Only Passing Thru ($6.60) and owner Diane Whittemore. Marissa Chadbourne trains the winner. In the $12,000 co-featured conditioned trot, Lindy The Great got his season off and rolling with his first win of the year as the prohibitive 1-9 favorite. Lindy The Great (Patrizio Ancora) took a leisurely outside stroll to the front and cleared past the quarter in :28.4. Ancora kept him motoring along unimpeded for the next half mile until Sortie Hanover (Drew Campbell) snuck up the rim and the pocket-sitting Front Street (Jay Randall) mounted a mild bid from the three-quarters until they hit the stretch. But Lindy The Great was unfazed and trotted home methodically to win easily and wrapped up in 1:55.2. Lindy The Great                                  --Tom Melanson photo Lindy The Great ($2.20) has now earned $413,810 lifetime in only 32 starts for owners K R Breeding LLC and Robert Rudolf. Domenico Cecere does the training. Last year Lindy The Great faced the likes of Homicide Hunter, Pinkman and Guardian Angel AS. This year he may meet some of them again as he is eligible to the $250,000 Spirit of Massachusetts Trot that will be held at Plainridge Park on Sunday (July 28). Racing resumes at Plainridge Park on Monday (May 20) with post time at 4 p.m.   By Tim Bojarski for the Standardbred Owners of Massachusetts  

Plainville, Ma --- Western Stepp came off a career year in 2018 winning 10 races and over $92,000 in purses. The way 2019 is starting off, those numbers may be in jeopardy as the 6-year-old Western Maverick mare scored her fourth consecutive win while taking the $14,000 Winners-Over pace for fillies and mares at Plainridge Park on Thursday afternoon (May 16). Bolting to the lead from post seven, Western Stepp (Drew Campbell) grabbed control of the field and hit the quarter in :26.3. Campbell then backed the half down to :57, forcing an outer flow to form with Shady Secret A (Mitchell Cushing) leading the way. Western Stepp kept that one at arm's length, not letting her get closer than one-half a length away to the three-quarters and around the far turn. At the head of the stretch, Shady Secret A faded and Shez Sugarsweet A (Ron Cushing) popped the pocket and came full-tilt at the leader. But Western Stepp was in full stride under a hard drive from Campbell and they hung on at the wire to win by a head in 1:53.2, which was a new seasonal mark. Western Stepp ($5.40) is owned by Diane Dunn and is trained by James Dunn. This was only one of four wins for driver Drew Campbell who also scored with Village Beat (1:54.2, $7.80), GW Show Faith (1:54, $6.60) and Twelve (1:55, $13.80). Another driver who had a big day was 20-year-old "Matty Ice" Athearn who scored a driving hat trick led by Dangerousprecedent who went off 26-1 and blew up the tote board returning $55.20. Athearn registered career high numbers across the board last year and has been red hot so far this meet. He is well on his way to improving those 2018 totals before the end of the season. Racing resumes at Plainridge Park on Friday (May 17) with post time at 4 p.m.   By Tim Bojarski for the Standardbred Owners of Massachusetts  

Plainville, MA --- Three starts, three wins and Massachusetts native son Wings Of Royalty remains peerless at Plainridge Park this year. His latest harness racing conquest came on Friday afternoon (May 10) when he won the $16,000 Open Handicap trot in handy fashion. Driver Shawn Gray floated Wings Of Royalty off the gate and settled in third briefly as Nows The Moment (Mike Stevenson) cut the quarter in :27.3. But Gray pulled out there and rolled to the front as the race passed in front of the stands. He cruised to the half unassaulted in :56.4 but then saw Only Passing Thru (Nick Graffam) to his flank as they hit the three-quarter pole. The race rounded the last bend and at the head of the stretch Wings Of Royalty was trotting between Only Passing Thru and Nows The Moment and both of them were drawing closer. But the race got to the wire before they got to him and Wings Of Royalty maintained his dominance, winning in 1:54.3, which was a new seasonal mark. It was the fourth win in nine starts this year for Wings Of Royalty ($3.20) who was bred in Massachusetts by his owner Ray Campbell Jr. John Di Stefano does the training. Wings Of Royalty is eligible to the $250,000 Spirit of Massachusetts Trot that will be held at Plainridge Park on Sunday (July 28). 24 outstanding aged-trotters have been nominated to this Grand Circuit event that makes its return to New England's premier harness racing venue this summer. In the $12,000 conditioned trotting co-feature, Make It A Double (Matt Athearn) lived up to his name by winning his second consecutive race despite being parked out the whole mile to do it. After Lindy The Great (Patricio Ancora) took the lead, Make It a Double rolled up alongside and pushed the issue at every station. The two tripped the timers in :28, :56.4 and 1:25.2 before hitting the lane and dueling for another eighth of a mile. With both drivers vigorously urging their horses it wasn't until deep stretch when "Matty Ice" got Make It a Double to the front and won by one-half length in 1:54.4, which was also a new seasonal mark. Make It A Double                                    --Tom Melanson photo Make It A Double ($5.80) is owned by William Phipps and is trained by Gretchen Athearn. Drew Campbell led all drivers for wins on Friday, making three trips to the winner's enclosure. Racing resumes at Plainridge Park on Monday (May 13) with post time set at 4 p.m.     Tim Bojarski for the Standardbred Owners of Massachusetts

Plainville, MA --- Western Stepp was one of the toughest resident mares at Plainridge Park last year winning 26% of her starts. This year she's already two-out-of-three after taking the $12,000 Winners-Over pace for fillies and mares on Thursday afternoon (May 9). After being on the engine for the last three weeks, Western Stepp (Mitchell Cushing) found herself in the caboose watching Shesjustadelight N (Ron Cushing) dictate the fractions. That one took to group to the quarter in :27.1 and the half in :57.2. It was at that station Roll With Ann (Nick Graffam) got into the mix on the outside with Western Stepp following second-over in that tier. Try as she did up the backside, Roll With Ann could not get closer than a length of the leader and by the three-quarter pole, Western Step had to tip three-deep around her with Spilling The Beans (Mike Stevenson) going four-wide as well. Now three across the track at the head of the stretch, Shesjustadelight N, Western Stepp and Spilling The Beans fought hard all the way down the stretch before Western Stepp simply out-fought her rivals to win by a neck at the wire in 1:54.3. It was the third win in a row and 30th of her career for Western Step ($8.60) who is owned by Diane Dunn and trained by James Dunn. Cushing added two more wins during the card to finish the day with a driving hat trick. The fastest mile of the session was registered in the co-featured $12,000 conditioned pace for 5-year-olds and under when Notabadgame (Drew Campbell) pulled first-over from fifth past the three-eighths pole and motored to the lead by three-quarters. At that point Sometimes Always (Nick Graffam) came at him and drew alongside at the head of the lane. Three pylons into the straight Sometimes Always took the lead, but Notabadgame came back under methodical urging from Campbell to win by a length in 1:53.4. Notabadgame                                         -Photo courtesy of Tom Melanson It was the third win of the year for Notabadgame ($6.40) who is owned and trained by Jackie Greene. There were some huge payoffs at Plainridge on Thursday for the betting faithful. In the ninth race the 20-cent Wicked-Hi 5 had a carryover pool in excess of $7,700 and one lucky punter scored the winning combination of 8-4-1-6-2 and collected $9,246.38 for the two-dime investment. Then in the 11th race the longest shot on the board, Funny Lena (Nick Graffam), finished second at 59-1 prompting a 1-9-6 trifecta combination that returned $10,328.80 for a $2 ticket. Racing resumes at Plainridge Park on Friday (May 10) with post time at 4 p.m.   By Tim Bojarski for the Standardbred Owners of Massachusetts

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