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Plainville, MA --- A beautiful spring day and a perfect surface produced some sizzling miles at Plainridge Park on Monday afternoon (May 6) as only fifths of a second separated the top three pacing races of the week. The main harness racing event was the $16,000 Open Handicap and Some Attitude out-dueled Rock Diamonds N at the wire to capture the winner's share. It was Dapper Dude (Bruce Aldrich Jr.) who set the early fractions and got the group to the half in :55.1. Rock Diamonds N (Ron Cushing) who had been floating on the outside mid-pack, made a rush for the lead and got it on the backstretch and then opened a two-length advantage. Some Attitude (Jay Randall) was following that one and was able to keep up and draw alongside by the three-quarters. After the two shadowed each other coming out of the turn it was a match race from there. Rock Diamonds N was on the inside and Some Attitude was to his right and they paced stride for stride all the way to the wire where Some Attitude just got a head in front before the line and won by a neck in 1:51.1. It was the second win of the year and second consecutive win at Plainridge Park for Some Attitude ($10.60) who is owned by the Kellogg Racing Stables and is trained by Jackie Greene. Then in the first of two co-featured conditioned events, Avatartist drew on his lightning speed to lead at every station and take the $14,000 Winners-Over pace. Avatartist (Mark Eaton) turned some heads and showed his heels to the pack as he smoked the first quarter in :25.4, shrugging off an early challenge from Lettucerockthem A (Nick Graffam). He then went to the half in :55 and three-quarters in 1:23.1 before rounding the far bend and not letting the pocket-sitting Major Leaguer (Jimmy Whittemore) get closer than a length down the lane before winning in 1:51.3, which was a new seasonal mark. Avatartist        -Tom Melanson photo Avatartist ($4.40) also scored his second win of the year for owners Bob McHugh, Robert Griffin and his driver Eaton, who also trains the horse. Finally in the $14,000 pace for non-winners of nine races lifetime, Tixnstones tripped-out to a close victory and matched his lifetime mark. Coming in off of two consecutive victories, Opus Blue Chip (Jay Randall) was looking to make it three as he went to the front and set fractions of :26.1, :55 and 1:23. But all that time Tixnstones (Jim Hardy) was sitting in the garden spot enjoying the perfect trip. Hardy waited until halfway through the last turn to pull Tixnstones but when he did the horse responded. Opus Blue Chip and Tixnstones went blow for blow all the way down the stretch and it wasn't until the wire when Tixnstones was able to get the advantage and the win by a neck in 1:51.4. It was the first win in three 2019 starts for Tixnstones ($6.00) who is owned by David and Christine Thibault, Ed Nowak Jr. and Jim Winske. Jim Hardy also does the training.  Tixnstones              -Tom Melanson photo "Matty Ice" Athearn led all drivers at Plainridge for wins on Monday, scoring a hat trick on the afternoon. He won with Mouthpiece (1:58.1, $11.80), Mikey Boy (1:55.1, $21.60) and Ok Icon (1:56.4, $7.40). Mikey Boy and Ok Icon were trained by Jennifer Allen who was the top trainer for the day with two wins. Racing resumes at Plainridge Park on Thursday afternoon (May 9) at 4 p.m.   By Tim Bojarski for the Standardbred Owners of Massachusetts  

Plainville, MA --- After a successful spring racing at Dover Downs, Bag Pipe Major has found Plainridge Park to be just as successful for him as he bagged another harness racing win in the $12,000 pacing feature on Thursday afternoon (May 1). Bag Pipe Major (Jim Hardy) took a slow stroll on the outside through the first quarter before grabbing the lead at that pole in :27 flat. He crossed-over to the pylons in front of the stands and then cruised along to the half in :56.2. With only an eighth of a mile breather through the first two stations, Bag Pipe Major was now staring Notabadgame (Wally Watson) in the eye as he had drawn alongside and was starting to push the issue. Notabadgame got almost a full length ahead of the leader motoring up the backside but couldn't quite get clear. Bag Pipe Major fought back before they hit the turn and retook the point at three-quarters. But a relentless Notabadgame still stuck like glue until the head of the stretch when Hardy flailed the lines and tapped the disk, asking his horse for more. Bag Pipe Major responded by pacing away down the lane while Hardy sat still and crossed the wire on top by three in 1:51.4. The time was a new lifetime mark for the winner. It was the second win in three Plainridge Park starts and the fourth win of the year for Bag Pipe Major ($3.20) who was privately purchased just four weeks ago by David and Christine Thibault and Jan Donaway. His driver Hardy also does the training. The 5-year-old gelded son of Art Major and the Bettors Delight mare Delighted Again has now earned $44,920 in 12 starts this year. Several horse people had multiple wins on the card Thursday. Drew Campbell and Mitchell Cushing led all drivers with three wins each while Jim Hardy and Nick Graffam both ended the day with a double. Trainer Elisha Lafreniere led all conditioners with a training hat trick. Racing resumes at Plainridge Park on Friday afternoon (May 3) with post time set for 4 p.m.   By Tim Bojarski for the Standardbred Owners of Massachusetts  

Plainville, MA --- The Saratoga, New York based harness racing trio of the Kellogg Racing Stables, trainer Jackie Greene and driver Jay Randall shipped two of their big guns to Massachusetts and came away with wins in both feature paces at Plainridge Park on Monday afternoon (April 29). The day's main event was the $16,000 Open Handicap pace and Hudson Phil brought his A-game for the win and set a new lifetime mark along the way. Leaving from post four, Hudson Phil exploded for the lead and set torrid fractions of :26.1, :54.3 and 1:22.1 before Starznheaven (Shawn Gray) engaged him at the top of the stretch. But Hudson Phil had plenty left in the tank as he came home in :28.1 to win by one-half length in 1:50.2. A 4-year-old son of Shanghai Phil and Hazel, Hudson Phil ($5.40) scored his third victory of the year, 14th of his career and pushed his lifetime earnings over a quarter-million dollars with $253,677 now in the bank. Then in the $14,000 Winners-Over pace, Some Attitude came in 0-for-7 in 2019 and went home with the win, the purse and his fastest mile in two years. Some Attitude watched as Avatartist (Mark Eaton) took command, but came right out to retake just past the :26 quarter. From there he set fractions of :54.3 and 1:22.2, which were almost identical to his earlier-winning stablemate. After swinging around the last turn Some Attitude was under light urging and paced home in hand, holding off all late charges to win in 1:51.1. Some Attitude                                  Photo courtesy of Tom Melanson After three consecutive second-place finishes, Some Attitude ($5.80) finally got across this year and pushed his lifetime bankroll to $203,530 in the process. Although Randall added one more win with Weekend Fling ($20.40) to end his day with a hat trick, Shawn Gray was the top dog again for wins scoring a Grand Slam on the card. Gray won with Opus Blue Chip (1:53.2, $3.00), Jo Pa's Artist (1:56.1, $6.40), Late Night Joke (1:52.1, $18.40) and Flem N Em N (1:52.4, $8.80). The four-win performance hoisted Gray into first place for dash wins at the Plainridge meet with 21, two ahead of Mitchell Cushing who had the lead entering the day. Racing resumes at Plainridge Park on Thursday (May 2) with post time set at 4 p.m.   Tim Bojarski

Plainville, MA --- Once again dealt a hand of wind, rain and sloppy goings, a trot-heavy card of harness racing horses went postward at Plainridge Park on Friday afternoon (April 26). And despite the rough going, Wings Of Royalty came to work and scored an impressive two-move victory in the $16,000 Open Handicap trotting feature. Wings Of Royalty (Shawn Gray) departed post seven and made a beeline for the front, getting there in :27 flat. But as soon as he crossed over, Cash Me Out (Phil Fluet) vacated the garden spot and rushed to be first in front of the stands. By the time the race got to the :57.1 half, a busy outer flow led by Northern Skyway (Bruce Aldrich Jr.) and Nows The Moment (Mike Stevenson) had drawn even with Cash Me Out and locked Wings Of Royalty on the pylons fourth. Gray kept Wings Of Royalty tracking intently from that position to the three-quarter pole when Nows The Moment hit the wall and gave him room to roam. Rounding the final bend, Wings Of Royalty tipped three-deep and had the lead by the time the race headed into the stretch. From there he pulled away to a two length advantage under a line drive from Gray and won in 1:55.3. It was the second win of the year and a seasonal best time for the Massachusetts-bred Wings Of Royalty ($7.60) who is owned by his breeder, Ray Campbell. John Di Stefano does the training. In the under card $12,000 mid-level conditioned trot, Neverdie (Mitchell Cushing) pulled from third before the quarter to take the lead and then fight off a mid-mile challenge by One Swan For All (Wally Watson) and a late stretch rush by Shorething Fashion (Nick Graffam) and Front Street (Jay Randall) to win by a length in 1:56.2. It was the 40th career win for the hard-hitting 10-year-old Neverdie ($3.60) who is owned by Mike Graham, Steve Wilson and Mike Cushing, who also does the training. Neverdie Live harness racing resumes at Plainridge Park on Monday afternoon (April 29) with post time set a 4 p.m. By Tim Bojarski, for the Standardbred Owners of Massachusetts  

Plainville, MA --- It’s safe to say that Shawn Gray stole the show at Plainridge Park on Thursday afternoon (April 25) after winning five of the 11 races carded including a pair of $12,000 co-featured events for both male and female side-wheelers. In the first harness racing division of non-winners of six races lifetime for the 6-year-old and under colt and gelding set, Gray pulled first over at the half and took the lead with Passport To Art and then cut the remainder of the mile, eventually out-muscling Sometimes Always (Nick Graffam) in deep stretch to win by a neck in a lifetime best 1:52.1.  Passport To Art ($9.40) is owned by Elizabeth and Dyce Spalluto and is trained by Alicia Gray. Then in the second split of that same class for the ladies, Gray went to the front right off the gate with Well Said Maria and sped through quarters of :27.3, :56.1 and 1:24.4 before turning it up coming out of the last turn and pacing away to a wrapped-up six and one-half length margin of victory in 1:55.3. The heavily favored Well Said Maria ($2.10) is owned by Scott Dillon. Jimmy Nickerson conditions that winner.   Well Said Maria         -- Photo courtesy of Tom Melanson Gray rounded out his personal pentafecta with wins by So So Sweet (1:56.2, $5.60), Wood Hunter (1:54.4, $16.00) and Thrownoutofbetter (1:53.4, $7.00). On the strength of Thursday’s performance Gray now has 15 wins at the young Plainridge Park meet and is only one win behind the current dash leading driver Mitchell Cushing (who also had two wins on the card Thursday) who has 16.  Overall Gray sits in third place in North America among all drivers with 499 or less starts to date in the Universal Driver Rating (UDR) with a .388. Racing resumes at Plainridge Park on Friday afternoon (April 26) with post time set for 4 p.m.   Tim Bojarski

Plainville, MA --- Heavy downpours, steady wind, a sloppy track and seven formidable foes could not prevent Starznheaven from capturing the $16,000 Open Handicap pace at Plainridge Park on Monday afternoon (April 22). Avatartist (Mark Eaton) was the fastest off the wings and skimmed through the water to the quarter in :26.2. But despite the torrid pace for any condition, Shawn Gray was not content to sit and pulled Starznheaven, took the lead and then dared everyone to catch him. Starznheaven got to the half in :54.2 and the three quarters in 1:23. There Tisadream N (Mitchell Cushing) pulled from third and paced even with Avatartist but the pair were still two-lengths behind the leader heading into the stretch. Starznheaven was motoring strong under a hand-drive from Gray while his pursuers tried to catch him, but that was not the case this day as Starznheaven held off their bid to win by two lengths in 1:51.4. The time was a new seasonal mark for the winner. It was the third win of the year and 40th of the career for Starznheaven ($3.60) who is owned by Marc Reynolds, Scott Dillon and Bradford Veilleux and trained by Jimmy Nickerson. In the $15,000 Winners-Over pacing co-feature, Gibbs (Mitchell Cushing) got away a distant seventh at the quarter before pulling third-over in a lively outer flow and then tipped three-wide coming off the far turn to circle the field and pull away to a two-length win in 1:53.1. It was the second straight win at Plainridge Park for Gibbs ($17.20) who is owned by Rick Howles. Eric Beach does the conditioning. Mitchell Cushing and Shawn Gray both had driving triples on the card while trainer Jimmy Nickerson did the same on the training side. The oppressive racing conditions provided some premium payouts on Monday including Rockin Cougar (Nick Graffam) who paid $58.40 in the ninth and All Artist (Drew Campbell) that returned $61.20 in the tenth. Racing resumes at Plainridge Park on Thursday afternoon (April 25) with post time at 4 p.m. For more information of harness racing in Massachusetts log on to the Standardbred Owners of Massachusetts at www.sominc.net and Plainridge Park at www.plainridgeparkcasino.com.   By Tim Bojarski, for the Standardbred Owners of Massachusetts

Plainville, Ma --- After taking advantage of quick early fractions while he sat off the pace, Northern Skyway made a strong closing move to capture the $16,000 harness racing Open Handicap trot at Plainridge Park on Friday afternoon (April 19). Last week's feature winner Namesmuscle (Matt Athearn) went right back to work and led the field to the quarter in a moderate :28.4 split. At that point Nows The Moment (Mike Stevenson) was looking to turn up the heat and pulled from third to go after the leader and that's when the battle ensued. Namesmuscle had no intentions of giving up the front and Nows The Moment didn't have enough trot at that point to outmuscle Namesmuscle. So the two trotted side by side heatedly to the half in :57.2 and three quarters in 1:25.1. While that melee was in progress Northern Skyway (Bruce Aldrich Jr.) who had been coasting along fourth, pulled from that spot and started tracking the leading pair from a parked third position. As that trio rounded the last turn, Nows The Moment had finally gotten the best of the fading Namesmuscle, but Northern Skyway had tipped to the middle of the track and was fully underway. Aldrich kept driving Northern Skyway down the lane and he incrementally drew alongside and then passed Nows The Moment to win by a length in 1:55.1. Northern Skyway ($3.40) who had been making hay in the top trotting conditions at the Meadows since February got his first Plainridge win of the year in his second attempt of the meet for owner William Mc Elvain Jr. and trainer Mike Hitchcock. In the co-featured $14,000 conditioned trot, Mayfair Johnny B (Jay Randall) took the lead past the quarter and then never looked back; eventually trotting home in a brisk :28.4 to win by a length in 1:56. It was the second straight win at Plainridge Park for Mayfair Johnny B ($3.40) and his owner the Kellogg Racing Stable. Jackie Greene trains the winner. The driver and trainer combination of Wally and Lisa Watson led all horsepersons competing on Friday, each scoring a double in their respective category. Racing resumes at Plainridge Park on Monday afternoon (April 22) at 4 p.m. For more information about Massachusetts harness racing log onto the Standardbred Owners of Massachusetts at www.sominc.net or Plainridge Park at www.plainridgeparkcasino.com. By Tim Bojarski, for the Standardbred Owners of Massachusetts

Plainville, Ma --- Western Stepp spent the winter in Florida and went 0-for-8 at Pompano, although finishing second by a head and a nose in her last two harness racing starts there. But in only her second start back at Plainridge Park where she captured five races last year, Western Stepp got back to her winning ways by taking the $14,000 Winners-Over featured pace for fillies and mares in gate to wire fashion on Thursday afternoon (April 18). Western Stepp (Mitchell Cushing) flew off the wings and had the front by the eighth pole, seating an aggressive Always Be Lucy (Shawn Gray) in the process. She got to the quarter in :27.2 before tapping the brakes and slowing the second panel to :57.2. It was there that last week's feature winner Spilling The Beans (Mike Stevenson) pulled first up and drew almost even with the leader. As the pair paced up the backside, Spilling The Beans matched strides with Western Stepp but couldn't get the advantage. When they hit three-quarters in 1:25, Cushing fed his mare some line and she obliged him with a burst of speed. Western Stepp put away Spilling The Beans and established a two-length advantage coming into the stretch. Cushing continued pushing her by bouncing in the bike for the length of the lane and won by two wrapped-up in 1:53.3. It was the 28th lifetime tally for Western Stepp ($3.80) who is owned by Diane Dunn and trained by James Dunn. Cushing also took the $12,000 co-featured conditioned fillies and mares pace with Twin B Halo who tipped three-wide from fourth midway through the final bend to overpower Cantala (Nick Graffam) mid-stretch and win by a length in 1:55.4. Twin B Halo ($4.80) is owned by Bill Reepmeyer and Jackie Greene, who also does the training. Twin B Halo Drew Campbell and Mike Stevenson both had driving doubles on the card as well. There were some huge payouts in the day's fourth race when the favored Bliss And Luck (Paul Silva) was disqualified for interference. That allowed the 26-1 Fox Valley Salsa (Shane Taggart) to be moved into the win position by the judges where she returned $54.60. But the hammer really fell when the $2 trifecta of 7-1-6 doled out $20,998.60 and the $2 7-1-6-all superfecta returned $14,519.60. When racing resumes at Plainridge Park on Friday afternoon (April 19) at 4 p.m., there will be a carry over pool of $1,590.51 for the Wicked Hi-5 pentafecta in the sixth race. By Tim Bojarski, for the Standardbred Owners of Massachusetts

Plainville, MA --- After not racing since last December at Gloucester Park in Australia, Tisadream N made his first North American start a winning one after capturing the $15,000 Winners-over pacing feature at Plainridge Park on Monday (April 15). Avatartist (Mark Eaton) flew off the gate and took command of the race before hitting the turn and marched swiftly over the track rated good to the quarter in :26.3. The field stayed in single file behind him to the half when Tisadream N (Mitchell Cushing) pulled first and flushed Major Leaguer (Jimmy Whittemore) for live cover heading up the backstretch. The two outsiders moved forward but when the race hit three-quarters Major Leaguer dropped in second behind Avatartist, leaving Tisadream N a clear path to continue the grind alone towards the leader. Avatartist took an open length lead into the stretch but Tisadream N was fully underway with Cushing bouncing in the bike and the team collared Avatartist in the shadow of the wire to win in 1:52.2. The time was a new lifetime mark for the winner. It was the 14th lifetime win for Tisadream N ($6.20) who is a 6-year-old gelded son of Bettors Delight and Dreamy Atom that is owned by Tony Gruppo and Tim Bojarski. Scott Rollins does the training. Cushing had two more winners on the card to score the driving hat trick. He also won the under card $12,000 mid-level conditioned pace with JK Willpower ($4.40) who took the lead from Quick Shot (Drew Campbell) past the quarter and never looked back in 1:54.1. JK Willpower is owned by Michael Goldberg Racing and is trained by Jeff Lieberman. JK Willpower              -photo Tom Melanson And Cushing's third win came with Gibbs ($10.80) who won by five open lengths in a seasonal best of 1:52.4. Gibbs is owned by Rick Howles and is trained by Eric Beach. Not to be outdone, Jim Hardy and Shawn Gray both scored driving doubles on the card as well. The 20-cent Wicked Hi-5 pentafecta in the ninth race returned and instant jackpot. The combination of 1-8-6-5-3 returned $8,169.48 for two dimes. Racing resumes at Plainridge Park on Thursday afternoon (April 18) with post time set for 4 p.m. For more Massachusetts racing information please log on to the Standardbred Owners of Massachusetts at www.sominc.net or Plainridge Park at www.plainridgeparkcasino.com .   Tim Bojarski  

Plainville, MA --- Namesmuscle used a second place finish at Scarborough Downs is his harness racing seasonal bow last week to set him up for a big effort at Plainridge Park this week and that allowed him to garner the winner's share of the purse in the $15,000 Winners-over trotting feature on Friday afternoon (April 12), Namesmuscle (Matt Athearn) left methodically and worked his way to the lead by the quarter in :27.1. From there he trotted well in hand with a comfortable open-length advantage to the half in :57.4 and three-quarters in 1:26.1. At that station the pocket-sitting Nathaniel (Drew Campbell) broke stride and all of a sudden Namesmuscle inherited a three-length lead. But the race was still far from over. Jericho (Joe Di Stephano) had been advancing up the outside since the half and the post time favorite, Northern Skyway (Shawn Gray) had been motoring up wide from sixth behind him. Although the lead looked large Athearn was already working Namesmuscle hard out of the last turn and into the stretch, where Di Stephano and Gray were doing the same with their horses. Heading down the lane Northern Skyway was flying towards the wire under a loose-line drive from Gray, but "Matty Ice" lived up to his name and rhythmically rocked Namesmuscle all the way to the finish and tripped the light first by a head in 1:56 flat. It was the 30th career win for Namesmuscle ($22.00) who is owned by William Phipps and trained by Gretchen Athearn. In the $14,000 co-featured conditioned trot, Nows The Moment (Mike Stevenson) used a first-over trip from fourth at the half to collar the front-running Barney Mac (Bruce Aldrich Jr.) at the wire to win by a nose in 1:56.4. Having scored his first two wins of the year at the Meadowlands, Nows The Moment ($3.80) added his third here and pushed his earnings to $30,733 for owner Sonya Mac Donald and trainer Allison Mac Donald. Nows The Moment                  Photo courtesy of Tom Melanson In a true oddity, the eight-race card saw nine different drivers and nine different trainers capture wins during the afternoon. That is because there was a dead-heat for win in the seventh race when ABC Crown Me Queen (McGwire Sowers, $4.60) and Roadshow Vic (Mitchell Cushing, $5.00) could not be separated by the judges camera at the wire. Racing resumes at Plainridge Park on Monday afternoon (April 15) at 4 p.m. with an 11-race card featuring a $15,000 Winners-over pace.   By Tim Bojarski for the Standardbred Owners of Massachusetts

Plainville, MA --- After having solid success in low-level condition races at Pompano and the Meadowlands earlier this year, Spilling The Beans shipped to Massachusetts, stepped up to the top class and made her first start at Plainridge Park a winning one after launching a late furious stretch drive to capture the $15,000 Winners-over for harness racing fillies and mares on Thursday afternoon (April 11). Western Stepp (Drew Campbell) claimed her usual spot on the front end and led the ladies through fractions of :27.2, :56.4 and 1:25, fending off a challenge from Rockin Ruby N (Nick Graffam) through the last two panels. As the race headed into the final turn, Stonebridge Honey (Mitchell Cushing) tipped three wide with Spilling The Beans (Mike Stevenson) following from sixth. The two outsiders were doing the better work heading down the lane when Spilling The Beans just exploded and flew past both Western Stepp and Stonebridge Honey to win by two-lengths in 1:54 at 15-1. It was the third score of the year for Spilling The Beans ($33.20) who is owned by Bret Pisarski and trained by Robert Marston. In the $14,000 conditioned event for side-wheeling distaffers, Always Be Lucy (Mitchell Cushing) sat snug in a two-hole trip behind Pammy Jo (Jimmy Whittemore) until halfway down the stretch where Cushing had just enough room to get out in front of Dry Creek Gin (Shawn Gray) and out-pace the front runner to the wire in 1:54.1, which was a new seasonal mark. Always Be Lucy                                    Photo courtesy of Tom Melanson The win was the third of the year for Always Be Lucy ($14.00) who just shipped in from wintering at Pompano Park. Karma Racing owns the mare that is trained by Eric Beach. Shawn Gray was the top teamster on Thursday, doubling up in runaway wins with Stroman (1:54.4, $2.10) and Southwind Terror (1:53.1, $5.00) who both won by six and three-quarter lengths. Racing resumes at Plainridge Park on Friday afternoon (April 12) with post time at 4 p.m. The $15,000 Winners-over trot is the feature race and there is a $3,867 carry-over pool for the Wicked Hi-5 pentafecta in race six. For more information on harness racing at Plainridge Park log onto the website of the Standardbred Owners of Massachusetts website at www.sominc.net or Plainridge Park at www.plainrdigeparkcasino.com .   By Tim Bojarski for the Standardbred Owners of Massachusetts

Plainville, MA --- Wet weather and chilly temperatures failed to dampen the spirit of the fans who came out to watch the first harness racing action of 2019 at Plainridge Park on Monday afternoon (April 8). And the equally enthusiastic horsemen put on a very competitive show with several blanket finishes at the wire. One of those close finishes was in the afternoon's feature race where Dapper Dude swelled up in deep stretch to hold of two late closers to win the $15,000 Open Handicap pace. Dapper Dude (Bruce Aldrich Jr.) floated outside from sixth before seating third while the heavy 1-5 favorite Hudson Phil (Jay Randall) controlled the front in :26.3. The field remained in single file past the half before Dapper Dude came first-up heading up the backside. Dapper Dude drew even with Hudson Phil at the three-quarters and the two engaged in a stride-for-stride battle around the final turn. When the pair hit the top of the stretch, Dapper Dude got the advantage and Hudson Phil began to fade. But My Mind Is Made Up (Shawn Gray) was closing fast from mid-pack and Givenupdreaming (Greg Merton) was flying on the outside from last. As they hit the wire a mere neck separated the three horses but Dapper Dude was game and hung on for the win in 1:53.1. It was the sixth win of the year for Dapper Dude ($7.20) who was privately purchased by the Micki Rae Stable of Sudbury, Massachusetts on January 25, 2019. He has been racing at the Meadows ever since and in his nine starts after that purchase, Dapper Dude won six races and finished second three times. On the strength of his 53rd lifetime win at Plainridge today he now has $69,400 in earnings this year. Sheena Mcelhiney trains the winner. In the $14,000 secondary featured pacing event, When You Dance (Steevin Genois) shipped in from Yonkers Raceway and claimed his first victory of the year after going gate to wire in strong fashion, winning by over six lengths in 1:54.2. When You Dance ($3.60) is a 4-year-old son of Mach Three-Armbro Dancer and is owned by Brian Carsey, Adam Friedland and John McGill. Eve Bergeron does the conditioning. Mitchell Cushing led all drivers for wins after scoring the natural hat trick in races seven through nine with Flash Lauxmont (1:55.4, $16.00), JK Will Power (1:54.3, $8.00) and Archetto Hanover (1:55.4, $7.20). Racing resumes at Plainridge Park on Thursday (April 11) with post time set at 4 p.m.   By Tim Bojarski for the Standardbred Owners of Massachusetts  

Plainville, MA --- When Plainridge Park opens their doors to welcome racing fans to the start of the 2019 live harness racing meet on Monday (Apr. 8), they will also be celebrating their 20th year of operations hosting the Standardbred sport. Plainridge Park (then Plainridge Racecourse) held their grand opening in April of 1999 when an overflow crowd of 4,500 guests filled the parking lots and jammed the grandstand to witness the first live harness racing in the Commonwealth since Foxboro Park closed two years earlier. The track offered 14 races that first afternoon with an average purse of $3,900. Fans cheered as Worth Mentioning won the very first race by 12 lengths in 2:00.1 with Steve Smith driving. Two decades later, Plainridge Park has risen to new heights on the strength of the new $115 million casino complex that opened in 2015. Since then the racing product has benefitted from enhanced overnight purses of up to $20,000 per race as a result ever since thanks to the proceeds from gaming that go towards the track's purse account through the Massachusetts Race Horse Development Fund. Since the casino opened the facility at Plainridge Park has created significant economic benefits for local residents by generated as much as $186 million in annual revenue as well as employ 500 people who work at the site as stated in a December 2018 report by the University of Massachusetts. Plainridge Park's 2019 meet features 108-days of live harness racing held every Monday, Thursday and Friday through November 29. Sunday racing will be added from September 29 through October 27. Post time is scheduled for 4:00 p.m. on all race days through August. It will then move to 2:00 p.m. during September and October and move once more to 1 p.m. for the final month of racing in November. Plainridge Park will continue to offer exciting wagering opportunities which includes the 20-cent Jackpot Wicked Hi-5, which will now be offered twice daily in races six and nine. Plainridge also offers full card harness and Thoroughbred simulcasting seven days a week. On the track, three millionaire drivers who made serious money for their connections at the Ridge last year will be back to ply their trade once again in 2019. 2018 leading driver Drew Campbell will return to defend his driving title and see if he can improve on his stellar 160-win and $1.25 million earnings season of a year ago. Also returning will be 21-year-old rising star Mitchell Cushing, who finished second with 139 wins and just over $1 million in purses. And rounding out this teaming trifecta is Shawn Gray who finished third in the standings, scoring 125 victories and $1.23 million in earnings. All three drivers registered career highs for money won last year and Campbell and Gray finished fourth and eighth respectively among all drivers in North America in Universal Driver Rating (UDR). The tracks signature race, the $250,000 Spirit of Massachusetts Trot, will return in 2019 after a year's absence and will be held on Sunday (July 28). The race will draw North America's top aged trotters and put the track in the National spotlight once again over the summer. Also on that same card will be the newly instituted $100,000 Clara Barton Pace which is an Open event for fillies and mares. Plainridge Park will also host the Massachusetts Sire Stakes (MASS) starting in September. Three preliminary legs for both gaits and genders valued at a total of $840,000 (est.) and eight finals totaling $800,000 (est.) make the $1.64 million 2019 MASS the richest races of the meet at Plainridge. State sponsored Standardbred breeding in Massachusetts is one of the fastest growing programs of its type in North America on the strength of its rapidly increasing purse account. 2-year-old eligibles have increased 50% since 2017 and resident mares have gone up 30% during that same time. Owners and breeders from the northeastern United States and Southern Ontario are taking advantage of breeding horses that have the ability to compete in two separate sire stake programs as a result of the resident mare rule in Massachusetts which allows any sire from any state to be bred to them, giving the offspring dual-eligibility. The 2019 MASS race dates are Sunday (Sept. 29) 3-year-old First Leg $35,000 added; Monday (Sept. 30) 2-year-old First Leg $35,000 added; Sunday (Oct. 6) 3-year-old Second Leg $35,000 added; Monday (Oct. 7) 2-year-old Second Leg $35,000 added; Sunday (Oct. 20) 2-year-old Third Leg $35,000 added; Monday (Oct. 21) 3-year-old Third Leg $35,000 added; Monday (Oct. 28) 2 and 3-year-old Finals $100,000 est. For more information on all the live racing action at Plainridge Park throughout the year log onto the Standardbred Owners of Massachusetts (www.sominc.net ) or Plainridge Park Casino (www.plainridgeparkcasino.com ).   By Tim Bojarski for the Standardbred Owners of Massachusetts  

Plainville, MA --- With the 2018 Plainridge Park harness racing meet coming to a close last Thursday (Nov. 29) the Harness Horseman's Association of New England (HHANE) has announced their award winners for outstanding performances by both equine and human participants from this past year. Horse of the Year: Quick Shot (P, 6, Art Major-Cannae Cindy) Owner: Kathleen Brewer Trainer: John Bowman Plainridge meet: 28-7-7-6 $87,640 1:50.4 Lifetime: 145-28-30-27 $313,670 1:50.3 Pacer of the Year: Western Stepp (P, 5, Western Maverick-French Stepp) Owner: Diane Dunn Trainer: James Dunn Plainridge meet: 19-5-5-3 $62,540 1:51.3 Lifetime: 83-26-15-12 $237,231 1:51.3 Trotter of the Year: Quicksilver Kemp (T, 3, Andover Hall-Smarty Had A Party) Owner: Joel Wheeler Trainer: Joel Wheeler Plainridge meet: 26-6-10-3 $65,355 1:55.4 Lifetime: 35-6-10-5 $73,021 1:55.4 Claimer of the Year: Panhellenic (P, 11, No Pan Intended-Panne Ala Vodka) Owner: John Sears and Alfred Lang Trainer: James Dunn, Bryant Sears, John Sears Plainridge meet: 22-8-4-5 $35,666 1:53 Lifetime: 276-34-32-40 $169,765 1:52.3 Iron Horse of the Year: Hailstorm Volo (T, 10, Classic Photo-Hail Mary Hanover) Owner: Tony Gruppo and Tim Bojarski Trainer: Scott Rollins Plainridge meet: 26-3-7-8 $23,374 1:57.2 Lifetime: 226-34-45-34 $234,522 1:54.4 Senior Horse of the Year: Hopeful Artist (P, 14, Real Artist-D-Na's Hope) Owner: Joel Wheeler Trainer: Joel Wheeler Plainridge meet: 20-0-1-2 $3,130 Lifetime: 346-25-33-48 $175,021 1:53.1 Driver of the Year: Drew Campbell Plainridge meet: 807-160-169-135 $1.25M .370 UDR Trainer of the Year: Jim Nickerson Plainridge meet: 221-56-34-33 $601,342 .389 UTR Joel Wheeler was selected as HHANE's Horseperson of the Year. All the winning horses will receive a personalized cooler emblazoned with their name and award won and their connections will receive framed certificates. All human award winners will receive jackets as well as framed certificates. The HHANE annual meeting, awards presentation, and holiday party will be held on Saturday (Dec. 15) from 6 p.m. to 11 p.m. at the Foxboro V.F.W. Post on 337 Cocasset Street. Reservations need to be made by Wednesday (Dec. 5) and a reservation form can be downloaded from HHANE's website (www.hhane.com).   By Tim Bojarski, for HHANE  

Plainville, MA---Elliesjet N came to Plainridge Park fresh off a seasonal best 1:52.1 victory at the Downs at Mohegan Sun Pocono and the public took notice of that outing. Going off the 1-5 harness racing favorite, Elliesjet N did not disappoint her backers as she captured the $15,000 Fillies and Mares Open Handicap on Tuesday afternoon (April 17).   Stylish Beachwhere (Ron Cushing) smoked off the gate and took the girls through a :26.4 opening panel. During that span, Elliesjet N (Greg Merton) languished a parked third for an eighth before finding her gear and overtaking just past that first station.   From there she proceeded to call all the shots.   Merton slowed the half to :55.3 and the three quarters to 1:24.3 and enjoyed a comfortable lead around the final bend. Coming down the lane Stylish Beachwhere, Ask Queenie (Shawn Gray) and Happy Heart (Chris Long) all made strongs bid to collar the leader but Elliesjet N was not to be caught and was a wrapped-up, two-length winner in 1:53.2.   Owned by the Foulk Stables Inc. and trained by Lance Hudson, Elliesjet N ($2.60) posted her fifth 2018 victory in only nine starts and has bankrolled $30,100 for her efforts.   Greg Merton scored a driving triple on the card to lead all reinsmen for the day.   Racing resumes on Thursday at Plainridge Park with the first race post time of 4 p.m.   By Tim Bojarski, for the Standardbred Owners of Massachusetts

"Clearly visible from the regulator’s reports, harness racing is not particularly popular within the state, with monthly earnings of a little more than $1 million generated at Plainridge Park Casino." The State of Massachusetts has collected $5.5 million from slot taxes in February, 82 per cent of which is intended for the Local Aid fund. In its monthly revenue report for Plainridge Park Casino released Thursday, the state gambling regulator announced that since the opening of the venue in June 2015, it has received nearly $212,9 million in state taxes. Gambling fans spent $163,7 million while playing slot machines at Plainridge Park Casino last month which is an increase of more than $5 million from January. The gambling venue generated nearly $13.9 in Gross Gaming Revenue from its Slot Parlor, while $1,25 million was collected as race horse assessments. The figures show positive growth for the Category 2 Slot Parlor after a four-month plunge in revenues from slots. The state receives 49 per cent of the slot gross gaming revenue generated by Plainridge Park Casino and 82 per cent of this total taxed amount goes to the Local Aid fund. The other 18 per cent of this amount is paid to the Race Horse Development Fund, which was created to support the horse racing industry in Massachusetts. Clearly visible from the regulator’s reports, harness racing is not particularly popular within the state, with monthly earnings of a little more than $1 million generated at Plainridge Park Casino. Currently, there are no functional casinos in Massachusetts as Plainridge Park Casino is defined as a harness racing track with a slot machine parlor of Category 2, which was added in June, 2015. The facility, located in Plainville, Massachusetts, is owned by Penn National Gaming. A couple of casino projects are underway, MGM Springfield and Wynn Boston Harbor. Several tribal casinos are also planned. $212,9 Poured in State Coffers for Less than 3 Years According to the latest Plainridge Park Casino revenue report, the gambling facility has contributed to the state economy nearly $212,9 million since the official opening of the Slot Parlor in June 2015. This figure represents the taxes from the slot machines and the race track collected over a period of two years and a half. At the same time, customers have spent $5,4 billionat Plainridge Park Casino since the Slots Parlor has opened, with nearly 434,5 million of this amount kept as Gross Gaming Revenue from Slots. Currently, this is the only gambling venue operating within the state borders, although several properties have been planned and construction has commenced on some of them. The State of Massachusetts requires casinos and other gambling facilities to file monthly detailed revenue reports, which serve as a basis for the state tax. Venues from Category 1 – casino resorts, are taxed 25 per cent of the gross gaming revenue and in addition, the license tax they need to pay is $85 million. Although there are still no casino resorts in the state, the collected taxes from them will go to several funds, including the Healthcare Payment Reform Fund and the Community Colleges Fund. Gambling facilities from Category 2, such as Plainville’s Plainridge Park Casino are taxed on 49 per cent of the gross gaming revenue. The single-time fee they need to pay for receiving such a license is considerably lower at $25 million. State officials expect that the Commonwealth would receive $250 million annually in direct revenues from Category 1 facilities, once they become operational. Until then, however, they can rely mainly on taxes collected from Plainridge Park Casino. Reprinted with permission of The Casino News Daily

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