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

Plainville, MA---After a two-week sabbatical, Beautiful Lady returned to the track and tripped-out to win in the featured $14,000 conditioned event for harness racing fillies and mares at Plainridge Park on Friday afternoon (Aug. 4). Beautiful Lady (Greg Merton) left for position and tucked in second behind the front-running Iheartquestionmark (Steve Nason) at the quarter in :26.2. Positions remained unchanged until the half when Hilaria (Nick Graffam) pulled first-over and started to advance. Hilaria drew alongside Iheartquestionmark and the two matched strides to the three-quarters in 1:24 while Beautiful Lady lay in wait third behind them. The head-end duel continued around the far turn and to the top of the stretch when Beautiful Lady found a sliver of room along the pylons and shot the gap. Merton rocked and rocked and pushed her through and then Beautiful Lady did the rest, pacing away to a one-length victory in 1:53. It was the third win of the year for Beautiful Lady ($4.80) and it pushed her seasonal earnings to $32,467 for owners Lester Gelardi Jr. and Anthony Passafaro. The 6-year-old daughter of Rocknroll Hanover is trained by Monique Cohen. Steve Nason had a banner afternoon at The Ridge driving three winners and training two of them as well. The tracks leading driver Greg Merton also had a driving double on the afternoon. Live racing resumes at Plainridge Park on Monday afternoon with the first post set at 4 p.m.   By Tim Bojarski, for the Standardbred Owners of Massachusetts  

Plainville, MA---Once, twice, three times Beautiful Lady was used. But fighting back from every challenge, she captured the $12,000 fillies and mares Open Handicap pacing harness racing feature at Plainridge Park on Tuesday afternoon (May 23). Golden Idol (Eddie Davis Jr.) and Beautiful Lady (Bruce Aldrich Jr.) both left and neither would concede the lead. From the pylons, Golden Idol played hardball with Beautiful Lady to the tune of :26.4 and :54.2 before Aldrich gave in and took a seat. When he did, Davis stepped on the gas and opened up a four-length lead by the time they hit the three-quarters in 1:22.1. Around the last turn, Elm Grove Inarush (Greg Merton) made her way up to third and then moved into second in front of Beautiful Lady, but those two were still three lengths behind the leader. However prompting each other along, they caught up to the tiring Golden Idol and then flanked her; Elm Grove Inarush outside and Beautiful Lady by the markers. They paced closely, three-abreast down the lane when Beautiful Lady swelled up and paced by the other two to win by a length in 1:51.3. It was the second win of the year for Beautiful Lady ($3.40) and the time was a new seasonal mark for the mare. The 6-year-old daughter of Rocknroll Hanover is owned by Lester Gelardi Jr. and Anthony Passafaro and is trained by Monique Cohen. It's not too often you see fan-favorite Eddie Davis Jr. go off at odds of 49-1. But that is what happened in the sixth race, where he swung three-deep from eighth onto Highway 495 with Very Well Pretty before driving her down the center of the track to win by a length in 1:54.2. Very Well Pretty set a new lifetime mark in her first-ever visit to the Ridge and rewarded her scant backers with a $101.00 win mutual. Kevin Switzer Jr. and Greg Merton each tallied two winning drives on the afternoon. Racing resumes at Plainridge Park on Thursday (May 25) with the first post set at 4 p.m. By Tim Bojarski, for the Standardbred Owners of Massachusetts  

Plainville, MA---Fresh off a victory at Yonkers Raceway last Friday, Tag Up And Go made his third visit of the year to Plainridge Park worthwhile by turning a garden spot trip into a harness racing victory in the $13,000 Open Handicap trot on Thursday afternoon (May 18). It was a three-horse breakaway at the start as Mistress Valentine (Mark Eaton) parked out Tag Up And Go (Bruce Aldrich Jr.) and seated Waiting On a Woman heading around the first turn. No sooner did the trotters hit the quarter in :26.3, Tag Up And Go took the lead and was immediately challenged and passed by Waiting On A Woman. Things settled down a bit in the second panel but at the half, Tuscanellie (Jim Hardy) pulled first over and rushed up alongside Waiting On A Woman and prompted that one to a 1:24.1 three-quarters. That move cost the hard-used leader when they turned for home. At the top of the lane Waiting On A Woman tired and drifted off the pylons, giving Tag Up And Go a clear path to the wire. But Tuscanellie was still full of trot on the outside and Hardy was driving her hard in the middle of the track. Tuscanellie put up quite a fight, but Tag Up And Go benefited from a perfect trip and out-sprinted the game mare to the wire, winning by a length in 1:55.2. It was the fifth win of the year for Tag Up And Go ($4.40) and it raised his 2017 earnings to $68,200 for owners Lester Gelardi and Anthony Passafaro. The 7-year-old gelded son of Angus Hall is trained by the meet's leading conditioner, Monique Cohen. In the co-featured $10,000 conditioned trot, One Swan For All (Wally Watson) was parked-out for three-quarters of the mile en route to a one-length victory in 1:55.4 over Ugly Stick (Ron Cushing), who was rimmed second-over behind the winner. One Swan For All ($6.00) is owned by Joel Wheeler and is trained by Lisa Watson. Mark Athearn and Wally Watson scored driving doubles while Gretchen Athearn and Lisa Watson trained those respective winners. The "Wicked Hi-5" pentafecta was hit in the sixth race and the one-dollar, 5-7-4-8-1 combination paid out an instant jackpot of $28,987.00. Live racing resumes at Plainridge Park on Friday afternoon at 4 p.m. By Tim Bojarski for the Standardbred Owners of Massachusetts  

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