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Plainville, MA --- Last week from post seven, Major Leaguer did not get involved in the early pace and finished where he started as a result. This week he was back on the point and circled the field at 17-1 in the $17,500 Winners-Over harness racing pace at Plainridge Park on Thursday (Oct. 22). Nick Graffam sent Major Leaguer to the front ahead of Tisadream N (Drew Monti) and got to the quarter in :26.1. Moving on the outside second at that point was Sgt Papa Daddy (John McDonald) and Hudson Phil (Jay Randall) who were both in the wind around the second turn and up the backstretch. Hudson Phil tipped three-deep around a fading Sgt Papa Daddy and brought Rock Diamonds N (Ron Cushing) with him. Major Leaguer and Hudson Phil were fully engaged around the last turn when Rock Diamonds N joined the fray in the stretch. The three paced in close quarters to the wire but Major Leaguer was not to be denied and hung on by ¾'s of a length for the win in 1:50.3.   It was the seventh score of the year for Major Leaguer ($37.60) who is owned by Jimmy Whittemore. Marissa Chabourne is the trainer. Graffam also drove the winner of the $15,000 undercard conditioned pace for 5-year-olds and under, Benny Is A Jet, who became the winningest horse at Plainridge Park this year after scoring his sixth win of the meet. Benny Is A Jet got away fifth behind the leading Sea Isle City (Shawn Gray) and pulled second over behind Jackie Gheeson (Bruce Ranger) at the half. These two cleared and were one-two at the three-quarters, but Benny Is A Jet said goodnight to Jackie Gheeson and then held off the fast-closing Tucker Creek (Drew Monti) to win in 1:52 to claim his fifth straight race. Benny Is A Jet ($6.00) is owned by Braford Veilleux and Anthony Loiko and is trained by James Dunn. Nick Graffam ended up with three wins on the card to lead all drivers on Thursday. Amanda Kelly was the 10/22 leading trainer sending two for pictures herself. Racing resumes at Plainridge Park on Friday (Oct. 23) with post time at 2 p.m. Just a reminder, the $720,000 (est.) Massachusetts Sire Stake finals will be held at Plainridge on Monday (Oct. 26) with post time at 2 p.m. By Tim Bojarski, for the Standardbred Owners of Massachusetts

Plainville, MA --- In his usual front-running style, Major Leaguer led at every step of the mile en route to victory in the $15,000 WInners-Over Handicap harness racing pace at Plainridge Park on Thursday afternoon (Oct. 8). Major Leaguer (Nick Graffam) took his spot on the point off the gate before heading towards the quarter. But as he hit that first station in :26.4, JK Will Power (Mitchell Cushing) had already pulled and was right outside the leader pushing the issue. From there the two horses paced next to each other to the half, the three-quarters and then around the last turn. By the time they hit the seven-eighths pole, JK Will Power had started to fade and Major Leaguer was headed for home. Graffam gave him some subtle urging but then let Major Leaguer pace on his own to the line in 1:52. It was the sixth win of the year for Major Leaguer ($2.80) who is owned by Jimmy Whittemore and is trained by Marissa Chadbourne. The co-featured $15,000 conditioned pace for 5-year-olds and under saw Benny Is A Jet do his best rocket man impersonation by streaking to his fourth consecutive win. Driver Bruce Ranger took the lead and called all the shots, posting quarters of :27.1, :56.2 and 1:25.3 before turning for home and holding off a tripped-out Sea Isle City (Shawn Gray) to win in 1:53.2. Benny Is A Jet ($4.20) just took a lifetime mark of 1:50.4 last week and has now won five out of his last six starts for owners Bradford Veilleux and Anthony Loiko. James Dunn does the training. Drivers Bruce Ranger, Nick Graffam and Drew Monti each won two races on Thursday. Racing resumes at Plainridge Park on Friday (Oct. 9) with post time at 2 p.m. by Tim Bojarski, for the Standardbred Owners of Massachusetts

Plainville, MA --- Major Leaguer tripped-out to the head of the lane and then brushed hard to the wire to win the $17,500 Winners-Over harness racing feature pace at Plainridge Park on Monday afternoon (Sept. 21). Heavily favored Paternity Suit A (Drew Monti) pushed away the gate and led the field to the quarter in :26.3 with Major Leaguer (Nick Graffam) tucked in the garden spot. Just before the group reached the half, JK Will Power (Mitchell Cushing) came first over and pushed the pace to :27.1 in the third quarter, where Paternity Suit A opened up a two-length advantage. Rolling around the far turn Major Leaguer was in the perfect spot to strike and eventually shook loose at the top of the lane. With a margin to reel in, Graffam kept after Major Leaguer and they methodically made up ground on the leader, eventually catching Paternity Suit A by ½ length at the line to win in 1:50.4.   It was the fifth win of the year for Major Leaguer ($17.60) and owner Jimmy Whittemore. Marissa Chadbourne trains the winner. The co-featured $15,000 condition for 4-year-olds and under went to Pacer Racer (Drew Monti) who took the lead past the half and closed the deal with a one length win over a fast closing Finnbar (Ron Cushing) in 1:54.2. Pacer Racer ($4.80) registered his second win of the season for his owners Paul London, Michael Sepinuck, Kathleen Brewer and Andrew Kelson. Artie Brewer II is the trainer. Drew Monti led all drivers on Monday with four wins followed by Nick Graffam and Shawn Gray with two apiece. Sheena Mcelhiney was the top trainer with two wins. Racing resumes at Plainridge Park on Thursday (Sept. 24) with post time at 2 p.m. The Massachusetts Sire Stakes begin on Sunday (Sept. 27) at Plainridge Park and run through Monday (Oct. 26). There are three preliminary legs for each age, gender and gait followed by the finals. For more information on the MASS please log onto the Standardbred Owners of Massachusetts at www.sominc.net. By Tim Bojarski, for the Standardbred Owners of Massachusetts

Plainville, MA --- After ripping off four consecutive harness racing wins at Plainridge Park over the summer, Tucker Creek has finished third and second in his last two outings. But he got back to his winning ways on Friday (Sept. 18) after taking top honors in the $12,000 feature pace.   Unlikeanyother (Bruce Ranger) grabbed the early lead and marched to the half in :55.1 while Tucker Creek (Drew Monti) followed closely in second. As the field headed into the backstretch, Sea Isle City (Shawn Gray) pulled first over and pushed the pace of the leader to the three quarters in 1:23.1.   Sea Isle City's bid was short lived and he faded in the last turn, allowing Tucker Creek to leave the pocket and from there Tucker Creek and Unlikeanyother broke away from the field by four lengths. Heading down the stretch, the two paced almost in unison all the way to the line where Tucker Creek took the lead by a neck and won in 1:51.1, which was a new lifetime mark.     Tucker Creek ($8.60) now has five wins this year for owner Joseph Hayes Jr. and Paul Paoletti. Jimmy Nickerson trains the winner.   Driver Nick Graffam hit a career milestone in the 10th race on Friday after he won with Itsallaboutmach ($17.20) in a lifetime best time of 1:53.4. it was Graffam's 600th lifetime victory in the sulky. The 30-year-old Graffam also has 801 seconds and 761 thirds and earnings in excess of $4.1 million over the last eight years.   Drivers Shawn Gray, Bruce Ranger, Drew Monti and Mitchell Cushing and trainer Jimmy Nickerson, all registered two wins on the card Friday.   Racing resumes at Plainridge Park on Sunday (Sept. 20) with post time at 2 p.m. By Tim Bojarski, by the Standardbred Owners of Massachusetts

Plainville, MA --- The curtain fell on the 2019 live harness racing season at Plainridge Park on Friday (Nov. 29) and Sailor Jerry had the honor of winning the last $14,000 pacing feature of the year. Leaving from post six, Nick Graffam sent Sailor Jerry right to the front and never looked back. After posting fairly even quarters of :28.1, :56.4 and 1:24.4, Sailor Jerry took a one-length lead into the stretch and bravely held off the fast closing Betterlatethnnever (Mitchell Cushing) and Beachchip Hanover (Kevin Switzer Jr.) to win by a neck in 1:53.1. It was the sixth win of the year for Sailor Jerry ($15.00) who is owned by Mike Graffam and Christopher Hamilton. Mike Graffam also does the training. Lindy Pearl (Bruce Ranger) took the getaway $12,000 top trot after gaining the lead past the half and cruising home to a 2-1/2 length win in 1:56. Owned by the Lindy Farms of Connecticut and trained by Domenico Cecere, Lindy Pearl ($5.20) captured her third straight win at Plainridge Park as a result of today's effort. There were several presentations made in the winner's circle on the final day of racing as well. Track announcer Lenny Calderone was honored by friends and track management as he completed his 20th year of calling races at Plainridge Park. Calderone has been a staple in the announcer's booth since the track opened in 1999 and has added excitement and color to every contest he has described from high above the grandstand. Later, the meet's top driver and trainer were also lauded. Mitchell Cushing was the meet's leading dash driver finishing the year with 170 wins, 33 ahead of second place Drew Campbell, after his three-bagger on Friday. Cushing also earned in excess of $1.22 million in purses and sported a .352 Universal Driver Rating (UDR). Jimmy Nickerson led all conditioners this year at The Ridge with 58 wins, over $450,000 in earnings and a UTR of .377. By Tim Bojarski, for the Standardbred Owners of Massachusetts  

Plainville, MA --- Despite wind, rain and six formidable harness racing foes, Bet You overcame all adversity to capture the $20,000 Open Handicap pacing feature at Plainridge Park on Thursday afternoon (Oct. 31). Bet You (Kevin Switzer Jr.) got away fifth in line of the single-file group chasing the :26.3 quarter set by Opus Blue Chip (Bruce Ranger). Positions remained the same until Switzer pulled Bet you moving towards the half and advanced in the breeze first-over from there. Opus Blue Chip remained the dictator of fractions with no one able to gain ground as the race was rolling up the backside. After passing the three-quarters in 1:23.4, Bet You, who had been lagging on advancement, started to reel in Opus Blue Chip and by the top of the stretch looked him in the eye and then went right by. Bet You was in full flight in the stretch and paced away to a 1-3/4 length win over a fast-closing Calvin B (Mitchell Cushing) to win in 1:52.3. It was the seventh win of the year for Bet You ($11.20) who has now earned $86,310 for owner Scott Dillon. Joe Nelson trains the winner. In the $10,500 conditioned pacing undercard, Rockin' Cougar (Nick Graffam) won his second straight race in an upset after making a bold three-wide move at the three-quarters to collar Ben N Crosby (John Nason) by a neck at the wire in 1:55.2. Rockin' Cougar ($28.20) is owned by Diane Hellen and trained by Mike Graffam. Rockin' Cougar was one of three wins on the card for Nick Graffam who led all drivers on Thursday with a hat trick. Racing resumes at Plainridge Park on Friday (Nov. 1). Please note that starting with Friday's card, post time will be at 1 p.m. and remain at that time for the entire month of November. The Plainridge meet runs through Friday (Nov. 29). By Tim Bojarski, for the Standardbred Owners of Massachusetts

Plainville, MA --- It's as simple as this: he's a win machine. Shorething Fashion took his fourth straight harness racing victory at Plainridge Park in the $14,000 Open trotting feature on Friday afternoon (Sept. 27). Driver Nick Graffam released Shorething Fashion from the gate and shot right to the front, opening up a two-length lead in :27.4. From there he coasted unencumbered to the half in :57.1 and three-quarters in 1:25.3 maintaining a gapped advantage over Neverdie (Mitchell Cushing) who was trying to stay close through the journey. Rounding the final bend, Graffam held firm lines and sat still while Shorething Fashion continued to trot strong on the point heading into the stretch. Quicksilver Kemp (Drew Monti) joined Neverdie in late pursuit down the lane but Shorething Fashion was the strongest at the wire where he won by 1-1/4 lengths in 1:55.2. As mentioned it was the fourth straight win, but also the fifth win in the last six starts for Shorething Fashion ($4.40) who pushed his earnings to $40,604 this year. The 5-year-old gelded son of Andover Hall-Tyg Hanover is owned by Bob McHugh and Mike Eaton, who also trains the winner. The secondary feature was the $12,000 conditioned trot that was won by Whiskey Lindy (Drew Monti) who led the entire race and held off a late charging Hs Marcia (Drew Campbell) to win by a head in 1:57. The Lindy Racing Stable owns Whiskey Lindy ($2.80) who is trained by Domenico Cecere. The Massachusetts Sire Stakes kicks off its 2019 season this Sunday (Sept. 29) at Plainridge Park with the 3-year-olds competing in four divisions. The four-week series is worth an estimated $1.8 million and culminates with eight finals with an estimated value of $100,000 each on Monday (Oct. 28) at The Ridge. Post time for Sunday afternoon (Sept. 29) is 2 p.m. and there will be a $49,624 carryover in the Wicked Hi-5 wager in race six. By Tim Bojarski, for the Standardbred Owners of Massachusetts  

Plainville, MA --- Shorething Fashion bounced back from a narrow harness racing defeat last week to score a similarly close win in the featured $10,500 trotting feature at Plainridge Park on Friday afternoon (Sept. 6). Driver Nick Graffam pointed Shorething Fashion to the front and took command before hitting the quarter and settling in for the journey. The horses remained in single file past the half and to the five-eighths before Neverdie (Mitchell Cushing) finally pulled and tried to pressure the leader. They got to three-quarters in 1:25.4 and Shorething Fashion was being surrounded by a now closer Neverdie on the outside and the pocket-sitting Coco Lindy (Drew Monti) to his flank. Heading into the lane they were three across the track with Shorething Fashion and Neverdie doing better work and they hit the wire together with Shorething Fashion getting a head in front to win in 1:54.2, which was a new lifetime mark for the winner. Owned by his trainer Mike Eaton and partner Bob McHugh, Shorething Fashion ($8.00) has now won two out of his last three starts. Corporal Cole, a 2-year-old pacer named in honor of Corporal Eugene Cole, who was a Somerset County (Maine) Sheriff that was killed in the line of duty, won his first lifetime race after pulling second-over from fifth and eventually overtaking Rollin In Roan (Steve Nason) in the stretch to win by one-half length in 1:57.1. Corporal Cole ($30.40) is owned by Joseph Bradeen and Mike Cushing. Charlene Cushing trains the winner. When live racing resumes at Plainridge Park on Monday afternoon (Sept. 9) at 2 p.m., there will be a $24,856 carryover in the Wicked Hi-5 wager in race six. By Tim Bojarski, for the Standardbred Owners of Massachusetts      

Plainville, MA --- Last week Little Honeybadger wired the field and won in a lifetime mark. This week, it was Deja Vu all over again as the mare went gate to wire in her fastest lifetime clocking in the $10,000 feature conditioned pace at Plainridge Park on Thursday afternoon (Aug. 1). Little Honeybadger (Nick Graffam) left from post six and went right to the front. She proceeded to cut comfortable fractions from there of :27.2, :56.3 and 1:25.2 with only a momentary challenge at the last station from Babebzgorgeous (John Beckwith). As the field proceeded into the turn Little Honeybadger was pacing strong, pulled away from Babebzgorgeous and looked like she would close it out. Shez A Maverick (John Nason) took one last shot when she pulled the pocket in the stretch but it was too late as Graffam had Little Honeybadger cruising to the line where she won in 1:53.4. The time was a new lifetime mark, knocking a full second off the one she set just six days ago. The third win of the season for Little Honeybadger ($7.60) pushed her earnings to $31,576 for owner/trainer Mike Graffam. Matt Athearn and Drew Monti each had a driving double on Thursday. When racing resumes at Plainridge Park on Friday afternoon (Aug. 2) there will be a $14,572 carryover in the sixth race Wicked Hi-5 Jackpot. Post time for the first race is 4 p.m. By Tim Bojarski, for the Standardbred Owners of Massachusetts  

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 --- Nick Graffam had a big day at Plainridge Park on Monday (Sept. 24) capturing the top two trots on the card with both horses paying premium prices and both winning in handy fashion. In the $14,000 Winners-Over trot, Graffam left from post five with Shorething Fashion and took the lead before Osprey Impact (Mike Stevenson), who was motoring up the outside, grabbed the front passing the quarter in a quick :26.2. Positions remained the same until Zorgwijk Nova (Mitchell Cushing) came calling on the outside and eventually took command past three-quarters. Now locked in around the last turn, Shorething Fashion was able to get out and around the fading Osprey Impact and eventually made his way back to the pylons by the top of the stretch. Graffam ducked inside Zorgwijk Nova, blew up the one-path and held off a late charge by Jericho (Joe Di Stefano) to win under a hand drive in 1:56. It was the second win in a row and fourth in the last five starts for Shorething Fashion ($16.00) who is owned by Bob McHugh and Mike Eaton, who also trains the winner. Then in the $12,000 conditioned event for non-winners of the 6-year-old and under group, Graffam took no prisoners with Noble Yaz as he went down the road and led at every station en route to a wrapped-up, three-length victory in 1:56.4, which was a new seasonal mark. After going nine for 19 in the money, Noble Yaz ($17.80) got his first win of the year for owners Christopher Hamilton, Nick Graffam and Mike Graffam, who also does the training. Graffam currently sits in sixth place in the dash driving competition at Plainridge Park with 57 wins. For the year Graffam has 88 wins, 128 seconds and 118 thirds overall with $680,423 in purses earned. Racing resumes at Plainridge Park on Tuesday (Sept. 25) at 2 p.m. The Massachusetts Sire Stakes kick off the 2018 season on Monday (Oct. 1) with four divisions of 2-year-old trotters and pacers each going for an estimated $25,000. Post time for Monday is also 2 p.m. By Tim Bojarski, for the Standardbred Owners of Massachusetts

Scarborough, Maine (September 12, 2015) - The two-year-old colt pacing division of the Maine Sire Stakes program made it's final appearance at Scarborough Downs on Saturday (9-12) before heading out on their upcoming fall fairground swing. The assembled stakes stars provided plenty of thrills for the harness racing fans in attendance, spinning tales of extremes, with both long shots and favorites persevering in the $11,000-plus twin splits. Poocham Rocket scored the major upset in the first stakes division of the day as the freshman son of Western Maverick-Yeah Baby N sat the patient pocket trip behind the heavily favored Ball Don't Lie before pouncing to victory with a determined stretch run, crossing the wire one-length in front, while rewarding his backers to the tune of 7-1 odds. Nick Graffam executed the perfect driving maneuvers for owner G. Russell Austin of Westmoreland, NH, stopping the clock in a lifetime best 2:00.1. Ball Don't Lie (Gary Mosher) gave way late as he settled for the runner-up pacing while Just Call Me Nosey (Mark Athearn) survived a tight photo to gain the show dough. Seeley Man remained perfect on his career in the second division, scoring his 7th win from as many appearances, with driver Kevin Switzer, Jr controlling the tempo from the word "Go". Owned by Florence O'Keefe of Old Orchard Beach, ME, the son of Western Maverick-Perfect Launch crossed the wire on top by an 8-plus length margin while pacing the mile in an extremely unhurried 1:59.2. Lord Maverick (Heath Campbell) stalked from the pocket throughout the mile but could advance no further than second best. Wish Granted (Ruel Goodblood, Jr) rallied for third, finishing in the show spot for the third consecutive time. Live racing resumes at Scarborough Downs on Sunday with post time slated for 1:30 p.m. (EDT) featuring the three-year-old colt pacing division of the Maine Sire Stakes program. Sunday will also be the closing day of Scarborough's summer meeting as the Downs will go dark while the fall fairground circuit takes center stage. Scarborough Downs will reopen for the fall season on October 16 and will play host to the Day of Champions on October 24 as the finals for all eight divisions of the Maine Sire Stakes program will be contested on what should prove to be the richest card of harness racing ever put together in the state of Maine. For more information, visit www.ScarboroughDowns.com or our Facebook page. By Michael Sweeney for Scarborough Downs  

Scarborough, Maine (June 19, 2015) - It was certainly a Family Affair at Scarborough Downs on Friday (6/19) as harness racing driver Nick Graffam drove offspring of the broodmare Pass The Dessert to back-to-back victories for proud owner Diane Frazier. Four-year-old mare Dancers Pass (top) led things off with a career best effort in the sixth and not to be outdone by his little sister, five-year-old "Big Bro" Cyclone Pass took a new lifetime mark of 1:57 in the very next race! There should be plenty of bragging rights to go around as the Ashlee's Big Guy siblings gather at the feed trough at the Norton farm after the races tonight - With one proud Mom looking on from the broodmare field! Live racing is proudly featured at Scarborough Downs on Thursday, Friday and Saturday at 4:30 p.m. (EDT). The Sunday matinee gets underway at 1:30. For more information, visit www.ScarboroughDowns.com or our Facebook page. By Michael Sweeney for Scarborough Downs

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