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Plainville, MA --- As post time for the $250,000 Spirit of Massachusetts Trot at Plainridge Park on Sunday (July 28) draws near, the excitement of everyone involved in the race continues to grow. But for two Massachusetts owners who have horses entered and have seen the many ups and downs of the sport in New England, the race itself is proof there is a harness racing renaissance in the Commonwealth. Frank M. Antonacci is the president of Lindy Farms of Connecticut and a member of the ownership group Greathorse of Massachusetts. Lindy Farms and the Antonacci's have owned or bred five Hambletonian champions since 1965 and have been racing in Massachusetts just as long. They will be starting Mambo Lindy in the Spirit of Massachusetts Trot on Sunday. Jim Winske has owned many race horses over the years and has partnered with his friends Paul Kelley and Steve Michaels on a lot of them. They all grew up in Massachusetts and started out competing at the old Foxboro Park and have since been at Plainridge Park for a total of over 40 years in the state. They've all experienced every level of the competition and their passion for the sport is unparalleled. Their entry in the stake is The Veteran. Although Antonacci and Winske will be competing against each other on Sunday they've also been working together for years, along with countless other New England horsemen and horsewomen, trying to keep harness racing alive through some very tough times. Now that the sport has made a turnaround on the strength of the state's gaming program and the Horse Racing Development Fund, their participation in this race Sunday holds special meaning. "I grew up racing at Plainridge. I drove horses there when I went to school in Boston and I was even there the first day they opened in 1999; I was 15. At that point it was one of the lowest statured racing in the country. And to see it go from that to having some of the best horses in the country competing now is really a testament to the horsemen and women in New England and their determination and resilience to stick around through all those hard times. I think it's a real success story," said Antonacci. "Racing in Massachusetts has gotten so much better and it's because there is cooperation going on between the track and the horsemen and obviously the casino helped a lot. But the breeding industry has picked up and people have been buying better horses and you're seeing better drivers coming here too. The floor plan is set where people are excited, the track is putting on big races and we just have to keep getting the people here to keep it going strong," Winske commented. These two gentlemen both like what has been going on within the industry in this state, but they also like their chances in the Spirit of Massachusetts Trot and had a little bit to say about that as well. Antonacci explained that despite seeing limited action last year, Mambo Lindy has turned a major corner and is finding his old form at the right time. "Mambo Lindy ended 2017 very strong, winning an elimination of the Maple Leaf Trot, winning at Lexington in a lifetime best of 1:51.4 and racing in the Breeders Crown. In 2018 we brought him back and got a really brutal trip in the Cutler at the Meadowlands and he got injured. So it basically took the whole year to get him sound and bring him back and since he started racing this season, he's been absolutely super. He's really as good as he's ever been right now," said Antonacci. "He's coming into this race really solid. He's won twice in a row and and came out of both starts with trot left. He has a definite home field advantage at Plainridge as he has won 22 out of 35 starts here and knows how to get around this track. So we're really excited about it because there is no more local horse at Plainridge than Mambo." Mambo Lindy Winske points out there have been some adjustments for his horse to transition from the 3-year-old division to facing older horses. But he points out he's coming along just fine as the year progresses. "He raced successfully at three and we wanted to bring him back as an aged horse because he's just so nice. But when you start back it's against bearcats. The aged division is really tough. But he took a lifetime mark of 1:51.1 at the Meadowlands in May and he just finished second at Saratoga last week in 1:53.4 parked out the entire mile. That was probably his best race of the year so far," said Winske. "All of us guys have been around the track all our lives. Paul (Kelley) trains him and calls the shots but we all decided, what the heck let's take a chance and nominate him for this race because we're all from Massachusetts and when you get a chance to put a horse in there you take it. Yeah, we might be a longshot but it's called horse racing and you never know what can happen." The Veteran Both of these horse have had stellar careers and a number of stake victories to their credit. Mambo Lindy (Donato Hanover-Rum Boogie) has 49 lifetime starts with 26 wins, seven seconds and four thirds and has earned $252,660 in purses. He has drawn post four and will be driven by Drew Monti. The Veteran (Muscle Mass-Tequila Slammer) has 29 starts with 10 wins, five seconds and five thirds and has banked $361,955 in the process. He will start in post five with Yannick Gingras aboard. The $250,000 Spirit of Massachusetts Trot and the $100,000 Clara Barton Distaff Pace are part of the biggest card of the summer at Plainridge Park with a total of $465,500 in purses up for grabs on the 10-race program on Sunday (July 28). The race is scheduled to go off at 5:05 p.m. Post time for the first race is 2 p.m. By Tim Bojarski, for Plainridge Park and the HHANE

Plainville, Ma --- The draw is complete and Plainridge Park Race Secretary Paul Verrette has released the harness racing post positions for the $250,000 Spirit of Massachusetts Trot and the $100,000 Clara Barton Distaff Pace that will be held at Plainridge on Sunday afternoon (July 28). Race Seven $100,000 Clara Barton Distaff Pace Post Time 4:15 p.m. Post - Horse - Sire - Driver - Trainer 1 - Kimberlee -  Rock N Roll Heaven - Andy Miller - Ake Svanstedt 2 - Apple Bottom Jeans - Mr Apples - Corey Callahan - Dylan Davis 3 - Shartin N - Tintin In America - Tim Tetrick - Jim King Jr. 4 - Don't Think Twice A - Armbro Operative - Brian Sears - Andrew Harris 5 - Bettor Joy N - Bettor's Delight - Dexter Dunn -  Jim King Jr. 6 - Baron Remy - Yankee Cruiser - Matt Kakaley - Ron Burke 7 - Kaitlyn N - American Ideal - David Miller - Richard Banca 8 - Reclamation - A Rocknroll Dance - Yannick Gingras - Ron Burke   Race Nine $250,000 Spirit of Massachusetts Trot Post Time 5:05 p.m. Post - Horse - Sire - Driver - Trainer 1 - Weslynn Dancer - Deweycheatumnhowe - David Miller - Richard Banca 2  -La Grange A - Muscle Hill - Andy Miller - Ake Svanstedt 3 - Trolley - Donato Hanover - Marcus Miller - Erv Miller 4 - Mambo Lindy - Donato Hanover - Drew Monti - Domenico Cecere 5 - The Veteran - Muscle Mass - Yannick Gingras - Paul Kelley 6 - Guardian Angel As - Archangel - Tim Tetrick - Anette Lorentzon 7 - Fiftydallarbill - Swan For All - Corey Callahan - Katricia Adams The biggest day of the summer in Massachusetts harness racing features 10 races on the card Sunday with purses totaling $440,500. Post time for the first race is 2 p.m. By Tim Bojarski, for Plainridge Park and the HHANE

Plainville, MA --- Guardian Angel As has been on a roll of late and will come into the harness racing $250,000 Spirit of Massachusetts Trot at Plainridge Park razor sharp. He has won four straight stake events against some of the best older trotters in North America before finishing fourth in a trip that saw him parked-out the entire mile from post nine at the Meadowlands. In the $30,000 Great Northeast at the Downs at Mohegan Sun Pocono, Guardian Angel As dropped in second from post five and then took the lead by the half. From there he trotted away to a four length win in 1:53.1 over a sloppy track. Two weeks later it was the $100,000 Maxi Lee at Harrah's Philly where he once again led most of the way and drew off to an easy seasonal best 1:51 victory defeating Pinkman and Fiftydallarbill in the process. Then in a $40,000 leg of the Mr. Muscleman at the Meadowlands, he was cruising on the lead before digging in to hold off a very gritty stretch drive by Cruzado Dela Noche, eventually hanging on to win by a half length in 1:52.1, with a swift :26.3 final quarter. His next start would make history. On June 29 at Northfield Park in the $175,000 Cleveland Classic, Guardian Angel As turned a trip that left him parked out for 7/8th's of the mile into a wrapped up win, stopping the timer in 1:52 and setting a new world record for 5-year-old and older trotting horses on a half-mile track. That rewrote Crazy Wow's 1:52.3 standard set in 2017. Anette Lorentzon trains Guardian Angel As and after five years of racing him is well aware of his speed and versatility. "We always knew he was a really good horse but what surprised us most at Northfield is the way he did it. He never pulled the plugs after being parked three-quarters of a mile. I wasn't really sure how he would be there because he has such a big gait. But I also knew It's a very good half-mile track at Northfield and he got around it fine," said Lorentzon. The 1:52 clocking on the half was amazing let alone the trip he went to get it, but this horse has always had a lot of speed and he showed it in the 2018 Allerage Trot at Lexington. Guardian Angel As finished second to Homicide Hunter in 1:48.4, which was the fastest trotting mile in the history of the sport. Guardian Angel As came first over at the half and had taken the lead in the stretch before Homicide Hunter blistered home in :26 flat outside of him. Although he finished second, Guardian Angel As still trotted in an unbelievable 1:49.2. The other asset that makes this 5-year-old son of Archangel-Provide As special is his ability to strike from anywhere in the mile. "He's the kind of horse that can race from any position. He likes to be up close but he's good if you also sit behind horses. He'll do what you want but he doesn't really have much patience. He is a stud and he knows it and he wants it his way," Lorentzon explained. There will be over two weeks between his last start and the Spirit Trot but Lorentzon said Guardian Angel As will come in on his regular schedule. "He raced really hard at Northfield and at the Meadowlands he had the nine hole and got away way back so we took it easy with him after that. Now he's been back to training normal this week; he'll go two trips on Thursday to get ready for Sunday. We don't really train him too hard between races." And as far as the outcome of the race on Sunday, a lot depends on where the horses start from according to his trainer. "It's always tough when you go for this kind of money; there are always going to be good horses in the race. What I'm hoping is he gets a good post position so he has a good chance and he races well. A lot of how the race goes will depend on post position." Tim Tetrick, who will be in town to drive Shartin N in the Clara Barton Pace, will be at the lines behind Guardian Angel As. It's interesting to note that coming into the Spirit of Massachusetts Trot, Guardian Angel As seems to do his best work on a three-turn oval. He has won 20 out of 46 starts lifetime, but nine of those wins came in 12 starts on 5/8th's mile tracks giving him a 75% win percentage for those outings. Guardian Angel As also trotted the two fastest winning miles of his life on the 5/8th's surface at Harrah's Philly, going 1:50.4 in 2018 and 1:51 this past May. The current all-time track trotting record at Plainridge Park is a 1:51.2 mile set by JL Cruze when he beat Hannelore Hanover and Crazy Wow in the innaugural edition of the Spirit of Massachusetts Trot in 2017. The $250,000 Spirit of Massachusetts Trot and $100,000 Clara Barton Distaff Pace will be held at Plainridge Park on Sunday (July 28). Post time for the first race is 2 p.m. Both stakes are sponsored by Plainridge Park and the Harness Horseman's Association of New England (HHANE). By Tim Bojarski, for Plainridge Park and the HHANE

Plainville, MA --- Harness racing owners and trainers who have horses nominated to the $250,000 Spirit of Massachusetts Trot and/or the $100,000 Clara Barton Distaff Pace that will be held at Plainridge Park on Sunday (July 28) should be reminded that the draw for both races will be held on Thursday (July 25). Please be sure to call your entries into the race office at 508.576.4485 or 508.576.4486 by 9 a.m. when the box closes. Also please note there will be a detention barn for both the Spirit of Massachusetts and Clara Barton races and all horses for both events must be checked in prior to 9 p.m. on Saturday evening (July 27). All horses racing at Plainridge Park must be accompanied by a current 2019 Coggins, health certificate and evidence of EVH-1 vaccine in order to enter the barn area. All owners, trainers, drivers and grooms must have a current Massachusetts Gaming Commission (MGC) license. The MGC office located adjacent to the paddock entrance, will be open from noon to 5 p.m. weekdays as well as on Sunday (July 28) from mid-morning on. There you can obtain your license and ID tag prior to entering the barn area. The special Sunday afternoon Spirit of Massachusetts card has an early post time of 2 p.m.   By Tim Bojarski, for Plainridge Park and the HHANE  

Plainville, MA --- Rich Poillucci lives a short distance from Plainridge Park in North Easton, Massachusetts and raced his first horses at Foxboro Park in 1986. Now 33 years later, after completing a dream harness racing season with his Dan Patch Award winning mare Shartin N, he will bring his prized pacer back to where it all started for him for a homecoming as she makes a start in the innaugural $100,000 Clara Barton Distaff Pace at Plainridge on Sunday (July 28). Poillucci got into the business by walking into Steve Mancini's barn and telling him he wanted to buy a horse. It wasn't long after that he started winning races at Foxboro and tracks in Maine with cheaper claimers before improving his stock over the years and winning races at the Meadowlands with horses like Bold Hope (1:51.1, $178,090), Natchez Gambler (1:52.2, $566,363), Modern Family (1:51, $575,925) and Maestro Blue Chip (1:51.3, $366,538). In 2016 Poillucci started importing horses from Australia and New Zealand and routinely spends about 40 hours a week researching them. His entire stable is currently made up solely of horses from Down-under. The time and effort he puts in has paid fast dividends with buys like Nike Franco N (1:48, $839,454), Barimah A (1:49.1, $415,920), Christen Me N (1:49.2, $2,274,204), Duplicated N (1:49.2, $213,199) and Bettor Joy N (1:50.4, $456,330). But despite the great performances put in by many of his horses over the years, they all take a back seat to the Queen of his stable. "When I first came across Shartin N I liked her immediately because of her breeding. No one knew who Tintin In America was as a stallion but he was by Mcardle, and he was super fast. I have always been a fan of Mcardle mares and Timmy (Tetrick) has been as well. So we talked about it and went back and forth and it took me a whole year to buy her because she wasn't fully developed yet," said Poillucci. "Then she raced against a top horse down there and won in 1:52. So I sent my trainer in Australia Emmett Bronson to go a trip with her and when he called me after he said "Rich, she has more gears than a Porsche". So Poillucci purchased Shartin N in December of 2017 and shipped her to the states. She made her first start at Dover Downs a month later and went on to become the 2018 Dan Patch Award aged pacing mare of the year on the strength of 19 victories in 24 starts and earnings of $1.053 million. Jim King Jr. has trained Shartin N since she stepped off the plane in New York. But how did a New England owner get hooked up with a Delaware conditioner that has never raced anywhere in New England? "I bought a horse named Dapper Dude about four years ago and he was having some trouble beating the upper echelon Opens he was racing in and I thought Dover might be a good fit for him. Kelvin Harrison who was training him for me suggested I call Jim (King) to see if he would take him for me," Poillucci explained. All of a sudden Dapper Dude was doing fantastic! And I got to know Jim well and Jo Ann was very friendly to my wife and our families really clicked. So I continued to buy horses with him." Poillucci praises King's ability and patience for Shartin N's North American acclimation and development and is never surprised with the efforts she puts forth, enjoying her career one start at a time. He is also quick to point out that it's a total team effort at every step to find and develop high end stock. "My driver (Tim Tetrick) looks after my horses like gold. He's extremely intelligent and takes care of my horses and I can't thank him enough for what he's done for my stable. And I give a lot of credit to my agent John Curtin in New Zealand because without him, I wouldn't have the success I have right now," said Poillucci. "Shartin N is a once in a lifetime horse and next Sunday she'll be racing in my home state. If she's got it in her and she's close to it, I would love to see her re-write the track record at Plainridge." Jim King Jr. shares Poillucci's admiration for their amazing mare, saying sometimes it feels surreal. "She is a trainers dream for sure, she's amazing to me. Sometimes I wake up at night and think about it. Her longevity is as impressive as her ability. She comes out of a race and recovers so fast that the next morning you wonder if she even raced. Even after long ships, when she gets home she just wants to go in the field and the next morning she's ready to go to work. It's hard to take the smile off her face; she's different I'll tell you," said King. "She's always right up on her toes and it's no picnic out there until she gets settled in behind the gate. She requires someone that knows what they're doing. But once she gets going it's all business. It's almost like in a race when someone comes along side her, she sticks her arm out and says "That's as far as you can go!" She just won't let anyone by her." King explained they've been lucky with Shartin N staying healthy and sound since coming to their stable and despite sometimes being over exuberant, she's a perfect mare. However there is one downside to Shartin N. "We have a really tough job shoeing her; she just doesn't like the blacksmith. She has to be medicated and it's just not a fun day," laughed King. King holds his partner in high esteem as well and noting their time spent both on and off the track has been very meaningful to his family. "Our relationship with Rich has been great over the past several years. He's all about the horses and keeping them racing well. And he's a great guy to deal with too. We've imported several horses over the years, mostly mares, and if we want we can buy into them at any point of their development. He's been so generous it's been unreal," said King. Shartin N will be joined by stablemate Bettor Joy N in the Barton. Another selection of Poillucci's, Bettor Joy N joined their operation in January of 2019 and has been developing well ever since. After winning three legs of the Blue Chip at Yonkers and finishing second to Shartin N in the final, Bettor Joy N has now won a total of five races and $240,876 in purses this year. The $250,000 Spirit of Massachusetts Trot and $100,000 Clara Barton Distaff Pace are both sponsored by Plainridge Park and the Harness Horseman's Association of New England (HHANE) and will be held on Sunday (July 28) at Plainridge with an early post time of 2 p.m. By Tim Bojarski, for Plainridge Park and the HHANE

Plainville, MA --- Harness racing Owners, trainers and drivers participating in the $250,000 Spirit of Massachusetts Trot, the $100,000 Clara Barton Distaff Pace or any other overnight race at Plainridge Park on Sunday (July 28), please take note of the following information. The draw for all races on Sunday (July 28) will be held on Thursday (July 25). The box closes at 9 a.m. You can call your entries into the race office at 508.576.4485 or 508.576.4486. There will be a detention barn for both the Spirit of Massachusetts and Clara Barton races and all horses for both events must be checked in prior to 9 p.m. on Saturday evening (July 27). All horses racing at Plainridge Park must be accompanied by a current 2019 Coggins, health certificate and evidence of EVH-1 vaccine in order to enter the barn area. All owners, trainers, drivers and grooms must have a current Massachusetts Gaming Commission (MGC) license. The MGC office located adjacent to the paddock entrance, will be open from noon to 5 p.m. weekdays as well as on Sunday (July 28) from mid-morning on. There you can obtain your license and ID tag prior to entering the barn area. And due to the many events happening in the area during Spirit weekend (including the International Champions Cup soccer game at nearby Gillette Stadium) it is suggested that you make your hotel reservations early to ensure you have accommodations. Hawthorne Suites in Franklin, Massachusetts is Plainridge Park's preferred hotel partner with special rates when you mention "Plainridge". By Tim Bojarski, for Plainridge Park and the HHANE

Plainville, MA --- A pair of $8,500 races topped the harness racing card at Plainridge Park on Thursday afternoon and the winner of each found victory by small margins. In the mid-level condition event for distaff pacers Rockin Ruby N (Nick Graffam) cut the mile and walked to the half in :58 flat. Having enough of that, Jaded Dream (Mitchell Cushing) and Bye Bye Felicia (Drew Monti) pulled out by the half and applied heavy pressure from there to the head of the lane. When they straightened out for home, Rockin Ruby N maintained a length advantage but Bye Bye Felicia was flying at her on the outside and closing with every stride. However Rockin Ruby N held her lead to the wire to win in 1:53.4, with a swift :55.4 back half. It was the fifth win in 24 starts this year for Rockin Ruby N ($7.20) and 29th win in North America, now with over $270,000 in earnings. Rockin Ruby N is owned by Kathleen Brewer and trained by Artie Brewer II. Four races later it was a non-winners event for the 5-year-old and under set that saw Lyons Beachboy (Drew Monti) take an early lead before finding Stroman (Mitchell Cushing) at his side by the half. These two then paced stride for stride to three-quarters in 1:24.4 when Stroman took over the front on the outside and looked to be in good shape. But Monti kept working Lyons Beachboy down the stretch and he was game and responded well to came back to win by a nose in 1:54. It was the second straight win and fourth of the year for Lyons Beachboy ($7.60) and his connections Lases Racing. Jaymes Mcassey trains the winner. Shawn Gray scored a natural Hat Trick in races two through four and ended up leading all drivers for wins on the card as a result. The Wicked Hi-5 pentafecta jackpot continues to grow. With no winners once again in races six or nine, the carryover pool for race six at Plainridge Park on Friday (July 19) will be a record $46,238. Post time for the first race is 4 p.m. By Tim Bojarski, for the Standardbred Owners of Massachusetts    

Plainville, MA --- The Grand Circuit makes a mid-summer stop at Plainridge Park on Sunday (July 28) for two major harness racing stakes on its calendar this year. The first is the second edition of the $250,000 Spirit of Massachusetts Trot for for 3-year-old and older trotters and the second is the new $100,000 Clara Barton Distaff Pace for 3-year-old and older fillies and mares. Both races are presented by Plainridge Park Casino and the Harness Horseman's Association of New England (HHANE). These races will be contested on a special matinee card that will get underway at 2 p.m. and also feature some of the top local trotting and pacing talent and horsemen that compete regularly in New England. Besides offering a great slate of racing on the track, there will also be plenty of activities for those of all ages who attend that day between races and feature a special guest to help cover the event. Bob Neumeier of NBC Sports and Comcast Sports New England will be the host of the live track and simulcast feeds, covering all the action and giving his expert opinions. Neumeier's wealth of knowledge about horse racing will provide everyone with great insight to the days card and in depth analysis after each race. There will be a reception in the Boylston and Newbury Rooms, located on the second level of the grandstand from 1 p.m. to 2:30 p.m. for owners, their guests and VIP's of the two main stakes. Then there will be a full buffet provided immidiately after starting at 2:30 p.m. There will be a great giveaway item available for the fans on hand. An insulated cooler bag will be given out at the door while supplies last. This item is sponsored by Plainridge Park, the Standardbred Owners of Massachusetts, the HHANE, Lindy Farms, Embroidery Unlimited, the Hambletonian Society & Hawthorne Suites (Franklin, MA) and will feature the logos of all the sponsors. The Standardbred Owners of Massachusetts will be on hand with a mare and foal on display on the grass in the homestretch park for a meet and greet with all who would wish to stop by. Their members will also be able to provide information about the robust Standardbred breeding program in the state of Massachusetts. The HHANE has invited the Maine Harness Horsemen's Association (MHHA) to join the festivities and they are bringing their wildly popular Virtual Race Simulator that allows anyone to climb into the race bike and drive their horse to victory in virtual reality. This simulator has been traveling from track to track all summer and has been a major attraction wherever it shows up. Between races you can relax and handicap the next event to the music of The Berkshire Valley Boys who are a great local band that will provide entertainment throughout the day on the apron. Finally, there will also be Caricature Artists on hand who will be drawing your likeness free of charge. The Spirit of Massachusetts day program promises to be the best ever held at Plainridge Park and one the whole family can enjoy. For more information on live harness racing at Plainridge Park and both of these stakes please log onto www.plainridgeparkcasino.com and www.hhane.com.   By Tim Bojarski, for Plainridge Park and the HHANE

Plainville, MA --- Two harness racing drivers posted big numbers and won most of the races at Plainridge Park on Thursday afternoon (July 11). Mitchell Cushing won five races in 10 driving starts including a natural Grand Slam in races three to six, and scored in the day's feature race while Drew Monti won four races in seven starts and took the secondary feature in the process. Cushing's biggest win of the day came in the $14,000 Winners-Over Handicap for fillies and mares despite being assigned post eight with the heavily favored Write Me A Song. Cushing left the gate and floated Write Me A Song on the outside for a quarter mile while the rest of the field seated before rushing to the top in front of the grandstand to take command. The mare then paced by the half and to the three-quarters in 1:22.4 with a two-length advantage and no one able to mount a challenge. Write Me A Song spun out of the far turn and headed for home with a three length advantage and Cushing sitting chilly to win handily in 1:51.2 while Shez Sugarsweet A (Ron Cushing), Spreester (Jim Hardy), Velocity McSweets (Shawn Gray) argued neck and neck for place and show. It was the sixth win in 15 starts this year for Write Me A Song ($2.20) who now has $80,850 on the card for owner William Hartt. Lance Hudson trains the winner. Write Me A Song is eligible to the inaugural edition of the $100,000 Clara Barton Distaff Pace that will be held at Plainridge Park on Sunday (July 28). Cushing rounded out his driving pentafecta with HS Marcia (1:56.2, $14.20), Golden Idol (1:52.4, $5.20), Cams Candy Girl (1:54, $16.40) and Cash Vaughn (1:55, $10.80). Cushing's Thursday performance vaulted him back into sole possession of first place in the dash win race for the meet now with 79 wins, two ahead of the second place Shawn Gray. Monti's marquee win came in the $10,000 conditioned event for 5-year-olds and under with Magic Joe Lindy who overcame post nine. Magic Joe Lindy left the gate and found himself on the rim until he cleared in front of the grandstand. After taking the lead he opened up a two length margin before backing the half off to a tepid :56 with no one in pursuit to that point. Still in single file up the backside, the field couldn't make up any ground on the leader as Magic Joe Lindy was just cruising in 1:24 when he headed into the final bend. There Passport To Art (Shawn Gray) pulled from third and tried to make a bid coming into the lane but it was too little, too late as Monti had Magic Joe Lindy wrapped up and pacing away to 1:52.1 win. Coming off two New York Sire Stake engagements, Magic Joe Lindy ($3.60) scored his second win of the year at Plainridge Park for owner Lindy Farms of Connecticut and trainer Domenico Cecere. Monti's Grand Slam also included Shesells Seashells (1:54.2, $4.20), Plus One (1:53.2, $2.40) and Lyons Beachboy (1:53.1, $5.60). The Wicked Hi-5 pentafecta jackpot continues to grow at Plainridge Park as no unique winning ticket was sold on Thursday. So when live racing resumes at the Ridge on Friday (July 12) the carryover pool for the sixth race will be $35,967. Post time for the first race is 4 p.m.     By Tim Bojarski for the Standardbred Owners of Massachusetts  

Plainville, MA --- Plainridge Park's top harness racing driver and trainer combination of Shawn Gray and Jimmy Nickerson teamed up once again to score wins in the two featured races held at the Ridge on Monday Afternoon (July 8). In the $14,000 Winners-Over Handicap, Sir Pugsley tucked third from post seven off the gate while Opus Blue Chip (Drew Campbell) took the field to the quarter. But Gray rolled Sir Pugsley to the top past that station and would remain the pace-setter from there. After hitting the half in :55 flat, Mach Doro A (Ron Cushing) came calling first up and pushed Sir Pugsley to the three-quarters in 1:22.4 and continued to to be aggressive around the far turn and into the stretch. The pair continued to pace side by side all the way to the wire but Sir Pugsley held his advantage and won by three-quarters of a length in 1:51, which was a new seasonal mark. It was the second win in a row, third of the year and 20th lifetime for the 5-year-old Sir Pugsley ($12.00) who has now earned $42,095 this season for owner Burke Racing Stable and Marc Reynolds. Then in the $12,000 upper-level conditioned pace, the venerable campaigner Betterlatethannever got away eighth by almost 13 lengths and stayed there well past the half while Quick Shot (Drew Campbell) and Fernleigh Rebel A (Mitchell Cushing) battled relentlessly to the half in :53.3 and the three-quarters in 1:21.4. There Betterlatethannever started his outside trek around tiring horses, eventually tipping four deep heading into the lane where he barreled down the stretch to overtake the whole and win by a half-length in 1:51.1, which tied his seasonal best. Betterlatethannever ($5.60) got his seventh win of the year and pushed his earnings to $63,772 for owners Nickerson Racing and David Glazer. Betterlatethannever Those victories pushed Gray's win total to 77 for the meet and Nickerson's to 28, leaving them both ahead of their nearest categorical competitors by six wins. With no unique winning ticket once again on Monday, the Wicked Hi-5 jackpot continues to grow. When live racing resumes at Plainridge Park on Thursday (July 11) and they line up for the sixth race, the carryover pool for the Wicked Hi-5 will be another track record high of $32,332. Post time for the first race is 4 p.m. By Tim Bojarski, for the Standardbred Owners of Massachusetts      

Plainville, MA --- With having only four starts over the last 18 months coming into today's race, Mambo Lindy looked like he did during his career best 2017 harness racing season after he won the $12,000 Winners-Over Handicap trot in convincing fashion at Plainridge Raceway. Mambo Lindy (Drew Monti) left from post seven and tucked in third while Nows The Moment (Mike Stevenson) shot to the lead. After the race hit the quarter in :27, Monti rolled Mambo Lindy up the rim and drew alongside Nows The Moment past the half. The pair squared off as they straightened up the backstretch and matched strides in a swift :27.2 third panel. As they motored around the last turn, Nows The Moment took back the lead by one-half length and it looked like he may have put his challenger behind him for good. But Mambo Lindy swelled up at the head of the stretch and started trotting up a storm. Under a mere line drive, Mambo Lindy forged his way by Nows The Moment and opened up a length lead at the wire to win in 1:53.1. The time was a new seasonal mark for Mambo Lindy ($4.60) and his fastest win time since September 30, 2017 when he trotted his career best 1:51.4 at Lexington. It was the 25th lifetime win in only 48 starts for the 8-year-old son of Donato Hanover-Rum Boogie who has now earned $245,660 for his owner Greathorse. Mambo Lindy is trained by Domenico Cecere. Matty "Ice" Athearn and Mitchell Cushing both had driving doubles during Friday afternoon while Gretchen Athearn led all trainers with two wins of her own. The Wicked Hi-5 carryover pool continues to grow with no unique winners in either the sixth or ninth race once again on Friday. So when live racing resumes at Plainridge Park on Monday (July 8) the carryover pool for the sixth race Pentafecta will be a track record $29,477. Post time for the first race is 4 p.m. By Tim Bojarski, for the Standardbred Owners of Massachusetts  

Plainville, MA --- A $10,000 conditioned race for the 5-year-old and under group on each gait topped the Thursday (July 4) holiday card at Plainridge Park and the respective winners registered career-best harnss racing efforts in victory. In the $10,000 trot, Refi (Drew Monti) remained undefeated this year after getting his third straight win in gate to wire fashion. Refi opened up a two-length advantage on the point and then went :27.4, :57.1 and 1:26 before turning for home and stretching out to a six-length lead under no urging at all to win in 1:54.4, besting his previous career record of 1:56.1. A 3-year-old son of Chapter Seven-Blazing Musclegirl, Refi ($7.80) is owned by Lindy Farms of Connecticut and Robert Rudolf. Domenico Cecere trains the winner. Then in the $10,000 pace, Pokerface Bluechip (Mitchell Cushing) also went start to finish on the front while setting fractions of :27, :56.2 and 1:24.1 before smoking a final panel in :27.3 to score an easy one-length win in 1:51.4. The time was also a new lifetime mark, smashing his old one by two and 2/5th's seconds. Now boasting $36,540 on the card for the year, Pokerface Bluechip ($3.40) is owned by William Hartt and is trained by Lance Hudson. Mitchell Cushing and Drew Monti both had three wins on the card to lead all drivers on Thursday, however Shawn Gray and Drew Campbell became very close during the afternoon as they were both involved in two dead heats with each other during the proceedings. The first came in the third race where Stroman (Gray) and Downwyn Shark (Campbell) could not be separated by the camera for place and the second was in the 10th race when Northern Sportsman (Gray) and Makin' A Move (Campbell) hit the wire simultaneously for the win. The ever-growing Wicked Hi-5 Pentafecta pool continues to grow as no one could select the winning combination in either the sixth or ninth race again today. As a result, there will be a $27,699 carryover pool for the sixth race on Friday (July 5) when live racing resumes at Plainridge Park. Post time for the first race on Friday is 4 p.m.     By Tim Bojarski for the Standardbred Owners of Massachusetts  

Plainville, MA --- The strip at the Ridge was in fine form on Monday afternoon (June 24) and the feature race was evidence of that as Bo Mach went the best mile of his life in the $14,000 Winners-Over Handicap pace at Plainridge Park to register his third consecutive harness racing win. Bo Mach (Mitchell Cushing) led the field to the quarter in a brisk :26.4 before giving up the front to Sir Pugsley (Shawn Gray) who was rolling up the outside. The new leader then received no break as an outer flow was right at him with Windsun Gotham (Jimmy Whittemore) leading the way. With the field now split in two rows with four in and four out, Windsun Gotham continued to pursue Sir Pugsley to the three-quarters in 1:23.3 while Bo Mach sat the pocket waiting to make his move. When they passed the crest of the final turn Windsun Gotham faded and Bo Mach pulled out and went right at Sir Pugsley. The two paced in stride until halfway down the lane when Bo Mach got the advantage and won by a length in 1:51.2. The fifth win of the year by Bo Mach ($5.40) was landmark to his career as he set a new lifetime mark and pushed his seasonal income to $60,600 which is also a career high for annual earnings. William Hartt owns the 4-year-old son of Mach Three-Magnify This who is trained by Lance Hudson. In the $12,000 conditioned pace co-feature, Opus Blue Chip (Shawn Gray) followed the front-running Quick Shot (Drew Campbell) the entire race before pulling off the pylons approaching the seven-eighths pole where he breezed on by to win by a length in 1:51.3, which was also a new lifetime mark. Opus Blue Chip ($3.40) is owned by Scott Dillon and trained by Joe Nelson. Mitchell Cushing and Shawn Gray both had driving doubles on the card while trainer Joe Nelson had a conditioning double of his own. The Wicked Hi-5 Pentafecta jackpot continued to grow on Monday with no winner of that bet once again. The carryover pool of $13,774 will be available in sixth race on Thursday (June 27) 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 ---- Coming off a career year for harness racing wins and earnings in 2018, Make It A Double has already surpassed the victory total of last year and is well on his way towards the bank after winning the $12,000 Winners-Over Handicap trot at Plainridge Park on Friday afternoon (June 21). Leaving from post five, Make It A Double (Mark Athearn) rolled to the front, opened up a two-length advantage and did not allow anyone closer to him than that for the rest of the mile. Athearn guided his trotter to the quarter in :28, the half in :57.3 and the three-quarters in 1:26.2 before turning for home with a three-length advantage. From there with his tail flagged and his head thrown in time with his gait, Make It A Double coasted unchallenged down the lane and won in 1:54.4, which tied his seasonal mark. It was the fifth win in nine starts this season for Make It A Double ($5.80) who has now earned $37,810 in 2019 for owner William Phipps. Gretchen Athearn trains the winner. The second fastest diagonal event on the trot-heavy Friday card was the $8,500 mid-level condition race that saw Coco Lindy (Drew Monti) pull first-over at the half before clearing and opening up a three-length lead by the top of the stretch. From there Coco Lindy stayed tough and held off a strong brush by both Run And Tell Pap (Mitchell Cushing) and Wind And A Prayer (Mike Stevenson) at the wire to win by a neck in 1:55.4. It was the 49th lifetime win for Coco Lindy ($4.60) who now boasts $543,088 in career earnings. Greathorse owns the 12-year-old son of Cantab Hall-Nutty Butty who is trained by Domenico Cecere. Drew Monti led all drivers with three wins on the card while trainers Gretchen Athearn, Domenico Cecere and Mike Giourard were the winningest trainers with two victories apiece. There were no winners of the Wicked Hi-5 Pentafecta again on Friday so the carryover pool for that bet in the sixth race on Monday (June 24) will be $10,344 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 --- It was deja vu all over again for Con Air Hall who, for the second week in a row, came from off the pace over a sloppy track to score another harness racing win in the $10,000 conditioned trotting feature at Plainridge Park on Thursday afternoon (June 20). Con Air Hall (Mitchell Cushing) got away third while Count On Rosey (Mike Stevenson) and Hs Marcia (Drew Campbell) settled in first and second on the point. But as the race passed the quarter, Cushing pulled out and took the lead from them in front of the stands. With no rest for the weary, Pembroke Mystery (Heath Campbell) came right at Con Air Hall at the half and pushed the issue all the way to the three quarter pole. As soon as the third split went by, Pembroke Mystery hit the wall and Con Air Hall started to open up. Before the race even turned for home, Con Air Hall had a widening four-length lead and there were no serious challenges in sight behind him. With the whip tucked, Cushing sat wet and chilly as Con Air Hall trotted home to a wrapped-up seven-length victory in 1:56.2. It was the second win in a row and third win of the year for Con Air Hall ($8.60) who is owned by Mark Ford. Elisha Lafreniere trains the winner. Drew Campbell was the hot driver on Thursday as he won four races on the card. Campbell scored with Carson Hill (1:55.4, $9.00), Miss Daisy Duke (1:57.2, $4.00), Meetmeatthedance (1:55.2, $22.40) and Life Isa Shortwalk (1:55, $4.40). Not to be outdone, Mitchell Cushing had a driving Hat Trick while Jim Hardy had a double. The Wicked Hi-5 Pentafecta carryover pool continues to grow and is now up to $6,198 and will be available for that bet in the sixth race on Friday (June 21) 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 --- Leading western New York harness racing driver Drew Monti is heading east to Massachusetts to become a regular in the driving colony at Plainridge Park. Monti, who started driving at the age of 18, has put up some impressive numbers in his seven years campaigning at just about every track in New York State. From 8,427 lifetime starts he has 1,334 wins, 1,211 seconds and 1,179 thirds, has earned $7.7 million in purses and with a career Universal Driver Rating (UDR) of .300. During his short career in Western New York, Monti has already won two dash driving titles at Batavia Downs in 2016 and 2018 and one at Buffalo Raceway, also in 2018. However this is not Monti's first foray outside of his home state to compete. In the winter of 2017 the now 24-year-old headed to the Meadowlands and drove 163 starts that yielded 18 wins, 22 seconds and 18 thirds that earned his horse's connections $193,675 in purses over the seven weeks he spent there. In January of 2019, Monti went to Miami Valley to compete against 30 of the sport's top reinsmen in the North American Drivers Championship and finished a close third behind winner Dan Noble and Brett Miller. Monti has gotten support from several stables upon hearing of his move to the Ridge and one of them is Lindy Farms. The President of Lindy Farms, Frank M. Antonacci has said that Lindy will support Drew's move to Plainridge with drives from their stable. That in part is why Monti decided to come to Massachusetts. "I had been watching Drew drive for the past couple years and know the ability he has. I think coming to Plainridge is going to help move his career forward and provide him the opportunity to drive stakes horses both here and beyond," said Antonacci. "Talent got him to where he is today and he seems like a good young man with a bright future. I look forward to having him drive for us." A 2016 graduate of Canisius College with a degree in finance, Monti recognized the opportunites ahead of him at Plainridge Park and felt it was a good time to make the move. "I had heard a lot of good things about Plainridge, the people racing there and their great purse structure in place as a result of the state's Horse Racing Development Fund and really look forward to racing there full time. It seems like a great place to compete," said Monti. "Massachusetts has a fast growing Sire Stake program, one that a lot of people outside the Commonwealth are talking about. I look forward to getting starts there as well and with Lindy Farms support, I am really excited about this opportunity." Monti has made a few trips to The Ridge this past week and already likes the track, and his four wins in 12 starts are evidence of that. By Tim Bojarski, for the Standardbred Owners of Massachusetts

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