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Plainville, MA --- Duplicated N has suddenly become peerless at Plainridge Park after handily tackling the best resident harness racing pacers in the $20,000 Winners-Over Handicap pace on Monday afternoon (May 10) to extend his current winning streak to three. It was pretty much a done-deal from the start as Duplicated N (Bruce Ranger) took control off the gate and never looked back. With Starznheaven (Drew Monti) tripping out on his back, Duplicated N toured the facility in fractions of :27.2, :55.4 and 1:23.1 with little resistance from anyone as the group headed around the last turn. At the top of the stretch, Starznheaven pulled out for his shot at the leader along with Bettor's Fire N (Ron Cushing) who was pacing alongside him. But neither could get to Duplicated N, who was cruising along unfazed and hit the line on top by two lengths in 1:51. DUPLICATED N REPLAY   It was the 19th lifetime win in only 44 lifetime starts for Duplicated N ($3.80) who is owned by Paul London, Michael Sepinuck, Kathleen Brewer and Andrew Kelson. Artie Brewer does the training. In the co-featured $13,000 claiming handicap pace for horses tagged from $15-$20,000, Brackley Beach (Kevin Switzer Jr.), who was severely disregarded at the windows, sat quietly in the garden spot at 40-1 behind the frontrunning J Js Delivery (Drew Monti) who was arguing vehemently with Nagle (Bruce Ranger) through a stiff :27.2 third quarter. Coming off the last turn Brackley Beach tipped off cover in between horses and caught the leader in the stretch and then held off two late challengers to win by 1/2 length in 1:52.2, which was a new lifetime mark. BRACKLEY BEACH REPLAY   Brackley Beach made his first visit to Plainridge a memorable one for all parties involved as he returned $80.00 for the win and triggered a 3-8-4-6 superfecta that paid a whopping $8,493 for a $2 wager. Andrew Adamczyk, who owns and trains Brackley Beach, privately purchased the winner on April 8 of this year and has not missed a check since in five starts. Bruce Ranger registered another driving triple on Monday and continues to be the leading dash win driver of the Plainridge meet this year. Racing resumes at Plainridge Park on Thursday (May 13) at 4 p.m. For full race results, click here. By Tim Bojarski, for the Standardbred Owners of Massachusetts  

Plainville, MA --- Eurobond made his last pari-mutuel start on November 23, 2020 when he scored a 2-1/4 length harness racing victory at Plainridge Park. Now 165 days later it was "deja vu all over again" after the 6-year-old horse won the $17,500 Winners-Over Handicap trotting feature at The Ridge on Friday (May 7). Eurobond (Bruce Ranger) got away a distant sixth while two-time feature winner Pappy Go Go (Jay Randall) grabbed the front in a quick :27.2. Positions remained unchanged to the five-eighths when Majestic Marvel (Shawn Gray) pulled first-over followed by Smooth Acceleration (Matty Athearn) and Eurobond, who started his big move. As the race made its way through the final turn, Majestic Marvel took the lead from Pappy Go Go and Smooth Acceleration then drew alongside him to challenge. But Eurobond was revved up three-deep and trotting under full throttle, looking past his competition. Ranger sat chilly and let Eurobond trot home on his own in a snappy :28.3 final split to win by a length in 1:55.2. EUROBOND REPLAY   It was the 13th lifetime win in only 52 lifetime starts for Eurobond ($6.00) and it pushed his total earnings to $316,650 for owners Lindy Farms of Connecticut and Robert Rudolf. Domenico Cecere is the trainer. There were two $12,500 co-featured divisions of the conditioned trot for 6-year-olds and under and both were won by Massachusetts-bred trotters. The first division was won by Royal Envy (Shawn Gray) who got away fifth before pulling at the quarter and grabbing the lead as they crossed the wire the first time. From there Royal Envy led the rest of the way while fighting off challenges from I Have A Dream (Kevin Switzer Jr.) and Big Weezy (Jay Randall) before winning by 1/2 length in 1:57, which was a new lifetime mark. Royal Envy ($4.40), who went undefeated in the Massachusetts Sire Stakes last year to become the 2-year-old trotting filly champion, is owned by Al Ross and Ray Campbell Jr., who also bred the filly. George Ducharme does the training. The second division saw the combination of Ranger and Cecere strike again with Marquis Lafayette, who made a first-over move from fourth before the half, then eventually draw alongside the leading Crazy Money De Vie (Jay Randall) around the far turn and then out-trot that one down the lane to win by 1/2 length in 1:58.2. Marquis Lafayette ($4.00), who finished second in the 2020 MASS final for 3-year-old male trotters, is owned and was also bred by K R Breeding. Ranger added two more wins during the card with Broadway Giant (1:58.4, $5.60) and Sortie Hanover (1:57.1, $10.40) to register a Grand Slam on the day. Racing resumes at Plainridge Park on Monday (May 10) with post time at 4 p.m. For full race results, click here. By Tim Bojarski, for the Standardbred Owners of Massachusetts

Plainville, MA --- The 6-year-old Always A Virgin harness racing pacing mare La Always Amartini had been based at Yonkers Raceway until last week when she shifted northeast and finished second at Plainridge Park. Seven days later, the second time was a charm for her as she scored her first Massachusetts win in the $15,000 conditioned feature for 6-year-old and younger distaff pacers at The Ridge on Thursday afternoon (May 6). La Always Amartini (Kevin Switzer Jr.) watched from sixth as Sweet Sue (Jim Hardy) and Maverick Fiber (John Nason) played give-and-go with the lead to the half. After reaching that station in :56, Sweet Sue became the pacesetter for the second time and braced for the assault from the rear. Sweet Style (Jay Randall) came rolling first up on the rim with La Always Amartini on her back, but that lineup changed near the three-quarter pole when Switzer tipped La Always Amartini three-deep into the last turn and drew alongside Sweet Sue. Now embroiled in a heated dispute, Hardy and Switzer both started driving hard with lines and tails flagging in the breeze. Sweet Sue fought hard to hold her position but La Always Amartini had the better foot this day and pulled away to a 1-1/4 length win in 1:53.4. LA ALWAYS AMARTINI REPLAY   It was the first win of 2021 and a seasonal mark for La Always Amartini ($6.80) who is owned by Fox Racing. Jimmy Nickerson trains the winner. There was an instant jackpot payout in the sixth race Wicked Hi-5 pentafecta at Plainridge on Thursday. Despite the even money favorite Lillian Rose (1:55.3, $4.00) winning the race, 59-1 shot For Chip's Sake finished third and 38-1 Tempra Hanover finished fifth to bring serious value to the 3-7-9-5-1 combination that paid $10,930.92 for a 20-cent wager. Bruce Ranger led all drivers with three wins on Thursday. Racing resumes at Plainridge Park on Friday (May 7) with post time at 4 p.m. For full race results, click here. By Tim Bojarski, for the Standardbred Owners of Massachusetts

Plainville, MA --- Duplicated N copied his performance of last week after taking early control of the race and never looking back to win the $14,000 weekly harness racing pacing feature at Plainridge Park on Monday afternoon (May 3). Duplicated N (Bruce Ranger) watched as Hudson Phil (Jay Randall) rushed by him to grab the lead in a brisk :26.1 before pulling the pocket to retake the top as they rolled by the stands. From there Ranger had it all under control and called the shots to his liking. After tapping the breaks in the second panel to :29.2, Duplicated N switched into glide and posted a :27.3 third quarter that stifled an outside attack from Deetzy (Greg Merton). When they came out of the last turn, Duplicated N opened up a two length advantage that he would continue to extend as he paced down the lane under wraps, eventually winning by 3-3/4 lengths in 1:51, which was a new seasonal mark. DUPLICATED N REPLAY   It was the second win in a row for Duplicated N ($2.80) who is owned by Paul London, Michael Sepinuck, Kathleen Brewer and Andrew Kelson. Artie Brewer trains the winner. In the $15,000 claiming condition pace for 5-year-olds and under, No Quarter (Greg Merton) pulled first-over past the half, took the lead before three-quarters and then held off strong stretch runs by Bettor In Cash (Drew Monti) and Put To Right (Kevin Switzer Jr.) to win by a nose in 1:53. No Quarter ($5.80), who was making his second start in from Miami Valley, registered his first win of the year for his owner the Scheigert Racing Stable. Amanda Kelly trains the winner. Greg Merton and Jay Randall led all drivers on Monday with three wins apiece while trainer Amanda Kelly captured two wins of her own. Racing resumes at Plainridge Park on Thursday (May 6) at 4 p.m. For full race results, click here. by Tim Bojarski, for the Standardbred Owners of Massachusetts

Plainville, MA --- Remaining sharp after arriving from the Meadowlands last week, Pappy Go Go took full advantage of a scratch-shortened harness racing field to capture the $15,000 Winners-Over trotting feature at Plainridge Park on Friday afternoon (April 30). Pappy Go Go (Bruce Ranger) got away third as Majestic Marvel (Shawn Gray) out-wrangled Smooth Acceleration (Matty Athearn) for the lead by the quarter in :29.3. Ranger wasted no time pulling Pappy Go Go at that station but after being unable to take the lead before the second turn, dropped back to the pylons and drafted in second. Positions remained unchanged to the three-quarters and the top two trotters separated themselves from the rest of the field. Majestic Marvel continued on the point around the turn and into the stretch where Pappy Go Go tipped off cover and went right by the leader to win by 3/4's of a length in 1:57.3. PAPPY GO GO REPLAY It was the second straight top trot win at The Ridge for Pappy Go Go ($2.80) and the fourth win of the year overall. Pappy Go Go is owned by Michael Goldberg Racing and is trained by Jeff Lieberman. Bruce Ranger completed his day with a total of three driving wins on the card as did fellow reinsman Shawn Gray. Racing resumes at Plainridge Park on Monday (May 3) at 4 p.m. For full race results, click here. by Tim Bojarski, for the Standardbred Owners of Massachusetts    

Plainville, MA --- Harness racing driver Shawn Gray reached a major career milestone on Thursday (April 29) when he surpassed the $20 million career earnings mark after he won the seventh race at Plainridge Park with Marcus Seelster (1:54, $4.40). The $5,500 winner's share of the $11,000 purse pushed Gray's lifetime total to $20,002,755. Gray came into today's races needing $17,370 to reach that plateau and once "The Maine Event" got rolling, it was clear that he would easily hit the mark during the afternoon. Marcus Seelster was only one of four wins on Gray's Grand Slam day as he also scored with Cornerd Beach (1:56, $25.60), Firstup (1:54.2, $2.60) and Levi At Play (1:55.3, $4.00). MARCUS SEELSTER REPLAY   A native of Waterville, Maine and currently based at Saratoga Raceway, Gray has been driving since 1993 when he got his first pari-mutuel win with Timer Choice at Presque Isle, Maine. He has since been a regular on the New England circuit for his entire life, but has also been a major force in New York State. Gray is currently the leading dash winning driver at Plainridge Park and sits second at Saratoga Raceway. A perennial high percentage reinsman, Gray boasts a .397 Universal Driver Rating so far this year, putting him eighth among all drivers in North America with under 300 starts in 2021. Gray's single best career earnings year was 2018 when he bankrolled $2.397 million. His best season for wins was 2012 when he captured 356 victories and his highest percentage performance came in 2011 when he posted a UDR of .440. For his career, Gray has 21,681 starts with 4,580 wins, 3,507 seconds and 3,058 thirds, putting him in the money 51% of the time during his career. It also gives him a lifetime UDR of .348. There was a major upset in the day's featured $15,000 pace for 6-year-old and under pacing mares. Sweet Sue (Jim Hardy) was dismissed at 29-1 from post seven but that didn't deter the mare one bit as she tracked third-over in the outer flow at three-quarters before tipping three-deep around the last turn. With no urging at all from Hardy, Sweet Sue gobbled up ground down the stretch and pulled away to a two-length victory in 1:54.4. It was the first win in only two starts this year for Sweet Sue ($61.40) who is owned by David Thibault, Christine Thibault, Roberts Withers and Julia Withers. Jolene Andrews trains the winner. Racing resumes at Plainridge Park on Friday afternoon (April 30) at 4 p.m. For full race results, click here. by Tim Bojarski, for the Standardbred Owners of Massachusetts   

Plainville, MA --- After scoring two consecutive wins in mid-level condition races at Plainridge Park, JK Will Power stepped up to the top harness racing level and won again in the $15,000 Winners-Over Handicap pacing feature at The Ridge on Monday afternoon (April 26). Rock Diamonds N (Ron Cushing) left boldly and three-wide into the first turn to take the lead before the quarter that eventually went a quick :26.2. That lead would be challenged immediately as JK Will Power (Bruce Ranger), who had also been rolling up the rim as well, pulled alongside the leader in front of the stands. Cushing and Rock Diamonds N had no intention of releasing JK Will Power and as a result, the pair tussled to the half in speedy :54. Halfway up the backside, JK Will Power finally won the duel and took command heading into the last turn. After opening up a two-length advantage on the field in that bend, Starznheaven (Drew Monti) made a move and was rolling into the stretch, looking to make a bid for the win. But he came up with too little, too late and JK Will Power barreled across the line in 1:51.2, which was his new seasonal best. JK WILL POWER REPLAY   It was the third consecutive win, fourth of the year and 30th lifetime for JK Will Power ($3.60). The 8-year-old altered son of Somebeachsomewhere - Whats New Pussycat is owned by Michael Goldberg Racing and trained by Jeff Lieberman. In the co-featured $15,000 pace for 5-year-old and under males, Cigars And Port (Greg Merton) made an early first-over move past three-eighths, paced stride for stride with the front-running Sea Isle City (Shawn Gray) up the backside and around the far turn before eventually nipping him by a head at the beam in 1:53.4, which was a new lifetime mark. CIGARS AND PORT REPLAY   Cigars And Port ($4.80), who was the 2019 2-year-old male pacing champion of the New York Sire Stakes, captured his first win in Massachusetts for owner Scheigert Racing Stable. Amanda Kelley trains the winner. Drivers Drew Monti and Bruce Ranger each had two wins on Monday while trainer Jimmy Nickerson also scored a double. Racing resumes at Plainridge Park on Thursday (April 29) with post time at 4 p.m. For full race results, click here. By Tim Bojarski, for the Standardbred Owners of Massachusetts  

Plainville, MA --- A full field of eight 5-year-old and under trotters lined up behind the gate for the $12,000 featured harness racing event, but seven mostly watched as Northern Sultan led the pack from start to finish to take the main event at Plainridge Park on Friday afternoon (April 23). Northern Sultan (Kevin Switzer Jr.) bolted to the lead and opened up a two length lead at the quarter in :28.2. From there he maintained his gapped advantage to the three-quarters where Switzer fed him some line, and the gelding turned up the heat. As they swung around the last turn, Northern Sultan opened up four lengths while Switzer sat chilly and extended that to 6-1/2 down the lane, crossing the line under wraps in 1:59. Making his second start at Plainridge after wintering at Woodbine Mohawk Park, Northern Sultan ($4.80) scored his first win for owner/trainer Bill Krikorian, who privately purchased the son of Massachusetts-bred Hambletonian winner Royalty For Life on March 30. NORTHERN SULTAN REPLAY   The fastest trot of the day went to Explosive Ridge (Bruce Ranger) who put a circle around the mid-level conditioned field who were vying for $8,500. In his first race in Massachusetts after shipping from the Meadowlands, Explosive Ridge ($3.40) won by two lengths in 1:56.3 for owner/trainer Mike Eaton, who claimed him for $20,000 at the Big M on February 20. Drivers Bruce Ranger and Wally Watson each had two wins on Friday while trainer Lisa Watson did the same on the training side. Racing resumes at Plainridge Park on Monday (April 26) with post time at 4 p.m. For full race results, click here. By Tim Bojarski, for the Standardbred Owners of Massachusetts

Plainville, MA --- After scoring two wins and four board hits at Saratoga Raceway, Unstoppable Hall shipped into Massachusetts and threw the best mile of her life in the $15,000 featured condition pace for 6-year-old and younger fillies and mares at Plainridge Park on Thursday afternoon (April 22). Unstoppable Hall (Shawn Gray) got away sixth while four horses argued for the lead that Sweet Sue (Jim Hardy) eventually wrangled in a :27.2 opening panel. As the race rolled by the stands for the first time, Unstoppable Hall pulled first-up and made her way to the front past the half and settled on the pylons by the five-eighth pole. It was there that Unstoppable Hall started to put some real estate between herself and the field with only Mouth Watering (Ron Cushing), who was tucked in second, keeping pace. The pair opened up seven lengths on the trailing five in the last turn and heading into the stretch. Then Unstoppable Hall switched gears and paced away from Mouth Watering to close out the mile on her own, winning by two lengths in 1:55.3. The time was a new lifetime mark for the 4-year-old daughter of American Ideal - Marietta Hall. UNSTOPPABLE HALL REPLAY   It was the third win of the year by Unstoppable Hall ($3.20) for owners Ryan Block and Steven Rybka, who also trains the mare. That win was one of three tallied by driver Shawn Gray, who led all reinsmen for the day. Racing resumes at Plainridge Park on Friday (April 23) at 4 p.m. For full race results, click here. By Tim Bojarski, for the Standardbred Owners of Massachusetts

Plainville, MA --- After a win and a second in the top harness racing pacing class at Saratoga Raceway, Artful Way tried that same level at Plainridge Park last week and fell short in a gallant closing brush. This week he would not be denied after putting in a gutsy effort to win the $15,000 Winners-Over featured pace at Plainridge Park on Monday afternoon (April 19). Artful Way (Jay Randall) got away third in the short but select field of five as Some Waratah A (Greg Merton) was the commander of fractions. The race proceeded in single file past the first two stations in :27.2 and :57.1 before Rock Diamonds N (Ron Cushing) pulled from last and flushed Artful Way for cover. Artful Way soon found himself pacing besides Some Waratah A past three-quarters as the entire field was bunched within three lengths of each other. Rounding the last turn, Some Waratah A maintained a slight advantage over Artful Way but heading into the stretch, they became deadlocked. The pair paced in step all the way to the wire where only a photo could determine that Artful Way was a nose in front at the beam and won in 1:52.1. ARTFUL WAY REPLAY   It was the 62nd career victory for Artful Way ($8.20) and the winner's share boosted his bankroll to $673,723 lifetime. The 9-year-old altered son of Artistic Fella - Art Debut is owned by the Kellogg Racing Stables and is trained by Jackie Greene. In the co-featured $15,000 pace for 5-year-olds and under horses and geldings, Spatterdash (Mike Stevenson) sat second for most of the race and eventually tracked No Quarter (Greg Merton) to the top of the stretch where Stevenson tipped him. Spatterdash got in gear and paced right by No Quarter to win by 3/4's of a length in 1:52.4, matching his season's mark of last week. SPATTERDASH REPLAY   It was the second win in a row in only two 2021 starts for Spatterdash ($6.40) and owner/trainer Ralph Andersen. Drivers Nick Graffam, Shawn Gray and Drew Monti all had two winners on Monday. Racing resumes at Plainridge Park on Thursday (April 22) with post time at 4 p.m. For full race results, click here. By Tim Bojarski, for the Standardbred Owners of Massachusetts

Plainville, MA --- April showers, a sloppy track and a frigid 36-degrees set the stage for the trot-heavy harness racing card at Plainridge Park on Friday afternoon (April 16) but the adverse conditions could not dissuade the top effort put in by Pappy Go Go (Tad The Stud) who won the $15,000 Winners-over trotting feature. Pappy Go Go and driver Shawn Gray got away fourth in the scratch-shortened field of five, but pulled early at the eighth pole and took the lead just past the quarter and from there, cruised for the rest of the mile. After hitting the half in pedestrian :59.3 and three-quarters in 1:28.4, Gray tapped on the gas and Pappy Go Go pulled away from the pursuit of Smooth Acceleration (Matty Athearn) and Waiting On A Woman (Billy Dobson) as they spiraled off the turn and headed into the stretch. While trotting away from his rivals, Pappy Go Go sped home in :28.4 and stopped the timer in 1:57.3 with a 3-3/4 length margin of victory. PAPPY GO GO REPLAY   Making his first start at Plainridge after a successful winter meet at the Meadowlands, Pappy Go Go ($3.00) registered his 38th lifetime win and third victory of the year for owner Michael Goldberg Racing and trainer Jeff Lieberman. Shawn Gray finished the day with three driving wins, as did Nick Graffam. Racing resumes at Plainridge Park on Monday (April 19) with post time at 4 p.m. For full race results, click here. By Tim Bojarski, for the Standardbred Owners of Massachusetts  

Plainville, MA --- Plainridge Park's harness racing Trainer of the Year in 2020 wasted no time flexing her muscle on the opening day of the track's 2021 meet. Melissa Beckwith sent newly acquired Keystone Dakota to post in the $15,000 conditioned pacing feature for 5-year-olds and under and the son of Art Major - Keystone Dawn responded with a win and a new lifetime mark in his first start at Plainridge. Despite drawing post eight in the full field of starters, driver Bruce Ranger sent Keystone Dakota right to the front and never looked back after clearing. With Wyatt J (Ron Cushing) sitting on his back, Keystone Dakota snapped off quarters of :26.4, :55.1 and 1:23.2 before rounding the last bend to head down the lane. It was there Cushing pulled the right line on Wyatt J and got the big horse in gear, trying to chase down the leader. Although Wyatt J was able to make up some of the deficit in deep stretch, Keystone Dakota was just too much on this day and cruised home in :28.3 and stopped the timer in 1:52, which was a new lifetime mark. KEYSTONE DAKOTA REPLAY   It was the second consecutive win for Keystone Dakota ($4.60) and owner/trainer Melissa Beckwith, who privately purchased the gelding on March 24 at Saratoga Raceway. Beckwith and Ranger teamed up earlier in the day to win with Vodka On The Beach ($2.80), giving each a double on the card. In the secondary featured $12,500 condition for male pacers, Rock Diamonds N (Ron Cushing) shipped in from Yonkers Raceway and scored his first win of the year after a gutsy effort from off the pace. Rock Diamonds N got away third and watched as Sports Obsession (Drew Monti) led to the half in :55.3. Cushing pulled Rock Diamonds N at that station and quickly drew alongside the leader. Rock Diamonds N got a short lead on the outside but was not able to clear as Sports Obsession continued to fight. The two horses matched strides around the last turn and into the stretch and after pacing dead-even all the way to the wire, Rock Diamonds N finally wore down Sports Obsession and won by a head at the beam in 1:52.1. Rock Diamonds N ($11.40) is owned by Kevin Sywyk and Ron Cushing and is trained by Heidi Gibbs. Drivers Drew Monti, Greg Merton and Mike Stevenson all had three winners on the day as did trainer Scott Renz. Racing resumes at Plainridge Park on Thursday (April 15) at 4 p.m. For full race results, click here. By Tim Bojarski, for the Standardbred Owners of Massachusetts

Plainville, MA --- Live harness racing action returns to New England on Monday (April 12) when Plainridge Park kicks off their 22nd season of racing over the fast five-eighths mile track located south of Boston. After seeing the 2020 season start late due to the global pandemic and racing only 68 days, track officials and horsemen alike are happy to get this year underway on schedule and look forward to a complete and successful meeting. The 110-day session starts out on a Monday, Thursday, Friday schedule from opening day through August 30 with post time at 4 p.m. The one exception is Sunday (July 25) which will have a 2 p.m. post when the Grand Circuit comes to town. Then in September, Plainridge goes to four days a week, adding Sunday to the mix and shifting post time to 2 p.m. for all race days through October 31. November will move post time once again to 1 p.m. and reverts to the original Monday, Thursday, Friday schedule until the final week when one more Sunday is added and Thursday is moved to Wednesday, due to the Thanksgiving Holiday. Besides live racing, the track also offers a full slate of simulcast wagering seven days a week. "We are focusing on a safe start to the season with the same Covid protocols in place as last year," said Steve O'Toole, General Manager of live racing at Plainridge Park. "Fans are allowed in, but at a limited capacity and we look forward to welcoming everyone back for another exciting season of racing." Those protocols include temperature checks upon arrival, wearing a mask at all times and maintaining social distancing. Sanitizing stations will also located throughout the entire facility. The wagering menu will feature an early and late double, exacta and trifecta in every race and superfectas offered in select races on each card. The track's two signature bets will also be back with the Bay State Pick-6 starting in race three and running through race eight and the Wicked Hi-5 pentafecta in race nine. Last year's top three drivers will be back for opening day and they will be joined by the "King of the Hill" from 2016 and 2017. 2020 leading dash and money winning driver Shawn Gray, who posted 111 victories and bankrolled over $1 million in purses, will be back to defend his title against Drew Monti (second with 93 wins in 2020), Bruce Ranger (third with 92 wins in 2020) and the rest of the Plainridge driving colony. However added to the mix will be two-time Plainridge dash title winner Greg Merton, who was the first driver in the history of harness racing in the state of Massachusetts to top the $1 million mark in earnings when he did it in 2016 ($1.3 million). He also posted a record 229 wins that year. Merton broke both of those records in 2017 when he won 230 races and $1.5 million in purses. Last year's top trainers Melissa Beckwith (37 wins), Jimmy Nickerson (32 wins), Gretchen Athearn (26) and Sheena Mcelhiney (26) will also be back and racing on opening day along with Jolene Andrews, Joe Nelson, Mike Graffam and a host of other top resident conditioners. The stake schedule will once again highlight the meet with the $250,000 Spirit of Massachusetts Trot and $100,000 Clara Barton Distaff Pace returning on Sunday (July 25). Last year those races produced two all-time track records when Manchego trotted a scorching 1:49.3 mile and Shartin N paced home in 1:48.1, breaking her own mark from the prior year. The 33 horses eligible to those stakes this year will provide some of the most exciting racing of this year's meet. Later in the season, the fall classic Massachusetts Sire Stakes will return and feature the best 2 and 3-year-old trotters and pacers bred in the state. The four week session kicks off on Sunday (Sept. 26) and will bring an exciting round of juvenile competition to the Commonwealth. Here is the complete 2021 Massachusetts Sire Stake Race Schedule: Sunday (Sept. 26) 3-year-old First Leg Monday (Sept. 27) 2-year-old First Leg Sunday (Oct. 3) 3-year-old Second Leg Monday (Oct. 4) 2-year-old Second Leg Sunday (Oct. 17) 2-year-old Third Leg Monday (Oct. 18) 3-year-old Third Leg Monday (Oct. 25) 2 and 3-year-old Finals For all the latest news and updates concerning racing at Plainridge Park, log on to the website at www.plainridgeparkcasino.com and the Standardbred Owners of Massachusetts at www.sominc.net. By Tim Bojarski, for the Standardbred Owners of Massachusetts

Plainville, MA --- The 2020 Plainridge Park meet concluded on Friday (Nov. 27) and despite starting over two months late due to the global pandemic, the harness racing track enjoyed a successful and productive year. With stringent safety protocols in place and the strict adherence to them by all racing personnel from day one of live racing, the meet was run in its entirety without any Covid-related incidents. That is a reflection of the hard work put in by the track's staff and all of the horsemen and horsewomen to ensure the safety of everyone and protect their livelihoods as all worked through difficult times. "We are happy with the meet we had given the circumstances we had to deal with. But the only way we were able to operate successfully centered around my incredible staff. Each and every one of them went above and beyond their responsibilities, doing whatever it took to get thru the toughest season we have ever faced in regards to operations,"said Steve O'Toole, Director of Racing at Plainridge Park. "We tried to accommodate the horsemen as best we could, especially the regulars and those local. The $7 million in purses distributed in the shortened season should give them stability until we start next year." On the track, Shawn Gray was the top dash driver with 111 wins, $1,081,476 in earnings and a UDR of .436 followed by Drew Monti in second with 94 wins, $899,901 in earnings and a UDR of .302 and Bruce Ranger a very close third with 93 wins, $907,748 in earnings and a UDR of .300. Shawn Gray (Tim Bojarski Photo) Melissa Beckwith was the winningest trainer with 39 victories in only 89 starts which gave her a win percentage of 44% and a UTR of .541. She also bankrolled $249,700 in earnings. Jimmy Nickerson was right behind her in second with 32 wins, $323,515 in earnings and a UTR of .401. Best Honey Hanover was the most productive horse, visiting the winner's circle eight times during the meet and earning $48,300 while splitting time between barns through claims. There were eight track records broken and one tied during the year. Two of those occurred on Spirit of Massachusetts Trot day in July when Manchego scorched The Ridge in 1:49.3 to set the all-time trotting mark and Shartin N paced in 1:48.1 to break the all-time pacing mark she set just one year ago. Manchego scorched The Ridge in 1:49.3 Shartin N paced in 1:48.1 to break the all-time pacing mark The Massachusetts Sire Stakes held at Plainridge in October also showed how far the state-bred Standardbreds have come as seven stake records were broken and another tied during the four week run of that series. Plainridge Park will kick off their 2021 on April 12 and feature 110 days of love racing. By Tim Bojarski, for the Standardbred Owners of Massachusetts

Plainville, MA --- A pair of District 9 events named "The Glenn" for resident harness racing pacers of Plainridge Park were held on closing day Friday (Nov. 27) with big performances put in by both winners. In the $25,000 main event, Rock Diamonds N (Ron Cushing) turned a second-over trip into a five length victory at the wire. Quick Shot (Bruce Ranger) out-left Avatartist (Nick Graffam) and skated to the quarter in :26 flat. Just past the three-eighths Paternity Suit A (Drew Monti) pulled first over, followed by Rock Diamonds N as they hit the half. Paternity Suit A Drew alongside Quick Shot up the backstretch and crossed over for the lead by three-quarters in 1:21.4. But Rock Diamonds N was next to be heard from and he took the lead at the head of the stretch. From there he opened up a five length advantage as he paced to the wire wrapped-up in 1:50.2. It was the fifth win of the year for Rock Diamonds N ($10.60) and it pushed his seasonal bankroll to $73,425 for owners Kevin Sywyk, Ron Cushing and Frank Ranaldi. Heidi Gibbs does the training. Rock Diamonds N Then in the $20,000 undercard, Cherokee Hiflyzane (Mitchell Cushing) mounted a late rush to claim victory in the shadow of the wire. Cherokee Hiflyzane got away third while Rockin Cougar (Nick Graffam) took the field to the quarter in :26.3 and the half in :55.1. Just past that station, Waves (Drew Monti) came first up with Mach Doro A (Ron Cushing) right on his back. Positions remained the same until Mach Doro A tipped three deep and drew alongside Rockin Cougar at the three quarters in 1:23 and it looked like a two horse race. But at the 7/8th's pole, Cherokee Hiflyzane found room to get off the pylons from fifth and started to pace furiously. He made up the 3-1/2 lengths he was behind at the top of the lane and caught Rockin Cougar at the line by a ¼ length in 1:51.3. It was the fourth win of the year for Cherokee Hiflyzane ($7.00) who is owned and trained by Roger Farrar. Cherokee Hiflyzane Plainridge Park had a $47,420 carry over for the Wicked Hi-5 wager in the sixth race on Friday with a guaranteed $75,000 pool through the USTA Strategic Wagering Program along with a mandatory payout. There was $99,571 new money wagered for a total pool of $146,991 which was the largest ever bet at Plainridge Park. The combination of 9-3-8-5-4 returned $244.98 for a 20-cent bet. By Tim Bojarski, for the Standardbred Owners of Massachusetts

Plainville, MA --- The Wicked Hi-5 pentafecta at Plainridge Park has not been hit since September and the carryover has been growing exponentially. With that pool now standing at $47,420 and the meet ending on Friday (Nov. 27), Plainridge has announced that Friday's Hi-5 wager in race six will carry a guaranteed $75,000 pool with a mandatory payout. If there is no unique winning combination purchased, the track will pay out on the closest winning combination(s) wagered. The Wicked Hi-5 on Friday will be part of the United States Trotting Association's Strategic Wagering program and as such, a free program page for the race are available on the USTA's website (ustrotting.com) under the "Handicapping Tab" or by clicking here. (https://legacy.trackmaster.com/usta/prc1127x.pdf) The $75,000 guaranteed pool is the largest ever offered in the 21-year history of Plainridge Park. Post time for the first race on Friday is 1 p.m. The $75,000 guaranteed Hi-5 sixth race is slated to go off at 2:40 p.m.   By Tim Bojarski, for Plainridge Park  

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