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Plainville, MA --- The harness racing team of owner/trainer Joel Wheeler and driver Shawn Gray was prolific at Plainridge Park as the horses they sent to post took both features on the card on Monday afternoon (Nov. 11) . After taking the top trot at the Ridge just two weeks ago, Quicksilver Kemp scored again in the $20,000 Open Handicap on the strength of a late closing bid. Shorething Fashion (Nick Graffam) got off to a quick lead and opened up a three-length gap at the quarter in :28. Going unchallenged through the next panel, Shorething Fashion was greeted by a bid from last week's winner O So Easy (Drew Monti) past the half. O So Easy made a slow and methodical advance towards the leader and by the three-quarters was only a length away. However also moving on the outside was Quicksilver Kemp who had been following O So Easy into the far turn. When the race straightened out in the stretch, Gray tipped Quicksilver Kemp three-deep and easily circled the two trotters ahead of him to win by 1-1/4 lengths in 1:55.1. It was the fourth win of the year for Quicksilver Kemp ($13.20) who has now earned $62,195 this year. Then in the $14,000 conditioned event for 6-year-old and younger pacing mares, Beach Watch led at every station, going quarters of :281, :58.2 and 1:26.2 before turning for home and holding off a fast closing Sometimes Always (John Beckwith) to win by one-quarter of a length in 1:54.3. The fifth win of the year for Beach Watch ($5.80) raised her earnings to $54,970 in 2019 making it the best season she's had in her career for both victories and deposits. Gray had one more win with All Night Credit ($10.40) which gave him the driving hat trick to lead all reinsmen on the day. Wheeler was also the winningest trainer on Monday. Racing resumes at Plainridge Park on Thursday (Nov. 14) with post time at 1 p.m. By Tim Bojarski, for the Standardbred Owners of Massachusetts

Plainville, MA --- After shipping back from a two-week stint at Yonkers Raceway, Bettors Fire N turned up the heat on his competition at Plainridge Park on Thursday afternoon (Nov. 7) as he took no prisoners en route to winning the $20,000 Open Handicap featured harness racing pace. Rock Diamonds N (Ron Cushing) and Bettors Fire N (Mitchell Cushing) flew off the wings and went right to the front, with Bettors Fire N grabbing the lead and Cushing then grabbing leather as no one challenged early. He took the field to the quarter in :28 and the half in :56.3 before Betterlatethnever (Drew Monti) pulled first-over into the breeze. Bettors Fire N switched gears after hearing hoofprints and zipped the third panel in :27.2, leaving Betterlatethnever hung without advancing. The race rounded the final bend and when they straightened out at the top of the stretch, Betterlatethnever faded enough to allow the pocket-sitting Rock Diamonds N out of the hole to take a late shot. With both Cushings driving hard to the light, Bettors Fire N would not give up or in and he won by one-half length in 1:51.3. It was the 55th lifetime win and 10th win of the year for Bettors Fire N ($5.20) who has now earned $171,720 this year for owners Kevin Sywyk, Ron Cushing and Frank Ranaldi. Heidi Gibbs trains the winner who in only 32 North American starts, has now won $202,120 in purses. The same connections own and train the runner-up Rock Diamonds N. In the secondary featured $10,500 upper-level conditioned pace, Tisadream N (Drew Monti) sat a perfect garden spot trip behind Quick Shot (Drew Campbell) through fractions of :26.4, :55.3 and 1:23.2. Then coming off the far turn and heading into the lane, Tisadream N pulled and out-muscled the stubborn Quick Shot in a hard-fought stretch drive to win by one-quarter length in 1:52.1. Tisadream N ($3.60) scored his seventh win of the year and has now earned $55,110 in 2019 for owners Tony Gruppo and Tim Bojarski, Scott Rollins trains Tisadream N. Mitchell Cushing led all drivers on Thursday with three wins on the card while Drew Monti scored two. Scott Rollins was the top trainer with two tallies as well. Racing resumes at Plainridge Park on Friday afternoon (Nov. 8) at 1 p.m. By Tim Bojarski, for the Standardbred Owners of Massachusetts      

Plainville, MA --- Drafting off the pace early in pursuit of a stiff fraction, O So Easy rallied first-over past the half, grinding it out to capture the $20,000 Open Handicap harness racing trot at Plainridge Park on Monday afternoon (Nov. 4). Madhatter Bluechip (Kevin Switzer Jr.) took his usual position on the front end off the gate and flew to the quarter in :26.3. Shorething Fashion (Nick Graffam) was keeping a fairly close stance while the rest of the field was gapped-off as they moved past the stands. Moving into the second half O So Easy (Drew Monti) pulled and was rolling in the breeze methodically making his way towards Madhatter Bluechip, who was still strong on the lead all through the final bend. Coming off the far turn O So Easy was outside of Madhatter Bluechip with the tripped-out Shorething Fashion trotting freely along the pylons. All three drivers were working their rides hard through the stretch where O So Easy did the best work and got up by a neck in 1:54.3. It was the fifth win of the year for O So Easy ($5.60) who is owned by Greathorse of Massachusetts and trained by Domenico Cecere. The best pace of the day came in the $12,000 conditioned event for 6-year-olds and under where the recently imported Zinny Mach N (Ron Cushing) took control of the race on the front, backed down the half to :56.4 and then posted back to back quarters of :27.1 and :28 to cruise home a wrapped-up winner by 2-1/4 lengths in 1:52. The time was a new lifetime mark for the winner. It was the second North American win for Zinny Mach N ($9.40) who has acclimated well since shipping over. The 4-year-old gelded son of Mach Three-Zingara is owned by Kevin Sywyk, Ron Cushing and Frank Ranaldi. Heidi Gibbs trains the winner. Drivers Ron Cushing, Kevin Switzer Jr., Matty "Ice" Athearn and Nick Graffam all had driving doubles on the card. Trainer Heidi Gibbs also had two winners on Monday. Racing resumes at Plainridge Park on Thursday (Nov. 7) at 1 p.m. By Tim Bojarski, for the Standardbred Owners of Massachusetts

Plainville, MA --- After a three-year layoff from harness racing, Whiskey Lindy made his first start back this August a winning one and has repeated that outcome every week since. He extended his streak to six on Friday (Nov. 1) after he won the $12,000 conditioned trotting feature at Plainridge Park. As he has done just about every week this year, Whiskey Lindy (Bruce Ranger) went right to the front and controlled his own destiny. Setting fractions of :28.1, :58.4 and 1:27.3 along the way, whiskey Lindy turned for home and pulled away to a 3-1/2 length margin of victory in 1:57.3. The undefeated Whiskey Lindy ($2.40) now boasts earnings of $35,000 this year for his owners Greathorse and trainer Domenico Cecere. Racing resumes at Plainridge Park on Monday (Nov. 4) at 1 p.m. 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 --- Eight divisions of Massachusetts Sire Stake (MASS) finalists went postward to compete for the $800,000 up for grabs at Plainridge Park on Monday afternoon (Oct. 28) in what turned out to be some of the best championship races the state harness racing series has ever seen. Trainer George Ducharme had an outstanding day winning four MASS stakes with two seconds and one third out of the eight starters he sent to post. Driver Shawn Gray led all his peers in the series by winning three stakes and five races total during the afternoon. Here is a summary of the championship day of racing in Massachusetts.   $100,000 2-year-old trotting colt and gelding champion: Life Is A Feast (Royalty For Life-Luau Hanover) There was never any doubt in the mile for Life Is A Feast (Howard Parker) who grabbed the lead and ran away with the race. After trotting fractions of :28.1, :57.3 and 1:25.2 well in hand, Parker came off the last turn and extended his lead to six at the top of the stretch before coming to the wire a wrapped-up winner in 1:55.4. The time matched Life Is A Feast's lifetime mark and also tied the MASS stake and Plainridge Park track records for 2-year-old trotting geldings. Life Is A Feast ($3.00) scored his fifth win of the year, all at Plainridge Park, for owners Al Ross and Paul Fontaine and the MASS champion has now earned $113,475 in only nine starts during his freshman campaign. Karen Carroll bred Life Is A Feast. Ross and Fontaine were also part owners of Life Is A Feast's sire, Royalty For Life, who won the 2013 Hambletonian.   $100,000 2-year-old trotting filly champion: Without A Warning (RC Royalty-Concentration) RFL's M London (Jim Hardy) took a quick lead but soon gave it up to the 1-9 favorite Without A Warning (Shawn Gray) who pulled at the eighth pole and hurried to the front by the quarter in :28.4. The field stayed in single file to the half before Sophia's Express (Jimmy Whittemore) came first over and tried to move forward. After passing three-quarters in 1:28.2 it was clear the competition was not going to catch Without A Warning as she rounded the last turn with a strong lead that she held to the wire where she won by 3-¾ lengths in 1:58. Without A Warning ($2.10) remained undefeated in the MASS with her fourth straight win in the series and it pushed her earnings to $186,160 in her first year on the track for owner/breeder Ray Campbell Jr. George Ducharme trains Without A Warning.   $100,000 2-year-old pacing colt and gelding champion: Finnbar (Real Desire-Unbeachable) Favorites R Maddy Blue Chip (Drew Monti) and Han Solo (Kevin Switzer) took turns with the lead, twice by the quarter in :26.3 and one more time at the half in :55.2. There R Maddy Blue Chip finally settled on the front heading up the backstretch. Finnbar (Ivan Davies) who had been drafting fourth, pulled first over at the five eighths and made his way to the front on the outside. He hooked up with the leader and it became a match race for the next quarter mile. R Maddy Blue Chip and Finnbar paced side by side around the last turn and into the stretch where Finnbar swelled up and opened up a tow-length lead. Davies kept Finnbar to his task and paced strong to the wire, winning by 1-¾ lengths in 1:54.4. The win was the third of the year and a new lifetime mark for Finnbar ($14.40) who has now earned $75,670 this year for owner Nancy Longobardi and trainer Ivan Davies. Steve O'Toole bred the winner.   $100,000 2-year-old pacing filly champion: Odds On Orlando (Captaintreacherous-Lindys Old Lady) Ry's Red Rocket (Matt Athearn) took control of the race and set fractions of :28.1 and :57.1 to the half with no movement behind her. Then at the five-eighths marker, 1-9 favorite Odds On Orlando (Drew Monti) pulled first-over and came alongside the leader where a real battle ensued. Ry's Red Rocket would not relent and Odds On Orlando could not get by. The two tangled around the last turn and traded leads in the process. But as they made their way into the head of the stretch, Odds On Orlando took the lead for good and ended up one-half length in front under the wire in 1:54.4. The time was the fourth consecutive new lifetime mark taken by Odd On Orlando. Sweeping her MASS division to become champion and pushing her bankroll to $112,416 during her month in Massachusetts, Odds On Orlando ($2.20) is owned by Odds On Racing and trained by Tony Alagna. Lindy Farms of Connecticut bred Odds On Orlando.   $100,000 3-year-old trotting colt and gelding champion: Simple Kaos (RC Royalty-Ksenia) Simple Kaos (Jimmy Whittemore) flew off the wings and took a four-length lead before they hit the quarter in :27.4. The Fixer (Howard Parker) and Jake G's Champion (Shawn Gray) settled in second and third with the rest of the field having trouble coping with the pace. Positions remained unchanged from there as Simple Kaos stopped the clock in :55.3 and 1:25.1. When they turned for home Simple Kaos was on cruise control and won by 1-¾ lengths in 1:54.4. With The Fixer finishing second and Jake G's Champion finishing third, trainer George Ducharme swept the board in this division. It was the fourth win of the year, all in the MASS, for Simple Kaos ($2.40) who is now a two-time MASS champion. On the strength of the final win, Simple Kaos has now earned $126,070 is 2019 and $249,820 lifetime for owners the George Ducharme Stable and Michelle Larson, who bred the gelding. Ducharme also trains the winner.   $100,000 3-year-old trotting filly champion: Crystalline (Chapter Seven-Royalty Free) After Mother Teresa (Drew Monti) made a break at the start, Ev's Girl (Andy Miller) became the commander of fractions, taking the lead ahead of Just Dreamin (Mike Stevenson) and Crystalline (Shawn Gray). After a handy :57.1 half, Gray pulled Crystalline at the five-eighths, drew alongside Ev's Girl in the turn and then trotted away from the field in the stretch. Under a line drive, Crystalline opened up a 6-¼ length lead at the wire where she won in 1:55.2. The time was a new lifetime mark for Crystalline and a new MASS stake record for 3-year-old trotting fillies. It was the seventh win of the year for Crystalline ($4.40) who on the strength of her MASS competition ran her earnings up to $134,025 this year and $171,186 lifetime for breeder/owner Ray Campbell Jr. George Ducharme trains the winner.   $100,000 3-year-old pacing colt and gelding champion: CBF Bantam (Baron Biltmore-Cohenucopia) Levi (Scott Renz) and Hollywood Deemon (Drew Campbell) left hard and pushed a swift quarter of :26.2 before the dust settled. Levi ended up on top and kept that position until the half in :55. That's where Victorias Maverick (Heath Campbell) came flying on the outside, took the lead and opened up a four-length advantage heading into the last turn. But the race was far from over. CBF Bantam (Shawn Gray) was pacing up a storm on the outside after tipping from mid-pack and caught Victorias Maverick in the last turn. The two hooked up at the top of the stretch and paced stride for stride all the way to the wire where CBF Bantam got a narrow advantage and won by a neck in 1:53.3. It was the ninth win of the year for CBF Bantam ($3.60) and pushed his winnings to $148,765 this year and $189,952 lifetime for owners Glenn Harris and Marion Phelps, who also bred the winner. David Crochere trains the winner.   $100,000 3-year-old pacing filly champion: Karan's Choice (Sportswriter-Denverlove) In the lone non-betting event of the day, Karan's Choice (Jim Hardy) took command of the race at the start and controlled the pace the entire way. After cutting fractions of :28.2, :59.1 and 1:28 to the three-quarters, Karan's Choice saw Secure The Boarder (Ivan Davies) draw near around the last turn trying to mount an attack. But the leader switched gears and turned back the challenge heading into the lane. Hardy gave Karan's Choice her head and let her stride-out down the stretch where she pulled away to a 6-¼ length win in 1:56.4. It was the fourth straight win in the MASS for Karan's Choice who is now a two-time MASS champion. On the strength of her eighth win of the year, Karan's Choice has now earned $129,624 in 2019 and $253,968 lifetime for owner Al Ross, who also bred the filly. Driver Jim Hardy also trains Karan's Choice.     By Tim Bojarski for the Standardbred Owners of Massachusetts

Plainville, MA --- Taking advantage of a front-end bias on a very rainy day, My Mind Is Made Up scored his fifth harness racing victory of the year in upset fashion by winning the $12,000 featured pace at Plainridge Park on Sunday afternoon (Oct. 27). Leaving from post five, driver Kevin Switzer Jr. got My Mind Is Made Up to the front and the quarter in very fast :26.2. After that station Tisadream N (Drew Monti) pulled first-over and sat in the breeze, pushing the issue for the rest of the mile. They hit the half in :55 and the three-quarters in 1:22.4 with positions remaining the same. Around the last turn My Mind Is Made Up maintained his lead but Tisadream N continued to dig and drew to within a length at the head of the lane. But the trip favored the leader and he hung on to a 1-½ length victory in 1:52.2. My Mind Is Made Up ($37.60) is owned by the Jesmeral Stable and is trained by Sheena Mcelhiney. The $10,000 final of the Dan Tuccillo Memorial Amateur Driving Series was also held on Sunday with Steal My Thunder (Eugene Pratt) scoring a 3-½ length come from behind win in 1:57 after making a big three-wide move in the last turn. Steal My Thunder ($23.00) is owned by Helen Tuccillo and Dan Tuccillo Jr., who also trains the winner. The amateur race series was named after long time New England horseman and amateur driver Dan Tuccillo Sr. who passed away this summer. Live racing resumes at Plainridge Park on Monday (Oct. 28) with the finals of the $1.8 million Massachusetts Sire Stakes (MASS). Post time for the first MASS race (which is a non-betting event) is at 1:30 p.m. The regular betting card starts at 2 p.m.   By Tim Bojarski, for the Standardbred Owners of Massachusetts  

Plainville, MA --- On Monday (Oct. 28) the Standardbred Owners of Massachusetts and Plainridge Park will co-sponsor a buffet reception for the harness racing owners, trainers and connections of those parties who will be participating in the $800,000 finals of the Massachusetts Sire Stakes (MASS). This event will be held in the Boylston Room on the second floor of the grandstand and will begin at 1 p.m., followed by a buffet lunch served at 2 p.m. Everyone racing in the MASS finals on Monday are encouraged to stop up and enjoy watching your starters, as well as all the best-bred horses in the state, compete in one of the fastest growing stake series in North America. Also please remember that all of the horses starting in the Massachusetts Sire Stake finals must be checked in and physically on the grounds of Plainridge Park no later than 8 a.m. Monday morning (Oct. 28). By Tim Bojarski, for the Standardbred Owners of Massachusetts

Plainville, MA --- The finals of the $1.8 million Massachusetts Sire Stakes (MASS) will be held at Plainridge Park on Monday (Oct. 28) where 2 and 3-year-old harness racing trotters and pacers of both genders will compete in eight $100,000 divisions to claim state champion status. Trainer George Ducharme, who hails from Walpole, Massachusetts located just a few miles from Plainridge, holds the distinction of having eight starters in the 2019 edition of the MASS which is the most of any other conditioner taking part. But that isn't surprising as Ducharme has been participating in this series for a long time and has much success to show for it. Here is a look at the roster of starters Ducharme will be bringing to The Ridge, followed with his comments on each. 2-year-old filly trotters: Without A Warning (RC Royalty-Concentration) 1:57.3 ($136,160) is the current co-holder (with Bag O Chips) of the MASS stake and Plainridge track record for her age, sex and gait. She is three for three in the stake this year and looks to make it four in a row in the final. Her biggest effort during her freshman season was a third place finish behind Hypnotic AM in the $225,000 New York Sire Stake final at Batavia Downs in September. "She is a real good filly. She was good enough to make the New York final and now that she's come here she's won a few races and has gotten brave. She is definitely one of my better 2-year-olds. She will be back racing in New York next year and also has some Grand Circuit dates on her schedule as well." Greyscale (Credit Winner-Global Beauty) 2:02.1 ($18,340) has yet to hit the board in the MASS but has improved her finish position each week. "She's struggling a little. She's an immature filly that just needs a little time and hopefully she'll be a little stronger next year." 2-year-old gelding trotters: Life Is A Feast (Royalty For Life-Luau Hanover) 1:55.4 ($63,475) is the current holder of the MASS stake and Plainridge track record for his class. He has two wins and a second in the series and is the leading point-getter in his division. "I had a little trouble with him early because he's a big, growthy colt. But he's got lots of speed and lots of potential going forward. He's been very good at Plainridge and hopefully he can continue being good for one more week." Double Dealing (RC Royalty- Heather Spur) 2:02.2 ($26,280) is a brother to the 2017 MASS 2-year-old trotting filly champion Bag O Chips (Sierra Kosmos-Heather Spur) 1:55.1 ($212,820) and has hit the board in all three preliminary legs of the MASS this year. "Joe Di Stefano trained him down and they sent him up to me and I finished him and he has improved every week since I've had him. And I think he's going to be a useful race horse as time goes on a little more." 3-year-old filly trotter: Crystalline (Chapter Seven-Royalty Free) 1:55.4 ($121,186) is a full sister to the 2017 MASS 3-year-old trotting colt champion Hashtagmadeyalook (1:55.4, $231,402) and is the current MASS stake record holder for her division. She has two wins and a second leading up to the final and will be on top of her game this weekend. "She's just a nice, honest filly. She gives you everything she's got every week and you can't ask for any more than that. That's a pretty even bunch she's in with and all three of those fillies have been knocking heads each week, so it's whoever gets the best trip and is good that day." 3-year-old gelding trotters: Simple Kaos (RC Royalty-Ksenia) 1:54.3 ($199,820) was the 2018 2-year-old male trotting champion in the MASS last year and had come back at three just as good. He has been racing aged trotters for most of the season and that's paid dividends as he is undefeated in three tries in the MASS and makes him the top point earners in his division as a result. "Kaos has been good all year. We just raced him in overnights until the MASS started he seems to be peaking at the right time. He's been very good the last three weeks." Jake G's Champion (RC Royalty-Super Starlet) 1:57.1 ($94,899) is a full brother to the 2018 MASS 3-year-old trotting filly champion Ithinkthatsmine (1:56, $215,135) and he has hit the board in all three of his MASS starts this year. "He's a solid trotter and goes where he can go each week. He's not a Grand Circuit horse but a good New York horse and he obviously fits well in these MASS stakes." The Fixer (Trixton-Give You My Word) 1:54.1 ($90,323) has also been on the board in all three of his MASS starts as were both of his stablemates in this division. "I got him in the middle of the summer, made a couple little changes on him and he win in 1:54 at Vernon and he's turned out to be a nice little horse. He's not a superstar, but he's a good race horse." Five of the eight horses from the Ducharme stable (Without A Warning, Greyscale, Double Dealing, Crystalline and Jake G's Champion) were bred and are owned by Ray Campbell Jr. as Campbell and Ducharme have been a racing team for over 35 years. Campbell started his breeding operation with his father back in the 1980's and has kept a small but effective band of between six to ten broodmares over that time, producing crop after crop of successful Massachusetts Standardbreds. Campbell raises the yearlings and then turns them over to Ducharme to break, train and race. It's a formula that has worked well for them for decades, producing both state and Grand Circuit champions. The pinnacle of both their careers was winning the 2013 Hambletonian with Royalty for Life (RC Royalty-Bourbon N Grits) 1:51.3 ($1,620,166). He was bred by fellow Massachusetts resident Al Ross, who co-owned Royalty For Life with Campbell and Paul Fontaine. Ducharme trained him from day-one and made him the champion he became. Royalty For Life is the sire of 2019 MASS starter Life Is A Feast. Ducharme predicts great things for the Massachusetts Sire Stakes moving forward and says it gets more competitive each year. "Everywhere I race people are asking me about the MASS program and this year there are 12 MASS eligible yearlings in the Harrisburg Sale. Some big names have been involved now with Andy Miller having been here for a few years and Tony Alagna and Blake Macintosh are here this year; the program is really starting to take hold. People have taken notice and now the breeders are taking notice so that will help keep the program strong in the future," said Ducharme. Seven of the eight MASS finals are on the regular betting program Monday, carded as race one through seven with post time for the first race at 2 p.m. The eighth event goes as a non-betting race to be held before the main card with a post time of 1:30 p.m. Notice for starters in MA SIRE STAKES The connections of starters in the Massachusetts Sire Stake finals that will be held at Plainridge Park on Monday (Oct. 28) should be advised that all stake horses MUST be checked in and physically on the grounds no later than 8 a.m. Monday (Oct. 28) morning.  By Tim Bojarski, for the Standardbred Owners of Massachusetts  

Plainville, MA --- After getting scorched in a :25.4 opening panel last week, Opus Blue Chip bounced back nicely with a gate to wire win in the $15,000 Open Handicap harness racing pace at Plainridge Park on Thursday afternoon (Oct. 24). Opus Blue Chip (Bruce Ranger) left sharply once again from post five this week in :26.3 and opened up a three-length advantage. But Ranger was able to wrangle him in for the second split as the short field of five motored past the stands to the half. But the breather was short lived as JK Will Power (Drew Campbell) pulled first-up and pushed the pace in the third quarter with a :27.2 clocking. JK Will Power and Sailor Jerry (Nick Graffam) continued to peruse and tried to keep up with Opus Blue Chip around the far turn as the rest of the field was out of play, but the leader opened up a 1-1/2 length lead heading into the stretch and looked strong doing it. Ranger kept working on Opus Blue Chip all the way to the wire and he maintained his lead and won by 3/4 of a length in 1:51.4. It was the seventh win of the year for Opus Blue Chip ($6.20) who is now 22 out of 27 in the money with $83,780 on the card for owner Scott Dillon. Joe Nelson trains the 5-year-old gelded son of American Ideal-Pedoozle. Racing resumes at Plainridge Park on Friday (Oct. 25) with post time at 2 p.m. Also take note that the finals of the $1.8 million Massachusetts Sires Stakes will be held at Plainridge Park on Monday (Oct. 28) when eight divisions go for $100,000 each. By Tim Bojarski, for the Standardbred Owners of Massachusetts  

Plainville, MA --- The third leg of the $1.8 million Massachusetts Sire Stakes (MASS) for 3-year-old competitors was conducted at Plainridge Park on Monday (Oct. 21) and all four harness racing divisional winners were charted gate to wire winners. Three of the four races were non-betting and held prior to the track's regular post time. In the $38,500 trot for 3-year-old colts and geldings, Simple Kaos (RC Royalty-Ksenia) grabbed the lead by the :28.3 quarter and settled on the pylons by a gapped margin. After hitting the half in :57.4 and three-quarters in 1:27, driver Jimmy Whittemore guided Simple Kaos home in :28.3 and won by three-lengths in 1:55.3. Simple Kaos remained perfect in the MASS, winning his third straight event and now showing $76,070 earned for owners the George Ducharme Stable and Michelle Larson. Ducharme trains Simple Kaos and Larson was the breeder. The $38,700 pace for 3-year-old fillies was no contest as Karan's Choice (Sportswriter-Denverlove) took command at the start and never looked back. Jim Hardy had Karan's Choice on top by a comfortable 2-1/2 length lead at three-quarters in 1:26.3, extended that to five-lengths at the top of the stretch and then blew it wide open at the wire, winning by 11-lengths in 1:55.4. It was the third straight MASS win and seventh tally overall in 2019 for Karan's Choice who boosted her earnings to $79,624 for owner/breeder Al Ross. Jim Hardy also trains the winner. The $37,800 filly trot provided somewhat of a surprise as Mother Teresa (Father Patrick-Highscore Kemp) grabbed the lead for driver Drew Monti and kept everyone seated through fractions of :28.1, :57.4 and 1:26.4 before turning for home and turning back the winner of the first two legs and current stake record holder, Crystalline (Shawn Gray), to win by 2-3/4 lengths in 1:56. It was the first win of the year for Mother Teresa and it increased her earnings to $46,173 as a result. K R Breeding bred and owns Mother Teresa and Domenico Cecere trains the filly. The most competitive race of the day was the $39,900 3-year-old colt and gelding pace where Levi (Pet Rock-Beam Of Joy) overcame constant pressure during the mile to win in a display of intestinal fortitude and heart. Levi (Scott Renz) took the lead but had Good Heavens (Ivan Davies) at his side by the quarter, pushing the pace in :27.2. The two paced side by side past the half and to the five-eighths pole where CBF Bantam (Shawn Gray) tipped three-wide and by the three-quarters, and took over for the fading Good Heavens. Now being pushed again, Levi momentarily gave way at the head of the stretch where CBF Bantam took a short lead. But Levi swelled up and came back strong under animated urging from Renz to win by 2-1/4 lengths in 1:54.3. It was the first MASS win for Levi ($7.20) who now boasts $62,979 in earnings this year for owner/breeder Stephen Richard. With all the preliminary legs in the books for both 2 and 3-year-old eligibles, the $800,000 (est.) Massachusetts Sire Stake finals are next and will be held on Sunday (Oct. 28) at Plainridge Park. For updated points and information heading into those finals, please log onto the Standardbred Owners of Massachusetts website at www.sominc.net. By Tim Bojarski, for the Standardbred Owners of Massachusetts  

Plainville, MA --- The $1.8 million Massachusetts Sire Stakes (MASS) reconvened at Plainridge Park on Sunday (Oct. 20) after a one week sabbatical, with five harness racing divisions of 2-year-olds competing for $161,450 in total purses. The strongest performances of the day were turned in by Han Solo (Mister Big-Leah) and Life Is A Feast (Royalty For Life-Luau Hanover) who combined, tied or set four race records. The 2-year-old pacing colts and geldings went two divisions and Han Solo was victorious in his $22,100 split after a hard-fought race. R Maddy Blue Chip (Drew Monti) left and cut the mile, giving Han Solo (Kevin Switzer Jr.) a perfect pocket trip. R Maddy Blue Chip set a moderate pace of :27.1, :57.1 and 1:25.2 while Han Solo drafted closely behind, waiting to make his move. At the top of the stretch Switzer tipped Han Solo and started driving him hard down the lane. Monti was also heavily urging R Maddy Blue Chip and the two were almost even heading to the wire. But Han Solo got the advantage before tripping the beam and won by one-half length in 1:54.1. The time was a new lifetime mark for Han Solo, a new MASS stake record for 2-year-old pacing colts and tied his own track record for 2-year-old pacing colts. It was the fifth win in the last six starts for Han Solo ($5.40) who now has total earnings of $59,837 for owner, trainer and breeder Monique Cohen. In the $39,200 division for 2-year-old trotting colts and geldings, Life Is A Feast (Howard Parker) left from post five and was pushed to the front. From there he set quarters of :28, :57.2 and 1:26.1 before turning for home and extending his lead to 1-3/4 lengths at the wire in 1:55.4. The time tied Life Is A Feast's lifetime mark and also tied the MASS stake record and the Plainridge Park track record for 2-year-old trotting geldings, both of which he set earlier this year. It was the fourth win in a row and third straight in the MASS series for Life Is Feast ($3.00) who pushed his earnings to $63,475 for owners Al Ross and Paul Fontaine. George Ducharme trains the Karen Carroll-bred winner. The $40,600 2-year-old pacing filly division went to Odds On Orlando (Captaintreacherous-Lindys Old Lady) for the third straight time this year. Driver Drew Monti took Odds On Orlando back to fourth while Mini Pini (Ivan Davies) and Rojas Blue Chip (Kevin Switzer Jr.) argued for the lead to the quarter in a swift :26.3. Mini Pini finally grabbed the front and the field then went to the half in single file in :55.2. After the five-eighths pole Rojas Blue Chip came back out to challenge Mini Pini along with I Am Wonder Woman (Wally Watson). This forced Odds On Orlando to go three-deep at the three-quarter pole and around the entire turn. Outside of her four-wide was Ry's Red Rocket (Matty Athearn) who was now even with the other three fillies. At the top of the stretch Odds On Orlando swelled up and paced away from the field under a line-drive to win by 1-3/4 lengths in 1:55, which was a new lifetime mark. Odds On Orlando ($2.20) remains perfect in Massachusetts while earning $62,416 for owner Odds On Racing and trainer Tony Alagna. Lindy Farms of Connecticut bred Odds On Orlando. The other $21,750 2-year-old pacing colt and gelding division went to Finnbar (Real Desire-Unbeachable) who scored his first stake victory. Mcbeantown (Mitchell Cushing) led the way to the half in :57.4 with the field in single file behind. They remained that way until the five-eighths pole where driver Ivan Davies pulled Finnbar from third, took the lead in the turn and cleared the front by the top of the stretch. From there he cruised home down the lane a wrapped-up two-length winner in 1:55.1, which was a new lifetime mark. Finnbar ($4.00) is owned by Nancy Longobardi and is trained by his driver Davies. Steve O'Toole was the breeder of Finnbar. The $37,800 division of the 2-year-old trotting fillies was the lone non-betting event and it went to Without A Warning, who remains perfect this year in the stake. Leaving from the pylons, Without A Warning (Shawn Gray) led every step of the way while cutting fractions of :29.1, :58.2 and 1:28. He rounded the last turn and trotted away in the stretch while opening up a 3-1/4 length margin of victory in 1:58. Without A Warning has now earned $136,160 this year for owner Ray Campbell Jr., who also bred the filly. George Ducharme is the trainer. The 3-year-old divisions will compete on Monday (Oct. 21) when live racing resumes at Plainridge Park. There are three non-betting events with post times of 1 p.m., 1:15 p.m. and 1:30 p.m. The fourth division goes as race one on the regular betting card with a post time of 2 p.m. All eight divisions of the $800,000 (est.) MASS finals will be held at Plainridge Park on Monday (Oct. 28). By Tim Bojarski, for the Standardbred Owners of Massachusetts

Plainville, MA --- It doesn't matter what harness racing track he races at, Madhatter Bluechip just continues to win. On Friday (Oct. 18) his multi-state roadshow continued as he ventured into Massachusetts to visit Plainridge Park and came away with his fifth straight victory after winning the $16,000 Open trotting feature. Madhatter Bluechip (Kevin Switzer Jr.) left and took a quick lead before the heavily favored Nows The Moment (Mike Stevenson), who was on a three-race winning streak himself coming into the race, shot by him to take the lead in a serious first quarter of :26.4. The race continued past the half and to the five-eighths where Quicksilver Kemp (Shawn Gray) pulled first over to join the fray. Unaffected by the challenge, Nows The Moment continued to trot strong into the far turn and even appeared to draw away a bit as they spun out of that final bend. Quicksilver Kemp faded out of the picture allowing Madhatter Bluechip room to pull. Switzer got that one underway and he headed down the lane with a full head of steam. Madhatter Bluechip was trotting furiously under a line-drive from Switzer and pulled away to a two-length win in 1:54.3, which was a new seasonal mark. It was the eighth win in the last nine starts and ninth win of the year for Madhatter Bluechip ($5.20) who has now earned $53,514 this year for owner Thomas Milici. Candace Brandstatter is the trainer. Mike Stevenson led all drivers on Friday, scoring a hat trick on the card. Stevenson also added another win on the training side. When live racing resumes at Plainridge Park on Sunday (Oct. 20), the $1.8 million Massachusetts Sire Stakes will resume with the 2-year-olds competing in five divisions. The first is a non-betting event with a post time of 1:30 p.m. The other four races are on the regular betting card which starts at 2 p.m. This is the third leg of the series which culminates with eight $100,000 finals on Monday (Oct. 28) at The Ridge. By Tim Bojarski, for the Standardbred Owners of Massachusetts      

Plainville, MA --- In one of the closest photos of the year, 15-1 Bet You reigned supreme on the strength of a furious worst to first rush in the $16,000 Winners-Over Handicap harness racing pace at Plainridge Park on Monday afternoon (Oct. 14). Bet You (Jimmy Whittemore) got away eighth in the full field of pacers and watched while five horses led by Opus Blue Chip (Kevin Switzer) argued for the lead in a blistering :25.4 first quarter. As soon as they passed that station, Mach Doro A (Ron Cushing) who had also been parked out then took command. Immediately past the half, horses from the back came three-wide into contention with JK Will Power (Drew Monti) in the middle and Calvin B (Jay Randall) farthest out, pushing the pace up the backside. Bet You was now sixth in the breeze and behind a wall of horses as the field motored around the last turn. Whittemore tipped Bet You four-wide at the head of the stretch and had three more lengths to make up. He drew alongside JK Will Power and then both paced alongside Mach Doro A and all three hit the wire noses apart. When the photo came back, Bet You got the win just in front of JK Will Power and Mach Doro A, who dead-heated for place. It was the sixth win of the year for Bet You ($33.60) who has now earned $75,110 this year for owner Scott Dillon. Joe Nelson trains the winner. In the co-featured $12,000 upper-level condition pace, Tisadream N (Drew Monti) sat in the garden spot behind Vegas Dream (Kevin Switzer Jr.) through quarters of :26.2, :55.2 and 1:23.2 before Monti popped the plugs and the pocket to take the lead before the head of the stretch and then cruise home a wrapped-up 2-1/4 length winner in 1:51.4. It was the sixth win of the season for Tisadream N ($4.20) who has now earned $48,420 this year for owners Tony Gruppo and Tim Bojarski. Drew Monti and Jimmy Whittemore both had driving doubles to lead all drivers on Monday. Racing resumes at Plainridge Park on Thursday (Oct. 17) at 2 p.m. By Tim Bojarski, for the Standardbred Owners of Massachusetts  

Plainville, MA --- With two of the three preliminary harness racing legs of the $1.8 million Massachusetts Sire Stakes (MASS) in the books, six stake records have been either broken or tied and leaders have emerged in several divisions. With the stake taking a break from action this week, many of its competitors have too and it's a good time to evaluate what has happened so far. The 2-year-old pacing colts and geldings have had the largest field of eligibles and as a result, have been racing two divisions each week. And the four races held in the first two legs have yielded four different winners. Han Solo (Mister Big-Leah) won in week one in a new stake record of 1:54.4 with Spatterdash (Deuce Seelster-Poster Hanover) winning the other division, but in a much slower 1:56.3. But the story in that second division was fourth place finisher R Maddy Blue Chip (American Ideal-Frontierpan) and third place finisher Kevmarvalous (Delmarvalous-Shady Sabrina) who both emerged the following week. R Maddy Blue Chip lowered the stake record to 1:54.3 in the second leg on the strength of a dominant performance while Kevmarvalous also had a coming-out party, winning in 1:56.3 and blowing up the tote board at 45-1. The points are well spread among this group with the top four currently being Han Solo (75), Kevmarvalous (62), R Maddy Blue Chip (58) and Spatterdash (58). The 2-year-old pacing filly division has been a one-horse show; Odds On Orlando (Captaintreacherous-Lindys Old Lady). Both weeks Odds On Orlando has come from off the pace to win in consecutive lifetime marks. After having been stretched out in Lexington for three starts prior to coming to Massachusetts, she has finished very strong in her two efforts at Plainridge and remains the perfect leader with 100 points. Currently sitting in third place with 26 points is She's A Fireball (Western Maverick-Fire Can Fly). This filly finished a very strong second in the first MASS leg before making an untimely break in the second. On Saturday (Oct. 12) she won the $55,073 final of 2-year-old pacing filly division of the Maine Sire Stakes (MSS) in a new lifetime mark with a strong first-over trip. That race will definitely set her up for a big effort in the next leg in Massachusetts and moving forward into the final. The 2-year-old trotting colt and gelding division has been a two-horse race so far. Life Is A Feast (Royalty For Life-Luau Hanover) took a new lifetime mark of 1:55.4 in the first leg which also set a new MASS stake record and a new Plainridge Park track record for 2-year-old trotting geldings. In the second leg, Crazy For Luca (Crazed-Teachmehowto Lindy) earned a hard fought 1:57.3 victory over Life Is A Feast to take his first lifetime win, which also set a new track record for 2-year-old trotting colts. As a result each horse now has 75 points and look to continue a head to head battle down to the final. The 2-year-old trotting fillies has been dominated by Without A Warning (RC Royalty-Concentration) who had won two straight starts and has tied the stake and track record of 1:57.3 in the process. However RT's Warrior has become an emerging force. RT's Warrior (Noble Venture-Oye Oye) has finished third and second behind Without A Warning through two legs but the filly just won the $55,045 MSS final on Saturday (Oct. 12) by 3-1/4 lengths in a new lifetime mark. When the MASS reconvenes next week, that race should provide forward momentum in RT's Warrior's continued development. Moving on to the sophomore class, all four 3-year-old divisions have seen two-time winners after the first two legs and two of the four were 2-year-old MASS champions that are looking to repeat. 3-year-old trotting gelding Simple Kaos (RC Royalty-Ksenia) has won back to back legs and leads with 100 points. The first week he was a wrapped-up winner in 1:54.3 and that set a new track record at Plainridge Park for 3-year-old trotting geldings. Simple Kaos was the freshman Mass champion and is well on his way to taking another crown. Jake G's Champion (RC Royalty-Super Starlet) and The Fixer (Trixton-Give You My Word) have been second and third once each and look to be the main rivals in here. Each currently have 37 points. 3-year-old pacing filly Karan's Choice (Sportswriter-Denverlove) is the other 2018 champion and she is off to a great start this year as well. After sweating out a mere head victory over So Beautiful (So Surreal-Leanback Coco) in week one, Karan's Choice rebounded to a more handy 1-1/2 length win over So Beautiful once again in week two. These two top the points standings with 100 and 50 points respectively heading into week three. The 3-year-old colt and gelding pace has a developing dynamic between last year's top two finishers that should provide an interesting race to the final this fall. Current MASS leader CBF Bantam (Baron Biltmore-Cohenucopia) is two for two and alone at the top with 100 points. But Victoria's Maverick (Western Maverick-Perfect Launch), who was the 2-year-old champion and has finished second and third behind CBF Bantam this year, just won the $82,195 MSS final on Saturday (Oct. 12). In that race CBF Bantam, who also competed, made a break at the start and finished third at the wire. This rivalry will renew next week and should keep this division very competitive through the final. Victoria's Maverick is tied for second with Levi (Pet Rock-Beam Of Joy), who just won an overnight race on Sunday (Oct. 13), with 37 points each. The MASS 3-year-old filly trotters have been dominated by Crystalline (Chapter Seven-Royalty Free) who has not only won two weeks in a row, but has also set two consecutive stake records in the process. After going winless in 2018 and finishing second and third twice each in the MASS, Crystalline has come back strong in 2019, winning six races as a dominant force in the New York Sire Stake (NYSS) Excelsior series and now in the MASS. Crystalline has 100 points and is ahead of Ev's Girl (Crazed-Lindy's Lullaby) and Mother Teresa (Father Patrick-Highscore Kemp) who each have 37. To date Shawn Gray is the leading driver in the MASS with six wins and is ahead of Drew Monti and Jimmy Whittemore who are tied with three and Jim Hardy who has won two. The top trainer in the series so far is George Ducharme with seven victories while Tony Alagna, David Crochere and Jim Hardy are tied for second with two apiece. The series will resume on Sunday (Oct. 20) at Plainridge Park at 2 p.m. For a complete set of Massachusetts Sire Stake points listings and all the remaining race dates, please log onto the Standardbred Owners of Massachusetts website at www.sominc.net and click on the links on the homepage. By Tim Bojarski, for the Standardbred Owners of Massachusetts

Plainville, MA --- The first $10,000 leg of the special Columbus Day weekend trotting series for Plainridge Park based harness racing horses dubbed "The Nina" was held on Sunday (Oct. 13) and fittingly enough was won by Pirate in a come-from-behind attack. L Dees Yoyo Ma (Drew Campbell) took the lead and set a speedy tempo from the start. Hitting the splits in :28.1, :57.3 and 1:25.4, L Dees Yoyo Ma took a three-length advantage into the final turn of the race. Pirate (Ivan Davies) who had gotten away fifth, was drafting second-over behind the favored Mouthpiece (Mark Athearn) at that last station and looked to have a lot of trot. Turning for home Pirate made his way to second but still had two-lengths to make up on the leader. Davies kept after Pirate down the lane and he continued to gain, eventually catching L Dees Yoyo Ma at the wire in 1:56. It was the fifth win of the year for Pirate ($7.00) and owners Earl and Kathy Beaman. His driver Davies also trains the winner. There will be one more leg of The Nina next Sunday (Oct. 20), culminating in a $20,000 final on Sunday (Oct. 27). There were also five divisions of 5-year-old and under non-winner events on the card that were highlighted by two particular pacing performances. Pure Sunshine (Ron Cushing) drafted second for almost the whole mile before tipping out at the top of the far turn to run down Chief Of Staff (Kevin Switzer Jr.) in the stretch to win by 1-1/4 lengths in a new lifetime mark of 1:54.1. Pure Sunshine ($16.20) is a 3-year-old colt owned by Barbara Berger, Tamms Horse Farm, Theresa Donnelly and Fernando Amesti Jr. Heidi Gibbs is the trainer. Earlier in the card Levi (Scott Renz) put in an impressive gate to wire showing to win by 1-1/4 lengths over a fast closing Wild Eyed Yankee (Drew Monti) in 1:54.4. Levi ($4.00) is owned by Stephen Richard and is trained by his driver Renz. Levi is a Massachusetts-bred 3-year-old gelding who currently sits in second place in the $1.8 million Massachusetts Sire Stakes. The series is off this week but will return to action next Sunday afternoon (Oct. 20). Racing resumes at Plainridge Park on Monday (Oct 14) at 2 p.m. By Tim Bojarski, for the Standardbred Owners of Massachusetts

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