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Plainville, MA --- A stormy day and sloppy track was the backdrop for harness racing in Massachusetts on Friday (Oct. 11) but Nows The Moment made the most of it, taking full advantage of a strong front-end bias the conditions provided and coasted to an easy win in the $14,000 Open Handicap Trot at Plainridge Park. Driver Mike Stevenson fired Nows The Moment off the gate and took command before the quarter in :27.1. With the field widely gapped behind him, Nows The Moment continued to dictate the fractions at the half in :55.4 and three-quarters in 1:25.1. At that station Nows The Moment opened up a two-length lead that he extended to 3-1/2 under the wire where he won in 1:54.1. It was the third straight win, second win in a row at Plainridge and seventh win overall for the year for Nows The Moment ($3.60) who has now inflated his bankroll to $83,573 for owner Sonya Mac Donald. Allison Mac Donald trains the winner. In the co-featured $12,000 conditioned trot, Whiskey Lindy (Drew Monti) didn't mind the weather and remained undefeated while destroying the field in a romp. After leaving in :26.4 in the slop, Monti backed down Whiskey Lindy to a moderate :56.3 half before stepping on the gas and smoking to the three-quarters in :28.4. From there he was all alone and opened up a 7-1/4 length lead under no urging at all to win in 1:55.3. It was the fifth straight win in only five starts this year for Whiskey Lindy ($3.00) who is owned by Greathorse of Massachusetts and trained by Domenico Cecere. Monti scored a driving double on the day along with Drew Campbell and Wally Watson. Racing resumes at Plainridge Park on Sunday (Oct. 13) with post time set for 2 p.m.   By Tim Bojarski, for the Standardbred Owners of Massachusetts  

Plainville, MA --- Patience was a virtue for Nick Graffam on Friday afternoon (Sept. 20) as he waited until the right time to shake free and win the $12,000 conditioned trotting harness racing feature at Plainridge Park. Count On Rosey (Todd O'Dea) and Hs Marcia (Drew Campbell) took turns on the lead before and after the first quarter that went in :27.4. Once seated on the point, Hs Marcia looked strong through subsequent panels of :56.1 and 1:26 flat. By that last station, Graffam pulled Happy Hooligan off the pylons and started a forward march. Although still 2-1/2 lengths off the lead, Happy Hooligan continued to work and methodically shortened the distance between himself and Hs Marcia. Heading into the lane, Graffam continued to drive and Happy Hooligan continued to gain ground and eventually nipped Hs Marcia at the wire by a neck in 1:57.1. Happy Hooligan ($6.80) scored his third win of the year for owner Francis Healy and Natalie Michaud. Mike Graffam trains the winner. Graffam also scored a driving double with Shorething Fashion ($4.20) in the $10,500 conditioned trot after tripping-out behind Namesmuscle (Mark Athearn) who led the entire race until they hit the stretch. It was the third win in a row and fourth in the last fifth for Shorething Fashion and owners Mike Eaton and Bob McHugh. Mike Eaton trains the winner. Drew Monti led all drivers on Friday with three wins on the card. Racing resumes at Plainridge Park on Monday (Sept. 23) at 2 p.m.   By Tim Bojarski for the Standardbred Owners of Massachusetts  

Plainville, MA --- It has been announced that after a meeting between the Horse Racing Committee (HRC) and the Massachusetts Gaming Commission (MGC) on Wednesday afternoon (Sept. 18) to discuss the distribution percentage, the HRC voted to recommend that the MGC increase the amount allocated to the Standardbreds from the Race Horse Development Fund (RHDF) from 60 to 65 percent. Rationale for the increase included the strong and rapidly increasing number of Standardbreds being bred in the state, the growing popularity of its sire stake program, the increase in the size of the fields in overnight races and the overall number of race dates currently being run at Plainridge Park, which is Massachusetts only operating race track. It was also noted that the split will not become effective immidiately. The recommendation will have to be verified by the Massachusetts legislature and then approved by the MGC. The HRC said it plans to reconvene during the first quarter of 2020 when the distribution percentage will once again be reviewed. A story from the Boston Globe can be read here. By Tim Bojarski, for the Standardbred Owners of Massachusetts

Plainville, MA --- Not only did Fargo Hanover score her fifth win of the year in the $12,000 conditioned feature for 5-year-old and younger fillies and mares at Plainridge Park on Thursday afternoon (Aug. 15), she did it in style with a lifetime best effort for the mile. Driver Shawn Gray got away third with Fargo Hanover and tracked the leading Artspell (Mitchell Cushing) past the quarter from there in :27.1. But as the race approached the half Gray pulled right line and Fargo Hanover moved outside, rolled up the rim and took the lead past that station before settling in for the rest of the mile. As the race went up the backstretch, She's A Maverick (John Nason), who followed Fargo Hanover on the outside, drew alongside the leader and that set up a hearty challenge to the finish. The two girls were pacing together by three-quarters in 1:23.4 and then around the turn when Fargo Hanover got an advantage at the top of the stretch that she would extend to 2-1/4 lengths at the wire where she won in 1:52.4, which was a new lifetime mark by 1-1/5 seconds. Fargo Hanover ($6.00) is owned by Elizabeth and Dyce Spalluto and is trained by Alicia Gray. Racing resumes at Plainridge Park on Friday (Aug. 16) with post time at 4 p.m.   By Tim Bojarski for the Standardbred Owners of Massachusetts

Plainville, MA --- For the second straight start, Rock Diamonds N dominated the best of the bunch at Plainridge Park by winning the $14,000 Winners-Over Handicap on Monday afternoon (Aug. 5). Despite being handicapped with the outside post seven, driver Ron Cushing left and put Rock Diamonds N on the lead and did not look back from there. After sprinting quarters of :26.2, :54.4 and 1:22.1 with little opposition, Rock Diamonds N turned for home and sprinted to a new lifetime mark of 1:50, winning by two lengths. The time was also just 2/5th's of a second off the track record for aged pacing geldings. It was the second win in a row and seventh of the year for Rock Diamonds N ($3.00) and it pushed his earnings to $62,485 for owners Kevin Sywyk, his driver Cushing and Frank Ranaldi. Heidi Gibbs is the trainer. The secondary feature was a $12,000 upper-conditioned pace that saw Captain Deo put a circle around his opposition in the second fastest mile of the day. Captain Deo (Mitchell Cushing) also went to the front and got things his own way. After seating the pesky Saratoga invader Saulsbrook Deputy (Jay Randall) in :26.2, Captain Deo proceeded to post a comfortable half of :55 before speeding up the backstretch in :27.4 prompted by Sailor Jerry (Nick Graffam) who was on the outside. By the head of the stretch Captain Deo had opened up a two-length advantage and cruised home to a 1:51.2 victory. Captain Deo ($2.40) has now made $84,860 on the strength of six 2019 wins for owner Bill Hartt. Lance Hudson trains the winner. Drew Campbell led all drivers on Monday scoring a grand slam during the card followed by Mitchell Cushing who had a hat trick of his own. Racing resumes at Plainridge Park on Thursday (Aug. 8) with post time at 4 p.m. By Tim Bojarski, for the Standardbred Owners of Massachusetts  

Plainville, MA --- Mach Doro A took an early lead he would never relinquish and then cruised to an easy harness racing victory in the $14,000 Winners-Over Handicap pace at Plainridge Park on Monday afternoon (July 22). Driver Ron Cushing floated Mach Doro A off the gate and took command by the quarter in :26.4. He then set unchallenged fractions of :55.1 and 1:22.4 as horses behind him tried to attack, but could not. The leader then turned for home and with no urging at all paced away to a three length win in 1:50.2, which was a new lifetime mark. Mach Doro A ($3.40) scored his fifth victory of the year and pushed his earnings to $64,000 in 2019. For his career it was the 25th win in only 76 lifetime starts, pushing his bank to $321,246. The 8-year-old son of Mach Three-Three Eagles is owned by Kevin Sywyk, his driver Cushing and Frank Rinaldi. Heidi Gibbs does the training. There were two $10,000 divisions of the Baystate Series for Plainridge-based male pacers contested on Monday with the top four finishers of each advancing to the $12,500 final on Sunday (July 28) as part of the Spirit of Massachusetts Trot card. The first division went to Rock On The Hill (Drew Monti) who came first over past the half to draw even with the leading Bamski (Drew Campbell) and then out-duel that one to the wire to win in 1:51.2. Rock On The Hill ($41.60) is owned by Alfred Lang and John Sears who also trains the horse. The second division saw Sailor Jerry (Nick Graffam) surrender the lead to Buckeye N (Mitchell Cushing) only momentarily at the quarter before retaking the lead and keeping it all the way home as he won well in hand in 1:52.1 Sailor Jerry ($3.00) is owned by Mike Graffam and Chris Hamilton. Mike Graffam is the trainer. Racing resumes at Plainridge Park on Thursday (July 25) with post time at 4 p.m. And don't forget the $250,000 Spirit of Massachusetts Trot and $100,000 Clara Barton Distaff pace will be held on Sunday (July 28) with a special early post time of 2 p.m.   By Tim Bojarski for the Standardbred Owners of Massachusetts  

Plainville, MA --- Mambo Lindy braved a tough first over trip to win the $14,000 Winners-Over Handicap harness racing trot in workmanlike fashion at Plainridge Park on Friday afternoon (July 19). Driver Drew Monti left with Mambo Lindy from post six and dropped in third behind Nows The Moment (Mike Stevenson) and Wings Of Royalty (Shawn Gray) who led the group to the quarter in :27. AS the race progressed and Wings Of Royalty backed the half down to :56.3, Mambo Lindy got out and got down to business. He trotted up alongside the leader and pushed that one to a :27.4 third panel and then continued to grind on the rim around the far turn, eventually getting past Wings Of Royalty at the head of the stretch. But the race was still not won. Nows The Moment who had been sitting the pocket trip was now three wide and charging, trying to make his late bid count. But Mambo Lindy was not to be denied as he crossed the line under a hand drive in 1:53.3 to score his second consecutive win. It was the 26th win in only 49 lifetime starts for Mambo Lindy ($2.60) and the winners share of the purse pushed him over the quarter-million dollar mark lifetime with $252,660 now on his card. The 8-year-old son of Donato Hanover-Rum Boogie is owned by Greathorse and is trained by Domenico Cecere. Shawn Gray had another driving triple on Friday while Drew Monti and Drew Campbell each had a double. Trainers Domenico Cecere and Ivan Davies each had a conditioning double as well. The Wicked Hi-5 Jackpot was finally hit after a record carryover of $46,238 kicked off the sixth race wagering. One single unique 20-cent combination of 4-5-7-2-1 returned a whopping $48,370 to the lucky ticket holder. Racing resumes at Plainridge Park on Monday (July 22) at 4 p.m. And don't forget the Grand Circuit returns to Plainridge Park with the $250,000 Spirit of Massachusetts Trot and the $100,000 Clara Barton Distaff Pace that will be held on Sunday (July 28) with a special post time of 2 p.m.   By Tim Bojarski for the Standardbred Owners of Massachusetts

Plainville, MA --- Yonkers Raceway regular Rock Diamonds N brought his "A" game to Plainridge Park on Monday (July 15) and dominated the harness racing field in the $14,000 Winners-Over Handicap en route to scoring the fastest win of his short North American career. Driver Ron Cushing floated Rock Diamonds N on the outside during a brisk :26.1 first quarter cut by Class Six (Drew Campbell) before motoring up to the lead in front of the grandstand. As soon as he seated, Bet You (Jay Randall) pulled first over and pushed the issue with the leader to the three quarters in 1:22.2, but the party was over from there. Rock Diamonds N rebuffed that challenge and opened up a two-length gap between himself and the rest of the field. After a quick tap and a set of high lines, Cushing let Rock Diamonds N pace away down the lane to win by two in 1:50.1, which was a new lifetime mark for the winner. It was the sixth win in 12 North American starts for Rock Diamonds N ($4.20) who has now earned $55,485 for owners Kevin Sywyk, his driver Cushing and Frank Ranaldi. Heidi Gibbs does the training. The secondary feature was a $12,000 upper-level conditioned pacing event that saw Lindy Beach regain his old form. Warrawee Nonsuch (Shawn Gray) cut the mile and looked strong doing it in :26.4, :55.1 and 1:23.2. But Lindy Beach (Drew Monti) who had gotten away ninth, rallied from last following third-over outside cover to the top of the final turn where he tipped three-deep and exploded past the field by the top of the stretch. That's where he drew even with Warrawee Nonsuch before going right on by to win by a neck in 1:51.4, which was a new seasonal mark. Lindy Beach It was the first win of 2019 for Lindy Beach ($24.40) who is owned by the Lindy Racing Stable and trained by Domenico Cecere. Mitchell Cushing led all drivers with three wins on the card. Seemingly the hardest ticket to cash in the business, the Wicked Hi-5 Pentafecta did not have a unique winning ticket once again on Monday and as such, there is another record high carryover pool of $41,733 for the sixth race on Thursday (July 18) 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 --- Plainridge top harness racing driver Shawn Gray has been on a roll of late after Mitchell Cushing tied him for the dash driving lead over a week ago. Since then he's opened up a six-win gap and on Monday afternoon (July 1) he put an exclamation mark on it with five more wins, including victories in the day's top two classes at Plainridge Park. In the $14,000 Winners-Over Handicap pace, Gray and Sir Pugsley got their revenge over Mach Doro A who got up to beat him in late strides last week in the feature race at The Ridge. This week he was able to hold off a similar rush at the wire to claim the victory. Sir Pugsley grabbed the lead past the eighth pole and settled down to the pylons with a two-length advantage at the quarter in :27. Pacing smartly passed the stands, Sir Pugsley's first challenge courtesy off Tisadream N (Drew Monti) who came first up to engage the leader at the half in :55.3. Maintaining a constant three-quarter-length lead, Sir Pugsley held Tisadream N on the rim to the three-quarters in 1:23.3 and then into the final turn. There Opus Blue Chip (Drew Campbell), who had been drafting second-over, tipped three-deep and was followed by Mach Doro A (Ron Cushing) who had been last most of the race. When the group straightened out for home, Mach Doro A looked the fleetest of foot and was barreling down the center of the track. But Sir Pugsley had the jump and was able to hang on by a nose at the wire and win in 1:51.4 which tied his season's best effort. It was the second win in 14 starts this year for Sir Pugsley ($17.20) who has now earned $35,095 for owners Burke Racing Stable and Marc Reynolds. Earlier in the card Gray scored with Betterlatethannever in the $12,000 upper-level conditioned pace in his first start back in his old barn off a claim. Betterlatethannever got away fifth from the gate while Lindy Beach (Drew Monti) barked out the fractions on the front. With the race in two rows in a :54.4 half, Warrawee Nonsuch (Mitchell Cushing) was advancing first over up the backside with Betterlatethannever on his back. Positions remained unchanged from there to the top of the stretch where Betterlatethannever tipped three-wide around Warrawee Nonsuch and flew down the stretch under a subtle line drive from Gray to win by two-lengths in 1:51.1, which was a new seasonal mark. Betterlatethannever It was the 36th win in only 88 lifetime starts for Betterlatethannever ($4.40) who is owned by Nickerson Racing and David Glazer. Jimmy Nickerson trains both Sir Puglsey and Betterlatethannever. Gray rounded out his driving pentafecta with Lone Survivor (1:53.2, $3.80), Superbowl Party (1:53.3, $14.20) and Hide Me Away (1:54.3, $6.80). Gray is not only the current leading dash driver at Plainridge Park, he is also the fourth leading percentage driver in North America with a Universal Driver Rating (UDR) of .363. Shawn Gray                     --Tim Bojarski photo After Mitchell Cushing added two wins to his total for the meet on Monday as well, Gray remains the meet leader by a nine-win margin of 73 to 64. Speaking of pentafectas, Plainridge Park started out the day with a record pentafecta carryover pool of $21,026 in the sixth race Wicked Hi-5 wager. After there were no winners there, and no winners again in the ninth, the day ended with another record carryover pool of $24,921 which will be available for the Wicked Hi-5 wager in the sixth race on Thursday (July 4) when live racing resumes. Post time for the first race Thursday is 4 p.m.   By Tim Bojarski for the Standardbred Owners of Massachusetts

Plainville, MA --- In a race that saw four horse make lead changes during the mile, Mayfair Johnny B made the one that counted the most as he won the $14,000 Winners-Over featured harness racing trot at Plainridge Park on Friday afternoon (June 28). Nows The Moment (Mike Stevenson) got the best start and the front and took the group to the quarter in :27. But three horses were already rolling up the outside and Make It A Double (Mark Athearn) grabbed the lead going into turn-two. Immediately, the second-over Mambo Lindy (Patrizio Ancora) came up alongside his former cover and overtook Make It A Double mid-way up the backside. Mambo Lindy would then stay in charge for the next quarter mile. With the field still in two rows Mayfair Johnny B (Jay Randall), who had been rolling along sixth and watching all the early action, pulled before the three-quarters and made his way around tiring and breaking horses eventually ending up second as the field was coming out of the final turn. When they straightened out for home, Mayfair Johnny B trotted right on by Mambo Lindy but still had one hurdle to clear. Nows The Moment who had the initial lead of the race, was back in the hunt and driving hard to the wire and gaining ground. But his lunge was too little too late as Mayfair Johnny B hung on to win by a length in 1:54, which was a new seasonal mark. It was the fourth win of the year for the lightly regarded Mayfair Johnny B ($22.00) who is owned by the Kellogg Racing Stable. Jackie Greene is the trainer. Driver Shawn Gray was as hot as the weather on Friday as he registered a Grand Slam on the card. He won with Jackpot Hill ($1:56.1, $11.60), Stroman (1:55.1, $3.40), Fargo Hanover (1:55.1, $2.40) and All Night Credit (1:57.3, $39.20). Two of Gray's four winners (Fargo Hanover and All Night Credit) were trained by Alicia Gray who led all trainers on the card for conditioning wins. When live racing resumes at Plainridge Park on Monday (July 1) there will be a record jackpot for the Wicked Hi-5 wager in the sixth race. The carry over pool will be $17,909, the largest ever carry over for this bet since its inception at Plainridge Park. Post time for the first race is 4 p.m.     By Tim Bojarski for the Standardbred Owners of Massachusetts

Plainville, MA --- A pair $10,000 non-winner harness racing events for the 5-year-old and under set -- one on the trot and one on the pace -- headlined the 10-race card at Plainridge Park on Thursday afternoon and the respective winners of each race put in career best efforts in victory. In the $10,000 trotting division, Lindy's Crazy Hall (Drew Monti) went off the definitive favorite and he never gave his backers a tense moment the entire race. After scooting off to a two-length lead by the quarter in :27.3, Monti backed off the middle half to :58.2 while holding a charge by Simple Kaos (Shawn Gray) at bay during that time. But around the last turn Lindy's Crazy Hall was given his head and he got down to business; trotting home without any urging in a swift :28.3 to win by three open lengths in 1:54.3. The time was a new lifetime mark for the winner who had just set that standard at Harrah's Philadelphia last week. It was the second win in three starts this year for Lindy's Crazy Hall ($3.20) and the fifth of his career. The 3-year-old son of Cantab Hall-Lindys Gone Crazy is owned by the Lindy Farms of Connecticut and is trained by Domenico Cecere. The $10,000 co-featured pace went to the odds-on 1-5 favorite JM's Delight (Greg Merton) who tucked in second behind Pokerface Bluechip (Mitchell Cushing) to the quarter before taking the front as the race passed the stands going to the half. Once settled in and straightened up the backside, JM's Delight really got his motor in gear. With Pokerface Bluechip on his tail keeping him honest, JM's Delight proceeded to scorch the final two quarters in :28 and :27.2 and turned his length advantage at three-quarters into two and a half at the wire where he won in 1:52 flat, which was also a new lifetime mark. JM's Delight ($2.60) scored his fourth win of the year for Greg Merton, who also owns and trains the 3-year-old gelded son of Bettors Delight-Dreaming Aliina. JM's Delight Drew Monti led all drivers on the card for wins Thursday, taking three on the day. The Wicked Hi-5 pentafecta jackpot continues to grow. With no winners once again on Thursday, the carryover pool for the sixth race on Friday will be $16,680. Post time for the first race is 4 p.m.   By Tim Bojarski for the Standardbred Owners of Massachusetts  

Plainville, MA --- It’s safe to say that Shawn Gray stole the show at Plainridge Park on Thursday afternoon (April 25) after winning five of the 11 races carded including a pair of $12,000 co-featured events for both male and female side-wheelers. In the first harness racing division of non-winners of six races lifetime for the 6-year-old and under colt and gelding set, Gray pulled first over at the half and took the lead with Passport To Art and then cut the remainder of the mile, eventually out-muscling Sometimes Always (Nick Graffam) in deep stretch to win by a neck in a lifetime best 1:52.1.  Passport To Art ($9.40) is owned by Elizabeth and Dyce Spalluto and is trained by Alicia Gray. Then in the second split of that same class for the ladies, Gray went to the front right off the gate with Well Said Maria and sped through quarters of :27.3, :56.1 and 1:24.4 before turning it up coming out of the last turn and pacing away to a wrapped-up six and one-half length margin of victory in 1:55.3. The heavily favored Well Said Maria ($2.10) is owned by Scott Dillon. Jimmy Nickerson conditions that winner.   Well Said Maria         -- Photo courtesy of Tom Melanson Gray rounded out his personal pentafecta with wins by So So Sweet (1:56.2, $5.60), Wood Hunter (1:54.4, $16.00) and Thrownoutofbetter (1:53.4, $7.00). On the strength of Thursday’s performance Gray now has 15 wins at the young Plainridge Park meet and is only one win behind the current dash leading driver Mitchell Cushing (who also had two wins on the card Thursday) who has 16.  Overall Gray sits in third place in North America among all drivers with 499 or less starts to date in the Universal Driver Rating (UDR) with a .388. Racing resumes at Plainridge Park on Friday afternoon (April 26) with post time set for 4 p.m.   Tim Bojarski

Plainville, MA --- Heavy downpours, steady wind, a sloppy track and seven formidable foes could not prevent Starznheaven from capturing the $16,000 Open Handicap pace at Plainridge Park on Monday afternoon (April 22). Avatartist (Mark Eaton) was the fastest off the wings and skimmed through the water to the quarter in :26.2. But despite the torrid pace for any condition, Shawn Gray was not content to sit and pulled Starznheaven, took the lead and then dared everyone to catch him. Starznheaven got to the half in :54.2 and the three quarters in 1:23. There Tisadream N (Mitchell Cushing) pulled from third and paced even with Avatartist but the pair were still two-lengths behind the leader heading into the stretch. Starznheaven was motoring strong under a hand-drive from Gray while his pursuers tried to catch him, but that was not the case this day as Starznheaven held off their bid to win by two lengths in 1:51.4. The time was a new seasonal mark for the winner. It was the third win of the year and 40th of the career for Starznheaven ($3.60) who is owned by Marc Reynolds, Scott Dillon and Bradford Veilleux and trained by Jimmy Nickerson. In the $15,000 Winners-Over pacing co-feature, Gibbs (Mitchell Cushing) got away a distant seventh at the quarter before pulling third-over in a lively outer flow and then tipped three-wide coming off the far turn to circle the field and pull away to a two-length win in 1:53.1. It was the second straight win at Plainridge Park for Gibbs ($17.20) who is owned by Rick Howles. Eric Beach does the conditioning. Mitchell Cushing and Shawn Gray both had driving triples on the card while trainer Jimmy Nickerson did the same on the training side. The oppressive racing conditions provided some premium payouts on Monday including Rockin Cougar (Nick Graffam) who paid $58.40 in the ninth and All Artist (Drew Campbell) that returned $61.20 in the tenth. Racing resumes at Plainridge Park on Thursday afternoon (April 25) with post time at 4 p.m. For more information of harness racing in Massachusetts log on to the Standardbred Owners of Massachusetts at www.sominc.net and Plainridge Park at www.plainridgeparkcasino.com.   By Tim Bojarski, for the Standardbred Owners of Massachusetts

Plainville, MA --- Wet weather and chilly temperatures failed to dampen the spirit of the fans who came out to watch the first harness racing action of 2019 at Plainridge Park on Monday afternoon (April 8). And the equally enthusiastic horsemen put on a very competitive show with several blanket finishes at the wire. One of those close finishes was in the afternoon's feature race where Dapper Dude swelled up in deep stretch to hold of two late closers to win the $15,000 Open Handicap pace. Dapper Dude (Bruce Aldrich Jr.) floated outside from sixth before seating third while the heavy 1-5 favorite Hudson Phil (Jay Randall) controlled the front in :26.3. The field remained in single file past the half before Dapper Dude came first-up heading up the backside. Dapper Dude drew even with Hudson Phil at the three-quarters and the two engaged in a stride-for-stride battle around the final turn. When the pair hit the top of the stretch, Dapper Dude got the advantage and Hudson Phil began to fade. But My Mind Is Made Up (Shawn Gray) was closing fast from mid-pack and Givenupdreaming (Greg Merton) was flying on the outside from last. As they hit the wire a mere neck separated the three horses but Dapper Dude was game and hung on for the win in 1:53.1. It was the sixth win of the year for Dapper Dude ($7.20) who was privately purchased by the Micki Rae Stable of Sudbury, Massachusetts on January 25, 2019. He has been racing at the Meadows ever since and in his nine starts after that purchase, Dapper Dude won six races and finished second three times. On the strength of his 53rd lifetime win at Plainridge today he now has $69,400 in earnings this year. Sheena Mcelhiney trains the winner. In the $14,000 secondary featured pacing event, When You Dance (Steevin Genois) shipped in from Yonkers Raceway and claimed his first victory of the year after going gate to wire in strong fashion, winning by over six lengths in 1:54.2. When You Dance ($3.60) is a 4-year-old son of Mach Three-Armbro Dancer and is owned by Brian Carsey, Adam Friedland and John McGill. Eve Bergeron does the conditioning. Mitchell Cushing led all drivers for wins after scoring the natural hat trick in races seven through nine with Flash Lauxmont (1:55.4, $16.00), JK Will Power (1:54.3, $8.00) and Archetto Hanover (1:55.4, $7.20). Racing resumes at Plainridge Park on Thursday (April 11) with post time set at 4 p.m.   By Tim Bojarski for the Standardbred Owners of Massachusetts  

Plainville, MA --- There is no hotter set of hands currently racing in New England than those of Mitchell Cushing and he continued to pile-on numbers to his career year by winning five more races at Plainridge Park on Monday afternoon (Nov. 19). The most notable victory in Cushing's day came in the marquee event; the $16,000 Winners-Over pace where Betterlatethnnever flashed his class once again. After leaving like a runner, Betterlatethnnever stacked up four horses three-deep at the three-quarters before shifting gears to pull away to a three-length win in 1:53.2. It was the ninth win in only 12 starts this year and the seventh win in the last eight starts for Betterlatethnnever ($4.20) who now sports $55,105 in earnings for 2018. David Glazer owns and Jimmy Nickerson trains. Then in the $14,000 conditioned event for pacers under 6-years-old, Cushing scored with Lear Hanover who followed Bowedfortyova (Drew Campbell) to the top of the stretch, where he pulled and out-muscled Ramblin Art (Nick Graffam) to the wire in 1:53.1. It was the eighth win of the season for Lear Hanover ($4.00) who is also owned and trained by Glazer and Nickerson. Cushing rounded out the five-bagger with Flash Lauxmont (1:53.3, $3.80), Lucky Sport (1:54, $4.80) and See Me Streakin (1:54.4, $5.00). Nickerson trains Lucky Sport as well and that gave him the conditioning Hat Trick Monday. Mitchell Cushing has posted gaudy numbers this year. Out of his 1,066 starts he's won 235 races, finished second another 160 and third 162 times. He's earned just under $1.4 million to date with a sparkling Universal Driver Rating (UDR) of .354. At the current Plainridge Park meet Cushing is in second place for wins with 131, has a UDR of .362 and earnings of $1.01 million. He sits behind Drew Campbell (155) in the victory category as Campbell has held that top spot for most of the year. Cushing plans to change his driving venue to the Meadowlands after the Plainridge Park meet ends next week which is the same track he started out the best year of his career back in January. Racing resumes at Plainridge Park on Tuesday afternoon (Nov. 20) at 1 p.m. With no winner again in the Wicked Hi-5 Pentafecta in the last race on Monday, there will be a $5,265 carry over pool for the Wicked Hi-5 bet in the final race on Tuesday. Post time for the 10th race will be approximately 4 p.m. By Tim Bojarski, for the Standardbred Owners of Massachusetts

Plainville, MA --- The toughest resident Standardbred to compete in New England in recent years once again showed the heart and fortitude that makes him a winner as he gamely captured the $15,000 Winners-Over Handicap pace at Plainridge Park on Monday afternoon (Nov 12) to tally his 50th career victory. Getting away second in the field of seven, J J S Jet (Drew Campbell) followed the pace-setting Quick Shot (Mike Stevenson) through fractions of :26.3, :55.2 and 1:23.1 before getting locked in fourth at the rail as outside interlopers Bet You (Shawn Gray) and Major Leaguer (Jimmy Whittemore) made their late bids for the lead. At the top of the stretch Quick Shot came off the pylons just enough for Campbell to guide J J S Jet through and he made up two lengths in the lane with a furious brush to catch Bet You at the wire in 1:52.2. It was the eight win of the year for J J S Jet ($7.80) who has now earned $65,585 for owner Bruce Maxwell. James Dunn is the trainer. After winning the feature, Plainridge Park's leading driver Drew Campbell took the opportunity to add to his already gaudy win total by going wire to wire with Bowedfortyova in the $14,000 conditioned pacing event for 6-year-olds and under in 1:52.4. Bowedfortyova ($5.20) scored his fifth win of the year for owner William Mc Elvain Jr. and trainer Elisha Lafreniere. Campbell added two more wins besides both features on Monday giving himself the driving Grand Slam. He also tallied with Beantown Elijah (1:56.3, $2.80) and Rocknalltheway (1:53.2, $11.80). Campbell now has 152 wins for the Plainridge meet, 28 ahead of Mitchell Cushing with 124 who is three ahead of Shawn Gray with 121. Racing resumes at Plainridge Park on Tuesday afternoon (Nov. 13) at 1 p.m. By Tim Bojarski, for the Standardbred Owners of Massachusetts

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