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Plainville, MA --- The third harness racing leg of the Massachusetts Sire Stakes for 2-year-olds of both gaits and genders was held at Plainridge Park on Sunday afternoon (Oct. 17) with $113,750 in purses up for grabs. In the first of two divisions of 2-year-old male pacers, Mullinax (American Ideal-Up Front Kellie Jo) made his presence known while winning in a big way. Mullinax (Scott Zeron) got away third as the undefeated Call Me Maverick (Mike Stevenson) set fractions of :27.3, :57.3 and 1:26.1 with the field in single file behind. Entering the far turn, Maui (Shawn Gray) pulled from second and took his best shot at the leader as they headed into the stretch, but it was Mullinax who tipped three-high around both and paced furiously to the wire to win by 1-3/4 lengths in 1:53.4. The winning time was a new track and stake record for a 2-year-old pacing gelding.   It was the fifth win of the year for Mullinax ($4.00) who is owned by William Varney and trained by Mark Ford. Ed Mullinax and Mark Ford bred the winner. The second set of first-year side-wheelers saw Beantown Bruschi (Dragon Again-Wondrous Grace) overcome a late miscue to take the win. Beantown Bruschi (Mitchell Cushing) also sat third while Edelman (Ron Cushing) played hardball with post time favorite Dancing Lew (Bruce Ranger) to the quarter in :27.1. Dancing Lew took that trip to the half where he pulled and brought Beantown Bruschi (Mitchell Cushing) and Bumpah Stickah (Jim Hardy) with him. Rounding the far turn they fanned three across when Beantown Bruschi made a break, appearing to leave Dancing Lew and Bumpah Stickah to decide the winner. But Cushing gathered Beantown Bruschi together and steadied him down the stretch where he caught the leaders at the line in 1:54.3, which was a new lifetime mark. It was two wins in a row for Beantown Bruschi ($10.60), owner/breeder Michael Goldberg Racing and trainer Jeff Lieberman. The 2-year-old colt and gelding trot was basically a walk-over by Incommunicado (Chapter Seven-Gran Cavalla) after three horses broke by the quarter. Incommunicado (Scott Zeron) trotted on the point with a loose lead to the half in :58.2 and three-quarters in 1:28.1 while Tbtwelve (Steve Smith) and In The Cards (Nick Graffam) tried to stay close. But when they turned for home Incommunicado had opened up a three length lead and bolted to an eventual 8-1/4 length victory in 1:57.3. The win was the second straight in the MASS for Incommunicado ($2.80) and owners Knutsson Trotting, Little E, Arthur Geiger and David Stolz. The Moni Maker Stable bred Incommunicado who was an $80,000 yearling purchase at the Lexington Selected Sale in 2019. The first-year pacing fillies were up next and So Amazing (So Surreal-Teddy Ballgirl) was in complete control while putting on a dominating show. After taking the lead immediately off the gate, So amazing (Bruce Ranger) maintained a quick pace while working through challenges from Ideally Sweet (Steve Smith) to the half, Purameri (Nick Graffam) at the three-quarters and then holding off deep stretch challenges from trippers Rightfully Mine (Scott Zeron) and Suzie Blue Chip (Shawn Gray) to win by a 3/4 of a length in 1:53.1. So Amazing ($20.80) scored her first MASS win along with a new lifetime mark for owners/breeders Nancy and Domenic Longobardi and trainer George Ducharme. Lastly the freshman filly trotters took the track and Royal Envy (RC Royalty-Temper Of Will) scored off a late closing kick. Me Too Baby (Matty Athearn) went to the front while Moni For Lindy (Scott Zeron) followed in second as they rounded the first turn. At the three-eighths pole, Royal Envy (Shawn Gray) pulled and advanced only to third, where he hung for most of the next half mile. As the trotters approached the three-quarters, Moni For Lindy tipped out and took the lead from Me Too Baby while Royal Envy was still floating on the rim about four lengths behind. When they hit the stretch Moni For Lindy looked like she was home, but Royal Envy finally found his footing and trotted up a storm to the wire, beating Moni for Lindy by 1/2 length in 1:58. Royal Envy ($4.80) scored his third straight MASS win for owners/breeders Al Ross and Ray Campbell Jr. George Ducharme also trains this filly. Live racing at Plainridge Park featuring the third leg of the 3-year-old Massachusetts Sire Stakes will convene on Monday (Oct. 19) at 2 p.m. The $720,000 (est.) MASS finals will be held on Monday (Oct. 26) at The Ridge with post time for the first race also at 2 p.m.    By Tim Bojarski, for the Standardbred Owners of Massachusetts  

Batavia, NY --- Although it was a short field after the scratch of Mr. Euroman, Cultural Paradise was grossly overlooked and ended up putting regret in the wallets of those who ignored him after he handily won the $8,500 Open I Handicap harness racing pace at Batavia Downs on Saturday (Oct. 17). As Stratosphere (Drew Monti) and Manceiver (Denny Bucceri) traded leads going to the half, Cultural Paradise (Kyle Cummings) stayed third on the pylons, chasing the pace. Positions remained unchanged in the abbreviated five-horse group by the half and to the three-quarters where Cultural Paradise tipped out and started to move towards the front. Halfway through the last turn, Cultural Paradise cleared Manceiver and opened up by 1-3/4 lengths down the lane and hit the light first in 1:54.1 at 19-1. For Cultural Paradise ($36.00) it was the fifth win of the year, all taken in his last seven starts. Don Rothfuss trains for owner Howard Ouriel. In the $7,500 Open II pace, Beachy Dream (Jim Morrill Jr.) followed PC's Expresso (Dave McNeight III) for 7/8th's of a mile before pulling the pocket at the top of the stretch and out-sprinting him to the line for a one-length victory in 1:55. The ultra-consistent Beachy Dream ($2.60) is owned by Mike Torcello and trained by Gerry Sarama. Shawn McDonough had a busy combined night, winning two races as a driver and three races as a trainer. Individually, Kyle Cummings had a driving hat trick with Jim Morrill Jr. scoring two wins and trainer Jim Clouser Jr. had two wins as well. Racing resumes at Batavia Downs on Wednesday (Oct. 21) at 5 p.m. when there will be a guaranteed $3,000 Pick-5 pool in race one. As part of the USTA Strategic Wagering program there will be free program pages for races one through five available early next week at the Batavia Downs and USTA websites. By Tim Bojarski, for Batavia Downs

Plainville, MA --- One week after taking a new lifetime mark of 1:52 at the Meadowlands, The Fun Marshall bounced right back and made it two in a row in the $15,000 harness racing feature for 5-year-old and younger filly and mare pacers at Plainridge Park on Friday (Oct. 16) on a very rainy afternoon. The Fun Marshall (Mitchell Cushing) left from post nine and ducked in fifth while Kitty Hoyne (Nick Graffam) grabbed the lead by the quarter and took the field to the half in :56.1. By that point The Fun Marshall had already been rolling up on the outside and by the three-quarters, had cleared and opened up a two length lead. From there Cushing sat chilly as The Fun Marshall kicked-away with every stride and ended up a seven length winner in 1:53.   The Fun Marshall ($6.00), who earned $179,496 last year and was crowned the New York Sire Stake 2-year-old pacing filly champion paid instant dividends for her owners Jim Winske, David Winske and Stephen Michaels, who just purchased her last week . Melissa Beckwith trains the winner. In the undercard $10,500 mid-level conditioned distaff pace, Odds On Algorithm (Shawn Gray) remained perfect in Massachusetts after winning her third straight race at Plainridge Park. After taking the lead just before the three-quarters on the strength of a three-wide brush, Odds On Algorithm paced sharply on the point all the way to the wire while holding off a fast-closing Hilaria (Mike Stevenson) to win by 1/2 length in 1:53. Odds On Algorithm ($4.60) registered her seventh win of the year for owner The Green Machine Stable and trainer Alicia Gray. Melissa Beckwith led all trainers with three wins on Friday and that made her the winningest trainer of the meet with 25 wins. Alicia Gray was right behind with two wins on the card. Driver Shawn Gray also had the Hat Trick Friday and he is the leading driver of the meet so far this year, now with 92 wins. Racing resumes at Plainridge Park on Sunday (Oct. 18) with post time at 2 p.m. The Massachusetts Sire Stakes also resume at Plainridge Park on Sunday (Oct. 18) and Monday (Oct. 19) when the third leg for all age, gaits and genders will be contested. The MASS finals will be held at The Ridge on Monday (Oct. 26). Post time for all stake race days are 2 p.m. By Tim Bojarski, for the Standardbred Owners of Massachusetts

Plainville, MA --- Recent Australian import Leonidas A has paid early dividends since arriving in this hemisphere in July and he shone best once again after taking the $17,500 Winners-Over harness racing pace at Plainridge Park on Thursday afternoon (Oct. 15). After Paternity Suit A (Drew Monti) and Rock Diamonds N (Ron Cushing) traded leads off the gate, Leonidas A (Shawn Gray) was out and rolling at the three-eighths, motored towards the front and grabbed it before he hit the half in :56.4. Right at the point, Ideal Star N (Greg Merton) and Hudson Phil (Jay Randall) started an outside advance as the race moved to the three-quarters. The two attackers made up some ground as they travelled up the backstretch and into the final bend. But as they spun off that apex, Leonidas A kept a now three-wide cavalry charge at bay and maintained a length advantage as they headed down the stretch. Pacing for the wire, Leonidas A was under a line-drive and extended his lead to 1-3/4 lengths when he stopped the clock in 1:52.2.   It was the second straight win at Plainridge Park for Leonidas A ($8.60) who is owned by the Jesmeral Stable and trained by Sheena Mcelhiney. Gray also won the secondary featured $15,000 condition pace with Sea Isle City ($2.80) who took the lead from OK Kudo (Mitchell Cushing) past the quarter and then controlled the rest of the race. Pacing unchallenged down the lane, Sea Isle City hit the beam clear by 2-1/2 lengths in 1:52.3. Sea Isle City is owned by William and Barbara Ethier and trained by Jamie Gerard. Shawn Gray ended up winning three races all tolled ahead of Mitchell Cushing and Nick Graffam who tallied two. Trainer Irwin Rosenthal also won two races on Thursday. Racing resumes at Plainridge Park on Friday (Oct. 16) with post time at 2 p.m. The Massachusetts Sire Stakes resume at Plainridge Park on Sunday (Oct. 18) and Monday (Oct. 19) when the third leg for all age, gaits and genders will be contested. The finals will be held at The Ridge on Monday (Oct. 26). Post time for all stake race days are 2 p.m. By Tim Bojarski, for the Standardbred Owners of Massachusetts

Batavia, NY --- The top class for both pacing mares and trotters were featured on the Wednesday (Oct. 14) card of racing at Batavia Downs and the public’s choice came through in both harness racing events. In the $8,500 Open I Handicap distaff pace, HP Sissy (Denny Bucceri) got away fifth while Protect Blue Chip (Billy Davis Jr.) paced on the lead through five-eighths of the mile. That is where HP Sissy came calling first-up on the rim, drawing close to the leader at the three-quarters. Protect Blue Chip and HP Sissy then strode neck-and-neck around the far turn and into the stretch where HP Sissy started to inch away, clear and then hold off a late closing Lady Dudette (Kyle Cummings) to win in 1:55. HP Sissy ($5.40) scored her sixth win of the year for owner Finocchario’s Dream Stable and trainer Mike Ohol.   Then in the $8,500 Open I Handicap trot, CR Blazin Beauty (Ray Fisher Jr.) took a similar path to victory, getting away third behind Majestic Kat (Billy Davis Jr.) before tipping at the half and trotting unhurriedly outside the leader for the next three-eighths of a mile. At the head of the lane, CR Blazing Beauty just switched gears and sped away to a two-length advantage by mid-stretch and then just jogged home a winner in 1:57.2, which was a new seasonal mark. CR Blazin Beauty ($6.30) is owned by Marissa Russo and is trained by David Russo. Drivers Dave McNeight III and Drew Monti both scored Hat Tricks on Wednesday while trainer Rose Russo did so as well on the conditioning side. Triple Sticks and Drivin’ Drew are the two hottest drivers at the Downs over the last five days, winning 14 and 13 races respectively. Racing resumes at Batavia Downs on Saturday (Oct. 17) at 5 p.m.    By Tim Bojarski, for Batavia Downs  

Plainville, MA --- Massachusetts-bred Finnbar took advantage of a favorable draw and made an early move that proved fruitful as he won the $15,500 harness racing feature pace for 4-year-olds and under at Plainridge Park on Monday afternoon (Oct. 12). Finnbar (Shawn Gray) got away fifth as Stihl N (Kevin Switzer Jr.) led the troops through the first turn, but Gray tipped quickly before the quarter and marched to the lead in front of the stands. Finnbar continued to pace sharply with Stihl N on his back and hit the three-quarters in 1:25.3. Motoring around the final bend it had turned into a two-horse race and Stihl N came off the pylons to take his best shot at Finnbar as they headed into the stretch. But Gray had his horse on cruise control and line-drove Finnbar to the wire and won by 1-3/4 lengths in 1:53.3, tying his lifetime mark.   Scoring his second win of the year, Finnbar ($2.40) is owned by his trainer, Nancy Longobardi. Finnbar (Real Desire-Unbeachable) has been competing in the Massachusetts Sire Stakes for the past two weeks, but entered an overnight event on Monday as the stake had a bye this week. He was not the only eligible to do that and some of the others who did, ended up in the winner's circle as well and all three took new lifetime marks in the process. The 2-year-old pacing colt Beantown Bruschi (Dragon Again-Wondrous Grace) made a three-wide three-quarter move from seventh and pulled away down the stretch to win by 7-1/2 lengths in 1:55.2. Driven by Mitchell Cushing, Beantown Bruschi ($2.60) is owned by Michael Goldberg Racing and is trained by Jeff Lieberman. The 3-year-old pacing filly Lily's Delight (So Surreal-My True Delight) left from post seven for Mitchell Cushing and went gate to wire, scoring a one-length win in 1:57.2. Lily's Delight ($8.00) is owned by The Right Move Racing and is trained by Brewer Adams. The 3-year-old pacing gelding Mr. Puzzles (Western Maverick-Dicey Miss) took an early lead but then tripped out from the quarter on, finding racing room in the stretch to win by 3/4's of a length in 1:55.4. Mr. Puzzles ($14.60) is owned by Richard and Wendy Humphrey and is trained by his driver, John Nason. The MASS resumes at Plainridge Park on Sunday (Oct. 18) and Monday (Oct. 19) with the finals taking place the following week on Monday (Oct. 26). Plainridge saw its second dead-heat in less than a week as Somesizesomestyle (Drew Monti) and Sign To Inverell A (Mitchell Cushing) traded blows all the way down the stretch and then couldn't be separated by the camera at the line in 1:53. Somesizesomestyle ($2.60) is owned by The Jesmeral Stable and is trained by Sheena Mcelhiney and Sign To Inverell A ($3.20) is owned by Bret Pisarski and is trained by Andrew Adamczyk. It was the 68th lifetime win for the venerable 13-year-old Sign To Inverell A. Racing resumes at Plainridge Park on Thursday (Oct. 15) at 2 p.m. By Tim Bojarski, for the Standardbred Owners of Massachusetts  

Plainville, MA --- Even though it was a bye week for the Massachusetts Sire Stakes, the younger harness racing horses still took center stage on Sunday (Oct. 11) at Plainridge Park. This was quite evident in the $15,000 feature trot won by Blue Knight who did it in track record time. Final Dream (Bruce Ranger) and Just Dreamin (Nick Graffam) argued for the lead and got away one-two at the quarter in :27.3. But that order was short lived as Blue Knight (Drew Monti) pulled from third at the top of the stretch and grabbed control of the race in front of the grandstand. From there Blue Knight burned up the backstretch in :27.3, opening up a four length lead by the three quarters that he stretched to six by the top of the stretch. Blue Knight continued to trot strong down the lane all alone and hit the light in 1:54.1, which was a new lifetime mark for the winner and also a new track record for 3-year-old trotting geldings. It was the third win in a row and fifth win of the season for Blue Knight ($3.00) who is owned and trained by G Richard Mason Jr.     In the $14,000 condition for 4-year-old and under trotters, Mimi’s Moni (Drew Monti) went off at 1-9 and didn’t disappoint her backers. Leaving from post three, Mimi’s Moni took the lead past the quarter and never looked back. She led the rest of the race by 1-3/4 lengths and trotted home under no urging by the same margin in 1:56.2. It was the second straight win and fifth in eight starts this year for Mimi’s Moni ($2.10) who is owned by Greathorse and trained by Domenico Cecere. After scoring five driving wins at Batavia Downs last night, Drew Monti continued his hot hand with a Grand Slam at Plainridge on Sunday. In the nine races he drove on the 10 race card, Monti never missed the board scoring four wins, three seconds and two thirds. That gave him a Universal Driver Rating of .704 for the afternoon. Racing resumes at Plainridge Park on Monday (Oct. 12) with post time at 2 p.m.   By Tim Bojarski, for the Standardbred Owners of Massachusetts

Batavia, NY --- After just missing the win in this same race just last week, Black Is Back got the job done on Saturday night (Oct. 10) in the $8,500 Open harness racing pacing feature at Batavia Downs. Taking full advantage of the pylon position start, Black Is Back (Dave McNeight III) grabbed the lead by the quarter and took the field to the half in :57.3. By that time Stratosphere (Drew Monti) was rolling up the rim and moving towards the front. Black Is Back and Stratosphere battled up the backside, around the far turn and into the lane where Black Is Back put away the challenge and then held off a late charge by Mr. Euroman (BIlly Davis Jr.) to win by ¼ length in 1:54.3. It was the fourth win of the Batavia meet and sixth win overall this year for Black Is Back ($3.30) who is owned by Curtis Edhholm and Mihajlo Zdjelar Sr. Mihajlo Zdjelar Jr. trains the winner. In the $7,500 Open II pace, Manciever (Drew Monti) pulled first-over at the 3/8th's and took the lead from Santana Beach (Billy Davis Jr.) by the half and then kicked away to a 4-¾ length win in 1:54.1. Owned by Jeffrey Savidge and trained by Jennifer Giuliani, Manciever ($5.00) took a new seasonal mark in his third win of the year. Drew Monti had the hot hand in the sulky on Saturday winning five races on the card. He won with the aforementioned Manciever, Machlicious (1:54, $3.60), The Lunch Pail (1:55.2, $2.10), Thedoginthefight (1:57.4, $3.70) and Gallant Major (1:57.3, $7.20). Trainer Don Rothfuss led all conditioners with two wins on the night. Live racing resumes at Batavia Downs on Wednesday (Oct. 14) and it was announced that there will be a guaranteed $3,000 pool in the Pick-5 wager that day. It will be part of the USTA Strategic Wagering Program and as such, there will be free program pages for the first five races on Wednesday available on the Batavia Downs website and the USTA website starting on Monday. Post time for the first race will be 5 p.m. By Tim Bojarski, for Batavia Downs

Plainville, MA --- They started side by side and they ended up the same way as the photo finish camera couldn't separate them. After one and one half laps of Plainridge Park, 3-year-old harness racing fillies Kitty Hoyne and Odds On Algorithm ended up in a dead-heat in the $15,000 distaff conditioned pacing feature on Friday afternoon (Oct. 9).  Kitty Hoyne (Nick Graffam) left from post five and wrangled the lead away from Rockin Ellie (Bruce Ranger) at the quarter while Odds On Algorithm (Shawn Gray) started the race from post six and settled on the pylons fifth, during that same period. Positions remained unchanged until the half when all the fun began.  Odds On Algorithm pulled first over and made her way towards the leader, drawing within a length at the three-quarters. From there the two mares displayed sidewheeler synchronicity; pacing stride for stride like a mirror image, around the last turn and into the lane. Graffam and Gray were both rocking and line-driving to the wire but neither Kitty Hoyne or Odds On Algorithm could get the advantage and they hit the wire together in 1:53.1. It was the second win in the last three starts for Kitty Hoyne ($3.60), her owner Jimmy Whittemore and trainer Marissa Chadbourne and two straight wins for Odds On Algorithm ($2.20) who is owned by the Green Machine Stable and trainer Alicia Gray.  The secondary feature was a $10,000 fillies and mares event and it went to Age Is A Number (Drew Monti) who led at every station before turning for home and kicking away to a three-length win in 1:54.4. Age Is A Number ($12.00) is owned by Marc Reynolds and Richard Cortese and is trained by Jimmy Nickerson.  Driver Jim Hardy and trainer Jolene Andrews teamed up to win three races on Friday, making each the leader in their category for victories on Friday. Driver Drew Monti and trainer Jimmy Nickerson also combined efforts to score two winners while driver Nick Graffam doubled on the card as well.  Racing resumes at Plainridge Park on Sunday (Oct. 11) with post time at 2 p.m.    By Tim Bojarski, for the Standardbred Owners of Massachusetts

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

Batavia, NY --- A pair of $8,500 Open events topped the harness racing card at Batavia Downs on Wednesday (Oct. 7) and connoisseurs of the longshot were very happy with the outcome of both events. In the Open I Handicap pace for fillies and mares, Lady Dudette took the overland route to victory in a short but select field. HP Sissy (Denny Bucceri) grabbed the lead and paced uncontested to the half in :57.1. Past the five-eighths, Lady Dudette (Kyle Cummings) pulled first-over from fifth and motored up towards the leader. The two mares were closely engaged by the three-quarters and around the last turn with neither giving way. At the top of the stretch Cummings asked for more and Lady Dudette came through. She paced away from HP Sissy and held off a late charging Protect Blue Chip (Billy Davis Jr.) to win by 3/4's of a length in 1:56.3. It was the seventh win of the year for Lady Dudette ($12.00) and her owner, driver Kyle Cummings. Tammy Cummings trains the winner. Then in the Open I trot, the tough-as-nails Il Mago looked his old self in a gate to wire win producing his second fastest clocking of the year. Il Mago (Jim Morrill Jr.) took early control and put the field to bed. After clipping quarters of :28.3 and :57.3, Il Mago opened up a three length lead trotting up the backside and extended it to five by the time he hit the top of the lane. From there he got home by 3/4's of a length over a fast closing Lougazi (Ray Fisher Jr.) and won in 1:56.4. It was the 51st lifetime win for Il Mago ($26.40) and it pushed his lifetime bankroll to a very impressive $880,638. The classy 11-year-old son of Kadabra-Northern Style is owned by Mike Torcello and is trained by Gerry Sarama. Jim Morrill Jr. pulled off a not often seen feat at Batavia Wednesday when he won four consecutive races. Starting in race seven, he won with Southern Palms (1:59, $7.10), Il Mago, Tellawoman (1.56, $5.60) and Sentimental Lady (1:57.1, $7.00). Races seven to 10 just happened to be the Pick-4 wager and the all-Morrill Pick-4 returned $930.00. Besides Morrill's four wins, Dave McNeight III had three wins while Billy Davis Jr. and Shawn McDonough each had two. McDonough also led all trainers on Wednesday with three wins while Russell Bratt, Rich Mays and Gerry Sarama all won two each. Sarama's pair brought his lifetime training win total up to 996, now just four shy of the 1,000 win plateau. There were no winners in the Pick-5 on Wednesday so the $1,462 carry-over pool will move to Saturday (Oct. 10) and Batavia Downs will be offering a $4,000 guaranteed pool through the USTA's Strategic Wagering program for that wager. Free program pages will be available for the first five races on Saturday at both the Batavia Downs and USTA websites starting on Thursday (Oct. 8). Post time for live racing on Saturday is 5 p.m. By Tim Bojarski, for Batavia Downs

Plainville, MA --- Harness racing records continued to fall in the 2020 edition of the Massachusetts Sire Stakes as the 2-year-olds hit the track for their second leg of the series. Monday's (Oct. 5) action at Plainridge Park was highlighted by pacing filly Purameri (American Ideal-J K Pure Pearl) who lit it up in her $29,000 division. So Amazing (Bruce Ranger) took a quick early lead before Rightfully Mine (Jason Bartlett) claimed that position at the quarter and then skated to the half in :57.1. At that point, post time favorite Suzie Blue Chip (Shawn Gray) pulled first-over and advanced towards the leader heading towards the three-quarters where Purameri (Nick Graffam) joined the fray, one out and one back. Positions remained unchanged around the last turn and into the stretch where Suzie Blue Chip finally got the lead. But Purameri tipped off her cover and started tracking her down. She drew even with the leader in deep stretch and then just edged in front at the beam to win by a head in 1:52.4 at 30-1.   The time was a new track and MASS stake record for 2-year-old pacing fillies and a new lifetime mark for Purameri. Purameri ($68.60) is owned by the Purple Haze Stables and is trained by Jessica Okusko. 3 Brothers Stable and Camelot Stable bred the winner. The male pacers split into two $14,000 divisions with a record tying effort by Call Me Maverick (Western Maverick-Briefly) occurring in the first. Call Me Maverick (Mike Stevenson) and Maui (Shawn Gray) played give-and-go with the lead with the latter taking control by the quarter. Maui hit the half in :56.4 and the three-quarters in 1:26.1 with Call Me Maverick following right behind. When they reached the top of the stretch, Stevenson tipped Call Me Maverick and he incrementally gained ground on Maui all the way to the wire where he got a neck in front to win in 1:54, which was a new lifetime mark and tied the track and MASS stake record for 2-year-old pacing geldings. It was the sixth win in a row for Call Me Maverick ($3.40) who is owned and bred by the Upland Farm and trained by Alison Hynes. The second division went to Bumpah Stickah (Roll With Joe-Caila Fra) who gave up an early lead at the three-eighth's to trip-out behind Mullinax (Jason Bartlett) until the top of the stretch. There, Bumpah Stickah tipped and out-paced Mullinax to the wire where he won by a head in 1:54.1, which was a new lifetime mark for the winner. Bumpah Stickah ($15.60) is owned by David Thibault, Paul Vacca, Ed Nowak Jr. and Jim Hardy. Frederick Hertrich III is the breeder. The two trotting divisions saw one favorite jog and another get upset. The colts and geldings went for $28,000 and Beantown Madness (Conway Hall-Armbro Archer) performed and expected. Going off at 1-9, Beantown Madness (Shawn Gray) took early control and never relinquished it. He cut relatively soft quarters of :29.2, :59.4 and 1:29.3 before turning for home and hitting the gas in a :28 final panel to win by three lengths in 1:57.3. Beantown Madness ($2.10) now has six wins in only eight lifetime starts for owner/breeder Michael Goldberg and trainer George Ducharme. Just like he did yesterday, Ducharme also won the $29,000 filly division with Royal Envy (R C Royalty-Temper Of Will) who put on quite a show in the lane. Me Too Baby (Matty Athearn) led the field to the half in a soft 1:00.1 when Moni For Lindy (Drew Monti) drew alongside past the five-eighth's pole. From there the two trotters stepped in tandem all the way around the final bend and opened up five lengths on the field. Just past the seven-eighth's pole Moni For Lindy took the lead and looked like a winner. But Royal Envy (Shawn Gray) who was fifth and five lengths off, uncorked a furious stretch drive that saw her trot home in :28.4 to catch Moni For Lindy by a nose in 1:58, which was a new personal best. It was the second straight MASS victory for Royal Envy ($11.60) who is owned and bred by Al Ross and Ray Campbell Jr. The Massachusetts Sire Stakes take a break next week and resume on Sunday (Oct. 18) and Monday (Oct. 19). The finals follow one week later on Monday (Oct. 26) at Plainridge Park when all eight divisions will compete for an estimated $750,000 in purses. Racing resumes at Plainridge Park on Thursday (Oct. 8) with post time at 2 p.m. By Tim Bojarski, for the Standardbred Owners of Massachusetts

Plainville, MA --- It was round two for the 3-year-olds of both gaits and genders in the Massachusetts sire Stakes at Plainridge Park on Sunday afternoon (Oct. 4) and Wyatt J shone the brightest for the second week in a row in the $28,000 harness racing division for pacing colts and geldings. Teamed with driver Jason Bartlett for the first time, the heavily bet Wyatt J (American Ideal-Think Pink) left sharply and cut the quarter in :26.1 and from there called the shots for the rest of the mile. With little pressure to deal with, Wyatt J hit the half in :56, the three-quarters in 1:24.1 and then started to open up around the last turn. With the race well in hand, Bartlett line drove Wyatt J to the wire in 1:51.3 on top by 2-3/4 lengths. The time broke the MASS stake record for 3-year-old pacing geldings and was a new lifetime mark for the winner; both marks were set by Wyatt J just last week. It was also the sixth win in a row for Wyatt J ($2.10) who is owned by Ken Jacobs and trained by Linda Toscano. Lindy Farms of Connecticut bred the winner. The filly pacers went for $28,500 and Ry's Red Rocket (Sunshine Beach-Mo Molly Blue Chip) bounced back from a narrow defeat last week. Opening up a two length lead by the quarter, Ry's Red Rocket (Matty Athearn) paced alone until the five-eighth's when I Am Wonder Woman (Jason Bartlett) and She's A Fireball (Ron Cushing) rolled up the rim and Sara Tancredi (Nick Graffam) who was tripping out, started some pressure that would continue to the wire. The two outside horses fanned wide of the leader at the top of the lane while Sara Tancredi advanced along the pylons. With four horses across the track within a length of each other, Ry's Red Rocket continued to dig in and eventually hung on to a neck advantage in 1:54.2. It was the fifth win of the year for Ry's Red Rocket ($4.60) who is owned and bred by Linwood Higgins and is trained by Gretchen Athearn. The two trot divisions were owned by trainer George Ducharme and owner Ray Campbell Jr. who won both. The colts and geldings went for $28,500 and Double Dealing (RC Royalty-Heather Spur) got his second consecutive stake win. Dazzling Lindy (Mitchell Cushing) led the race to the half before Double Dealing (Shawn Gray) pulled the pocket past the half and took control before the five-eighths. From there Double Dealing opened up a gapped lead and pulled away to a two-length margin of victory in 1:56.4. Double Dealing ($2.60) registered his sixth win of 2020. The $27,500 filly trot was a non-betting event and was a runaway win for Without A Warning (RC Royalty-Concentration) who was not challenged at all. Without A Warning (Jason Bartlett) went right to the front and after posting quarters of :28.3, :58.4 and 1:27, hit the top of the stretch up by three lengths and jogged to the wire in front by 2-1/2 lengths in 1:55. Without A Warning scored her fourth win of the year and now has $166,912 in earnings this year. The MASS 2-year-olds will contest their second session at Plainridge Park on Monday (Oct. 5) with post time at 2 p.m.   By Tim Bojarski, for the Standardbred Owners of Massachusetts

Batavia, NY --- The best male pacers in western New York were on display at Batavia Downs on Saturday night (Oct. 3) and the top two races produced some impressive efforts by the respective harness racing winners. In the featured $8,500 Open I Handicap pace, Mr. Euroman turned a first-over move into his fourth win of the year after a hard fought stretch drive. Black Is Back (Dave McNeight III) went to the front quickly and led the single-file field to the half in a meek :57.4. The order stayed that way until Mr. Euroman (Billy Davis Jr.) pulled first-over past the five-eighths and motored towards the leader up the backstretch. Mr. Euroman drew even with Black Is Back at the three-quarters and they paced side by side around the last turn and down the stretch. The two did not separate until four pylons from the light when Mr. Euroman started to pull away under heavy urging from Davis to win by a length in 1:54.3. Mr. Euroman ($11.00) is owned by Vogel and Wags Nags Stable, Team Rice Racing and Adelphi Bloodstock. Maria Rice is the trainer. Then in the $7,250 Open II-III Handicap pace, Cultural Paradise turned in the fastest mile of the night after not getting a breather the entire mile. Pick Six (Denny Bucceri) played hardball off the gate and parked Cultural Paradise (Drew Monti) to the quarter in a quick :27 flat. When he cleared, Santana Beach (Billy Davis Jr.) was still on the rim and now on the attack for the lead. Moving past the half Santana Beach got a length in front of Cultural Paradise but was not able to cross over, leaving him parked for a third consecutive turn. As they paced up the backstretch, Cultural Paradise began to pull away and opened up a three length lead by the top of the stretch. He turned for home and cruised under a line drive to win by 1-3/4 lengths in 1:53.4, which was a new seasonal mark. It was the fourth win in the last five starts and third win in a row for Cultural Paradise ($7.40) and owner Howard Ouriel. Don Rothfuss trains the winner. Only three drivers accounted for 11 of the 13 races won on Saturday. Drew Monti and Dave McNeight III each scored four wins while Billy Davis Jr. registered three. Trainers Don Rothfuss, Rose Russo and Maria Rice all had two wins apiece. Racing resumes at Batavia Downs on Wednesday (Oct. 7) with post time at 5 p.m. Once again there will be a guaranteed $3,000 pool in the Pick-5 wager in conjunction with the United States Trotting Association's Strategic Wagering program. Free program pages of races one through five will be available for download starting on Monday. By Tim Bojarski, for Batavia Downs

Plainville, MA --- After winning two consecutive starts at Plainridge Park, Firstup finished seventh at The Downs at Mohegan Sun Pocono only five days ago. But she returned to The Ridge on Friday (Oct. 2) and picked up where she left off, winning the $17,500 featured Winners-Over harness racing pace for fillies and mares. Driver Shawn Gray sent Firstup right to the front and had the race in full control from there. After getting to the half in a tepid :57 flat, First Up hit the gas and went back-to-back :27.3 quarters while putting away a challenge from That's Incredible (Drew Monti) and then cruising home to a two-length win under a line drive in 1:52.   It was the fourth win of the year for Firstup ($3.00) who is owned by the Jesmeral Stable and trained by Sheena Mcelhiney. Gray also won the $15,000 condition for distaff 4-year-olds and under with the promising 3-year-old filly Odds On Algorithm ($5.60) who came first-over and took the lead past the half and then closed out the mile by a length in 1:52.4, which was just 3/5th's off the track record. Odds On Algorithm is owned by The Green Machine Stable and is trained by Alicia Gray. Shawn Gray ended up the day with a driving triple, outpacing Bruce Ranger who won two. Trainers Sheena Mcelhiney and Alicia Gray both scored two wins apiece as well. Racing resumes at Plainridge Park on Sunday (Oct. 4) when the Massachusetts Sire Stakes 3-year-old division will reconvene for their second legs. Then on Monday (Oct. 5) the MASS 2-year-olds will be back on the track. Post time for both days is 2 p.m. By Tim Bojarski, for the Standardbred Owners of Massachusetts

Plainville, MA --- Benny Is A Jet has only made five starts at Plainridge Park this year but it's not how many starts you make, it's what you do when you make them. And on Thursday (Oct. 1) Benny Is A Jet made history as he rewrote the track's record book after becoming the fastest 3-year-old pacing gelding in the tracks 21-year history. In a $15,000 conditioned event four 4-year-olds and under, Benny Is A Jet (Mitchell Cushing) got away second behind Prince Galaxy (Matty Athearn) who paced to the quarter in :26.4. But he only remained in the second seat for another eighth of a mile as Cushing pulled him in front of the stands and took the lead before the half, and from there he raced against the clock. Benny Is A Jet burned up the backstretch in another :26.4 quarter and opened up a three-length lead by the top of the stretch. As the race headed towards the wire, Benny Is A Jet extended his lead to six under a hand drive with the plugs in and stopped the timer in 1:50.4, which was a new lifetime mark and track record.   It was the fourth win in the last five starts for Benny Is A Jet ($9.00) who is owned by Bradford Veilleux and Anthony Loiko. James Dunn trains the new record-holder. The $17,500 weekly featured Winners-Over pace went to recent Australian import Leonidas A, who had been racing at Yonkers Raceway. Major Leaguer (Kevin Switzer Jr.) and Rock Diamonds N (Ron Cushing) argued vehemently for the lead with Major Leaguer grabbing the front in :25.4. Leonidas A (Shawn Gray) pulled early and was trekking up the rim around the second turn, drawing even with Major Leaguer by the five-eighths and taking the lead by the three-quarters. But the race wasn't over yet. Military Master A (Bruce Ranger) was charging hard on the outside and Major Leaguer bounced back along the pylons. All three paced in close proximity down the lane but Leonidas A hung on to win by only 1/4 length in 1:51.3, which was a new lifetime mark. It was the second win in only five North American starts for Leonidas A ($2.10) who is owned by the Jesmeral Stable and trained by Sheena Mcelhiney. Five horsemen registered two victories each at Plainridge on Thursday. Drivers Mitchell Cushing, Kevin Switzer Jr. and Bruce Ranger along with trainer Jimmy Nickerson and Artie Brewer accounted for those 10 wins. Racing resumes at Plainridge Park on Friday (Oct. 2) with post time at 2 p.m. The Massachusetts Sire Stakes resume this week at Plainridge on Sunday (Oct. 4) and Monday (Oct. 5). Post time for both of those cards is also 2 p.m. by Tim Bojarski, for the Standardbred Owners of Massachusetts

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