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Plainville, MA---It's the same old story, but one his connections won't soon tire of. Mambo Lindy spotted the field seven lengths before roaring back to notch another harness racing victory at Plainridge Park as he won the $17,000 Open Handicap on Thursday (June 22). Mambo Lindy (Greg Merton) got away last in the field of seven as Mistress Valentine (Mark Eaton) rolled down the road in :27 and :55.2 with her followers strung out behind. At that station, Tag Up And Go (Chris Long) pulled first-over and Mambo Lindy followed in step. Halfway up the backstretch Mistress Valentine got foul-gaited and broke stride, leaving the pocket-sitting Guiltywithanexcuse (Jim Hardy) with the lead. Outside of him, the tiring Tag Up And Go had enough forcing Mambo Lindy to tip three-deep. When Merton made that move, Mambo Lindy was flying and took that momentum down the stretch. As Merton had already tucked the whip, Mambo Lindy cleared and drew off by three to the easiest kind of win in 1:53.3. It was the fourth straight feature trot win for Mambo Lindy ($3.40) at Plainridge Park and it expanded his bank account for the year to $32,000. The 6-year-old gelded son of Donato Hanover is owned by Greathorse of Hampden, Massachusetts and is trained by Frank Antonacci. Mambo Lindy is eligible to the $250,000 Spirit of Massachusetts Trot at Plainridge Park on Friday (July 28) and would certainly have the home field advantage in that race as a starter. Mambo Lindy was only one highlight of Merton and Antonacci's day as both horsemen put up lofty numbers on the afternoon. Greg Merton posted another six-win day, extending his dash driving lead over Kevin Switzer to 31. Merton finished first with Only Passing Thru ($2.40, 1:55.4), World Of Lindy ($4.60, 2:00), Mambo Lindy ($3.40, 1:53.3), Northern Nandi ($9.40, 1:58.1), City Pie ($3.40, 1:53.2) and Waiting On A Woman ($4.60, 1:56). His 1:55.4 win with Only Passing Thru in the second race tied the track record for 3-year-old trotting colts set by Backstage Pass (Eddie Davis Jr.) on May 4 of this year. Merton now boasts a gaudy 86 wins for this meet, 31 ahead of his 2016 total to this point when he won a track record 229 times. If he were to keep up this pace he would end up with 314 wins at this session. Frank Antonacci started three of his Lindy Farm trainees (Only Passing Thru, World Of Lindy and Mambo Lindy) and watched as all of them bested their fields. Antonacci now has 18 training wins out of 26 starts this meet, giving him a 65% win percentage. Other horsemen with notable performances were Chris Long with a driving double and Kyle Spagnola that had a training pair of wins. Live racing resumes at Plainridge Park on Friday (June 23) at 4 p.m. The Wicked Hi-5 pentafecta carryover for Friday is $2,265.42 and that wager is available only in the sixth race.   By Tim Bojarski, for the Standardbred Owners of Massachusetts  

Plainville, MA---Just as his size dwarfed his harness racing competitors, Big Cal's performance did as well today as he easily won the $12,000 conditioned pacing feature at Plainridge Park on Tuesday afternoon (June 20). Leaving from the pylons, Big Cal (Greg Merton) went right for the front while everyone else took a seat behind him. Motoring on a loose-lead under a snug hold, Big Cal tripped the timers at :26.4 and :56.1 before Riproy (Ron Cushing) pulled from third to get even with the leader. That encounter lasted about halfway through the last turn when Merton fed Big Cal some line and he started to rebuff the challenge. With two taps in the lane, Big Cal paced away to a four-length win in 1:53.1. It was the first win of the year for Big Cal ($9.80) but it produced a new lifetime mark for the 4-year-old son of Big Jim who is owned by Robert Pelc Jr. and trained by Shawn Answeeney. There were also two $10,000 filly and mares conditioned paces that produced opposing mutuals. After being locked in and shuffled back to last, driver Michael Stevenson was able to find a crack in a wall of parked horses with Cameo Delight and snuck out fifth before tipping four-wide down the lane to unleash a torrid brush by his mare that blew by everyone to win by a length in 1:54. It was the second consecutive victory for Cameo Delight ($19.80) who is owned by Deborah Espinosa and Bruce Espinosa, that also trains the winner. In the other scratch-shortened co-feature, I'm Saving Myself (Greg Merton) did just that; she sat third at the rail until the three-quarter pole when she pulled and brushed to the lead. Down the lane I'm Saving Myself turned it on and opened up two lengths under a Merton hand drive to win in 1:55.4. I'm Saving Myself ($4.80) was a first-time winner this year but also took a new lifetime mark in the process. The 4-year-old daughter of Always A Virgin is owned by Raymond Rogers and trained by Brian Lamb. Plainridge Park leading driver Greg Merton had the hot hand in the bike Tuesday winning three races on the afternoon while second place dash driver Kevin Switzer Jr. captured two. Trainer Scott Rollins moved into sixth place among resident conditioners for wins as he sent three of his students to the winners circle today while Brian Lamb and Shawn Answeeney each captured two victories apiece. Racing resumes on Thursday afternoon (June 22) with post time set at 4 p.m. Thursday's feature race is the $17,000 Open Handicap trot which has the Spirit of Massachusetts Trot eligible Mambo Lindy installed as the 6-5 morning line favorite.   By Tim Bojarski, for the Standardbred Owners of Massachusetts  

Plainville, MA---The Rohr Racing Stable and David Glazer made a wise investment when they claimed Betterlatethnnever for $30,000 on February 16 of this year because he has been paying them dividends ever since. This ATM machine rewarded them again when he won the $16,000 Open Handicap pacing feature at Plainridge Park on Monday afternoon (June 19) to notch his fourth consecutive harness racing victory. Betterlatethnnever (Kevin Switzer Jr.) left from post five, rambled right to the front in :26.1 and controlled the race from that point on. He led the short field of five to a :55.1 half and 1:22.3 three-quarters before turning on the jets to pull away by two at the top of the lane. From there under mild urging from Switzer, Betterlatethnnever stayed in command to win by an easy two-lengths in 1:50.4; just one-fifth off his lifetime mark. It was the ninth win of 2017 for Betterlatethnnever ($2.40) and seventh since his current connections claimed him. This 8-year-old gelded son of Western Terror is having a career year for trainer Heidi Rohr as he has now made $94,325 for his efforts. In the co-featured $14,000 conditioned pace, Cherokee Hiflyzane (Eddie Davis Jr.) overcame post seven and took the overland route to go from worst at the quarter to first at the wire in 1:53 flat. It was the fourth win of the year for Cherokee Hiflyzane ($25.00) and owners Roger Farrar II and Barrie Farrar, who also trained the winner. Kevin Switzer Jr. had a driving triple and Eddie Davis Jr. and Ron Cushing each doubled up. Trainer Heidi Rohr also sent two winners to visit the track photographer. Racing resumes on Tuesday (June 20) with post time at 4 p.m. By Tim Bojarski, for the Standardbred Owners of Massachusetts  

Plainville, MA---During its 18-year history, Plainridge Park had been considered mostly a harness racing "B" track, hosting horses that may have been overmatched at other venues. However as a direct result of the Race Horse Development Fund, expanded gaming in Massachusetts and the persistent hard work of all the horsemen and horsewomen in the state, Plainridge Park has now positioned itself as one of the more competitive tracks in the northeast. Over the last three years the track has been going through a very swift renaissance. Since opening in 1999, the track filled the void left in Massachusetts harness racing when Foxboro Park closed in 1997 after 50 years in operation. Evidence of this rebirth since 2014 is 45 more racing dates, purses which in some cases have doubled, a $10 million increase in live handle and another $3 million increase from simulcast. These numbers clearly indicate that Plainridge Park is a vital racing jurisdiction. The main goal of management moving forward was to make sure the local horsemen who supported the track in the lean years had the opportunity to benefit now. But they also wanted to put Massachusetts harness racing back on the map nationally and the best way to do that was with a Grand Circuit event. Track management looked at the racing calendar for a spot they could host a signature race during the summer where it wouldn't clash with another stake and allow them to draw the best horses to Plainridge for it. They identified an opening for aged trotters in late July leading up to Cashman Memorial and the Spirit of Massachusetts Trot was born. The inaugural edition of the $250,000 Spirit of Massachusetts Trot will be presented on Friday (July 28). The purse is by far the largest ever offered for a Standardbred race in the state, more than tripling the $81,000 Colonial trot held at Foxboro Park in 1995 and the $75,000 Beckwith Memorial held at Plainridge in 2009. And it will bring the best horses and drivers in the sport to Massachusetts for an event unparalleled in New England harness racing history. Steve O'Toole is the General Manager and Director of Live Racing at Plainridge Park. He has been associated with the track for many years and is pleased they are able to host such a prestigious race. "The success of Plainridge Park Casino, Massachusetts first expanded gaming facility, is the catalyst for this event. Racing is an important part of the operation at Plainridge Park and it is an important industry in Massachusetts and New England. The Spirit of Massachusetts Trot seemed to fit well with the effort to keep harness racing viable in the Commonwealth" said O'Toole. "The day in, day out racing program at Plainridge Park has been solidified over the past couple of years and we wanted to take the next step and create an event to let the industry know harness racing in Massachusetts is back on the map. Also by offering this race, we hope to boost the local fan base as well as strengthen the relationship with our simulcast customers." Horsemen have taken notice of the race as the connections of 38 eligibles have made the final sustaining payment in May and those eligibles include the very best Open trotters in the U.S. and Canada, including five millionaires among the plethora of stake winners. "Pretty much every track that is successful today has some type of signature race; it's a chance to sell our sport to the fans. The Spirit of Massachusetts will do just that. We will be hosting the best aged trotters in North America the week prior to Hambletonian Day so you would have to think there will be a lot of eyes on Plainridge Park that Friday afternoon" said Paul Verrette, Race Secretary at Plainridge Park. "Hosting a race like this is an honor and quite an accomplishment when you think about where this track was less than four years ago. The fact that this event is taking place is a testament to so much hard work by so many people in Massachusetts both inside and outside of the harness racing industry." And those people are on both sides of the fence. The horsemen partnered with track management to work on the growth at the facility and as a result, everyone is now reaping the fruits of their labor in a successful and professional atmosphere. "As we get closer to the big race, our members are excited to showcase an industry which has experienced significant growth and renewal over the past few years. The buzz is palpable; our owners and trainers are excited to participate on a card hosting such a significant event as the Spirit of Massachusetts Trot" said Bob McHugh, President of the Harness Horse Association of New England. "There has been a realization that this race will let the public know that harness racing is back in Massachusetts. And since there is talk about the state taking some money from the Race Horse Development Fund for other purposes, this race sends a message to the legislature that our industry is alive and well." Besides the signature event, plans for the rest of the July 28 card are to showcase the best local horsemen and horses that have been supporting and racing at the track for years. "The most important thing to me is that the other races that day are exclusively for regular Plainridge participants. We will have a handful of special races as we try to involve organizations such as the New England Amateur Drivers Club, the Massachusetts Breeders and the U.S.T.A, but it will be built around the Plainridge regulars" said Verrette. Harness racing in Massachusetts has been making history for well over 100 years. In 1903 the Readville Trotting Park was the site of the first 2:00 trotting mile when the little red mare, Lou Dillon became the queen of the turf. And Readville was also the first track to offer a $50,000 purse for a special American Handicap trot in 1908, the largest money ever offered in North American harness racing at that time. Now just 25 miles down I-95 from that historic site, Massachusetts harness racing looks to make history once again at Plainridge Park. A complete list of all 38 eligibles to the Spirit of Massachusetts Trot can be found by clicking here. A landing page for the Spirit of Massachusetts Trot has been created and will be updated with news and information as race day approaches. You can visit that by clicking here. By Tim Bojarski, for Plainridge Park  

Plainville, MA---A reversal of strategy produced favorable results as Mistress Valentine raced to a harness racing victory under cover in the $12,000 trotting feature at Plainridge Park on Thursday afternoon (June 15). Mistress Valentine (Mark Eaton) left as usual, but when Guiltywithanexcuse (Greg Merton) pulled from second to try for the lead at the quarter pole there was no argument. Eaton and his usually front-running mare let Merton go to the top and opted to take the trip. From there Guiltywithanexcuse did all the heavy lifting as he took the group to the half in :57.1 and three-quarters in 1:25.1. At that station the pack was in two rows; four in and three out. Guiltywithanexcuse had a narrow lead with One Swan For All (Wally Watson) outside, Wind And A Prayer (Kevin Switzer Jr.) three deep and Mistress Valentine locked in at the rail behind a wall of horses. As they headed down the straightaway, Mistress Valentine had trot but no racing room. But as Merton started getting after Guiltywithanexcuse, he started to drift off the pylons. Eaton saw his opening and started throwing the lines to chase his mare into the hole and came away a nose victor over Guiltywithanexcuse in 1:55.3. It was the fourth win of 2017 and 34th lifetime for Mistress Valentine ($4.40) and it pushed her annual assets to $33,155 for owners Bob McHugh and Mark Eaton, who does the training as well. In that race, Guiltywithanexcuse was claimed by Raymond and Eva Labonte for $20,000. Greg Merton had three driving wins and Monique Cohen had two tallies on the training side. Fans of the Wicked Hi-5 pentafecta wager were rewarded on Thursday as the largest payoff since the inception of the bet was doled out. In the sixth race, the bearer of a single 20-cent straight combination of 6-3-8-7-2 was presented with $9,864.66. Needless to say there is no carry-over for Friday. Racing resumes on Friday afternoon with post time set for 4 p.m.   By Tim Bojarski, for the Standardbred Owners of Massachusetts

Plainville, MA--- Shesjustadelight N was one of the harness racing stars of Yonkers Bluechip Matchmaker Free-For-All series earlier this year after winning two legs and making the final. With a freshening month off, she's back and rolling with a second last week in the mares Open at Yonkers and now scoring a win in the $12,000 filly and mares Open Handicap at Plainridge Park on Tuesday afternoon (June 13). Shesjustadelight N (Ron Cushing) left best at the start and took a lead she would not relinquish. With the remainder of the scratch-shortened field in post-position order behind her, Shesjustadelight N flashed a quick :26.4 quarter, but then backed off the middle half to :58.2. As the pace slowed during that time, Better Said (Shawn Gray) rushed up on the outside and got within one-length of the leader around the final turn. But with a mere tap, Cushing alerted his mare it was time to go and she responded by gapping two lengths immediately. Then under mild urging down the lane, Shesjustadelight N cruised home to an easy two-length win in 1:52.3, which was a new seasonal mark. It was the third win in 11 starts this year for Shesjustadelight N ($2.60) and today's effort boosted her 2017 earnings to $99,640 for owners Kevin Sywyk and Ron Cushing. Heidi Gibbs trains the winner. Since being imported from New Zealand in August of 2016, Shesjustadelight N has won 15 of 23 starts (including a perfect 12 for 12 last year) and has made $180,640 as a result of her efforts. In the $10,000 distaff co-feature, Verry Well Pretty (Eddie Davis Jr.) put in an impressive performance, winning off a first-over trip and posting a new lifetime mark of 1:53.1. It was the fourth win in 10 starts for the 5-year-old daughter of Well Said who returned $15.80 to her backers. Verry Well Pretty is owned by William Phipps and is trained by Adam Gray. Plainridge Park's leading driver was at it again. Greg Merton won five more races on Tuesday, pushing his total for the meet to 73. He scored with Boston Bay ($41.80, 1:55.2), Toe Tag ($4.00, 1:56.3), Olivia's Z Tam ($15.40, 1:54.2), See To Believe ($2.60, 1:53.1) and UF Dragon's Hanover ($3.40, 1:54). Last year, Merton set a track record for most wins in a year by posting 229 victories. At his current rate of success, Merton could easily shatter that mark by the end of the meet as he is currently on pace for 292 wins. Live racing resumes at Plainridge Park on Thursday (June 15) with the first post set for 4 p.m. By Tim Bojarski, for the Standardbred Owners of Massachusetts  

Plainville, MA---Although having a very solid body of work this year, Quick Shot has been lightly regarded at the windows of late. Well those harness racing fans who kept the faith were rewarded on Monday (June 12) as the big gun fired and won the $14,000 Open Handicap pace at Plainridge Park. With four horses leaving hard off the gate, Quick Shot (Eddie Davis Jr.) was taken back to fifth and safely tucked to the wood where he observed the proceedings for most of the mile. He watched He's Marvelous (Nick Graffam) scorch the stonedust on the point while setting fractional times of :25.4, :53.4 and 1:21.2, pacing loosely on the lead. As the race approached that third panel, the heavily favored Givenupdreaming (Kevin Switzer Jr.) had pulled from fourth, first over and Qucik Shot snuck out right behind him and gained a perfect striking position. When the field came off the last turn, Quick Shot tipped three-high around Givenupdreaming and overtook the tiring He's Marvelous for the lead. While a highly animated Davis was bouncing in the bike like he was sitting on a spring, Quick Shot was responding to the rhythm and paced away from his foes to win by a length in 1:51.2. It was the third win in 19 starts this season for Quick Shot ($48.80) and it fattened his wallet to $43,833 for the year. The 5-year-old gelded son of Art Major is owned By Kathleen Brewer and is trained by Arthur Brewer II. In the $12,000 co-feature for conditioned pacers, American Rock (Jim Hardy) took advantage of a perfect two-hole trip behind Madiba Magic (Greg Merton) before shaking cover at the top of the lane to score a one-length victory in 1:52.1. It was the third win of the year for American Rock ($8.20) but first since coming to Plainridge. The winner is owned by Stephen Zajchowski Jr., David Thibault , Christine Thibault and Jim Hardy, who also trains him. Kevin Switzer Jr. and Greg Merton each doubled-up in the win column as did trainer Jackie Greene. Racing resumes at Plainridge Park at 4 p.m. on Tuesday (June 13).   By Tim Bojarski, for the Standardbred Owners of Massachusetts

Plainville, MA---Plainridge Park has released the list of eligibles for its signature harness racing event, the $250,000 Spirit of Massachusetts Trot, which will be contested on Friday (July 28). The roster was confirmed after the second sustaining payments were received on Monday (May 15). 34 horses and geldings and four mares make up the 38 qualified to vie for the nine starting slots in the one-mile event. The all-star field of aged Open trotters is highlighted by five millionaires, namely International trotting star Resolve ($2,299,754), 2015 Colonial Trot and multi-stake winning Crazy Wow ($1,772,564), 2016 Hambletonian champion and 2016 Dan Patch Trotter of the Year Marion Marauder ($1,791,518), 2016 Dan Patch aged male Trotter of the Year Obrigado ($1,670,999) and 2016 Dan Patch Trotting Mare of the Year Hannelore Hanover ($1,478,478). The competition for this race is heating up as probable entrants are already making headlines in other events globally. Resolve recently finished third in the Elitlopp in 1:51.3, Crazy Wow won the Charlie Hill Memorial Trot at Eldorado Scioto Downs defeating Obrigado in a track record time of 1:52, Marion Marauder won his seasonal debut in the Graduate at Tioga Downs in 1:52.4 and Hannelore Hanover won back to back stakes in her last two outings at Mohawk Raceway in 1:52.4 and 1:52.2. Needless to say the Plainridge Park all-time trotting mark of 1:53.1 will be in definite peril on that last Friday of July. A complete list of all 38 eligibles to the Spirit of Massachusetts Trot can be found by clicking here. A landing page for the Spirit of Massachusetts Trot has been created and will be updated with news and information as race day approaches. You can visit that by clicking here.   By Tim Bojarski, for Plainridge Park

Plainville, MA---Track announcer Lenny Calderone summed it up nicely when he said "Greg Merton is piping-hot!" after he won the ninth race, which was his seventh victory on the harness racing card. Those wins couple with one second in 10 starts gave Merton a lofty one-day UDR of .755. Piping-hot Merton bested his previous high win total of six on one card this meet and sent the chalk bettors home happy in the process as none of his victories were overlooked by the public. He won with Only Passing Thru ($2.10, 1:56.4), Moose Madness ($3.80, 1:57.3), City Pie ($3.80, 1:53.1), Mambo Lindy ($3.00, 1:55), Guiltywithanexcuse ($3.40, 1:56), Fancy Footwork ($5.00, 1:52.2) and Muscana ($3.40, 1:56.1). Merton, who won the dash driving title at Plainridge last year, is now firmly in first place again with 66 wins on the young meet; 23 better than second place Kevin Switzer Jr. who has 43. Coming off a career year in 2016, Merton now has 4,310 wins lifetime and $18.3 million in purses earned. Merton's fourth win of the day came in the $15,000 Open Handicap trot with local favorite Mambo Lindy, who once again started off slow but finished strongest of all. It was no surprise that Mistress Valentine (Mark Eaton) bolted for the lead of the gate, but she had to tussle with Namesmuscle (Mark Athearn) to get it. After clearing at the quarter in :27 flat, Eaton hit the brakes and slowed the second panel to :30.3, stacking up the competition. Out of that stack came Mambo Lindy and Merton from seventh, who made a bold move on the outside and continued to advance up the long back-straight. By the three-quarter pole Mambo Lindy had caught Mistress Valentine and continued to advance by her around the turn. At the head of the lane, Mambo Lindy was loose on the lead and pulled away to a comfortable three-length victory in 1:55 without any urging at all from his pilot. It was the third straight win for Mambo Lindy ($3.00) and second straight Open feature score at Plainridge Park. The 6-year-old altered son of Donato Hanover is owned by Greathorse of Hampden, Ma and is trained by Frank Antonacci. Mambo Lindy is eligible for the $250,000 Spirit of Massachusetts Trot to be held at Plainridge Park on Friday (July 28). Kevin Switzer Jr. scored a driving double this day and trainers Frank Antonacci and Kyle Spagnola each saw two of their students enter the winner's enclosure. Racing resumes at Plainridge Park on Friday (June 9) with post time set at 4 p.m. By Tim Bojarski, for the Standardbred Owners of Massachusetts  

Batavia, NY---Horsemen wishing to race at Batavia Downs for the upcoming summer/fall meet please note that stall applications are now available for download on the track's website (www.bataviadownsgaming.com). Simply click Live Racing Horsemen Stall Application and Agreement. The complete 2017 racing schedule can be found at Live Racing Live Racing Schedule. Stall applications are also available at the Western New York Harness Horsemen's Association (WNYHHA) website (www.wnyhha.net) or at the WNYHHA office located at Buffalo Raceway. Race Secretary Joe Zambito has advised that all stall applications must be received by the track no later than Friday (July 7). The backstretch opens for tack on Tuesday (July 18) and horses may begin arriving in the barn area on Thursday (July 20). The 71st season of live harness racing at America's oldest lighted harness track features 71 race dates including seven matinee cards. The meet opens on Wednesday (July 26) and runs through Saturday (Dec. 16). Live racing will be presented on Sunday afternoons at 1:15 p.m., Wednesday evenings at 5:00 p.m. and Friday and Saturday evenings at 6:00 p.m. to begin the season. Monday will replace Sunday in September and go at 5:00 p.m. Once again, the 2017 meet will be highlighted by the very popular claiming series that the track introduced last year. Mid-level claimers accumulate points throughout the year and then vie for championship final purses of between $15,000 and $20,000 in November for each respective division. All stable inquiries should be directed to Todd Haight, Director/GM of Live Racing at 585-343-3750 ext. 6322. By Tim Bojarski, for Batavia Downs  

Plainville, MA---After enjoying a victory over some of the better resident pacing males last week, Elm Grove Inarush took on nine of the best harness racing distaff side-wheelers in the commonwealth and bested them as well in the $15,000 filly and mares Open Handicap pace at Plainridge Park on Tuesday afternoon (June 6). With cold wind, rain and a sloppy track setting the stage, six ladies left off the gate, eventually settling into spots as the race proceeded into the first turn. Mezzanine Fashion (Steve Nason) was the one who took the lead and tripped the first timer in :26.2. As soon as they passed that station, Beautiful Lady (Kevin Switzer Jr.) then pulled from third and took command before the field finally got a breather after that. As the jockeying for position was happening on the front, Elm Grove Inarush (Greg Merton) was content to stalk from sixth until the three-eighths pole when she started her methodical first-over trek with considerable ground to make up. Merton kept her steadily improving position through the slow :58 middle half and by the three-quarter pole Elm Grove Inarush was looking Beautiful Lady in the eye for the lead. The two paced in step for about an eighth of a mile before the race spiraled off the far turn. Elm Grove Inarush took the lead at that point and extended it with every stride as she paced down the lane, winning by a loose five-lengths in 1:52.4. It was the fourth win of the year and 31st of her career for Elm Grove Inarush ($8.20) and it pushed her purse total to $40,830 for the year. Owned by Martin Valentic and John Bednarski Jr., Elm Grove Inarush is trained by Elisha Lafreniere. The meet's leading driver, Greg Merton had another big day at the Ridge on Tuesday, winning four of the 11 races on the card. He achieved the grand-slam with Alexa's Prayer ($9.60, 1:54), Steuben Cindy ($4.00, 1:55.3), Elm Grove Inarush ($8.20, 1:52.4) and UF Dragons Hanover ($4.20, 1:54.4). Reinsmen scoring driving doubles during the afternoon included Kevin Switzer Jr., Jim Hardy and Steve Nason who lit up the board in the fourth race with 45-1 shot Allan Cay, returning $92.60 for the win. Live racing resumes at Plainridge Park on Thursday afternoon with post time for the first race set at 4 p.m.   By Tim Bojarski, for the Standardbred Owners of Massachusetts

The U. S. Harness Writers Association (USHWA), the trade organization of harness racing communicators and the largest organization of its kind in the world, has announced that it will be holding its 2018 Dan Patch Awards Banquet at the Rosen Shingle Creek in Orlando, Fla., on Sunday, February 25, with the organization's annual meetings to be conducted the day before and that day. Located just off Universal Boulevard, within 10 minutes of the Orlando International Airport and minutes from the many area attractions, Rosen Shingle Creek is a five-star property that is ranked a top-20 U.S. meeting hotel by Cvent. The stunning 230-acre property includes an 18-hole, Arnold Palmer-redesigned golf course, four swimming pools, a spa that includes nine treatment rooms, two lighted tennis courts, sand volleyball, basketball and a state-of-the-art fitness center. There are 15 restaurant/lounges located on the property, including the upscale steakhouse A Land Remembered, the fine-dining bistro Cala Bella, Banrai Sushi, Mi Casa Tequila Taqueria, and a 24-hour deli. Rosen Shingle Creek offers more than 1,500 smoke-free guestrooms, which include Creek Sleeper Beds with designer linens and pillows, plush robes, 40-inch TVs and a spa-like bathroom. Dan Patch Awards banquet ticket prices will be announced later, but a special price offering will be available for children 12 and under. Also, attendees will receive a greens fee discount at the adjacent golf course. Rosen Shingle Creek offers complimentary shuttles to area theme parks and Orlando Premium Outlets. Attendees will be able to purchase theme park ticket packages at a discount via USHWA, with that information also available at a later time. To see a promotional video of Rosen Shingle Creek, please click this link: RosenShingleCreekSizzleVideo2.mp4 "Through the hard work of our location committee,"said USHWA President Tim Bojarski. "USHWA now has a unique opportunity to host our Dan Patch Awards banquet at a truly luxurious location. The Rosen Shingle Creek Resort has facilities and amenities far beyond anywhere we have ever stayed in the past and we look forward to welcoming all of our award winners and guests to this property next February." The Dan Patch Awards Banquet annually honors the best and brightest performers, both human and equine, of the previous season. The award winners are selected by USHWA, which will be holding its directors meeting on Saturday and its general membership meeting on the banquet Sunday. Details will be made available at the USHWA website, http://www.ushwa.org/, and through trade media as they become available. From the U.S. Harness Writers Association

Plainville, MA---After two uncharacteristic finishes at Yonkers Raceway, Somesizesomestyle found his best foot and got back to his winning ways on the big track as he was the easiest of winners in the $13,000 Open I pace at Plainridge Park on Monday (June 5). Somesizesomestyle (Kevin Switzer Jr.) left sharply and led from gate to wire without even the slightest of challenges. After cutting fractions of :26.2, :55 and 1:22.2, the big horse cast a shadow on his foes as Switzer raised the lines to remind him to stay focused and that he did; opening up a quick three-length lead as he cruised to the wire peerless in 1:50.1. The winning time equaled his seasonal mark taken at Dover Downs on April 13. It was the fourth win of the year for Somesizesomestyle ($8.00) and it raised his 2017 earnings to $43,770 for Steve Finkelstein's Jesmeral Stable. The 6-year-old Somebeachsomewhere horse was purchased privately on April 24 and capably trained to victory this week by the meet's leading conditioner, Monique Cohen. In the co-featured $12,000 Open II pacing event, My Mind is Made Up (Billy Dobson) briefly yielded the front to Madiba Magic N (Greg Merton) at the quarter but retook and led the rest of the way en route to an easy two-length win in 1:51.1, which was a new lifetime mark. After splitting time between Plainridge and Yonkers the last two months, My Mind Is Made Up ($5.20) chalked up his first win of the year on the Ridge's fast 5/8th's mile strip for owner Jesmeral Stable and trainer Monique Cohen, giving those connections a sweep of the day's top two events. Kevin Switzer Jr. put on quite a show driving six winners on the card, including five-straight in races two through six. He also finished second twice and those starts gave him a sparkling .646 UDR for the day. Switzer smiled for the camera with Armenian Warrior ($2.10, 1:55.1), Kehmmywood ($5.60, 1:52.2), A Sweet Ride ($4.40, 1:51.4), Mercenary ($8.00, 1:54), Not My First Rodeo ($4.80, 1:53.2) and Somesizesomestyle ($8.00, 1:50.1). Nick Graffam and Greg Merton both had driving doubles and Mike Graffam and Joe Nelson joined Cohen as conditioners with two wins for the day. Racing resumes at Plainridge Park on Tuesday with post time for the first race set at 4 p.m. By Tim Bojarski, for the Standardbred Owners of Massachusetts

Plainville, MA---After four unsuccessful attempts to defeat the predominantly-male Open trotters, Mistress Valentine led from gate to wire and imposed her harness racing girl power on them Thursday (June 1) in the $15,000 handicap trot at Plainridge Park. Mistress Valentine (Mark Eaton) left strong from post six and gained the front easily after the field was released from the gate. With no early pressure, she cut comfortable fractions of :27.2 and :56.4 as the group swung by the half. At that station, One Swan For All (Wally Watson) pulled from third and strutted his best stuff. He motored up alongside the leader and the pair trotted in unison through the third panel and tripped that timer in 1:25.4. Halfway around the last turn, One Swan For All weakened and Mistress Valentine took that opportunity to put distance between herself and the rest of the field. The mare opened up a three-length lead by the top of the stretch and looked strong heading down the lane. With Eaton rocking easily in the bike, Mistress Valentine won by as many as she wanted in 1:55 flat. The time was a new seasonal mark for the winner. It was the third win of the year for Mistress Valentine ($16.00) and it pushed her 2017 income to $27,155 for owners Bob McHugh and Mark Eaton, who also trains the mare. In the co-featured $9,000 conditioned trotting event, Daggett (Mark Athearn) got away tenth before pulling past the quarter to methodically advance on the outside for the remainder of the race. Athearn tipped his horse four-wide at the top of the lane and barreled down the stretch, making up about five lengths in the process to win by a head in 1:56.1. As if that isn't story enough, Dagget went off at 85-1 and returned $172.40 for the win. It triggered a 9-5 exacta that paid $1,744.80 and a 9-5-10 trifecta that returned $28,033.40. Dagget is owned by William Phelps and is trained by Gretchen Athearn. Kevin Switzer Jr. had a driving grand slam on the card, winning with Jupiter Rising ($18.80, 1:58.4), Bold Fresh ($5.60, 1:57), Destination Moon N ($2.20, 1:54.2) and I'll Have Another ($5.40, 1:58.2). Trainer Scott Rollins also sent two of his students to the winner's enclosure for pictures. Racing resumes at Plainridge Park on Friday (June 2) at 4 p.m. For more information about standardbred racing at Plainridge, log onto the Standardbred Owners of Massachusetts www.sominc.net and Plainridge Park www.plainridgeparkcasino.com.   By Tim Bojarski, for the Standardbred Owners of Massachusetts  

Plainville,MA--- Greg Merton schooled his harness racing peers at Plainridge Park on Monday afternoon (May 29) when he won six races and finished second once out of nine drives, giving him an unbelievable .728 UDR for the afternoon. Merton scored with Shanghai Warrior ($7.20, 1:53.1), Memory Game ($3.00, 1:52.1), Talldarknhandsome ($6.00, 1:52.3), Biggie ($3.20, 1:53), Elm Grove Inarush ($9.60, 1:51.2) and Myhoneytellsall ($7.20, 1:54). Merton is currently the leading driver at the Plainridge meet with 51 wins, 16 more than his nearest competitor, Bruce Aldrich Jr. Merton was the dash driving champion at Plainridge last year and also the first to eclipse $1 million in earnings in the tracks history. Merton's fifth win of the day was with of Elm Grove Inarush who beat the boys in the $12,000 "Old Ironsides" conditioned pacing feature. A Sweet Ride (Kevin Switzer Jr.) took a quick lead and Elm Grove Inarush immediately tucked in second and ended up getting a sweet ride behind him the rest of the mile. Without any challengers whatsoever, Switzer carved out fractions of :26.1, :54 and 1:22.3 and looked like he was poised to bring home a winner. But just before the seven-eighths pole, Merton tugged the right line and Elm Grove Inarush switched into glide. She paced right by A Sweet Ride and opened up a two-length lead before fending off challenges from the late closing Quick Shot (Jim Hardy) and Cherokee Hiflyzane (Eddie Davis Jr.) to win in 1:51.2. The time was a new lifetime for the mare. It was the third win of the year for Elm Grove Inarush and it raised her 2017 earnings to $33,330 for owners Martin Valentic and John Bednarski Jr. The 6-year-old daughter of Coasttocoast Yankee is trained by Elisha Lafreniere. Lafreniere ended up having a training double on the card but was outdone in the win category by fellow conditioner Jackie Greene who had three wins. Live racing resumes on Tuesday afternoon (May 30) at Plainridge Park with the first post set for 4 p.m.   By Tim Bojarski, for the Standardbred Owners of Massachusetts  

Plainville, MA---It was a dark and stormy day. But despite the wind, rain and sloppy going, Mambo Lindy delivered like the postman and won the $13,000 Open harness racing trotting feature at Plainridge Park on Thursday afternoon (May 25). Mistress Valentine (Mark Eaton) embarked on her usual mission of getting the lead, but resistance from Midnite Craze (Ivan Davies) and Trotalot (Heath Campbell) stretched that process out until the three-eighths pole this week. Once in front, Mistress Valentine took the crew past the half in :55.3 with a gapped three-length advantage. Waiting On A Woman (Fern Paquet Jr.) pulled first-over and provided draft for Mambo Lindy (Greg Merton) and Trotalot. The outer-flow threesome caught the leader at the three-quarters when Mambo Lindy tipped three-deep off his cover around the last turn. He then dug in, threw his head with his stride and showed everyone who the best horse was this day. Mambo Lindy drew off to win by six open lengths with Merton sitting chilly in 1:54.2. It was the second consecutive win at Plainridge for Mambo Lindy ($3.00) and the time of 1:54.2 was a new seasonal mark. The 6-year-old gelded son of Donato Hanover is owned by Greathorse of Hampden, MA and is trained by Frank Antonacci. Antonacci's stable put on a show, pulling off the training hat-trick on Thursday. Besides taking the feature with Mambo Lindy, Antonacci also sent Only Passing Through ($6.00, 1:58.1) and World Of Lindy ($7.40, 1:59.3) to the winner's enclosure for pictures. The Ridge's leading driver Greg Merton won three races on the card, a total that was matched by Ron Cushing. And Kevin Switzer Jr. captured two victories on the afternoon. Racing resumes on Friday (May 26) at Plainridge Park with post time for the first race at 4 p.m. For up to the minute information on all Massachusetts harness racing action, log onto the websites of The Standardbred Owners of Massachusetts (www.sominc.net ) and Plainridge Park Casino (www.plainridgeparkcasino.com ).   By Tim Bojarski, for the Standardbred Owners of Massachusetts  

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