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Plainville, MA --- Manchego put on a display of devastating speed in a gate to wire victory in the $250,000 Spirit of Massachusetts Trot at Plainridge Park on Sunday (July 26) and set a new world record for aged trotting mares over a 5/8th's mile track when she tripped the timer in 1:49.3. Manchego broke her own world record of 1:50.1 set at Hollywood Dayton Raceway in 2019. The time also smashed the all-age track trotting record at Plainridge Park, besting the 1:51.2 set by JL Cruze in the 2017 Spirit Trot. Dexter Dunn had Manchego revved up off the gate and shot right for the lead with Atlanta (Yannick Gingras) dropping in the pocket from post seven as the race passed the quarter in a blistering :25.2. The field remained in single file as Manchego marched to the half in :53.3 and the three-quarters in 1:21 with Atalanta in deliberate pursuit. As the pair trotted away from the field around the last turn, Gingras pulled Atlanta off the pylons to take her best shot at the leader. But as soon as she pulled, Manchego accelerated, opened up two lengths and proceeded to the wire under no urging at all to win wrapped-up by 2-1/2 lengths. Atlanta held on for second and Run Director (David Miller) closed fast to finish third.   It was the 31st career win for Manchego ($3.00) and it pushed her lifetime earnings to over $2,342,705. The 5-year-old daughter of Muscle Hill-Secret Magic is owned by Black Horse Racing and is trained by Nancy Takter. One race earlier in the $100,000 Clara Barton Distaff Pace, Shartin N made herself right at home again at Plainridge as she broke the all-age track record that she set here just last year. Tim Tetrick put Shartin N on the point immediately as Kissin In The Sand (Yannick Gingras) left from post four and followed closely with the two-hole trip. After the quick :26.2 quarter and with no pressure at all, Tetrick backed down the second panel to :28.1 and the race seemed well in control for him at that point. By the five-eighths, Gingras pulled Kissin In The Sand and tried to draw alongside Shartin N, but never got closer than a length around the far turn. Tetrick eased the lines a bit and gave Shartin N her head and the mare swelled up down the lane, opening up 2-1/4 lengths in a :27 flat last panel and won in 1:48.1. Stablemate Soho Burning Love A (Jordan Stratton) rallied late to finish second and 38-1 shot Philly Hanover (Dexter Dunn) completed the board.   The time was a new all-age track record at Plainridge Park which was set last year in this same stake by Shartin N when she cruised home in 1:49.1, and it was only one-fifth of a second off the world record of 1:48 for an aged pacing mare over a five-eighths mile track that is co-held by her and Somwherovrarainbow. This was the 44th career victory for Shartin N ($2.60) who has now earned $2,244,946 for owners Richard Poillucci, Jo Ann Looney-King and Tim Tetrick. The 7-year-old daughter of Tintin In America-Bagdarin is trained by Jim King Jr. By Tim Bojarski, for Plainridge Park  

Plainville, MA --- Some of the best harness racing handicappers in the business give their selections for the $250,000 Spirit of Massachusetts Trot and $100,000 Clara Barton Distaff Pace that will be held at Plainridge Park on Sunday (July 26). Gordon Waterstone - Associate Editor - The Horseman And Fair World Spirit Of Massachusetts Trot 7-Atlanta 4-Manchego 6-Lindy The Great Even though Manchego gets a post edge in this battle, I believe Atlanta is a whisker better, so she'll get my nod in the photo finish.   Clara Barton Pace 2-Shartin N 4-Kissin In The Sand 3-Soho Burning Love A Shartin N missed a start with a tender foot and that was likely the reason behind a narrow loss last time out to a horse that came up the pylons.   Dave Brower - Meadowlands oddsmaker, handicapper and broadcaster Spirit Of Massachusetts Trot 4-Manchego 2-Eurobond 7-Atlanta Manchego figures to take her turn in this epic rivalry with Atlanta this year. I think she's more versatile on the smaller-size track and I just don't see the Takter-trained duo giving up their post position advantage.   Clara Barton Pace 2-Shartin N 3-Soho Burning Love A 4-Kissin In The Sand Shartin N is pretty hard to go against, after that needed "tightener" in the Dorothy Haughton at M1. She raced her eyeballs out and came up a little bit short. The inner post makes all the difference.   Derick Giwner - Editor - The Daily Racing Form Harness Spirit of Massachusetts Trot 4-Manchego 6-Lindy The Great 7-Atlanta Manchego should take charge and never look back.   Clara Barton Pace 2-Shartin N 4-Kissin In The Sand 3-Soho Burning Love A Shartin N wasn't quite herself in the Haughton; makes amends.   Lenny Calderon - Race Announcer - Plainridge Park Spirit of Massachusetts Trot 4-Manchego 7-Atlanta 5-Lindy The Great Manchego has been outstanding in all four starts this year with her only loss coming at the hands of arch-rival Atlanta. This aged miss can make no mistakes and should prove best in the drive to wire.   Clara Barton Pace 2-Shartin N 4-Kissin In The Sand 3-Soho Burning Love A Shartin N is one classy lady who should be up to the task in defending her title.   Ken Warkentin - Race Announcer - Meadowlands Racetrack Spirit of Massachusetts Trot 4-Manchego 7-Atlanta 2-Eurobond Two-time Dan Patch Award & Breeders Crown winner & fastest female trotter in history, Manchego tuned up with an easy Miss Versatility leg. She's tough when in control.   Clara Barton Pace 3-Soho Burning Love A 4-Kissin In The Sand 2-Shartin N The fresh and hot stablemate of Shartin N has emerged as a deadly closer at The Big M. She won't be far off to collar the speed. Bob "Hollywood" Heyden - Freelance Racing Statistical Authority Spirit of Massachusetts Trot 4-Manchego 7-Atlanta 1-Joey Bats The best current rivalry continues. Post position may decide many of these as they vie for the biggest pot since the TVG.   Clara Barton Pace 2-Shartin N 3-Soho Burning Love A 4-Kissin In The Sand Shartin N comes in off a huge effort after missing a start. No pacer has gone back to back HOY since Cam Fella 1982-83. Ken Weingartner - USTA Media Relations Manager Spirit of Massachusetts Trot 4-Manchego 7-Atlanta 6-Lindy The Great Not much separates Manchego and Atlanta, so it might come down to post position and trip.   Clara Barton Pace 2-Shartin N 4-Kissin In The Sand 5-Trillions Hanover Shartin N just missed in the Dorothy Haughton after a minor foot issue and should return to her winning ways here.   Garnet Barnsdale - Public Handicapper for the Daily Racing Form Spirit of Massachusetts Trot 7-Atlanta 4-Manchego 6-Lindy The Great Atlanta will likely offer the better price of the two super mares due to post position.   Clara Barton Pace 2-Shartin N 3-Soho Burning Love A 4-Kissin In The Sand Shartin N returns in eight days this time and it is very doubtful she will be picked off late again.     Michael Carter - USTA Social Media Publicity Coordinator Spirit of Massachusetts Trot 6-Altanta 4-Manchego 3-Muscle M Up Atlanta kicked off her five-year-old campaign with a game second place finish in the Miss Versatility to rival Manchego. She has since won two straight including the Cutler against the boys at The Meadowlands.   Clara Barton Pace 2-Shartin N 4-Kissin In The Sand 3-Soho Burning Love A Shartin N made her first start after injuring herself at Yonkers on June 30. She was game in defeat in the Dorothy Haughton but don't hold that loss against her.She is a tough mare who may have just needed a start off the bench.   Tim Bojarski - Publicist and Handicapper at Plainridge Park Spirit of Massachusetts Trot 4-Manchego 7-Atlanta 6-Lindy The Great Manchego gets a slight nod over Atlanta for me as she is back in to go in a week where Atlanta has had 15 days off. It's that close.   Clara Barton Pace 2-Shartin N 4-Kissin In The Sand 3-Soho Burning Love A This race is all about speed and with only six drawn in, it's wide open. In that even of a field I will take Shartin N every time.   Consensus: Spirit of Massachusetts Trot-Manchego, Atlanta, Lindy The Great Clara Barton Pace-Shartin N, Kissin In The Sand, Soho Burning Love A   By Tim Bojarski, for Plainridge Park  

Plainville, MA --- When the Grand Circuit makes its midsummer stop in Massachusetts on Sunday (July 26), the top three aged mares currently competing in the sport, all who are multi-million dollar winners, will be on hand to compete in the $250,000 Spirit of Massachusetts Trot and $100,000 Clara Barton Distaff Pace at Plainridge Park. The much anticipated third round of the year between Atalanta and Manchego will take place in the Spirit and little separates the two coming into the race after each claiming one win in head-to-head competition. In their first meeting in the $40,000 Ms. Versatility at the Meadowlands on June 19, Atlanta and Manchego got away third and fifth respectively before Yannick Gingras pulled Atlanta and Dexter Dunn followed with Manchego. Atlanta cleared past the quarter and Manchego took control from her by the half. The pair remained one-two until they hit the stretch when Gingras tipped Atlanta and methodically gained ground on Manchego as both drivers heavily urged their mounts. When they hit the wire they were side by side and it took a photo to separate them by a nose, with Manchego getting the nod in 1:50 flat. The win time is the fastest trotting mile of the year to this point. The second meeting came two weeks later on July 4 in the $170,900 Cutler Memorial, also at M1. Atlanta and Manchego both gunned the gate and sprinted away in tandem from the field of 11 to a very hot first quarter of :25.4. Manchego was finally able to clear at that point but Atalanta was right on her back. Chin Chin Hall (Brian Sears) engaged Manchego past the half and pushed her through a 1:23.1 third quarter and around the far turn. Atlanta, who was sitting in the pocket, was able to get out at the top of the lane and tip three-deep turning for home. Atlanta drew even with Manchego in deep stretch and eventually was able to run her down at the wire to win by only 1/2 length in 1:50.1. That time is the second fastest trotting mile of the year (tied with Guardian Angel As). Despite this marquee match up, the 2020 Spirit Trot field has other very strong competitors who can definitely have an effect on the outcome of the race, making this a very bettable event. Lindy The Great (Andy Miller) has yet to win this year but has suffered bad luck in the draws with two consecutive eight holes, forcing him into two hellacious overland trips. However he has still performed outstanding despite those disadvantages, finishing second and third in those races. In the Cutler he was beaten only 1-1/4 lengths by Atalanta and Manchego after being parked out the entire mile. Manchego's stablemate Eurobond (Tim Tetrick) is coming off a powerful 1:51.2 win at Harrah's Philadelphia on July 5 and seems to be peaking at the right time for this race. He has a lifetime best outing of 1:50.1 last year at the Meadowlands and clearly has the ability to contend with these. Joey Bats (Andrew McCarthy) could be a big sleeper here after finishing only 2-3/4 lengths behind the favorites in the Cutler. He had a favorable draw (post one) and McCarthy has already pulled an upset in this stake when he followed fast fractions and snuck up the inside to win 2017 Spirit with JL Cruze at 60-1. Shartin N will make her second trip to the Commonwealth to defend her crown after she won the inaugural Barton in 2019. In that race, Tim Tetrick put Shartin N on the point and went gate to wire, uncontested and under a strong hold to win in 1:49.1, smashing the all time Plainridge track record. This year Shartin N started out winning two straight and taking an early season's mark of 1:50 at Dover Downs before being sidelined with a foot injury. After 18 days off she returned to the Meadowlands on July 18 in the $172,850 Dorothy Haughton Memorial and put in a huge effort, falling short by only a neck. In a first-over trip engaging the front running Kissin In The Sand (Yannick Gingras), Shartin N took the lead in mid-stretch but tired in the final strides to finish second behind Major Occasion (Dexter Dunn) who rallied gamely up the pylons. With that start under her belt, she remains the horse to beat on Sunday and Tetrick will have her on her toes. Kissin In The Sand was pushed extremely hard every step of the mile in that Haughton start and still tired only late. In her first outing of 2020 she scorched the Meadowlands, going gate to wire in a lifetime best 1:47.4, which is also the fastest pacing mile of the year to date. Shartin N's stablemate Soho Burning Love A (Jordan Stratton) won back-to-back races in 1:48.4 and 1:48.1 before finishing third in the Haughton, right between the two morning line favorites. This mare has paced home in :25.4 three times this year and will be in a position to upset. Another mare to watch is Trillions Hanover (George Brennan) who has also exhibited great closing speed. With four solid races in her last four starts, there is not much separating her from the favorites at the end of the day with a favorable trip. Kissin In The Sand, Soho Burning Love A and Trillions Hanover will give Shartin N all she can handle in this very short, six-horse field. The all-time track record on the trot at Plainridge Park is 1:51.3 set by JL Cruze and 1:49.1 on the pace by Shartin N. Both marks look to be under assault on Sunday. Post time for the first race is 2 p.m. Post time for the Clara Barton Pace is 3:20 p.m. and the Spirit of Massachusetts Trot is 3:40 p.m. Lasix schedule for Plainridge Park Sunday With the early 2 p.m. post time at Plainrdige Park on Sunday (July 26), horsemen are reminded that the Lasix schedule remains the same as other race days. Lasix horses must be on the grounds four hours before post time of their respective race and non-Lasix horses must be on the grounds three hours before post time of their respective race. Stall assignments will be available when you check in. Also please remember that the barn area will open at 8 a.m.  by Tim Bojarski, for the Standardbred Owners of Massachusetts 

Plainville, MA --- With the draw now complete, two short but stacked harness racing fields are set for the $250,000 Spirit of Massachusetts Trot and $100,000 Clara Barton Distaff Pace, that will be contested on Sunday (July 26) when the Grand Circuit makes a stop at Plainridge Park. The track's signature trot will see the heavyweight battle between Atlanta and Manchego renewed for the third time this year in the Spirit of Massachusetts, with each mare having won once and the two only separated by a combined half-length in those contests. Plus these mares are responsible for trotting the two fastest miles so far this year. Shartin N won the Clara Barton Pace in 2019 in track record time and will return to defend her title. Her stablemate Soho Burning Love A has posted back-to-back 1:48 wins already this year since landing from Australia, but Kissin In The Sand has paced the fastest mile by a mare overall this year (1:47.4). Tracks records are in danger across the board at The Ridge on Sunday. Here are the complete draws for both stakes: $250,000 Spirit of Massachusetts Trot - Post Time 3:40 p.m. Post Horse Driver Trainer 1 Joey Bats Andrew McCarthy Andrew Harris 2 Eurobond Gingras/Tetrick Nancy Takter 3 Muscle M Up TBD Ake Svanstedt 4 Manchego Dexter Dunn Nancy Takter 5 Run Director David Miller Andrew Harris 6 Lindy The Great Andy Miller Julie Miller 7 Atlanta Yannick Gingras Ron Burke $100,000 Clara Barton Distaff Pace - Post Time 3:20 p.m. Post Horse Driver Trainer 1 Philly Hanover Dexter Dunn Ron Coyne 2 Shartin N Tim Tetrick Jim King Jr. 3 Soho Burning Love A Jordan Stratton Jim King Jr. 4 Kissin In the Sand Yannick Gingras Nancy Takter 5 Trillions Hanover George Brennan Tom Fanning 6 Kimberlee Dunn/Andy Miller Ake Svanstedt There are 10 races on the card with purses totaling $415,000. Post time for the first race is 2 p.m. By Tim Bojarski, for Plainridge Park  

Plainville, MA --- Owners, trainers, driver s and grooms who will be coming to Plainridge Park on Sunday (July 26) for the $250,000 Spirit of Massachusetts Trot and $100,000 Clara Barton Distaff Pace are asked to take note of the following information before coming to the track as much has changed due to state of Massachusetts regulations relating to Covid-19. The draw for Sunday (July 26) will be held on Wednesday (July 22) with the box closing at 9 a.m. Also on Wednesday, you will need to fax to the judges a 2020 negative coggins test, a 2020 EHV vaccination record and an up to date health certificate with Plainridge Park as the destination for each horse racing. There will be limited access to the administration building and as a result, anyone needing a 2020 Massachusetts racing license is urged to apply in advance. Go to the MGC website (, download the appropriate form and fax it to the judges prior to coming to Plainridge to keep the number of people who need access to the licensing office to a minimum on race day. If you are unable to do that, print and bring the completed form with a check made out to the Massachusetts Gaming Commission to the track to expedite the transaction on site. The fax number for sending health certificates or licensing forms is 508.643.9624. The phone number to contact the judges direct is 508.576.4565. There is no overnight stabling on the grounds at Plainridge Park this year, so you will not be able to get into the track before Sunday morning (July 26) at 8 a.m. All horses in to go must be on the grounds no later than 11 a.m. and then get to the Lasix barn at the appropriate time for your race. All horses will have assigned stalls and must remain in those stalls until the races are over. At the conclusion of the card, all horses must then leave the grounds. No one is allowed in the paddock except for the trainer of the horse and a groom. No owners will be allowed in the paddock. Also no one will be allowed in the winner's circle after any race except the winning horse and the driver. To enter the grandstand you must go to the main casino entrance, have your temperature taken, answer a health questionnaire and then proceed to the racing side of the building. A mask must be worn upon entering Plainridge Park Casino and must be kept on the entire time you are there. Social distancing is also a requirement and will be enforced. Also due to state Covid-19 restrictions, the grandstand will be limited to a maximum of 300 people. If you are planning on attending, tickets will be available the day of the race at the program stand or from any racing services manager for $5 (limit two per person). Please note there are a number of tickets reserved for participating horsemen that day. By Tim Bojarski, for Plainridge Park

Plainville, MA --- Guardian Angel As lived up to his billing in the $250,000 Spirit of Massachusetts Trot as he led every step of the way en route to an impressive victory, setting a harness racing new track record in the process. Tim Tetrick wasted no time putting Guardian Angel As on the point, seating everyone else in the process before he hit the quarter in :26.4. Tetrick then slowed down the pace in the second panel to :28.3, forcing an outer flow that brought Weslynn Dancer (David Miller), La Grange A (Andy Miller) and Mambo Lindy (Drew Monti). The field made its way up the backside and Weslynn Dancer eventually drew even with Guardian Angel As before they hit three-quarters in 1:22.4. There Tetrick tapped his horse twice and he shifted gears and opened up by a length. Down the lane Tetrick reminded Guardian Angel As his work wasn't quite finished and he tapped the wheel disk a couple times more and the trotter closed it out on his own, winning by a length in 1:51.3. The time was a new track record for aged trotting horses, smashing the standing mark of 1:53.4 set by Kodak Lindy in 2016 and was only one-fifth of a second off the all-time trotting mark of 1:51.2 set by JL Cruze in the inaugural edition of the Spirit of Massachusetts Trot back in 2017. Guardian Angel As ($3.00) has now won five out of his last six races and the winner's share of the purse boosted his 2019 earnings to $312,934 for owners Acl Stuteri Ab and Kjell Johansson. Anette Lorentzon trains Guardian Angel As. Two races before that track record breaking performance, Shartin N put on a show of her own when she broke two standing Plainridge records in the $100,000 Clara Barton Distaff Pace. Shartin N Once again the hot-handed Tetrick vaulted Shartin N to the front and took that position unopposed and from there she was simply a pacing machine. As Tetrick had his hands full with his mare on the bit, Shartin N went to the quarter in :26.3, the half in :55.1 and the three-quarters in 1:22.1 with the field just trying to keep pace. When they made their way around the last turn you could see Shartin N starting to pull away. Tetrick was sitting statuesque without urging the mare at all while she was accelerating on her own towards the record book. Shartin N pulled away to a two-length margin and was wrapped up at the wire in 1:49.1. Shartin N broke the aged pacing mare record of 1:50 set by Youaremycandygirl (Yannick Gingras) just three races earlier on the card and also the 14-year-old all-time pacing mark of 1:49.2 set by Maltese Artist in 2005. It was the 10th win in a row and 11th of the season for Shartin N ($2.20) and it raised her 2019 earnings to $655,765 for owners Rich Poillucci, Jo Ann Looney-King and her driver Tim Tetrick. Jim King Jr. trains the 2018 Dan Patch Award winning mare. "It was a great day of racing at Plainridge Park and it was good to see such a strong turnout of racing fans throughout the facility," said Steve O'Toole, Director of Racing at Plainridge Park. "It was also great to see Massachusetts native Rich Poillucci and Shartin N win the Barton and also Massachusetts natives Jim Winske, Paul Kelley and Steve Michaels finishing second with The Veteran in the Spirit." by Tim Bojarski, for Plainridge Park and the HHANE

Plainville, MA --- Some of the top harness racing handicappers in North American give their selections for the $100,000 Clara Barton Distaff Pace and the $250,000 Spirit of Massachusetts Trot that will be contested when the Grand Circuit rolls into Plainridge Park on Sunday (July 28). Post time for the first race is 2 p.m. Gordon Waterstone - Associate Editor, The Horseman And Fair World $100,000 Clara Barton Pace 3 - Shartin N - Easy finding the winner here as the Queen of the division isn't relinquishing her crown. 2 - Apple Bottom Jeans - Has the tactical speed to be in position to get a nice piece. 5 - Bettor Joy N - Been chasing her star stablemate all year and will likely do so here again. $250,000 Spirit of Massachusetts Trot 6 - Guardian Angel As - Has been on a roll of late, could not overcome the tough post last time out at Meadowlands. 7 - Fiftydallarbill - No chance last two starts against trotting stars, but has been right there for the most part. 1 - Weslynn Dancer - Lone mare in the field should get a great trip from the inside post position.   Dave Brower - Oddsmaker and Broadcaster - Meadowlands Racing and Entertainment $100,000 Clara Barton Pace 3 - Shartin N - It is virtually impossible to go against this mare. She's been invincible all season and handles all size tracks. Post is a plus as well. 2 - Apple Bottom Jeans - This one looks to be the next best since she can sprint off the car and look to follow the favorite. 5 - Bettor Joy N - She figures to pick up the pieces from the rest, provided she's not trip or pace compromised. $250,000 Spirit of Massachusetts Trot 3 - Trolley - I'll take a shot with Trolley to upset. Erv and Marcus Miller have him good again, and with post edge on the favorite, he might be able to steal away at a price. 6 - Guardian Angel As - He might be the best older trotter in North America, but he will have to bounce back from a tough post in a race that hasn't been kind to favorites. 1 - Weslynn Dancer - The lone mare in the race is in a nice spot to step up and showcase her talent if she sits, saves and rallies late.   Michael Carter - Social Media/Publicity Coordinator USTA $100,000 Clara Barton Pace 3 - Shartin N - Who has been better than Shartin N in the mare division as of late. She enters the race having won 10 of 11 starts in 2019 and hasn't shown any signs of slowing down. 2 - Apple Bottom Jeans - Has really shown a lot of promise as of late and while her most recent form shows her not winning, she does have five wins to her credit this year with over $200,000 in the bank. I think she has a sneaky chance to possibly upend the favorite. 6 - Baron Remy - Recently tied a world-record at Northfield Park on July 19 having won by 4-3/4 lengths. She draws a little tough, but has proven she can handle an outside draw. That effort last week is really hard to ignore, she seems to be on the upswing. $250,000 Spirit of Massachusetts Trot 1 - Weslynn Dancer - I had the luxury of calling her qualifier at The Meadowlands where she was prepping for this race after making a break in the Cleveland Trotting Classic. I want to say that maybe she just didn't take to the track that night. Plainridge is a bigger surface and should be more suited to her capability. 3 - Trolley - This talented horse has been sneaky good as of late against some really good company. This field came up just to his liking I believe as there is a good amount of talent, but I think they are all on the same playing field. He is as versatile as they come and should be able to get into a good stalking spot. 6 - Guardian Angel AS - Won the Cleveland Trotting Classic at Northfield Park and after a couple week hiatus, just did not take to The Meadowlands surface. That effort that night is making me shy away, but he is a talented horse who shouldn't be over looked.   Garnet Barnsdale - Public Handicapper for DRF Harness $100,000 Clara Barton Pace 3 - Shartin N - is simply too good for these and is sure to go off at 1 to 9 in this field. It's best to seek value underneath here. 1 - Kimberlee - comes off a lifetime- best score and she may offer some exacta value with the step up in class. She could trip out here. 2 - Apple Bottom Jeans - is always in the mix and she sit a nice trip and hit the board again. $250,000 Spirit of Massachusetts Trot 1 - Weslynn Dancer - is likely to get overlooked here coming off a break in stride, but her strong 2nd to Atlanta in the Armbro Flight puts her right there with these; call to upset. 6 - Guardian Angel As - had a perfect tightener for this and he is sure to be put into action much earlier here. He's the horse to beat. 3 - Trolley - has been solid most of the year and he can get a trip and take a share in this spot.   Mike Bozich - Track Announcer at Harrah's Philadelphia - Post Time with Mike and Mike $100,000 Clara Barton Pace 2 - Apple Bottom Jeans - was a bit out of range her last two efforts vs. Shartin N. She is the likely pocket-sitter. 3 - Shartin N - is the queen, but gives back little value to the punter. We'll try to beat her. 5 - Bettor Joy N - will need striking position and a pace breakdown to score the upset. $250,000 Spirit of Massachusetts Trot 4 - Mambo Lindy - has home court advantage and has proven he can go with these in the past. 6 - Guardian Angel As - had no chance from poor position in his most recent, but the world-record holder has been ultra sharp this season. 1 - Weslynn Dancer - nearly beat the great Atlanta in the Armbro Fling at Mohawk a few starts ago. She's more than capable with the right journey.   Derick Giwner - Editor - DRF Harness $100,000 Clara Barton Pace 3 - Shartin N 2 - Apple Bottom Jeans 5 - Bettor Joy N Shartin N is the best pacing mare in North America and perhaps the best horse. It is difficult to imagine her losing. $250,000 Spirit of Massachusetts Trot 3 - Trolley 6 - Guardian Angel As 5 - The Veteran Trolley isn't the best horse in this race but he has a post edge on Guardian Angel As which should provide a tactical edge if driver Marcus Miller gets uber-aggressive.   Tim Bojarski - Racing Media Relations - Plainridge Park $100,000 Clara Barton Pace 3 - Shartin N - The Queen is simply the toughest pacing mare I have ever seen. She has no quit in her and doesn't know where the wire is. I don't see her changing her ways today. 2 - Apple Bottom Jeans - Should get the perfect trip and has won at Plainridge in the past. I think she has the only chance of an upset. 5 - Bettor Joy N - Would be the star in anyone's barn, but will have to watch stablemate Shartin N win again. $250,000 Spirit of Massachusetts Trot 6 - Guardian Angel As - Comes into this race off four straight tough wins and an even tougher parked outing. He is tight and right so say good night! 3 - Trolley - Had a very successful campaign at the Meadowlands this year and seems to be peaking at the right time. He will be dangerous. 4 - Mambo Lindy - Knows this track very well and the short field plays right into his hands. Could be the price play of the day!   Bob "Hollywood" Heyden - Historian-Meadowlands Racing and Entertainment $100,000 Clara Barton Pace 3 - Shartin N - doesn't carry her track around and loves what she's doing-we may be looking at the #1 earning female of all time when done. 2 - Apple Bottom Jeans - can sprint with the best of them and that should help secure position here. 5 - Better Joy N - is the down under stablemate to the HOY runnerup; she has all kinds of ability herself and can pace with the rest of these ladies for sure. $250,000 Spirit of Massachusetts Trot 7 - Fiftydallarbill - was originally thought of as some kind of Indiana fluke (Breeders Crown winner at 2) He's spent about a year and a half showing that is NOT the case. 6 - Guardian Angel - has been one of the better stories of the year and will have to keep on improving to better this talented bunch. 3 - Trolley - went well on both ends last out-likely with an eye on this one. He's been sharp pretty much all year long and his best days are still in front of him.   James Witherite - Race Caller / "Trip Note Master" $100,000 Clara Barton Pace 3 - SHARTIN N - remains the class of the division after victory over nine furlongs in the Golden Girls. She's gone some monstrous miles this season and has tackled all comers. Once again, she's the mare to beat. 2 - APPLE BOTTOM JEANS - emerged from traffic to just miss Shartin N By a length in the Golden Girls after consistently good showings in series and stakes action. Expect her to be close to the action with ease. 7 - KAITLYN N - has been out of action since April, but her Yonkers qualifier last Friday indicates fitness. Forgive her effort in the Matchmaker final given she chased without cover into a pretty stout middle half. $250,000 Spirit of Massachusetts Trot 6 - GUARDIAN ANGEL AS - should have a more direct journey here than he did in New Jersey behind JL Cruze and Trolley. He showed ability to absorb and deliver pressure alike in May and June stakes assignments. 3 - TROLLEY - has been just a cut below in marquee events, but that has largely been a byproduct of unfavourable journeys. Note his first-over push in the Maxie Lee and excess cover three back. He can threaten if more directly involved. 1 - WESLYNN DANCER - takes on the boys after chasing for second behind 2018 Hambletonian winner Atlanta in the Armbro Flight and the Miami Valley Distaff. Her qualifier a fortnight ago indicates fitness.   Consensus $100,000 Clara Barton Pace 3 - Shartin N 2 - Apple Bottom Jeans 5 - Bettor Joy N $250,000 Spirit of Massachusetts Trot 6 - Guardian Angel As 1- Weslynn Dancer 3 - Trolley To see the full program for this day's racing click on this link. By Tim Bojarski, for Plainridge Park and the HHANE  

Plainville, Ma --- The draw is complete and Plainridge Park Race Secretary Paul Verrette has released the harness racing post positions for the $250,000 Spirit of Massachusetts Trot and the $100,000 Clara Barton Distaff Pace that will be held at Plainridge on Sunday afternoon (July 28). Race Seven $100,000 Clara Barton Distaff Pace Post Time 4:15 p.m. Post - Horse - Sire - Driver - Trainer 1 - Kimberlee -  Rock N Roll Heaven - Andy Miller - Ake Svanstedt 2 - Apple Bottom Jeans - Mr Apples - Corey Callahan - Dylan Davis 3 - Shartin N - Tintin In America - Tim Tetrick - Jim King Jr. 4 - Don't Think Twice A - Armbro Operative - Brian Sears - Andrew Harris 5 - Bettor Joy N - Bettor's Delight - Dexter Dunn -  Jim King Jr. 6 - Baron Remy - Yankee Cruiser - Matt Kakaley - Ron Burke 7 - Kaitlyn N - American Ideal - David Miller - Richard Banca 8 - Reclamation - A Rocknroll Dance - Yannick Gingras - Ron Burke   Race Nine $250,000 Spirit of Massachusetts Trot Post Time 5:05 p.m. Post - Horse - Sire - Driver - Trainer 1 - Weslynn Dancer - Deweycheatumnhowe - David Miller - Richard Banca 2  -La Grange A - Muscle Hill - Andy Miller - Ake Svanstedt 3 - Trolley - Donato Hanover - Marcus Miller - Erv Miller 4 - Mambo Lindy - Donato Hanover - Drew Monti - Domenico Cecere 5 - The Veteran - Muscle Mass - Yannick Gingras - Paul Kelley 6 - Guardian Angel As - Archangel - Tim Tetrick - Anette Lorentzon 7 - Fiftydallarbill - Swan For All - Corey Callahan - Katricia Adams The biggest day of the summer in Massachusetts harness racing features 10 races on the card Sunday with purses totaling $440,500. Post time for the first race is 2 p.m. By Tim Bojarski, for Plainridge Park and the HHANE

Plainville, MA --- Rich Poillucci lives a short distance from Plainridge Park in North Easton, Massachusetts and raced his first horses at Foxboro Park in 1986. Now 33 years later, after completing a dream harness racing season with his Dan Patch Award winning mare Shartin N, he will bring his prized pacer back to where it all started for him for a homecoming as she makes a start in the innaugural $100,000 Clara Barton Distaff Pace at Plainridge on Sunday (July 28). Poillucci got into the business by walking into Steve Mancini's barn and telling him he wanted to buy a horse. It wasn't long after that he started winning races at Foxboro and tracks in Maine with cheaper claimers before improving his stock over the years and winning races at the Meadowlands with horses like Bold Hope (1:51.1, $178,090), Natchez Gambler (1:52.2, $566,363), Modern Family (1:51, $575,925) and Maestro Blue Chip (1:51.3, $366,538). In 2016 Poillucci started importing horses from Australia and New Zealand and routinely spends about 40 hours a week researching them. His entire stable is currently made up solely of horses from Down-under. The time and effort he puts in has paid fast dividends with buys like Nike Franco N (1:48, $839,454), Barimah A (1:49.1, $415,920), Christen Me N (1:49.2, $2,274,204), Duplicated N (1:49.2, $213,199) and Bettor Joy N (1:50.4, $456,330). But despite the great performances put in by many of his horses over the years, they all take a back seat to the Queen of his stable. "When I first came across Shartin N I liked her immediately because of her breeding. No one knew who Tintin In America was as a stallion but he was by Mcardle, and he was super fast. I have always been a fan of Mcardle mares and Timmy (Tetrick) has been as well. So we talked about it and went back and forth and it took me a whole year to buy her because she wasn't fully developed yet," said Poillucci. "Then she raced against a top horse down there and won in 1:52. So I sent my trainer in Australia Emmett Bronson to go a trip with her and when he called me after he said "Rich, she has more gears than a Porsche". So Poillucci purchased Shartin N in December of 2017 and shipped her to the states. She made her first start at Dover Downs a month later and went on to become the 2018 Dan Patch Award aged pacing mare of the year on the strength of 19 victories in 24 starts and earnings of $1.053 million. Jim King Jr. has trained Shartin N since she stepped off the plane in New York. But how did a New England owner get hooked up with a Delaware conditioner that has never raced anywhere in New England? "I bought a horse named Dapper Dude about four years ago and he was having some trouble beating the upper echelon Opens he was racing in and I thought Dover might be a good fit for him. Kelvin Harrison who was training him for me suggested I call Jim (King) to see if he would take him for me," Poillucci explained. All of a sudden Dapper Dude was doing fantastic! And I got to know Jim well and Jo Ann was very friendly to my wife and our families really clicked. So I continued to buy horses with him." Poillucci praises King's ability and patience for Shartin N's North American acclimation and development and is never surprised with the efforts she puts forth, enjoying her career one start at a time. He is also quick to point out that it's a total team effort at every step to find and develop high end stock. "My driver (Tim Tetrick) looks after my horses like gold. He's extremely intelligent and takes care of my horses and I can't thank him enough for what he's done for my stable. And I give a lot of credit to my agent John Curtin in New Zealand because without him, I wouldn't have the success I have right now," said Poillucci. "Shartin N is a once in a lifetime horse and next Sunday she'll be racing in my home state. If she's got it in her and she's close to it, I would love to see her re-write the track record at Plainridge." Jim King Jr. shares Poillucci's admiration for their amazing mare, saying sometimes it feels surreal. "She is a trainers dream for sure, she's amazing to me. Sometimes I wake up at night and think about it. Her longevity is as impressive as her ability. She comes out of a race and recovers so fast that the next morning you wonder if she even raced. Even after long ships, when she gets home she just wants to go in the field and the next morning she's ready to go to work. It's hard to take the smile off her face; she's different I'll tell you," said King. "She's always right up on her toes and it's no picnic out there until she gets settled in behind the gate. She requires someone that knows what they're doing. But once she gets going it's all business. It's almost like in a race when someone comes along side her, she sticks her arm out and says "That's as far as you can go!" She just won't let anyone by her." King explained they've been lucky with Shartin N staying healthy and sound since coming to their stable and despite sometimes being over exuberant, she's a perfect mare. However there is one downside to Shartin N. "We have a really tough job shoeing her; she just doesn't like the blacksmith. She has to be medicated and it's just not a fun day," laughed King. King holds his partner in high esteem as well and noting their time spent both on and off the track has been very meaningful to his family. "Our relationship with Rich has been great over the past several years. He's all about the horses and keeping them racing well. And he's a great guy to deal with too. We've imported several horses over the years, mostly mares, and if we want we can buy into them at any point of their development. He's been so generous it's been unreal," said King. Shartin N will be joined by stablemate Bettor Joy N in the Barton. Another selection of Poillucci's, Bettor Joy N joined their operation in January of 2019 and has been developing well ever since. After winning three legs of the Blue Chip at Yonkers and finishing second to Shartin N in the final, Bettor Joy N has now won a total of five races and $240,876 in purses this year. The $250,000 Spirit of Massachusetts Trot and $100,000 Clara Barton Distaff Pace are both sponsored by Plainridge Park and the Harness Horseman's Association of New England (HHANE) and will be held on Sunday (July 28) at Plainridge with an early post time of 2 p.m. By Tim Bojarski, for Plainridge Park and the HHANE

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