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HAMBURG, N.Y. --- There was no breather for Stratosphere ($12.80) in Buffalo Raceway's $10,500 Class AA-Open Handicapped Pace on Saturday night (April 24) but he was more than up to the persistent challenges in taking a half length harness racing win over Mr Ham Sandwich in 1:54.1, the fastest mile of the 2021 meet.   After collecting the lead just before the opening panel, Stratosphere (Drew Monti) was under constant siege during the entire mile tour around the half mile oval.   First it was Santana Beach who was parked alongside Stratosphere for the first half. After Santana Beach threw in the towel, it was now time for Mr Ham Sandwich and Iluvtomakemoney to take their turns at Stratosphere.   While giving it their best shots, Stratosphere was more than up for the challenge and gamely crossed the finish line ahead of Mr Ham Sandwich (David McNeight III) and Iluvtomakemoney (Ray Fisher Jr.).   Owned by Drew Monti and trained by Darrin Monti, it was the second victory in five attempts this season for the 6-year-old gelded Stratosphere (Mach Three-Northern Jade). The win improved his seasonal bankroll to $14,450 and $127,315 lifetime.   In the co-featured $10,400 Class A-Open Handicapped Trot, Southern Palms )$3.20) let Mr Quaker do all the dirty work then went by in deep stretch to register the head decision in a seasonal best of 1:57.1.   Mr Quaker blasted off the starting gate and posted quick fractions of :28.4, :57.1 and 1:26.3. Southern Palms (Jim Morrill Jr.) stayed in the pocket until ducking down into the passing lane and eventually going past the stubborn Mr Quaker. Keystone Apache (Billy Davis Jr.) finished in third place.   Owned by Mike Torcello and trained by Gerry Sarama, the 8-year-old gelded Southern Palms (RC Royalty-Pacific Elegance) has now posted three wins in eight starts this year. The victory increased his earnings to $15,445 on the campaign and $356,613 in his career.   There were a couple of big shockers on the evening as This Baby Rocks (Fisher Jr.) kicked off the 11-race program with an $86.00 victory while Gallant Major (Jim McNeight Jr.) followed that up in the fifth race with an $84.50 triumph.   Morrill Jr. completed the evening with three driving wins while Fisher Jr. and Monti had doubles. Sarama had a pair of training victories.   Racing will continue on Wednesday evening with an 11-race card with a scheduled post time of 5 p.m. There will be a guaranteed pool of $10,000 in the Pick 5 which begins in the second race.   For more information including the latest news, race replays, results and entries, go to www.buffaloraceway.com   by Brian J. Mazurek, for Buffalo Raceway

HAMBURG, N.Y. --- Stratosphere ($3.40) was out of this world by rallying to beat Southwind Onyx by a head in the $10,000 Open I-II Handicapped Pace on Saturday evening (March 27) at Buffalo Raceway in 1:55.0 over the fast harness racing track.   In the co-main event, the $10,000 Open I-II Handicapped Trot, Stormont Rare (Jim Morrill Jr.) came back home to Buffalo Raceway after stints at Northfield Park and Saratoga Raceway and made it a triumphant return by taking a 1-1/4 length victory over Majestic Kat in 1:57.2.   In the opener on the 12-race program saw Stratosphere (Drew Monti) rally late in the lane to beat Southwind Onyx (Kyle Cummings) by a head. Under Paid (Ray Fisher Jr.) was third.   Southwind Onyx did the dirty work as he was first over at the top of the lane and got the lead, rolling past Dojea Solo (Morrill Jr.). Stratosphere, in the meantime, followed the live cover of Southwind Onyx and managed to wear down the new leader in the stretch to collect the victory.    Owned by driver Drew Monti and trained by Darrin Monti, it was the first win in two starts for the 6-year-old gelded Stratosphere (March Three-Northern Jade). The victory upped his seasonal earnings to $7,500 and $120,865 in his career.   In the top tussle for the trotters, Stormont Rare ($4.50) was determined to cut the fractions and it paid off in the end.   After briefly relinquishing the lead to Majestic Kat (Billy Davis Jr.), Stormont Rare regained the advantage and posted fractions of :28.4, :58.0 and 1:27.2. In the drive to the wire, Stormont Rare was just too tough as Majestic Kat could cut into the lead. Wilberforce (Kyle Cummings) took the show position.   Conditioned by Gerry Sarama and owned by Mike Torcello, it was the second win in eight starts for the 5-year-old gelded Stormont Rare (Glidemaster-Stormont Fried). The victory upped his bankroll to $9,505 and $60,179 in his lifetime.   David McNeight III and Monti had triples in the sulky with Morrill Jr. and Davis Jr. each having two victories. Sarama had a training double.   Racing will continue on Wednesday evening with an 11-race card set for 6 p.m. There will be a $3,000 guaranteed pool in the Pick 5 starting in the second race.   Buffalo Raceway also announced that all Friday night racing dates in April previously scheduled will be cancelled due to a horse shortage. Also starting on April 7, all Wednesday programs will begin at 5 p.m EDT. while the Saturday programs will continue to have the usual 6 p.m. post.   For full race results, click here.   by Brian J. Mazurek, for Buffalo Raceway

WASHINGTON, PA - March 19, 2021 -- His late kick fell short in the series' preliminary legs, but Pretty Ricki found a new gear Friday at The Meadows to overpower the harness racing leaders and capture the $18,750 championship of the Wilbur Zendt Memorial Pace for 3- and 4-year-old males. Pretty Ricky was second over at the three-quarters, trailing the leader, Heart On My Sleeve, by 4 lengths. But when Drew Monti sent him three wide through the final turn, the 3-year-old Always B Miki-Benearthebeach gelding gobbled up ground, easily clearing Heart On My Sleeve and downing him by 3-1/4 widening lengths in a career-best 1:54, final panel 27.4. Remember The Beach completed the ticket. "He wins easy last week if he doesn't make a break -- I'm almost sure he jumped a shadow," Monti said. "I went in today with the same mindset, to keep him on a helmet. I thought he had it in him to win if he did everything right, so I'm not surprised he put in that kind of effort." PRETTY RICKI REPLAY   Steve Walters trains Pretty Ricki for Lone Wolf Stable and Nick Catalano. Tony Hall collected four wins on the 13-race card, giving him a total of 13 for the three-day race week. Live racing at The Meadows resumes Wednesday when the program features a $6,242,37 carryover in the final-race Super Hi-5. First post is 12:45 PM. For full race results, click here. by Evan Pattak, for the MSOA                                

WASHINGTON, PA, Jan. 15, 2021 — To young harness racing driver Drew Monti likes his home in Buffalo, but he also likes working regularly. Thus, the 26-year-old reinsman has decided to drive at The Meadows, even as he continues his regular schedule at Buffalo Raceway. Monti made his Meadows debut Wednesday and had four assignments the following day, although he’s idle Friday. With Buffalo now racing Wednesday and Saturday, Monti expects  to work at The Meadows each Thursday and Friday, with Wednesday doubleheaders a possibility. Monti has been something of a phenom in western New York, where he’s won a total of three driving titles spanning Buffalo Raceway and Batavia Downs. He debuted in 2012; the very next year, the Upstate New York Chapter of the United States Harness Writers Association named him its “Rising Star.” From 2017-2019, he recorded at least 260 wins per season with a UDR of at least .301 each year. He’s won more than $11 million in purses. For all that, Monti knows that landing assignments at a new track with a deep driver colony can be a challenge. “I have a couple friends at The Meadows, a couple of ‘ins,’ and it’s not too far from home, so I thought I’d give it a try,” he said. Monti can make it to The Meadows from his home in about two hours. It’s a commute that might intimidate some, but he’s used to an even more demanding travel schedule. “I commuted to Plainridge last year — that’s six hours each way for me,” he said. “So this is a breath of fresh air.” All that highway time didn’t seem to affect his performance, as he finished second in the Plainridge driver standings. He’s looking forward to a similar outcome at The Meadows as well as networking opportunities. “I like it here,” he says. “The track and barn area are good, and they race a full schedule year round. So far, there’s nothing not to like. “I love being able to go to new places. That helps you sharpen your skills and meet new people who may help you down the road. That’s never a bad thing.” By Evan Pattak for The Meadows Standardbred Owners Association

Batavia, NY --- Fresh off a late closing victory in the top pace at Batavia Downs last week, Mr. Euroman N found himself right back in the winner's circle once again after capturing the $8,500 Open I Handicap pace at the Downs on Saturday afternoon (Nov. 7). M. Euroman N (Billy Davis Jr.) got away fourth as Tullow N (Ray Fisher Jr.) took the lead by the quarter and then paced smartly to the half in :57. At that point Davis had Mr. Euroman N out and moving first-over into the third turn and drew alongside Tullow N by the three-quarters. Davis and Fisher then commenced rocking and knocking around the far turn with Mr. Euroman N getting an advantage heading down the lane that he would keep all the way to the line where he won by 1-1/2 lengths in 1:54.3. It was the third Open I win in the last four stars for Mr. Euroman N ($4.80) and owners Vogel and Wags Nags Stable, Team Rice Racing and Adelphi Bloodstock. Maria Rice trains the winner. The $7,500 Open II pace went to Stratosphere (Drew Monti) who dropped down from Open I company this week and led throughout the entire mile before holding off the tripped-out Percy's Z Tam (Jim Morrill Jr.) at the light to win by a neck in 1:54.1. It was the sixth win of the year for Stratosphere ($5.80) who is owned by his driver and trained by Darrin Monti. Billy Davis Jr., Drew Monti and Jim Morrill Jr. all had three driving wins on Saturday while trainers Darrin Monti, Jerry Nugent Jr., Gerry Sarama and Lee Dahn all had two wins apiece. When racing resumes at Batavia Downs on Wednesday (Nov. 11) there will be a guaranteed pool of $3,000 for the Pick-5 wager that day. The pool is part of the United States Trotting Association's Strategic Wagering Program and as such, free program pages will be available courtesy of Trackmaster on both the USTA and Batavia Downs website early next week. Post time for Wednesday is set at 5 p.m. By Tim Bojarski, for Batavia Downs

Plainville, MA --- Coming off a heavy slate of stake action in Pennsylvania, Kentucky and Indiana, Gai Waterhouse drew into a $12,000 overnight conditioned harness racing event at Plainridge Park on Friday afternoon (Nov. 6) and paced away with her first win of 2020. Watchful Eye (Shawn Gray) took the early lead before Gai Waterhouse (Drew Monti) grabbed the top spot in front of the stands. Positions changed again when Watchful Eye retook once more as the pair do-si-doed by the half. The two top horses remained in one-two order to the three-quarters and around the last turn, but when they approached the head of the stretch Monti tipped Gai Waterhouse and the filly went right past Watchful Eye. She then paced strong to the wire one length ahead of the late closing Scotlynn Seelster (Mitchell Cushing) to win in 1:54.2, which was a new seasonal mark.   Gai Waterhouse ($2.10), who was the Kentucky Sire Stake 2-year-old pacing filly champion last year, has now earned $220,367 in only 18 lifetime starts for owner Great horse and trainer Domenico Cecere. Driver Matty "Ice" Athearn was at it again at Plainridge. On Monday he won with 60-1 shot Stihl N and returned $133.40, which was the largest win payoff of the season. On Friday Athearn left from post one with 69-1 shot Easteriffic and followed the heavily favored Gottalovemyshadow (Shawn Gray) to the top of the stretch where he pulled and blew right by to win by 2-1/2 lengths and pay $141.00. Joan Harmon, Normand St. Clair and Mike Foley own the Gretchen Athearn trained filly who now holds the distinction of paying the highest win mutuel of the meet. Bruce Ranger was the top driver on Friday, winning four races during the afternoon while Melissa Beckwith was the winningest trainer with three scores. Racing resumes at Plainridge Park on Monday (Nov. 9) with post time at 1 p.m. By Tim Bojarski, for the Standardbred Owners of Massachusetts      

Batavia, NY --- On a damp Wednesday evening (Oct. 28) at Batavia Downs, a pair of $8,500 Opens produced runaway harness racing winners while the meet's third winningest driver inched closer towards the leaders. The night opened up with the fillies and mares Open I Handicap where Tellawoman (Jim Morrill Jr.) left with the gate and led at every point of the mile. After escorting the short field of five to the half in :58, Morrill stepped on the gas and Tellawoman sped away in a :28.1 third panel, stretching out to a 3-1/2 length lead at the point. As they rounded the last turn Tellawoman kept on going and kicked-away to a 5-3/4 length advantage at the wire in 1:56.1. It was the third win in the last four starts for Tellawoman ($8.00) who is owned by Rose Campbell and trained by Russell Bratt. Later in the program, Morrill also won the co-featured Open I Handicap trot with Il Mago (Jim Morrill Jr.) who was utterly peerless this night. Il Mago left and established a six length lead at the quarter in :27.2. He extended that to 12 lengths at the half in :56 and 15-lengths by three-quarters in 1:25.2. Morrill had Il Mago wrapped up at that point and he just sauntered across the wire by 6-3/4 lengths in 1:57.4. It was the sixth win of the year for Il Mago ($4.20) and owner Mike Torcello. Gerry Sarama trains the venerable 11-year-old who has now won 52 races lifetime. Driver Drew Monti won five races on the card including a natural hat trick in races five through seven. Monti scored with Lucky Guess (2:01.2, $5.00), Keystone Keen (1:57.2, $4.70), Barn Beast (1:59, $11.00), Mean Pauline (1:58.1, $5.40) and Carly Girl (1:57, $5.00). Monti currently has 57 wins and sits in third place behind the leading Jim Morrill Jr. who has 70 wins and Billy Davis Jr. who is second with 61 wins after tonight. Kevin Cummings led all trainers on Wednesday winning three races during the proceedings. Racing resumes at Batavia Downs on Saturday (Oct. 31) with a special Halloween matinee post time of 1:15 p.m. By Tim Bojarski, for Batavia Downs

Plainville, MA --- Since shipping into Massachusetts, Eurobond has been performing at a high level and did again on Sunday afternoon (Oct. 25) when he won the $15,000 Winners-Over harness racing trot at Plainridge Park. Eurobond (Drew Monti) settled in fourth while Midnite Craze (Kevin Switzer Jr.) led the field to the half in :58 flat. Monti had Eurobond out and rolling at that point and they took control by two lengths at the three-quarters in a swift :27.4 third panel. From there Eurobond kicked-away around the turn and down the stretch and opened up by 4-1/2 lengths at the wire where he won in 1:54.2.   It was the second win in the last three starts at Plainridge Park for Eurobond ($2.60) who is owned by Lindy Farms of Connecticut and Robert Rudolph and trained by Domenico Cecere. In the co-featured $15,000 conditioned trot for 5-year-olds and under, Manruptcy (Mitchell Cushing) tripped out to the half behind Just Dreamin (Mike Stevenson), tipped at the five-eighths and grabbed the lead before the three-quarters. Manruptcy continued to trot with authority in the turn and down the lane, holding off a pesky Split Rail (Shawn Gray) at the wire to win in 1:55.4, which was a new lifetime mark. Manruptcy ($11.80) is owned by Justin Hale and is trained by Kyle Spagnola. Racing resumes at Plainridge Park on Monday (Oct. 26) at 2 p.m. when eight divisions of the Massachusetts Sire Stakes will go postward for a total of $720,000.   By Tim Bojarski, for the Standardbred Owners of Massachusetts  

Plainville, MA --- The third session of the Massachusetts Sire Stakes for 3-year-old contenders met at Plainridge Park on Monday (Oct. 19) to compete for the $112,500 in available purses with two early harness racing favorites ending the day three-for-three in the stake. The 3-year-old male pacers saw Wyatt J (American Ideal-Think Pink) successful for a third straight week after hanging on for the win. Wyatt J (Scott Zeron) took early command and led a single file field through five-eighths of a mile without movement. The first one to flinch was R Maddy Blue Chip (Kevin Switzer) who moved towards the leader up the backside and got within a length at the 7/8th's pole. There, Han Solo (Shawn Gray) pulled from fourth and swung three-deep into the lane and looked like he would take the prize. But Wyatt J was tougher and hung on to a neck victory in 1:52.3.   Owned by Ken Jacobs and trained by Linda Toscano, Wyatt J ($2.20) should head into the final as the prohibitive favorite. Bred by Lindy Farms of Connecticut, Wyatt J was a $245,000 yearling purchase at the 2018 Lexington Selected sale and drew the highest sale price of any American Ideal yearling that year. The other undefeated participant was Without A Warning (RC Royalty-Concentration) who bested the 3-year-old trotting fillies for the third straight week in a non-betting event. Without A Warning (Scott Zeron) followed RFL's M London (Jim Hardy) for a quarter mile before Zeron tipped, took the lead and ran off with the money. The filly stayed close to the field until the top of the lane where she kicked away to a 2-1/2 length win in 1:57. After tangling with the likes of Love A Good Story and Hypnotic Am in the New York Sire Stakes all year, Without A Warning has shown her class in this series with three easy wins for trainer George Ducharme. Without A Warning was bred by her owner, Ray Campbell Jr. In the 3-year-old male trotting division, Dazzling Lindy (Crazed-Lindy On The Rocks) got his first MASS win and did it with a career best effort. Dazzling Lindy (Drew Monti) took no prisoners and went right down the road with hectic fractions as the favored Life Is A Feast (Scott Zeron) following closely. Dazzling Lindy cut quarters of :27, :55.2 and 1:24.1. At that last station, Life Is A Feast pulled the pocket and tried to advance, but Monti popped the plugs and Dazzling Lindy trotted on. He opened up two lengths at the top of the stretch and held off a late lunge from Double Dealing (Shawn Gray) to win by 1/2 length in 1:54.4, which was a new lifetime mark. Dazzling Lindy ($10.20) scored his fourth overall win of the year for his owner the Lindy Farms of Connecticut, who also bred the gelding. Domenico Cecere is the trainer. Finally the sophomore pacing fillies were tamed by She's A Fireball (Western Maverick-Fire Can Fly) on the strength of a big three-quarter move. Rojas Blue Chip (Drew Monti) stepped to the half in a swift :55.3 with Ry's Red Rocket (Matty Athearn) and Shes A Fireball (Ron Cushing) right behind her. As they hit the 5/8th's, Cushing pulled Shes A Fireball and went right around Rojas Blue Chip and opened up two lengths on a fast approaching Ry's Red Rocket. Those two fillies broke away from the field heading into the stretch but Shes A Fireball was wrapped up and not to be caught, winning by 2-1/2 lengths in 1:54.1, tying her lifetime mark. Shes A Fireball ($5.80) has now won two of the three MASS legs for owners Ron Cushing and Adams Racing. Lucia Les and Kenneth Clairmont bred the winner. The $720,000 (est.) Massachusetts Sire Stake finals will be held on Monday (Oct. 26) at Plainridge Park with post time for the first race at 2 p.m. All eight finals will be held on that day. Live racing at Plainridge Park will resume on Thursday (Oct. 22) 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

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 --- Major Leaguer tripped-out to the head of the lane and then brushed hard to the wire to win the $17,500 Winners-Over harness racing feature pace at Plainridge Park on Monday afternoon (Sept. 21). Heavily favored Paternity Suit A (Drew Monti) pushed away the gate and led the field to the quarter in :26.3 with Major Leaguer (Nick Graffam) tucked in the garden spot. Just before the group reached the half, JK Will Power (Mitchell Cushing) came first over and pushed the pace to :27.1 in the third quarter, where Paternity Suit A opened up a two-length advantage. Rolling around the far turn Major Leaguer was in the perfect spot to strike and eventually shook loose at the top of the lane. With a margin to reel in, Graffam kept after Major Leaguer and they methodically made up ground on the leader, eventually catching Paternity Suit A by ½ length at the line to win in 1:50.4.   It was the fifth win of the year for Major Leaguer ($17.60) and owner Jimmy Whittemore. Marissa Chadbourne trains the winner. The co-featured $15,000 condition for 4-year-olds and under went to Pacer Racer (Drew Monti) who took the lead past the half and closed the deal with a one length win over a fast closing Finnbar (Ron Cushing) in 1:54.2. Pacer Racer ($4.80) registered his second win of the season for his owners Paul London, Michael Sepinuck, Kathleen Brewer and Andrew Kelson. Artie Brewer II is the trainer. Drew Monti led all drivers on Monday with four wins followed by Nick Graffam and Shawn Gray with two apiece. Sheena Mcelhiney was the top trainer with two wins. Racing resumes at Plainridge Park on Thursday (Sept. 24) with post time at 2 p.m. The Massachusetts Sire Stakes begin on Sunday (Sept. 27) at Plainridge Park and run through Monday (Oct. 26). There are three preliminary legs for each age, gender and gait followed by the finals. For more information on the MASS please log onto the Standardbred Owners of Massachusetts at www.sominc.net. By Tim Bojarski, for the Standardbred Owners of Massachusetts

Plainville, MA --- A pair of 4-year-old mares won co-featured $12,000 distaff paces at Plainridge Park on Thursday afternoon (Sept. 17), each employing a different harness racing strategy to get the job done. First in a mid-level conditioned event, That's Incredible (Drew Monti) drafted along fifth while Avery Seelster (John Nason) marshaled the group to the half in a quick :54.3. At that point Monti had That's Incredible out and rolling on the outside as they made their way up the backside. Passing horses quickly, That's Incredible drew alongside Avery Seelster in the last turn and took the lead at the head of the stretch. Under mild urging, That's Incredible stayed in front of the late closing Shady Caroline (Nick Graffam) and Certified Ideal (Mitchell Cushing) to win in 1:53.2, which was a new seasonal mark.   That's Incredible ($3.60) scored her fourth win of the year for owner Joseph Trice and trainer Jimmy Nickerson. Then in the non-winners of six lifetime condition, Mary Goodnight (Shawn Gray) took the lead at the quarter and stayed on top all the way to the wire. Posting fractions of :27.3, :57 and 1:25.1, Mary Goodnight turned for home and held off the hard charging After The Lovin (Ron Cushing), Cornerd Beach (Bruce Ranger) and Ry's Red Rocket (Matty Athearn) all the way down the stretch to win by a length in 1:54.   It was the third win in a row and fourth out of the last five starts for Mary Goodnight ($2.40) who is owned by Joey Mcwhinnie and trained by Scott Rollins. Driver Bruce Ranger had the hot hand again, winning three races on the card while Kevin Switzer Jr. and Jay Randall each won two. Trainer Melissa Beckwith registered three winners as well with Robert Gale posting two. Racing resumes at Plainridge Park on Friday afternoon (Sept. 17) with post time set for 2 p.m. By Tim Bojarski, for the Standardbred Owners of Massachusetts

Plainville, MA --- After drawing three consecutive outside harness racing posts, Paternity Suit A found himself starting third from the pylons and made it pay as he won the $15,000 Winners-Over pacing feature at Plainridge Park on Monday afternoon (Sept. 7). Driver Drew Monti pushed away the gate with Paternity Suit A and grabbed the lead immediately and with the field in single file behind him, backed the half down to :55.3. As the field motored up the backside, last week's feature winner Tom Me Gun N (Shawn Gray) pulled first over into the breeze and mounted a challenge against the leader. Tom Me Gun N got to within a length of Paternity Suit A around the last turn but when they hit the top of the stretch, Monti tapped the bike twice and Paternity Suit A swelled up and pulled away to a 4-3/4 length lead at the wire and won in 1:50.3.   It was the fourth win in the last six starts for Paternity Suit A ($6.00) who is owned by Tony Gruppo and Tim Bojarski. The second fastest mile of the day was posted by Avatartist in the $12,000 upper level condition pace who won after taking a bit of air. Mitchell Cushing pulled Avatartist first over from fourth at the half and motored up the outer rim in a 1:22 three-quarters. From there, he continued to wear down the front running Quick Shot (Bruce Ranger) in the lane and tripped the beam 1-1/4 lengths ahead in 1:50.4. It was the fourth win of the year for Avatartist ($6.60) and trainer Mark Eaton who co-owns with Bob McHugh, Robert Griffin and Russell Young. Racing resumes at Plainridge Park on Thursday (Sept. 10) with post time at 2 p.m. By Tim Bojarski, for the Standardbred Owners of Massachusetts

Batavia, NY --- After winning the top class pace going gate to wire last week, Black is Back did it again from off the pace on Saturday evening (Aug. 29) in the $8,500 Open I pacing feature at Batavia Downs. Black Is Back (Drew Monti) started from fifth and watched the action from there as Mr. Euroman N (Billy Davis Jr.) led the race to the half in :56.3. At that station Long Train Runnin (Denny Bucceri) came first up and provided live cover for Black Is Back, who was eagerly following. Long Train Runnin was grinding away at Mr. Euroman N up the backside to the three-quarters and into the final bend where Monti tipped Black Is Back three deep and threw the lines at him for more speed. Black Is Back responded and methodically overtook everyone as he paced down the lane to the wire and won by 3/4's of a length in 1:53.4, which was a new seasonal mark. It was the third Open win at Batavia this year for Black Is Back ($12.60) who is owned by Curtis Edholm and Mihajlo Zdjelar Sr. Mihajlo Zdjelar Jr. is the trainer. Drew Monti also scored a win in the underbilled $7,500 Open II pace with Stratosphere, who led every step of the mile before kicking away to a 2-1/4 length victory in 1:53.3, just missing his lifetime best by 1/5th of a second. It was the second straight win for Stratosphere ($3.20) who is owned by his driver and trained by Darrin Monti. Drew Monti capped off a big night with two more wins with Cultural Paradise (1:56.4, $4.00) and Charmbo Orbit (1:55, $11.80) giving him a grand slam for the evening. Jim Morrill Jr. also scored a grand slam, winning with Sir Richie N (1:57, $2.90), Triple Seelster (1:55.4, $4.50), Littlebitaclass (1:57.2, $2.90) and Mr. Sideburns (1:57.1, $4.40). Other horsemen tallying multiple wins included driver Billy Davis Jr. and trainers Mihajlo Zdjelar Jr. and Gerry Sarama who all garnered two wins on the night. After Saturday's action, Jim Morrill Jr. continues to lead all drivers for wins during the meet with 32 victories, Billy Davis Jr. is second with 23 and Drew Monti jumped into third Saturday with 15. Dave McNeight III (14) and Ray Fisher Jr. (12) round out the top five. Racing resumes at Batavia Downs on Wednesday (Sept. 2) with post time at 5 p.m. By Tim Bojarski, for Batavia Downs

Batavia, NY --- The third time was the charm for Class Six who scored his first top class harness racing victory in three Batavia Downs tries after he won the $8,500 Open I pace on Saturday (Aug 15). Drew Monti pushed Class Six off the gate and to the lead where he would stay the entire mile. After getting to the half in :58.2, Under Paid (Denny Bucceri) launched a mild bid on the outside going to three-quarters, but never got close enough to contend and Class Six rimmed the final bend and headed down the lane. Iluvtomakemoney (Ray Fisher Jr.) who sat the garden spot for 7/8th's of the mile, popped the pocket and made a run, but that was futile as well and Class Six held on to win in 1:55.1. It was the fourth win of the year for Class Six ($7.70) who is owned by Eric Prevost and trained by Sabrina Shaw. In the $7,500 Open II pace, Western Conquest (Ray Fisher Jr.) also took advantage of the night's front-end bias and went gate to wire with little opposition and denied the heavily favored Atlantis (Jim Morrill Jr.) at the wire in 1:57.1. It was the second win in three starts and the fourth win of the year for Western Conquest ($17.00), owner Tanah Merah Farms and trainer Ryan Swift. Several horsemen had a multiple win night led by Shawn McDonough who drove three winners while also training two of them. Billy Davis Jr. had a driving hat trick ahead of Jim Morrill Jr. and Ray Fisher Jr. who each scored two pilot victories. Trainers Ryan Swift and Jim Clouser Jr. both sent two horses to the Purple Haze winner's enclosure. Racing resumes at Batavia Downs on Wednesday afternoon (Aug. 19) at 5 p.m. By Tim Bojarski, for Batavia Downs

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