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Plainville, MA --- After having raced at Pocono Downs and Yonkers Raceway in recent weeks, Tom Me Gun N made his first Plainridge Park start a winning one after coming up large in the $15,000 Winners-Over harness racing pacing feature on Monday afternoon (Aug. 31). Rock Diamonds N (Ron Cushing) went for the early lead with Tom Me Gun N (Shawn Gray) behind him, but also had Major Leaguer (Nick Graffam) parked out at his side and this was a battle that would go on for over half a mile. The horses hit the quarter in :25.4 and the half in :53.4 and at that second station, Rock Diamonds N got some separation from Major Leaguer and opened up about a two length lead. As the race moved around the final turn, Major Leaguer faded just enough to allow Tom Me Gun N off the pylons and he came with a fast brush against Rock Diamonds N. Tom Me Gun N quickly took the lead at the top of the stretch and paced away unchallenged to a 4-1/2 length win in 1:50, which was his first North American win and a new lifetime mark.   A 10-time winner in Australia last year, Tom Me Gun N ($19.00) scored his first win of 2020 for owner the Jesmeral Stable and trainer Sheena Mcelhiney. Driver Shawn Gray, trainer Sheena Mcelhiney an owner the Jesmeral Stable pulled off the connection hat trick, winning three races on Monday. The group scored with the aforementioned Tom Me Gun N, My Mind Is Made Up (1:52.3, $23.60) and Mr. Right Hanover (1:51, $7.60). A pair of Massachusetts-bred horses took the pacing co-features for 4-year-olds and under on Monday and both won in impressive style. In the $15,000 division, the 3-year-old gelding R Maddy Blue Chip (Kevin Switzer Jr.) went off as the heavy favorite and didn't disappoint as he went gate to wire and won by 1-3/4 lengths in 1:52.4, which was a new lifetime mark. It was the second win of the year for R Maddy Blue Chip ($3.00) who is owned by Thomas Dillon and Scott Dillon and is trained by Joe Nelson. Then in the $12,000 condition for non-winners of two, the prohibitive favorite 2-year-old gelding Maui (Bruce Ranger) left from post one at 1-9 and was never headed en route to a 6-1/4 length romp in 1:54.3. It was the second win in only three lifetime starts for Maui ($2.10) and owners KDK Standardbreds. Kevin Switzer trains the winner. R Maddy Blue Chip and Maui will both compete in the lucrative Massachusetts Sire Stakes that start on Sunday (September 27) at The Ridge. Racing resumes at Plainridge Park on Thursday (Sept. 3) with a new post time. The races will now begin at 2 p.m. By Tim Bojarski, for the Standardbred Owners of Massachusetts  

Plainville, MA --- When the prohibitive harness racing favorite broke in the $15,000 Winners-Over trot, the race became anyone's for the taking and Shorething Fashion claimed the prize at Plainridge Park on Friday afternoon (Aug. 28) at 30-1. Gemologist (Jordan Derue) took the field to the quarter and when the 1-5 Kings County (Drew Monti) tried to brush and crush for the lead off the turn, he made a break and left a lot to be determined. The trotters remained in single file until the half where Wings Of Royalty (Shawn Gray) and Nows The Moment (Mike Stevenson) came at the leader in the outer flow. This left Shorething Fashion (Bruce Ranger) sitting fifth at the pylons. At the three-quarters Wings Of Royalty gained a half-length lead over Gemologist but couldn't clear, so Nows The Moment tipped three-high into the stretch. Ranger had Shorething Fashion on Nows The Moment's back and went four wide in mid-stretch and out-trotted everyone to the line, winning by 3/4's of a length in 1:55.2, which was a new seasonal mark.   Shorething Fashion had been a fixture at Plainridge in past years but has been racing exclusively in New York in 2020 until this start. Returning to his old stomping grounds proved profitable for his backers as he returned $62.00 for the win, and also for his owner the Jesmeral Stable. Sheena Mcelhiney trains Shorething Fashion . In the $12,000 conditioned trot for 4-year-olds and under, Dramatra (Shawn Gray) got away fourth but took the lead by the three-eighths pole, maintained a gapped length lead around the track for the final loop and claimed a 1-3/4 length 1:55.2 win, which was her fourth victory in the last five starts. Dramatra ($2.80) is owned by Ray Campbell Jr. and Al Ross (who also bred her) and is trained by George Ducharme. The Massachusetts-bred 3-year-old Dramatra (Trixton-Bourbon N Grits) is a three-quarter sister to the 2013 Hambletonian champion Royalty For Life and is eligible to the lucrative Massachusetts Sire Stakes that get underway at Plainridge Park on Sunday (Sept. 27). The team of driver Shawn Gray and trainer George Ducharme was quite formidable during the afternoon as they got three horses to the winner's enclosure for pictures. Not to be outdone, driver Bruce Ranger had a driving hat trick on Friday as well. With the conclusion of week eight of the season, the driver race is tight as a drum at the top with only eight wins separating numbers one through four. Drew Monti continues to lead with 36 wins and Mitchell Cushing is second with 30. But with big days put in by both Gray and Ranger, they are now third and fourth respectively with 29 and 28 wins apiece. Racing resumes at Plainridge Park on Monday (Aug. 31) with post time set for 4 p.m. Please note that starting on Thursday (Sept. 3), post time will be moved back to 2 p.m. and remain there through Friday (Oct. 30). By Tim Bojarski, for the Standardbred Owners of Massachusetts

Plainville, MA --- A pair of $12,000 filly and mare paces headlined the harness racing card at Plainridge Park on a rainy Thursday afternoon (Aug. 27) and both events provided very close finishes. The first was an aged upper level conditioned race that went to Firstup, who shipped in from Yonkers. Dontustopbelievn N (Mitchell Cushing) took the lead to the quarter, but Firstup (Shawn Gray) came first up and grabbed the top in front of the stands. The leader paced along unchallenged until the five-eights pole where That's Incredible (Jay Randall) pulled alongside and traded strides with Firstup to the three-quarters. Gray hit the gas in the last turn and started to get separation between himself and the field. Down the lane, Firstup was under a reclined line drive from Gray and held off a late charge from a fast closing Hilaria (Mike Stevenson) to win by 3/4's of a length in 1:52.1, which was a new seasonal mark. Firstup ($7.00) is owned by the Jesmeral Stable and is trained by Sheena Mcelhiney. Firstup The next was a condition event for 4-year-olds and under that went to After The Lovin on the strength of a late stretch drive. After The Lovin is owned by Christina Del Pozzo and is trained by Bryant Sear After The Lovin (Ron Cushing) left hard from post five and took the lead before Rockin Ellie (Bruce Ranger) became the master of fractions at the quarter. At the conclusion of a second quarter breather, Rockin Ellie was joined by Royalty Again (Drew Monti) who came alongside and prompted a brisk :27.4 third panel. At the top of the stretch Hereslooknatyou N (Mitchell Cushing) joined the fray three deep and After The Lovin came off the pylons to contend. All four were then a length apart across the track before After The Lovin shot through like a bullet and got the nod at the wire in 1:53.4, which was a new lifetime mark. After The Lovin ($8.20) is owned by Christina Del Pozzo and is trained by Bryant Sears. Mitchell Cushing and Nick Graffam both posted driving doubles along with trainer Mike Girouard, who also scored two wins. Racing resumes at Plainridge Park on Friday (Aug. 28) with post time at 4 p.m.   By Tim Bojarski, for the Standardbred Owners of Massachusetts

Plainville, MA --- You might say Major Leaguer "rounded the bases" as he led at every station of the mile en route to scoring an upset victory in the $15,000 Winners-Over pace at Plainridge Park on Monday afternoon (Aug. 24). Shawn Gray rousted Major Leaguer off the gate and flew to the front, posting fractions of :26.1, :55.1 and 1:22.3 at the three-quarters. Bet You (Kevin Switzer Jr.) was outside that third panel and pushed the :27.2 split and continued to prompt the front runner to the top of the stretch. There, Major Leaguer was on his own and in full flight while turning away a late bid from the pocket-sitting Rock Diamonds N (Ron Cushing) to win by 1-1/4 lengths in 1:50.1, tying his lifetime mark. It was the fourth win in the last six starts for Major Leaguer ($34.00) who is owned by Jimmy Whittemore and trained by Marissa Chadbourne. Later in the $12,000 upper level condition pace, JK Will Power (Mitchell Cushing) left from post six and was parked out the entire mile in swift fractions, yet he swelled up around the last turn and pushed on down the lane to win by a length in 1:50.4 in a very impressive effort. It was the fifth win of the year for JK Will Power ($3.40) and owner Michael Goldberg Racing. Jeff Lieberman trains the winner. JK Will Power Drew Monti led all drivers on Monday with three wins followed by Bruce Ranger who had two. On the training side, Domenico Cecere and Melissa Beckwith both sent two from their barn for pictures. Racing resumes at Plainridge Park on Thursday (Aug. 27) with post time at 4 p.m.   By Tim Bojarski, for the Standardbred Owners of Massachusetts

Plainville, MA --- The Massachusetts-bred 3-year-old Dazzling Lindy (Crazed-Lindy On The Rocks) escaped an impossible spot and rallied to win the $12,000 conditioned race for harness racing 4-year-old and under trotters at Plainridge Park on Friday afternoon (Aug. 21). Jake G's Champion (Kevin Switzer Jr.) was the early master of fractions, marching the field to the half in :58.2. Passing that station, Dixie Slippers (Wally Watson) pulled first-over and advanced towards the leader by three-quarters while Just Dreamin (Mike Stevenson) and Southwind Surge (Mitchell Cushing) followed behind outside. At this point Dazzling Lindy (Drew Monti) was locked up fifth at the rail. As they headed around the last turn, Dixie Slippers opened up a length lead and Dazzling Lindy was able to get off the pylons and swing three deep at the head of the stretch. Heading towards the wire, Dixie Slippers was trotting inside, Just Dreamin was in the middle and Dazzling Lindy was on the grandstand side and all three were charging hard. Just before the wire, the leader tired and Dazzling Lindy out-trotted Just Dreamin to win by 1/2 length in 1:55.4, which was a new lifetime mark. It was the second win in three 2020 starts for Dazzling Lindy ($5.40) who is owned by Lindy Farms of Connecticut and trained by Domenico Cecere. Dazzling Lindy is eligible to compete in the Massachusetts Sire Stakes which start in late September. Dazzling Lindy In the $10,500 secondary trotting feature, Dial A Chic (Joe Di Stefano) was overlooked at the windows but took full advantage of a class drop and scored again at The Ridge by going gate to wire in 1:55.4 in a convincing performance. Dial A Chic ($18.80) scored his third win in the last four starts for owner Di Stefano and Son Stable and trainer John Di Stefano. Dial A Chic Plainridge's defending driving champion Mitchell Cushing scored a natural hat trick in races two through four on Friday to lead all drivers for the day. Drew Monti and Kevin Switzer Jr. also scored two driving wins each. Two winners also emanated from the stable of trainer John Di Stefano. With seven weeks of the meet now completed, the current race for top driving honors has one of the best competitions in progress that Plainridge Park has seen in many years. After Friday's races, Drew Monti is the current leader with 31 wins followed by Mitchell Cushing with 27, Shawn Gray with 23, Bruce Ranger with 22 and Kevin Switzer Jr. with 20. The same can be said about the tournament for top trainer that currently shows Mike Girouard and Joe Nelson in a tie for first with 11 wins apiece followed by Domenico Cecere with 10, Randy Bickmore with nine and Mike Graffam with eight. Racing resumes at Plainridge Park on Monday afternoon (Aug. 24) with post time at 4 p.m. By Tim Bojarski, for the Standardbred Owners of Massachusetts

Plainville, MA --- Royalty Again (Drew Monti) turned a first-over outside grind into a hard earned harness racing victory in the $12,000 feature pace for 4-year-old and under fillies and mares at Plainridge Park on Thursday afternoon (Aug. 20). Rockin Ellie (Bruce Ranger) took an early lead going to the quarter but then Mary Goodnight (Shawn Gray) made a quick move to take control at the top past the half. As soon as she got the lead, Royalty Again (Drew Monti) pulled from third and was outside to push the issue as the race moved up the backside. At the five-eighths pole, Royalty Again pulled alongside Mary Goodnight and the two tussled toe-to-toe around the far turn and into the stretch. Three pylons down the lane, Royalty Again gained control of the race and under heavy urging from Monti, held off the fast closing Rockin Ellie and After The Lovin (Jim Hardy) to win by a neck in 1:53.2, which was a new lifetime mark. It was the second win in the last three starts for Royalty Again ($12.40) who is owned by Richard Knight and trained by Randy Bickmore. There were also a pair of $10,000 conditioned events for fillies and mares on the card of 11 Thursday. In the first, American Arrow (Mitchell Cushing) took the lead before the half and controlled the rest of the mile. She snapped off a fast :27.3 third quarter to put some distance between her and the field and then coasted home in :28.4 to a 3-3/4 length, 1:52.1 win, which was a new lifetime mark. With that effort, American Arrow also set a new track record for 3-year-old pacing fillies at Plainridge Park. It was the third win in the last four starts for American Arrow ($7.60) who is owned by George Zitone, Joann Zitone and Heather Zitone and is trained by Melissa Beckwith. The second saw Mcnugget (Bruce Ranger) get away fourth behind Lifestory Hanover (Drew Monti) before pulling second-over past the half following Shes A Fireball (Ron Cushing), who carried her to the top of the lane. From there Ranger tipped Mcnugget off the cover and paced away to the wire by 1-1/2 lengths to win in 1:54, which was another new lifetime mark. Mcnugget ($4.00) has now won two out of her last three starts for owner Just Enough and Mike Girouard, who also trains the filly. Mitchell Cushing, Shawn Gray and Kevin Switzer Jr. all had driving doubles and trainers Melissa Beckwith and Randy Bickmore did the same on the conditioning side. Racing resumes at Plainridge Park on Friday (Aug. 21) with post time at 4 p.m.     By Tim Bojarski, for the Standardbred Owners of Massachusetts  

Plainville, MA --- Despite starting from post eight, Paternity Suit A turned a run in the breeze into a harness racing career victory in the $12,000 Winners-Over pacing feature at Plainridge Park on Monday afternoon (Aug. 16). Off the gate, Rock Diamonds N (Ron Cushing) out-hustled Major Leaguer (Kevin Switzer Jr.) to the front in a quick :26.1 quarter while Paternity Suit A (Drew Monti) dropped in fourth from the outside. But he wasn't on the pylons long as Monti pulled at the three-eighths and motored up near the leader as the race passed the half. Paternity Suit A continued a measured grind up the backside and drew within a neck of Rock Diamonds N when the race hit the final turn. The two horses battled around the bend and into the mid-stretch where Paternity Suit A got a slight advantage over Rock Diamonds N and held off the fast closing Major Leaguer and JK Will Power (Mitchell Cushing) to win by ¾ of a length in 1:50, which was a new lifetime mark. It was the third win in four North American starts at Plainridge Park for Paternity Suit A ($11.60) who is owned by Tony Gruppo and Tim Bojarski. Scott Rollins trains the winner. There were also two $12,000 co-featured paces that produced convincing winners. In the upper-level aged condition, Avatartist (Mitchell Cushing) led every step of the way en route to a 2¾ length, 1:51.3 victory that was also a new seasonal mark for the winner. Avatartist ($2.40) is owned by Mark Eaton, Bob McHugh, Robert Griffin and Russell Young and is trained by Mark Eaton. Avatartist And in the condition event for the 4-year-old and under class, Tucker Creek (Jay Randall) made a first over move past the half, took the front and led the rest of the way to win by a neck over a tough Sea Isle CIty (Shawn Gray) in 1:53.1 to make it four wins in a row at Plainridge. Tucker Creek ($5.40) is owned by Joe Hayes Jr. and Paul Paoletti. Jimmy Nickerson trains the winner. Mitchell Cushing, Bruce Ranger and Kevin Switzer Jr. all had driving hat tricks on Monday while Drew Monti scored a double. Trainer Joe Nelson also registered two winners. Racing resumes at Plainridge Park on Thursday (Aug. 19) with post time at 4 p.m. By Tim Bojarski, for the Standardbred Owners of Massachusetts

Plainville, MA --- A pair of $12,000 trots highlighted the harness racing card at Plainridge Park on Friday afternoon (Aug. 14) and both races resulted in big performances. In the $12,000 Winners-Over trot, Wings Of Royalty (Shawn Gray) got away fourth behind Mr. Muscle (Drew Monti) who led to the quarter in :27 and the half in :55.4 while fending off Jericho (Mitchell Cushing). When the race reached the three-quarters, Gray pulled Wings Of Royalty and tipped him three-deep in the last turn, circled the leader and cleared by the top of the stretch. Down the lane Wings Of Royalty was clear and trotted home easily in 1:54. It was the second win of the year for Wings Of Royalty ($3.40) who is owned by Ray Campbell Jr. and trained by George Ducharme. In the other $12,000 conditioned trot, Kings County (Drew Monti) led to the quarter before Double Dealing (Shawn Gray) made a move past the stands and took the front by the half. Positions remained unchanged until the three-quarters when Monti tipped Kings County and retook control of the race in the last turn. From there, Kings County swelled up and opened a 7-3/4 length lead going to the wire and won in 1:53.4, which was only 2/5th's of a second off the track record for a 4-year-old trotting horse. Kings County ($2.10), who just recently raced in the Hambletonian Maturity, scored his sixth lifetime win for owner Lindy Farms of Connecticut and trainer Domenico Cecere. Kings County Drew Monti and Shawn Gray both scored driving hat tricks on Friday. Trainer Domenico Cecere also sent three winners to post while George Ducharme sent two. Racing resumes at Plainridge Park on Monday (Aug. 17) with post time at 4 p.m.   By Tim Bojarski, for the Standardbred Owners of Massachusetts

Plainville, MA --- Coming off its most successful harness racing season to date, Massachusetts Standardbred breeding and the accompanying Massachusetts Sire Stakes have become very desirable to many breeders across North America. With a resident mare program that provides for yearlings to be eligible to more than one state sire stake program in the same year, and the supporting Massachusetts stakes being driven by three state casinos through the provisions of the Race Horse Development Fund, Massachusetts has become a fast growing breeding jurisdiction in North America. Registered mares in Massachusetts have increased by almost 50% from 2017 to 2019 and that roster has grown by 25% this past year alone with 145 having foaled in the state this past breeding season. The Massachusetts Sire Stakes begin in September, but many of the eligible horses have been competing successfully since racing resumed earlier this summer. And some of them have been turning heads with their performances as the season progresses. 3-year-old trotting colt Ready For Moni (Ready Cash-Nothing But Moni) started out strong last year at two, winning the final of the $250,000 Kentucky Sire Stakes and finishing second in the $505,050 Valley Victory in his last start of the year. This year Ready for Moni came out with guns blazing, taking a lifetime mark of 1:51.4 in the $142,250 Stanley Dancer and winning an elimination of the $1 million Hambletonian, where he lowered his mark once again to 1:51.3. In the final, Ready for Moni tracked the favored Ramona Hill from the quarter all the way to the wire and came up just a length short in a stake record tying time of 1:50.1. The race time was also the fastest trotting mile by any 3-year-old trotter this year. To date Ready For Moni has six wins in 11 lifetime starts and $599,020 in earnings. (Breeder: Moni Maker Stable, foaled in East Longmeadow, MA) Without A Warning (RC Royalty-Concentration) was the MASS 2-year-old filly trotting champion, going a perfect four for four in the series including winning the $100,000 final. This year (as she did last) Without A Warning has competed successfully in the New York Sire Stakes. This includes a win in 1:55.1 at Yonkers and a third at Batavia Downs behind Love A Good Story, who set a new track record of 1:55.1 that day. She also competed in the $207,250 Empire Breeders Classic at Vernon Downs, finishing fifth behind Hypnotic Am who won in 1:53.4. In two years of racing, Without A Warning has six wins and $258,762 in the bank. (Breeder: Ray Campbell Jr., foaled in Belchertown, MA) Other Mass-bred 3-year-olds to watch include pacing colt Wyatt J (American Ideal-Think Pink) who finished fourth behind Major Betts at Tioga in 1:49.4 after interference and then chased a 1:49 mile won by Splash Brother at Vernon, pacing his own mile in 1:50.4. He has since won two overnights at Yonkers, one in a lifetime best 1:53.3. (Breeder: Lindy Farms of Connecticut, foaled in East Longmeadow, MA) Double Dealing (RC Royalty-Heather Spur) is building on his second place finish in the MASS trotting final last year. After winning his first 2020 start at Vernon Downs, he has won two NYSS Excelsior A divisions by a combined 7-3/4 lengths with a second and third in the series as well. His best outing was a 1:54.2 romp at Tioga Downs in July. Double Dealing is a brother to Bag O Chips, who was a 2-year-old MASS champion in 2017. (Breeder: Ray Campbell Jr., foaled in Belchertown, MA) Life Is A Feast (Royalty For Life-Luau Hanover) was the 2-year-old MASS male trotting champion in 2019 and won five out of his last six starts of the year. This year he has been competing in the Ontario Sire Stakes with his best finish a fourth at Mohawk in a 1:52.2 mile. He came back the following week in an overnight event to take a new lifetime mark of 1:54.3. (Breeder: Karen Carroll, foaled in Westport, MA) There is a solid list of freshman starters doing well as they make their initial outings this year. 2-year-old pacing filly Rightfully Mine (American Ideal-Leah) has been red hot on the NYSS circuit, having not missed the board in four starts. After two seconds and a third in her first three races, Rightfully Mine scored her first win at Saratoga Raceway in a 1:55.3 mile where she easily went gate to wire. (Breeder: Monique Cohen, foaled in East Longmeadow, MA) After making her first career start in a leg of the NYSS at Vernon Downs, So Amazing (So Surreal-Teddy Ballgirl) has since become a force in the NYSS Excelsior A series where she has won two consecutive starts in August. So Amazing won at Yonkers and Saratoga in identical times of 1:56.4 and did both on the front-end. So Amazing is a sister to So Awesome, who was a NYSS star as a 2 and 3-year-old and has lifetime earnings of $453,556. (Breeder: Nancy Longobardi and Domenic Longobardi, foaled in Norfolk, MA) Mullinax (American Ideal-Up Front Kellie Jo) just scored his first NYSS Excelsior A win at Batavia Downs in a 5-1/2 length romp in 1:56.2. The week prior, he made a break after being interfered with at Tioga and still managed to finish third in a 1:54.4 mile. This is a fast improving pacing colt that looks to be a factor this fall. (Breeder: Ed Mullinax and Mark Ford, foaled in Norfolk, MA) Lindy's Booze Cruz (Bar Hopping-Universal Success) has been competing in the Pennsylvania Stallion Series and in his second lifetime start, won going away by 2-3/4 lengths in 1:58.2 at the Meadows. He has shown quick development since his qualifier and this trotter seems to have more to offer moving forward. (Breeder: Lindy Farms of Connecticut, foaled in Hampden, MA) In The Cards (RC Royalty-Super Starlet) made his first lifetime start a winning one as he took a leg of the NYSS trot at Yonkers in July. He has also finished third in that series at Saratoga and will build on his success moving forward. In The Cards is a brother to 2015 3-year-old MASS champion Concentration (1:54.1, $253,603) and a full brother to 2018 MASS 3-year-old champion Ithinkthatsmine (1:56, $215,135). (Breeder: Ray Campbell Jr., foaled in Belchertown, MA) Many more MASS eligibles are currently racing in the NYSS Excelsior B series and the Maine Sire Stakes now as well as in overnights at Plainridge Park in preparation for the start of the 2020 Massachusetts stakes. Here is the complete Massachusetts Sire Stake schedule. Sunday, September 27, 2020 3-year-old first leg Monday, September 28, 2020 2-year-old first leg Sunday, October 4, 2020 3-year-old second leg Monday, October 5, 2020 2-year-old second leg Sunday, October 18, 2020 2-year-old third leg Monday, October 19, 2020 3-year-old third leg Monday, October 26, 2020 2- and 3-year-old finals For all the latest news and updates concerning Massachusetts harness racing, log on to the Standardbred Owners of Massachusetts at www.sominc.net and Plainridge Park at www.plainrdigeparkcasino.com. By Tim Bojarski, for the Standardbred Owners of Massachusetts

Plainville, MA --- Rockin Ellie took a two hole trip and turned it into her fourth win of the year in the $12,000 conditioned distaff pace at Plainridge Park on Thursday afternoon (Aug. 13). Rockin Ellie (Bruce Ranger) left and dropped in second behind Hereslookinatyou N (Mitchell Cushing), who took the field to the quarter in a swift :26.4. An outer flow formed before the half led by Royalty Again (Drew Monti) before the group split into two groups; four in and four out heading up the backside. Hereslookinatyou N and Royalty Again paced side by side past the three-quarters and around the far turn without either getting a clear advantage. Heading into the stretch, the trailing horses fanned five wide and all were closing on the leaders. But the quickest route to the wire was at the pylons and that's where Rocking Ellie shot through to get home first by a length in 1:53.4.   It was the sixth lifetime win for the 4-year-old daughter of Rockincam-Sody's Home Brew who is owned by Just Enough LLC and Mike Girouard, who also does the training. In the $10,500 condition pace for older mares, Dontustopbelievn N (Ron Cushing) led at every station while turning back a third quarter challenge from Hilaria (Mike Stevenson) and fending off a late charge from Weekend Getaway (Shawn Gray) to close out the mile with a 1:53.1 win and take a new lifetime mark. It was the third win in the last four starts for Dontustopbelievn N ($5.60) who is owned by Scott McKenzie, Laura Karageorge and Ron Cushing. Heidi Gibbs trains the winner. Mitchell Cushing led all drivers on Thursday with three wins on the card while Matty "Ice" Athearn and Bruce Ranger each had two. Trainers Mike Girouard, Ryan Berry and Melissa Beckwith also had conditioning doubles. Racing resumes at Plainridge Park on Friday afternoon (Aug. 14) with post time at 4 p.m. By Tim Bojarski, for the Standardbred Owners of Massachusetts  

Plainville, MA --- Shawn Gray put on a harness racing driving clinic Monday afternoon (Aug. 10) at Plainridge Park, winning five of the 11 races on the card and posting a .694 universal driver rating for the day. Gray won the featured $10,000 condition pace for 5-year-old and under fillies and mares with Mary Goodnight who took control in front of the stands going to the half. Mary Goodnight paced smartly to the three-quarters in 1:24 and opened up a two length advantage at the top of the stretch. From there she paced home unchallenged and stretched out to a 4-1/2 length win in 1:52.4.   Mary Goodnight ($4.40) is owned by Joey Mcwhinnie and is trained by Scott Rollins. Gray also won the fastest $10,000 division for 5-year-old and under male pacers with Sea Isle City in a career best effort. After taking the early lead, Sea Isle City eventually got shuffled back to fourth by the three-quarters. When the race reached the stretch, Gray was able to find racing room and shot Sea Isle City up the middle of the track and outpaced Spatterdash (Mike Stevenson) to the wire and won in 1:53, which was a new lifetime mark. Sea Isle City ($17.80) is owned by William and Barbara Ethier and is trained by Jamie Gerard. Gray rounded out his big day with wins behind All About Rusty (1:54.4, $5.60), Dreamzzzz R For U (1:54.1, $4.80) and Passport To Art (1:52.3, $3.20). Drivers Mitchell Cushing and Kevin Switzer Jr. and trainers Alicia Gray and Jamie Gerard each had two wins apiece as well. Racing resumes at Plainridge Park on Thursday (Aug. 13) with post time at 4 p.m. By Tim Bojarski, for the Standardbred Owners of Massachusetts

Plainville, MA --- After winning in a seasonal best time just last week, Dial A Chic moved up in class and came right back to the winner's circle, winning the $12,000 Winners-Over trotting harness racing feature at Plainridge Park on Friday afternoon (Aug. 7). Dial A Chic (Joe Di Stefano) settled in third from the pylons off the gate while stablemate Jericho (Mitchell Cushing) hit the quarter first in :28.1. Di Stefano quickly pulled Dial A Chic in front of the stands and made his way up the rim, eventually pulling alongside Jericho past the half. Jericho and Dial A Chic trotted stride for stride up the backstretch, around the far turn and halfway down the stretch before Dial A Chic was finally able to wrangle the lead away from Jericho and then hold of late drives by Uknow What To Do (Nick Graffam) and Namesmuscle (Mark Athearn) to win by 1-1/4 lengths in 1:56.   Dial A Chic ($18.20) is owned by the Di Stefano and Son Stable and is trained by John Di Stefano. The co-featured $12,000 trot for 6-year-olds and under was the scene of a huge upset when Dixie Slippers (Wally Watson) mounted a late rally from third-over at the three-quarters to collar the front running Mad Dog (John Beckwith) and Just Dreamin (Mike Stevenson) at the wire to win by a head in 1:56.3 at 56-1. It was the first win of the year and a lifetime mark for Dixie Slippers ($115.20) who is owned by John and Susan Muldoon and trained by Lisa Watson. The fastest two trots of the day went to Shake A Leg (Jay Randall/Jimmy Nickerson 1:54.4, $6.60) and Chav Hanover (Steve Nason/Nicole Nason 1:55.4, $4.80), both of which were new lifetime marks. And the most noteworthy victory on the all-trot card came when the venerable Roadshow Vic ($6.20) scored his 50th lifetime win for owner/trainer Mike Cushing when his nephew Mitchell Cushing, pulled from fourth at the three-quarters and exploded down the lane to catch Muscana (Bruce Ranger) and win by 3/4 of a length in 1:57.1. The time was a seasonal new mark and the fastest race the 13-year-old has gone in two years. In an interesting occurrence, nine different drivers and nine different trainers won a race during the nine race card. Racing resumes at Plainridge Park on Monday (Aug. 10) with post time at 4 p.m. By Tim Bojarski, for the Standardbred Owners of Massachusetts

Plainville, MA --- The harness racing field saw nothing but his heels because Rock Diamonds N led from gate to wire as he won the $14,000 Winners-Over pacing feature at Plainridge Park on Thursday afternoon (Aug. 6). Ron Cushing took early control with Rock Diamonds N and went full throttle with him during the race. After setting quarters of :26.3, :55.1 and 1:22, Rock Diamonds N spun off the last turn with a 3-1/2 length advantage and with minimal urging down the lane, held off a fast closing Starznheaven (Jay Randall) to win in 1:50.1.   For Rock Diamonds N, the time was a new seasonal mark and only one-fifth of a second of his lifetime best. It was also the second win of the year for the 7-year-old Rocknroll Hanover-Dancing Diamonds gelding who is owned by Kevin Sywyk, Ron Cushing and Frank Ranaldi. Heidi Gibbs trains the winner. In the $12,000 upper-level conditioned pacing event, Beachchip Hanover (Shawn Gray) pulled first over from fifth and tracked down a headstrong Zack Lee (Dan Deslandes) who had been marching on the point from the start, to win by 1/2 length in 1:53.1. It was the second consecutive win for Beachchip Hanover ($9.20) and owners Jeffrey Epstein, Ronald Bolduc and Steven Gondelman. Jamie Gerard is the trainer. Another $12,000 condition race for 5-year-olds and under saw Major Crisis A (Mitchell Cushing) leave four-deep from post eight, take the lead before the half and then race neck and neck with OK Kudo (Jay Randall) from that point until the wire where he won by a neck in 1:52.4, which was a new lifetime mark. Major Crisis A ($4.40) captured his fifth win of the year for owners Kevin Quinn and Phillip Zabielski. Paul Zabielski is the trainer. Shawn Gray led all drivers with two wins on the card while trainers Randy Bickmore and Jolene Andrews also won two races each. Andrews completed a full day as she also scored a driving win in the first with Denver Dolly (1:55.2, $3.20) in the New England Amateurs Driver's race. Racing resumes at Plainridge Park on Friday (Aug. 7) at 4 p.m. by Tim Bojarski, for Plainridge Park

Plainville, Ma --- Overlooked on the morning line and also at the windows, 36-1 shot Royalty Again turned a furious stretch drive into an instant harness racing jackpot in the $12,000 distaff pacing feature at Plainridge Park on Monday afternoon (Aug. 3). Ry's Red Rocket (Matty Athearn) grabbed the lead and took the field to the half in :54.3, and it was there things started getting interesting. Rockin Ellie (Bruce Ranger) was parked and made her way to the leader in the second turn. Behind her was For Chips Sake (Mitchell Cushing) and Free Exchange (Drew Campbell), leaving Royalty Again (Drew Monti) last at the five-eighths. At the three-quarter pole all seven horses were now only three lengths apart from each other and fanned three deep heading into the last turn. Ry's Red Rocket put away the challenge of Rockin Ellie leaving Free Exchange now breathing down her neck. Right behind Free Exchange was Royalty Again who was swinging four wide and still four behind, but pacing like the wind down the lane. About 100 feet from the wire, Royalty Again bolted past everyone, took the lead and won by 3/4 of a length in 1:53.3, which was a new lifetime mark.   It was the first win of the year for Royalty Again ($74.00) who is owned by Richard Knight and trained by Randy Bickmore. In the secondary $10,500 event for pacing mares, Weekend Getaway (Mitchell Cushing) came first-over from sixth at the half and chased down the leading That's Incredible (Drew Monti), eventually taking the lead at the top of the stretch and pulling away to a 1-1/2 length victory in 1:52.3. It was a new seasonal mark and the third straight win for Weekend Getaway ($17.60) who is owned by Jeffrey Kaylor and trained by Joe Therrien. Drivers Drew Monti and Bruce Ranger both scored driving hat tricks on Monday. Monti is currently the leading dash driver at the meet with 20 wins, Ranger is second with 15, Nick Graffam is third with 12 and Mitchell Cushing is fourth with 11. The 11-race card yielded new lifetime marks for seven of the winning horses. Racing resumes on Thursday at Plainridge Park with post time set for 4 p.m. By Tim Bojarski, for the Standardbred Owners of Massachusetts

Plainville, MA --- Back in Massachusetts after recently taking a lifetime mark of 1:51.3 at the Meadowlands, Nows The Moment showed early speed and late resolve in capturing the $14,000 Winners-Over trotting feature at Plainridge Park on Friday afternoon (July 31). Nows The Moment (Mike Stevenson) battled three other horses early off the gate and grabbed the first lead before Wings Of Royalty (Shawn Gray), who was four-wide in the first turn, took the top past the quarter in :26.3. Gray kept the brisk tempo going, pushing Wings Of Royalty to the half in :54.3 and the three-quarters in 1:24.1 with Nows The Moment glued to his back. The two horses separated from the pack going up the backside and when they proceeded into the turn, Stevenson tipped Nows The Moment, circled the leader and pulled away into the lane. When they straightened out in the stretch, Nows The Moment was trotting away from the field on his own and opened up a 4-3/4 length margin at the wire and won in 1:53.4. It was the third win of the year for Nows The Moment ($3.40) who is owned by Sonya Mac Donald and trained by L Alex Mac Donald. Mike Stevenson had a big day on the all-trot card at The Ridge Friday, winning a total of three races during the afternoon. Besides Nows The Moment, he also won with Just Dreamin (1:57.2, $15.00) and Just Enuf Sass (1:56.4, $9.00). Driver Drew Monti and trainer Domenico Cecere also teamed up for two wins on the card. Racing resumes at Plainridge on Monday (Aug. 3) with post time at 4 p.m. By Tim Bojarski, for the Standardbred Owners of Massachusetts  

Plainville, MA --- Thursday's (July 30) card at Plainridge Park featured a pair of $12,000 condition races that both yielded well-backed harness racing winners on another very hot afternoon. In the 5-year-old and under group of non-winners, the Massachusetts-bred CBF Bantam (Shawn Gray) came from off the pace to score a new lifetime mark. Besidetheseaside A (Ron Cushing) took early command and rattled off swift fractions of :26.4, :55.1 and 1:23.2 while being challenged by the favored Meetmeatthedance (Bruce Ranger) for that third quarter. Around the last turn, CBF Bantam (Shawn Gray) shook loose from fifth and tipped three-deep around the tiring Meetmeatthedance, taking dead aim at Besidetheseaside A. As they headed down the lane, CBF Bantam got the lead and paced strong to the wire and won in 1:52.4, which was a new lifetime mark. CBF Bantam ($5.80) is owned by Glenn Harris and Marion Phelps and is trained by Barrie Farrar. Then an upper-level aged group of condition pacers saw Tisadream N (Drew Monti) win his second straight race after leading at every station. Bettors Fire N (Ron Cushing) got to the front by the eighth pole but yielded the lead to Tisadream N before the quarter in :27. Once on the point, Monti tapped out splits of :56.2 and 1:25 before Quick Shot (Bruce Ranger) got within a length going around the last turn. But that was as close as he would get as Tisadream N swelled up in the stretch and pulled away to a 1-½ length victory in 1:53. Tisadream N is owned by Tony Gruppo and Tim Bojarski and trained by Scott Rollins. Drivers Nick Graffam and Shawn Gray each scored two wins, both in successive races. Racing resumes at Plainridge Park on Friday (July 31) with post time at 4 p.m. By Tim Bojarski, for the Standardbred Owners of Massachusetts    

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