Day At The Track
Search Results
1 to 14 of 14
1

Laurel, DE --- With just a dozen 2-year-old pacing fillies eligible to the Massachusetts Sire Stakes in 2017, Wisconsin harness racing horseman Jesse De Long knew all along he'd send Delco Dusty to the East Coast to compete. What he wasn't sure of was whether she'd make any money. Three wins and close to $80,000 later, it's safe to say the filly exceeded his expectations. "I never thought she'd be a stakes record mare," De Long said. Delco Dusty is the daughter of longtime De Long broodmare Gypsys Good Girl and Jereme's Jet. De Long said he’d wanted to breed the mare to an East Coast stallion in 2015 and, at the urging of family friend Jimmy Nickerson, decided to let her foal in Massachusetts. “The program was building,” he said, adding that the previous year the 2-year-old pace had gone in 2:02. And so Gypsys Good Girl (Wuzzup-Expresso Gypsy) foaled in Norfolk, Mass., in May of 2015 and was bred to New York stallion Rock N Roll Heaven before heading home to Wisconsin with her young filly. It was there De Long decided to name her in honor of Dustin Deming, the doctor he credits with saving his wife Mary’s life after she was diagnosed with colon cancer. “At first they didn’t give her long to live,” he said. “She’s been clean now for almost two years.” While Delco Dusty was the offspring of one of De Long’s favorite broodmares, she didn’t particularly stand out training down early this year. De Long and his sons, who break and train about 15 head a year, followed their usual routine of giving her a few starts at Wisconsin fairs before sending her to Hoosier Park. There, De Long’s son John maintains a stable. “Actually my son said he had so many fillies he didn’t really even want her,” De Long said. “We didn’t think she was as good as some of the Indiana fillies.” He took her though and raced her several times at Hoosier Park. Though she was an impressive second in her first start, coming from ninth at the half to finish second by a neck, she struggled with sickness during the following weeks. She went on to earn three fifth-place checks before it came time for her trip east. De Long wasn’t optimistic when he sent her to Nickerson and trainer Heidi Rohr. “Her first start out there she was so far back it wasn’t funny,” he said. When Nickerson called him after the race, De Long figured it was to make arrangements to send the filly back to Wisconsin. He was pleasantly surprised by what his friend had to say. “He said she was super fast,” De Long recalled. He pointed out that she’d finished next to last and Nickerson assured him that regardless, she had speed. Delco Dusty went on to prove it, finishing third the following week before really earning some attention in the first elimination of the Massachusetts Sire Stakes. On Sept. 25, driver Greg Merton steered her to a 1:53 win at Plainridge Park, obliterating the previous track record of 1:55 for 2-year-old pacing fillies. She won in 1:54.2 in another sire stakes event the following week. After a fourth in a conditioned race at Vernon Downs and a third in an Oct. 23 sire stakes event, Delco Dusty ended her season with a 1:55 victory in the $90,000 Massachusetts Sire Stakes final for 2-year-old filly pacers last Monday (Nov. 6). De Long says the filly, who’s now on vacation for the winter, made it a memorable stakes season for he and his wife. Delco Dusty has also renewed his faith in her dam, who’s already produced several talented mares that will eventually be part of his broodmare band. “It’s a good old Illinois family,” he said. “We’ve had good luck with them.” by Charlene Sharpe, USTA Web Newsroom Senior Correspondent

Plainville, MA---More records were broken as the best state-bred Standardbreds convened one more time for the $720,000 finals of the Massachusetts Sire Stakes (MASS) at Plainridge Park on Monday afternoon (Nov. 6). 46 horses competed in eight harness racing $90,000 divisions and generated some impressive miles as a result. The best performance of the day was undoubtedly put forth by Big Man Ev (Chapter Seven-Possessed By Lindy) in the 3-year-old trotting colts and geldings division. After chasing fast fractions set by Muscles Jared (Muscle Massive-Tetiana) driver Steve Smith pulled the pocket at the top of the stretch and cruised right by to win by two-lengths in 1:53.3. The time was a new lifetime mark for Big Man Ev as well as a new stake and track record, both of which were just set by him on October 2. It was the ninth win of the year for Big Man Ev ($2.60) who now has earned $142,300 in 2017. Julie Miller trains the winner who is owned by the Andy Miller Racing Stable Inc., the Lindy Racing Stable and Harvey Eisman. The Lindy Racing Stable bred Big Man Ev. Trainer George Ducharme had his stable ready to roll and three of his students got straight-A's and large checks for their efforts in Monday's finals with driver Chris Lems in tow. In the 2-year-old trot for colts and geldings, Hashtagmadeyalook (Chapter Seven-Royalty Free) made it two wins in a row going gate to wire in 1:57 after seating Kinda Lucky Lindy (Lucky Chucky-Kinda Crazy Lindy) and keeping his closest competitor at bay the whole mile, eventually winning by two lengths. Hashtagmadeyalook ($4.00) who set the stake and track record for his age, sex and gait in the last leg boosted his earnings to $77,550 today for owner and breeder Ray Campbell Bag O Chips (Sierra Kosmos-Heather Spur) won her fourth straight MASS outing this year, leading the entire way in the 2-year-old trotting fillies division to win in 1:58.2 by a length over stablemate Ithinkthatsmine (RC Royalty-Super Starlet), who tracked her the entire mile. Bag O Chips ($NB), who reset the stake and track record twice during the preliminary legs, now boasts $93,100 on her card this year for owner Ray Campbell. The Linwood Farm of Pennsylvania bred Bag O Chips. And Ducharme's third victory of the day came with Onangelwings (Archangel-Anotherpennyplease) in the 3-year-old trotting fillies division. After making a break before the start, Onangelwings regained her composure and had a five-length lead by the quarter and eventually ran away with a wrapped-up fourth-length victory in 1:58.4, which was a new lifetime mark for the winner. Onangelwings ($NB) now has four wins in five 2017 starts and has banked $90,160 as a result. George Ducharme, Al Ross and Paul Fontaine both bred and own the winner. In the 2-year-old pacing fillies division, stake and track record holder Delco Dusty (Jereme's Jet-Gypsy's Good Girl) lived up to her billing, winning easily in 1:55. After getting away third behind the heavily favored Rock Me Threetimes (Rock N Roll Heaven-Love Rocks) who led to three-quarters in 1:25.2, Delco Dusty tipped three-deep off the last turn and flew home to win by two. It was the third win of the year for Delco Dusty ($6.00), all three of which were in MASS events. The Heidi Rohr-trained filly has now put $82,803 in the account of her owner Jesse De Long, who also bred the winner. The 2-year-old pacing colt and gelding final went to I'm A Clown (I'm Gorgeous-Lordy Miss Scarlet) who left from post eight and got parked out to the quarter in :28.2 before clearing to lead the rest of the way en route to a two-length win in 1:57.1. Driven by Shawn Gray for trainer Kevin Switzer, I'm A Clown ($7.60) has now earned $69,837 for owner Nelson Malin, who bred the winner with KDK Standardbreds. Lindy The Kid (Artistic Fella-Lindy's Bandita) is now a perfect four-for-four in MASS action this year after pulling at the half and destroying the field coming home, winning in a nine-length, 1:54.2 romp in the 3-year-old final for pacing colts and geldings. Bred and owned by the Lindy Farms, Lindy The Kid ($NB) has now earned $94,175 under the tutelage of trainer Frank Antonacci. Greg Merton drove the winner. And in the 3-year-old pacing fillies final, Tanzanite Love (I'm Gorgeous-Love Rocks) trailed the runaway Delaware Heat (Western Ideal-Shady Sabrina) by eight-lengths at the quarter before getting in gear past the half and opening up a four-length lead on the front end at the wire, winning in 1:55.3. It was the second win in a row and third win of the season for Tanzanite Love ($NB) who was driven to victory by Mike Stevenson for trainer Robert Marston. The winner has now earned $77,734 for owner, the Denmar Stable of Florida. KDK Standardbreds was the breeder of Tanzanite Love. Five stake and four track records were either tied or broken (two of them twice) during competition in the MASS this year and this is attributed to the renewed interest and investment in breeding Standardbreds in the state of Massachusetts on the success of the Race Horse Development Fund. And as a result, dignitaries from both sides of the fence are excited about where the program is headed. "I think what we have seen in the Sire Stakes this year is absolutely fantastic, especially for those that have stuck with the program and continued breeding mares through thick and thin" said Steve O'Toole, Director of Racing at Plainridge Park. "The breeders association has done a great job over the years keeping the program going and I am pleased to see their efforts rewarded with the resurrection of the Massachusetts Breeding program and Sire Stake races." "The Race Horse Development Fund has resulted in a renewed interest in breeding horses in Massachusetts" said Bob McHugh, President of the Harness Horse Association of New England. "The number of Massachusetts bred horses increased from 44 in 2014 to 111 in 2017 and the continued upward trend will ensure that many more Mass-bred horses will be racing well into the future."   By Tim Bojarski, for the Standardbred Owners of Massachusetts  

Plainville, MA---The most lucrative day in the history of Massachusetts produced Standardbreds will be held on Monday (Nov.6) at Plainridge Park when eight harness racing $90,000 divisions of first and second year trotters and pacers will compete for a total of $720,000 in purses in the finals of the Massachusetts Sire Stakes (MASS). The races are carded as four non-betting (two before and two after the regular program) and four betting which will go as races one to four on the regular program. Post time for the first non-betting event is 12 noon, the regular card post is 1 p.m. and the final two non-betting races will begin after the last race of the regular program, approximately 3:40 p.m. These finals cap off a year that distributed a record total of $1.44 million in purses to the breeders, owners and horsemen of the Commonwealth and as a result has produced substantial new interest in the Massachusetts Standardbred breeding program from participants of all racing jurisdictions. George Ducharme's stable is strongly represented in the finals and three of his entries look to be solid contenders for championship honors. Bag O Chips (Sierra Kosmos-Heather Spur) has won all three of her starts by open lengths in the 2-year-old trotting filly division and comes into the final as the highest money earner as well with $48,100 made in her seven lifetime starts. Onangelwings (Archangel-Anotherpennyplease) has had similar success with three wins in the series for 3-year-old trotting fillies, two of which were by comfortable margins and she has earned $45,160 on the efforts of her four lifetime starts. Muscles Jared (Muscle Massive-Tetiana) has raced well all year, in particular in the Pennsylvania Sire Stakes where he finished second in the $252,000 final in September. He won his first MASS event for 3-year-old trotting colts and geldings by eight lengths in 1:55.3, setting a new stake record before finishing second in the other two. He and comes in with $176,990 in the bank for the year and $327,846 lifetime. Julie Miller happens to train the horse that beat him in those two events and his name is Big Man Ev. Big Man Ev (Chapter Seven-Possessed By Lindy) won the two MASS legs he entered in convincing fashion. The first by six lengths in a stake and track record time of 1:54.3 and the second by five lengths in 1:55.3. He was a star in the New York Sire Stake's (NYSS) Excelsior A series this year where he won six of those legs and finished second in the $45,000 final between his two starts at Plainridge. He has $97,300 on his card this year and $186,921 lifetime. Frank Antonacci's Lindy Farms also has two formidable participants and he looks to sweep those divisions as well. Lindy The Kid (Artistic Fella-Lindy's Bandita) has been peerless in the 3-year-old pacing colts and geldings division going three for three in the series coming into the final. He has the best mark (1:54) and highest earnings ($49,175) of the field and certainly looks like the one to beat. Kinda Lucky Lindy (Lucky Chucky-Kinda Crazy Lindy) heads the field for 2-year-old trotting colts and geldings and comes in with two wins in his three series starts. Prior to racing in the MASS, Kinda Lucky Lindy faced tough competition in the NYSS and in the Champlain and Wellwood Stakes at Mohawk Racetrack in Canada. He looks to bounce back here from his defeat to Hashtagmadeyalook (Chapter Seven-Royalty Free) who tripped-out and caught him at the wire in last week's third leg. Kevin Switzer has a pair of freshman pacers who are favored to win their respective divisions and have already proven they can do it. Rock Me Threetimes (Rock N Roll Heaven-Love Rocks) broke her maiden in an overnight before finishing second and third in the first two legs of the MASS. Last week she threw her best lifetime mile, winning in 1:54 from off the pace defeating Heidi Rohr's Delco Dusty (Jereme's Jet-Gypsy's Good Girl) who won the first leg in a stake and track record time of 1:53. It's interesting to note that Rock Me Threetimes finished second to Delco Dusty in that race by only a length. I'm a Clown (I'm Gorgeous-Lordy Miss Scarlet) scored a win and two seconds in the 2-year-old pacing colts and geldings division and will probably use his speed to set the fractions in the final. He will have his work cut out for him though as Eddie Davis Jr.'s Twelve (Shady Character-Sabine Hanover) has two series wins of his own and Scott Renz's Latent Print (Camluck-Affluence) actually beat him in the final leg two weeks ago. The 3-year-old pacing fillies look like it could be one of the closest events of the day as three of the entrants have been duking it out the entire series. Mike Graffam's Spoxys Girl (Neutralize-Royal Ribbons) has a win and two seconds in the MASS besides racking up a lot of purse money in the Maine-bred stakes as well. She is the fastest (1:55.1) and richest ($75,772) of this field but was beaten by Robert Marston's Tanzanite Love (I'm Gorgeous-Love Rocks) by a head last week. Kevin Switzer's Delaware Heat (Western Ideal-Shady Sabrina) has not won a MASS event this year but has finished second and third in her last two starts by a half-length and a neck respectively. By Tim Bojarski, for the Standardbred Owners of Massachusetts  

Plainville, Ma---The third leg of the Massachusetts Sire Stakes (MASS) for harness racing 3-year-olds was contested at Plainridge Park on Monday (Oct. 30) for purses totaling $133,500 and three of the four events displayed very strong performances. All four races were non-betting events. In the $34,000 colt and gelding trot, Big Man Ev (Chapter Seven-Possessed By Lindy) went immediately to the front and led every step of the mile before pulling away to a five-length win in 1:55.3. Muscles Jared (Muscle Massive-Tetiana) drafted along second the entire way but was unable to muster a finishing kick to match the winner's :28.1. Big Man Ev was driven by Steve Smith for trainer Julie Miller and owners the Andy Miller Stable Inc., the Lindy Racing Stable and Harvey Eisman. Big Man Ev was bred by the Lindy Racing Stable. The $33,550 colt and gelding pace was won by Lindy The Kid (Artistic Fella-Lindy's Bandita) for his third straight MASS series win. After leaving and taking control, Lindy The Kid won in gate to wire fashion in 1:57.4 while keeping Zeke (Mcardle-Beam Of Joy) at bay in second the entire mile. Lindy The Kid was driven by Greg Merton for trainer Frank Antonacci. Lindy Farms of Connecticut both bred and own the winner. On the distaff side, Onangelwings (Archangel-Anotherpennyplease) won the $32,700 filly trot in 2:01.1 after going coast to coast by open lengths, eventually crossing the wire five-lengths in front. The victory was also the third straight MASS win for the filly. Onangelwings was driven by Chris Lems for trainer George Ducharme who owns her with Al Ross and Paul Fontaine. Ducharme, Ross and Fontaine also bred the winner. And in the $33,250 filly pace, Tanzanite Love (I'm Gorgeous-Love Rocks) got away fourth and stayed there until past three-quarters when she found pace down the lane and closed on the outside to capture the win by a head in 1:59.2. She beat Spoxy's Girl (Neutralize-Royal Ribbons) who tripped-out behind Delaware Heat (Western Ideal-Shady Sabrina) who finished third another head behind in a bang-bang finish. Tanzanite Love was driven by Mike Stevenson for trainer Robert Marston and owner the Denmar Stable of Florida. KDK Standardbreds bred the winner. The Massachusetts Sire Stake finals for all divisions will be held at Plainridge Park on Monday (Nov. 6) and will offer an estimated $700,000 in purses.   By Tim Bojarski, for the Standardbred Owners of Massachusetts  

Plainville, MA --- Plainridge Park will host the third leg of the Massachusetts Sire Stakes (MASS) for harness racing 3-year-olds of both genders and gaits worth a total of $133,500 on Monday (Oct. 30). The races are carded as four non-betting events that will be held prior to the regular card with a post time of 1 p.m. The $32,700 3-year-old filly trot has Onangelwings (Archangel-Anotherpennyplease) looking to go three-for-three after taking the first two MASS contests in convincing fashion. Trainer George Ducharme and driver Chris Lems will be looking over their shoulder at Grits' N Seven (Chapter Seven-Bourbon N Grits) who has finished second in both races. Grits' N Seven's trainer Dawn Anderson has Steve Smith up to drive once again. The $34,000 3-year-old colt and gelding trot is a heavyweight match between Muscles Jared (Muscle Massive-Tetiana) and Big Man Ev (Chapter Seven-Possessed By Lindy). Muscles Jared won the first leg by eight lengths in a stake record time of 1:55.3, but Big Man Ev did not enter that week. In the second leg, Muscles Jared made a break and Big Man Ev was on point going gate to wire by five lengths in 1:54.3, which broke the stake and track record. Muscles Jared is sent out by Ducharme and Lems and Big Man Ev's trainer Julie Miller has Steve Smith in the bike. The $33,500 colt and gelding pace features Frank Antonacci's Lindy The Kid (Artistic Fella-Lindy's Bandita) who has had his way in this event so far, winning the first two legs handily. He has not really been challenged once he's gained the lead and driver Greg Merton will most certainly position him for another similar trip despite not having raced since the second leg of the series on Monday (Oct. 2). And the $33,250 filly pace finds the winners of the first two legs in a rematch. Meadows Rosebud (Western Maverick-Rose Of Aquamarine) won the first leg by three lengths in 1:55.1 but finished third to Spoxy's Girl (Neutralize-Royal Ribbons) by a length in 1:55.1 in the second. Both fillies have competed in Maine Sire Stakes (advantage Spoxy's Girl there) since they last met and should be legged-up for this race. Trainer Ralph Andersen will have Eddie Davis Jr. on board Meadows Rosebud while Mike Graffam has Nick Graffam in the bike behind Spoxy's Girl. The Massachusetts Sire Stake 2 and 3-year-old finals for both genders and gaits will be held at Plainridge Park on Monday (Nov. 6) and they will compete for an estimated $700,000 in purses.   By Tim Bojarski, for the Standardbred Owners of Massachusetts  

Plainville, Ma---The third leg of the 2-year-old divisions of the Massachusetts Sire Stakes (MASS) were held at Plainridge Park on Monday afternoon (Oct. 23) and record harness racing performances were put forth in two of the four races. In the $33,800 2-year-old filly trot, Bag O Chips (Sierra Kosmos-Heather Spur) overcame a break at the start to gain the lead before the half and eventually pull away to a nine-length victory in 1:57.3, which was a new track and stake record for the winner, besting the 1:57.4 mark that she set in the first leg on September 25. The time was also a new lifetime mark for Bag O Chips who was driven by Chris Lems for trainer George Ducharme. Ray Campbell of Belchertown, Massachusetts owns the filly. Then in the $34,800 2-year-old colt and gelding trot, Hashtagmadeyalook (Chapter Seven-Royalty Free) got a perfect two-hole trip behind Kinda Lucky Lindy (Lucky Chucky-Kinda Crazy Lindy) before taking the lead in the stretch and opening up a four-length margin of victory in 1:56.3, which smashed the stake record of 1:58.1 and bettered the track record of 1:57 formerly held by Muscles Jared. It was also a new lifetime mark for Hashtagmadeyalook who was driven by Chris Lems for trainer George Ducharme and owner Ray Campbell of Belchertown, Massachusetts. There was no record set in the $34,266 2-year-old filly pace but a good effort was turned in none the less by Rock Me Threetimes (Rock N Roll Heaven-Love Rocks) as she pulled first over against a game Delco Dusty (Jereme's Jet-Gypsy's Good Girl) and held off a fast closing Momma Don't Dance (Art Major-Mommy Robin Q) to win by a long-length in 1:54, which was a new lifetime mark for the winner. Rock Me Threetimes was driven by Shawn Gray for trainer Kevin Switzer. KDK Standardbreds of Harrington, Delaware owns the filly. Finally, the only betting event of the four MASS races was the $34,900 2-year-old colt and gelding pace and Latent Print (Camluck-Affluence) turned a garden-spot journey behind I'm A Clown (I'm Gorgeous-Lordy Miss Scarlet) into a strong stretch drive and a length victory that produced a new lifetime mark of 1:57. Latent Print ($10.00) is trained and driven by Scott Renz of Bloomsburg, Pennsylvania who also co-owns the gelding with Holly Guastalli of Port Richey, Florida. The third leg of the Mass 3-year-old divisions will be raced on Monday (Oct. 30) with the finals of all age, genders and gaits to take place on Monday (Nov. 6).   By Tim Bojarski, for the Standardbred Owners of Massachusetts  

Plainville, MA---After a two-week sabbatical, the top state bred 2-year-olds of both gaits and genders will be back in harness racing action at Plainridge Park on Monday afternoon (Oct. 23) for the third leg of the Massachusetts Sire Stakes (MASS) vying for $137,766 in purses. Three races will go as non-betting events starting at 1 p.m. and the fourth is carded as race three on the regular card which has a 2:30 p.m. post time for the first race. The $33,800 2-year-old filly trot features Bag O Chips (Sierra Kosmos-Heather Spur) who won the first two legs by open lengths and set a new track and stake record of 1:57.4 for gender, age and gait. She is also the highest money winner in the race with $31,200 on the card and looks to add to her totals. Trainer George Ducharme has Chris Lems at the lines for the third straight start leaving from post three. Ithinkthatsmine (RC Royalty-Super Starlet) driven by Steve Smith and Jazz Me (RC Royalty-Promises Kept) driven by Jimmy Whittemore will be the main rivals in the race. Both are also trained by Ducharme. The $34,800 2-year-old colt and gelding trot has Kinda Lucky Lindy (Lucky Chucky-Kinda Crazy Lindy) coming in on a two-race MASS win streak as well and despite drawing post seven, looks solid to three-peat. With little inside speed, Kinda Lucky Lindy will probably set the front-end fractions again and add to his $56,508 bankroll for the year. Trainer Frank Antonacci has Plainridge Park's leading driver Greg Merton up again in the bike. Hashtagmadeyalook (Chapter Seven-Royalty Free) has finished second in both starts to Kinda Lucky Lindy, the last time only beaten three-quarters of a length. This will be only his third lifetime start and he has been improving each week. George Ducharme and Chris Lems team up again here from post five. The $34,266 2-year-old filly pace features another track and stake record holder, Delco Dusty (Jereme's Jet-Gypsy's Good Girl). Delco Dusty has won both of her MASS events, setting the new standard in her first start going 1:53 in the mile. She did race in an overnight at Vernon Downs last week finishing fourth and the start was a good tightener for her coming into this event. Trainer Heidi Rohr has Greg Merton aboard as in the two previous stake starts and they have drawn post three. Rock Me Three Times (Rock N Roll Heaven-Love Rocks) and Momma Don't Dance (Art Major-Mommy Robin Q) have each finished second and third one time behind Delco Dusty and will both be in hot pursuit again in this race. Rock Me three Times drew post one for trainer Kevin Switzer and driver shawn Gray and Momma Don't Dance drew post six for trainer Linda Toscano and driver Steve Smith. Finally, the $34,900 2-year-old colt and gelding pace has I'm A Clown (I'm Gorgeous-Lordy Miss Scarlet) the heavy 6-5 early favorite in the only MASS betting race of day. I'm A Clown won the first division of the series in 1:56.3 and finished second the following week to Pembroke Pharoah, who is not entered this week. I'm A Clown shipped to Harrington Raceway last week and won an overnight event and certainly looks the favorite part here, leaving from post seven for trainer Kevin Switzer and driver Shawn Gray. CBF Real Deal (So Surreal-CBF Fancy) has a second and third in MASS action and has stayed sharp in the off weeks finishing second twice in close finishes in overnights at Plainridge. Drawing well with post two, he looks to track the favorite with Nick Graffam steering for trainer Ralph Anderson. Here is the remainder of the schedule for the 2017 Massachusetts Sire Stakes at Plainridge Park: October 30 3-year-old Third Leg November 6 2 and 3-year-old Finals   By Tim Bojarski, for the Standardbred Owners of Massachusetts  

Plainville, MA---The second leg of the Massachusetts Sire Stakes (MASS) was contested at Plainridge Park on Monday afternoon (Oct.2) with two more record setting harness racing performances going in the books. Big Man Ev (Chapter Seven-Possessed By Lindy) made his first series start this year in the $29,500 3-year-old colt and gelding trot and it turned out to be a very memorable one. When last week's winner Muscles Jared (Chris Lems) made a break after the start, Big Man Ev (Steve Smith) inherited the lead and made the most of it. After cutting fractional times of :28, :57 and 1:26.1, Big Man Ev trotted home in :28.2 while opening up a five-length lead and won in 1:54.3. The time of 1:54.3 was a new lifetime mark, a new stake record and a new track record for 3-year-old colt trotters. It was the seventh win in 10 starts this year for Big Man Ev ($NB) who now has $69,050 in earnings in 2017. The winner is owned by the Andy Miller Stable of Millstone Township, New Jersey and the Lindy Racing Stable of Enfield, Connecticut, who also bred him. Big Man Ev is trained by Julie Miller. In the second $14,450 division of 2-year-old colt and gelding pace, Twelve (Shady Character-Sabine Hanover) got his second consecutive MASS victory and matched the current standard for this group. Latent Print (Scott Renz) left and gave Twelve (Eddie Davis Jr.) the same pocket trip he did last week. But unlike last week, Davis pulled Twelve earlier, just past the half, and kept on motoring when he cleared. He was two-lengths clear at the three-quarters in 1:27.3 and ended up seven lengths in front at the wire under wraps in 1:56. The time of 1:56 was a new lifetime mark for Twelve and also tied the stake record for 2-year-old gelding pacers. It was the third win of the year for Twelve ($2.60), all scored in the last three weeks. The winner is owned and was bred by Dean Malin of Gilbertville, Massachusetts. The $28,250 3-year-old filly pace was one of the more entertaining races as Spoxy's Girl (Neutralize-Royal Ribbons) flew home and won in a very close finish. Spoxy's Girl (Nick Graffam) got away fourth in a single-file flow led by Meadows Rosebud (Eddie Davis Jr.), that stayed that way until just before the 1:26.3 three-quarters. That's when Graffam pulled, popped the plugs and advanced towards the leader. Spoxy's Girl and Meadows Rosebud went stride for stride all the way down the lane when Spoxy's Girl got the advantage on her before holding off the late charging Delaware Heat (Mark Beckwith) at the wire in 1:55.1, which was a new lifetime mark for the filly. It was the third win of the year for Spoxy's Girl ($7.40) who is owned by Ben Bill & Will Stable of Carmel, Maine and is trained by Mike Graffam. Richard Hartley of Newport, Maine bred the winner. And in the $28,550 3-year-old colt and gelding pace, Lindy The Kid doubled his pleasure by taking his second consecutive MASS leg this year. After sitting back in third watching Zeke (Scott Renz) and Rock The Heavens (Nick Graffam) argue hard for the lead, Lindy The Kid (Greg Merton) made a big move past the quarter, cleared the front and then cruised the rest of the way home. With no real challenge from behind to speak of, Lindy The Kid won by two open lengths in 1:55. Lindy The Kid ($NB) is trained by Frank Antonacci and is owned and was bred by Lindy Farms of Enfield,Connecticut. Other MASS results and their connections include: $28,766 2-year-old filly pace Delco Dusty (Jereme's Jet-Gypsys Good Girl) 1:54.2, $NB Owner-Jesse De Long, Clinton, Wisconsin Driver-Greg Merton Trainer-Heidi Rohr Breeder-Jesse De Long, Clinton, Wisconsin $28,200 3-year-old filly trot Onangelwings (Archangel-Anotherpennyplease) 1:59, $NB Owner-George Ducharme Stable LLC, Alfred Ross and Paul Fontaine of Massachusetts Driver-Chris Lems Trainer-George Ducharme Breeder- Alfred Ross, Paul Fontaine and George Ducharme of Massachusetts $28,300 2-year-old filly trot Bag O Chips (Sierra Kosmos-Heather Spur) 1:58, $NB Owner-Raymond Campbell of Belchertown, Massachusetts Driver-Chris Lems Trainer-George Ducharme Breeder-Linwood Farms of Pennsylvania $30,300 2-year-old colt and gelding trot Kinda Lucky Lindy (Lucky Chucky-Kinda Crazy Lindy) 1:58.4, $2.10 Owner-Lindy Farms of Enfield, Connecticut Driver-Greg Merton Trainer-Frank Antonacci Breeder- Lindy Farms of Enfield,Connecticut $14,450 2-year-old colt and gelding pace Pembroke Pharoah (Baron Biltmore-Migraine) 2:00.2, $11.00 Owner-William Varney of Bangor, Maine and Valerie Grondin of Corinna, Maine Driver-Heath Campbell Trainer-Valerie Grondin Breeder- William Varney of Bangor, Maine and Valerie Grondin of Corinna, Maine   By Tim Bojarski, for the Standardbred Owners of Massachusetts  

Plainville, MA---There will be $227,766 in purses distributed among nine harness racing events in the second leg of the Massachusetts Sire Stakes (MASS) at Plainridge Park on Monday afternoon (Oct. 2). There are five non-betting races that begin at 1 p.m. and then four more contests that will go on the regular wagering menu which gets underway at 2:30 p.m. All 2 and 3-year-old divisions of both gaits and genders will compete with some very interesting contests on the slate. George Ducharme's Muscles Jared (Muscle Massive-Tetiana) simply crushed the competition last week in the 3-year-old colt and gelding trot, winning by eight-lengths after leading gate to wire by open lengths in 1:55.3. That effort was not unexpected as Muscles Jared had been racing successfully on the Pennsylvania Sire Stake circuit where he finished second in the $252,000 final just three weeks ago. But trainer Julie Miller's Big Man Ev (Chapter Seven-Possessed By Lindy) has entered this week and comes in red-hot off the New York Sire Stakes circuit where he is the top point-getter in the Excelsior A series. He is on a four-race winning streak which includes starts at Tioga Downs, Saratoga Raceway, Batavia Downs and Yonkers Raceway. Both horses love the front end and this could shape up to be a two-horse breakaway in the short field of six. Muscles Jared has drawn post two and will have Chris Lems aboard once again and Big Man Ev has drawn post three and will seat Steve Smith for his regular reinsman Andy Miller, who did not make the trip. The race is carded as the third non-betting event before the regular pari-mutual program with an estimated post time of 1:20 p.m. Also, in the first race on that preliminary card (post time 1 p.m.) is the second round of 2-year-old pacing fillies that produced a track record last week. Delco Dusty (Jereme's Jet-Gypsys Good Girl) tripped-out to her first lifetime win In 1:53 and the time annihilated the old track mark by two full seconds. The trip came courtesy of Rock Me Threetimes (Rock N Roll Heaven-Love Rocks) who carried the mail on the front-end for most of the mile, setting :26.4, :55.3 and 1:24.2 fractions along the way. This week Delco Dusty drew post one and trainer Heidi Rohr has Greg Merton up once again and Rock Me Threetimes drew post two and his conditioner Kevin Switzer sticks with Shawn Gray who also drove her last week. A similar strategy scenario played out in the 2-year-old colt and gelding pace last week and those competitors will tangle again in race five (post time 3:50 p.m.) of the regular betting card. Twelve (Shady Character-Sabine Hanover) got a perfect pocket trip behind Latent Print (Camluck-Affluence) before pulling in the lane and winning by a length in 1:56.1. Experience may have played a role in that win as Twelve has twice as many starts as Latent Print and has also been competing in the Maine Sire Stakes since June. But Latent Print was game in defeat and should only benefit from the outing, making this week's rematch that much more interesting. Trainer/driver Eddie Davis Jr. will start Twelve from post four at 4-5 while trainer/driver Scott Renz will get Latent Print underway from post five at 7-2. Last week's MASS action was excellent with four stake records and two track records being reset. Delco Dusty (2-year-old filly pace, 1:53, stake and track record), Bag O Chips (2-year-old filly trot, 1:57.4, stake and track record), Muscles Jared (3-year-old gelding trot, 1:55.3, stake record) and Kinda Lucky Lindy (2-year-old gelding trot, 1:58.1, stake record) all rewrote history. After week one, Chris Lems and Greg Merton are tied for most MASS driving wins with three and Eddie Davis Jr. is right behind them with two tallies of his own. George Ducharme leads all trainers in the state-bred sweepstakes, sending three of his stable for pictures while Frank Antonacci is second with two victories to his conditioning credit. Here is the remaining schedule of dates for the Massachusetts Sire Stakes: October 23 2 Year Old Third Leg $25,000 added per division October 30 3 Year old Third Leg $25,000 added per division November 6 2 & 3 Year Old Finals $85,000 est. per division   By Tim Bojarski, for the Standardbred Owners of Massachusetts  

Plainville, MA---Two tracks records were broken and a third was just missed on the first day of Massachusetts Sire Stake (MASS) harness racing action at Plainridge Park on Monday afternoon (Sept. 25). Delco Dusty (Jereme's Jet-Gypsys Good) made her first start at Plainridge a memorable one, winning the $29,766 2-year-old filly pace. Delco Dusty (Greg Merton) got away second behind Rock Me Threetimes (Shawn Gray) and stayed there for seven-eighths of a mile. Rock Me Threetimes cut speed fractions of :26.4, :55.3 and 1:24.2 as the top two horses broke away from the field. Coming off the final turn, Merton pulled Delco Dusty and out-dueled Rock Me Threetimes to the wire, winning by a length in 1:53. The time was a new lifetime mark for Delco Dusty in her first lifetime win and it smashed the standing Plainridge Park track record of 1:55 for 2-year-old filly pacers set by Jordan's Jewel in 2008. Delco Dusty ($7.20) is owned by John De Long of Clinton, Wisconsin and is trained by Heidi Rohr. Another first-time Plainridge participant was Bag O Chips (Sierra Kosmos-Heather Spur) who dominated the $25,800 2-year-old filly trot. The race was over almost as soon as it began as Bag O Chips (Chris Lems) opened up a seven-length advantage at the quarter in :30.2. Maintaining a gapped lead throughout, Bag O Chips got to the half in :58.4 and three-quarters in 1:27.4 before trotting home in hand to win by two in 1:57.4. It was the first lifetime win for Bag O Chips, a lifetime mark and a new track record for 2-year-old trotting fillies at Plainridge Park, besting the 1:58.2 set by Penny Dream in 2005. Bag O Chips is owned by Raymond Campbell of Belchertown, Massachusetts and is trained by George Ducharme. Another powerful performance was turned in by Muscles Jared (Muscles Massive-Tetiana) who walked away with the victory in the $26,500 3-year-old colt and gelding trot. Muscles Jared (Chris Lems) left like a rocket and opened up five-lengths on top at the quarter in :28.1. Lems then proceeded to tour the facility as his trotter set fractions of :57.4 and 1:26.2 with no resistance from behind. Muscles Jared then pulled away and opened up an eight-length lead under the wire, winning in 1:55.3, which was just one-fifth of a second off the track record for 3-year-old trotting geldings. Muscles Jared is owned by Alfred Ross of South Dartmouth, Massachusetts and is trained by George Ducharme. Lindy The Kid (Artistic Fella-Lindy's Bandita) stole the show in the $26,050 3-year-old colt and gelding pace and grabbed his second win of the year in the process. Rock The Heavens (Eddie Davis Jr.) seated the field and went to the quarter in :27.2. Quickly tiring of being second, Greg Merton pulled Lindy The Kid and took the lead before the half in :56 flat. From there things all went his way as he paced on a comfortable lead with no challenges from behind. After passing three-quarters in 1:25.1 Lindy The Kid cruised home to an easy two-length win in 1:54.4. Lindy The Kid is owned by Lindy Farm of Connecticut and is trained by Frank Antonacci. Other MASS results and their connections include $26,200 3-year-old filly trot Onangelwings (Archangel-Anotherpennyplease) 2:01.1 Owner-George Ducharme Stable LLC, Alfred Ross and Paul Fontaine of Massachusetts Driver-Chris Lems Trainer-George Ducharme $14,450 2-year-old colt and gelding pace Twelve (Shady Character-Sabine Hanover) 1:56.1, $3.80 Owner-Dean Malin, Gilbertville, Massachusetts Driver-Eddie Davis Jr. Trainer-Eddie Davis Jr. $14,450 2-year-old colt and gelding pace I'm A Clown (I'm Gorgeous-Lordy Miss Scarlet) 1:56.3, $7.00 Owner-Nelson R. Malin III, Gilbertville, Massachusetts Driver-Shawn Gray Trainer-Kevin Switzer $30,300 2-year-old colt and gelding trot Kinda Lucky Lindy (Lucky Chucky-Kinda Crazy Lindy) 1:58.1, $3.00 Owner-Lindy Farms of Connecticut Driver-Greg Merton Trainer-Frank Antonacci $28,250 3-year-old filly pace Meadows Rosebud (Western Maverick-Rose Of Aquamarine) 1:55.1, $10.40 Owner-Lorraine O'Connor of Bedford, Massachusetts Driver-Eddie Davis Jr. Trainer-Ralph Anderson The second leg of the Massachusetts Sire Stakes for all ages, gaits and genders will be held at Plainridge Park on Monday (Oct. 2).   By Tim Bojarski, for the Standardbred Owners of Massachusetts  

Plainville, MA---The first of five harness racing dates for the $1.35 million (est.) 2017 Massachusetts Sire Stakes (MASS) program is Monday (Sept. 25) and $221,766 in purses will be up for grabs between the age, gait and gender divisions at Plainridge Park. There are a total of nine stake races Monday, four of which are non-betting and the action begins at 1 p.m. Horses that have already competed in breeding programs in New York, Pennsylvania, Maine, Ohio and Ontario will now be eligible to the lucrative Massachusetts program as a result of the resident broodmare registration that gives the breeder the flexibility to select any top stallion in any state and bring the mare to Massachusetts to foal. The foal is then eligible to the Massachusetts Sire Stakes program as well as the state program where the stallion is standing. All four 2016 MASS 2-year-old champions are back at three to try and repeat their success at three and all four look to be favored in their respective competitions. Here is a preview of the top horse(s) in each division. 3-year-old trotting colts and geldings Muscles Jared (Muscle Massive-Tetiana) was the 2-year-old MASS champion and this year has competed heavily on the Grand Circuit as well as in the Pennsylvania Sire Stakes (PASS). He has finished second in his last four starts including the $252,000 PASS final behind Dover Dan in 1:53.3. Muscles Jared took a lifetime mark of 1:54 at Vernon Downs in June and now has $297,721 in lifetime earnings. Trainer George Ducharme has Chris Lems up to drive Muscles Jared who leaves from post two in the second non-betting race. (PT-1:15 p.m.) 3-year-old pacing colts and geldings Lindy The Kid (Artistic Fella-Lindy's Bandita) took sophomore honors in the division last year and has been lightly raced coming into this start. After competed in Ontario at the beginning of summer, he was given a break in July and brought back with a sharp 1:55.3 qualifier that he followed up with a 10-1/2 length, 1:54 victory in an overnight event. If he minds his manners he will give his competition all they can handle. Greg Merton will pick up the lines for trainer Frank Antonacci as Lindy The Kid leaves from post two in the third non-betting race. (PT-1:30 p.m.) 3-year-old trotting fillies Onangelwings (Archangel-Anotherpennyplease) was an undefeated champion in MASS action in 2016 but has made only one start this year back in June. Most recently the filly has qualified twice at Vernon Downs in preparation for this series; the last time finishing second to the second leading money-earning 3-year-old trotting filly in North America, Barn Bella. George Ducharme and Chris Lems once again team up as Onangelwings starts from post five in the first non-betting event. (PT-1 p.m.) 3-year-old pacing fillies Spoxy's Girl (Neutralize-Royal Ribbons) was never off the board in MASS action last year and has come back in 2017 in fine form as she has been racing in the Maine Sire Stakes (MESS) with much success. With two wins, four seconds and two thirds in the series she currently sits fourth in points there. She comes into this race winning two out of her last three starts and has the most money earned this year in the race. Trainer Mike Graffam has Nick Graffam in the bike behind Spoxy's Girl who has been made the morning line 3-2 favorite from post three in the fifth race on the regular card. (PT-3:50 p.m.) Delaware Heat (Western Ideal-Shady Sabrina) is the fourth returning champion from last year and this will be her first start back at Plainridge since she won the final last October. After racing at Harrington Raceway over the summer, Delaware Heat moved to Maine and put in two solid overnight efforts at Scarborough Downs and the Farmington Fair where she won easily in 1:59 by open lengths. Trainer Kevin Switzer has assigned Shawn Gray to drive and they are the 9-5 choice from post four. 2-year-old trotting colts and geldings Kinda Lucky Lindy (Lucky Chucky-Kinda Crazy Lindy) has been tested hard this year racing in the New York Sire Stakes (NYSS) and then two major stakes at Mohawk Raceway. He finished second in the $75,104 Champlain Stake before qualifying for the $328,000 final of the William Wellwood where he drew post seven and chased a runaway winner in 1:52.4. He certainly comes into this race tight as a drum and ready to roll. Frank Antonacci has Greg Merton up for the first time behind Kinda Lucky Lindy who leaves from post six at 3-5 in the fourth race on the regular card (PT-3:30 p.m.). 2-year-old pacing colts and geldings (This group goes in two divisions) Twelve (Shady Character-Sabine Hanover) is the most seasoned entry in this division having competed in the MESS. There he is the fifth highest point-getter and is nine out of 10 in the money with $23,597 on his card. He comes into this event fresh off a lifetime best win of 1:57.4, wire to wire. Eddie Davis Jr. both trains and drives Twelve who is 7-5 from post three in race one on the regular card (PT-2:30 p.m.). Master Of Love (Vintage Master-Denverlove) won an Ontario Sire Stake at Mohawk on Monday (July 10) in 1:55.3 after trailing ninth by 14-lengths at the quarter. He was then off for two months before qualifying at Vernon Downs where he suffered broken equipment. Ducharme/Lems send out Master Of Love from post five at 3-5 in race three of the regular card (PT-3:10 p.m.). 2-year-old trotting fillie Ithinkthatsmine (RC Royalty-Super Starlet) had some early success in the NYSS finishing second, third and fifth in three starts. But the filly was rested in July and has just qualified back last week at Vernon Downs where she won handily in 2:02. Steve Smith drives from post two for George Ducharme in the fourth non-betting race (PT-1:45 p.m.). 2-year-old pacing fillies Rock Me Threetimes (Rock N Roll Heaven-Love Rocks) finished third in her first lifetime start at Harrington Raceway the first week of September before shipping to Maine to win an overnight event at Farmington in 2:01.1 last week. Shawn Gray drives for Kevin Switzer from post five and is listed at 1-1 in the second race on the regular card (PT-2:50 p.m.). A chief rival will be Delco Dusty (Jereme's Jet-Gypsy's Good Girl) who just finished third from post eight in an overnight at Saratoga Raceway in 1:55.2. She is winless in nine starts but has also drawn poorly all year. Delco Dusty is 2-1 from post three and trainer Heidi Rohr has Greg Merton up to drive. Here is the complete schedule of dates for the Massachusetts Sire Stakes: September 25 2 & 3 Year Old First Leg $25,000 added October 2 2 & 3 Year Old Second Leg $25,000 added October 23 2 Year Old Third Leg $25,000 added October 30 3 Year old Third Leg $25,000 added November 6 2 & 3 Year Old Finals $85,000 est.   By Tim Bojarski, for the Standardbred Owners of Massachusetts  

Plainville, Ma---While many other state's sire stakes programs have already had their finals or have them coming up on the harness racing calendar soon, the Massachusetts Sire Stakes is preparing to get its 2017 schedule underway at the end of September. However, some horses competing in programs from surrounding states will also be starting in the Massachusetts program and that is because of the state's resident mare rule allowing dual eligibility for each Massachusetts foal. The 2017 Massachusetts Sire Stakes schedule is as follows: September 25 - 2 and 3-year-old First Leg $25,000 (est.) October 2 - 2 and 3-year-old Second Leg $25,000 (est.) October 23 - 2-year-old Third Leg $25,000 (est.) October 30 - 3-year-old Third Leg $25,000 (est.) November 6 - 2 and 3-year-old Finals $75,000 (est.) The success of Plainridge Park Casino has enriched the breeding program in Massachusetts as a result of the percentage paid to that program through the provisions of the Race Horse Development Fund. The $1.2 million in sire stake purses being offered this year is double that of 2015 and is expected to continue growing exponentially as the MGM Springfield Casino opens in 2018 and the and the Wynn Boston Harbor Casino comes online in 2019. Longtime Massachusetts breeders like Ralph Andersen, Eddie Blash, Steven Richards, Terry Mc Gee and Joel Wheeler have supported the breeding program in the state for many years and Maine based breeders like Kevin Switzer have also bred their mares to Maine sires and brought them to Massachusetts to foal. All the local breeders have experienced the lows of the past and are now poised for profiting from the highs of the future. The program, while still growing, has already found its place on the radar of many Grand Circuit trainers as well this year and sale prices from mares in foal and Massachusetts eligible yearlings are expected to noticeably rise at the sales this fall as the breedings are just now trying to catch up to the demand. And major players have had very positive comments this year about the Massachusetts Sire Stakes program and the direction it is moving in. Paul Kelley said "I think there's a lot of enthusiasm right now because of the new money that's available there. More and more people are trying to buy Massachusetts breds so the breeding program has the opportunity to expand. I think they've done a fantastic job promoting Plainridge and the breeding program and it's only a little over two hours from where I am so if I can buy a horse that can compete in their program, I definitely will invest in it. I love that area, I grew up in Walpole and I would love the opportunity to race there more often." George Ducharme said "The Massachusetts Sire Stakes has been a great success for the local horsemen. The guys who have stuck it out breeding there and kept their farms alive are finally going to get to benefit a little and get back on their feet. I think the program is going to just keep exploding the way it's going right now." Frank Antonacci said "We have been breeding in Massachusetts for quite a few years now and I think it's a great program. The way it's set up, it drives the economy in Massachusetts and it allows people to raise horses on great farms in in the state while breeding to the best stallions in the world. It's a fantastic program; a thoughtfully laid out program. And as the program continues to grow, it's set up perfectly." The Antonacci family currently has 14 Mass breds this year while Ducharme has 11, including Muscles Jared who just finished second in the $252,000 Pennsylvania Sire Stakes (PASS) finals at Harrah's Philadelphia on Sunday (Sept. 3). It's important to note that resident mares need to be registered with the Standardbred Owners of Massachusetts and the Massachusetts Department of Agriculture, Bureau of Animal Health by December 1, 2017 in order for the foal to be eligible to the Massachusetts program. The foal will also be eligible to the state program where the stallion is standing, so having it eligible to two different stake programs simultaneously brings extra equity to the breeding. You can race your horse in the New York, New Jersey, Pennsylvania or Maine Sire Stakes and then bring it to Massachusetts in September and October and be entitled to even more earnings opportunities. This year Massachusetts breeders have gone from 56 to 72, the number of resident broodmares has risen from 40 to 111 and there are now 40 working Standardbred farms in the state. These numbers are expected to continue to go up as demand for these horses gets stronger and horses foaled in the state next year are expected to be the most valuable yet. By Tim Bojarski, for the Standardbred Owners of Massachusetts  

Plainville, MA--- Breeding competitive Standardbreds in Massachusetts goes back to the 1800's when the Boston-based New England Trotting Horse Breeders Association backed and promoted it. And as a result of organizations like that, quality state-bred trotters and pacers have been breaking major records in the harness racing sport as far back as 1912 when Uhlan, who was foaled in Bedford, Massachusetts, trotted a world record mile in 1:58. Today the Standardbred Owners of Massachusetts mission is much the same as their predecessors and the work of the group is helping the quality of the horses that come out of the state to just keep getting better. The goal of the Massachusetts breeding program is to promote agriculture and open space, improve the breed and provide economic growth and ancillary jobs to everyone involved. And on the strength of two very important bills, the current Massachusetts Sire Stake program has become one of the fastest growing programs of its type in North America. The first was the resident mare legislation of 2001 that stated all mares bred out of state who reside in Massachusetts would give birth to Massachusetts-eligible foals. The second was the 2011 Race Horse Development Fund legislation that directs proceeds from expanded gaming in the state to the horse breeding and racing industries. That combination of laws has since produced some of the best harness racing the state of Massachusetts has ever seen. But more importantly, it has breathed new life into what was a rather stagnant breeding program and made it very attractive to individuals currently racing in many jurisdictions outside of the Bay State. The Massachusetts Sire Stake program is run quite differently from any other in the industry. Rather than have the stallion stand in the state, only the mare need reside in Massachusetts for the full breeding season. It gives the breeder the flexibility to breed to any top stallion in North America and bring the mare to Massachusetts to foal. So as long as the mare is registered with the Standardbred Owners of Massachusetts and a statement of where she will be residing in Massachusetts prior to December 1 is on file and the mare remains in the state until foaling, the foal will be eligible to the Massachusetts Sire Stakes program. The foal will also be eligible to the sire stake program where the stallion is standing, so having it eligible to two different stake programs simultaneously brings extra equity to the breeding. Massachusetts-eligibles have been performing successfully in other sire stakes programs and the duplicity of eligibility has driven up prices of these horses at the sales. So you can race your horse in the New York, New Jersey or Pennsylvania stakes and then bring it to Massachusetts in October and have even more earnings opportunities. Since expanded gaming at Plainridge Park started generating money for the breeding program the Massachusetts Sire Stakes offering has gone from a total of $206,396 in 2014 to $1.2 million in 2016, Massachusetts breeders have gone from 56 to 72, the number of resident broodmares has risen from 40 to 111 and there are now 40 working Standardbred farms serving the needs of all these horses and people as a result of it. There have been many competitive race horses bred in Massachusetts in recent years, but the two most notable are definitely Royalty For Life and Wings Of Royalty. Royalty For Life (R C Royalty-Bourbon 'N Grits 1:51.3, $1,620,166) was bred by Alfred Ross of South Dartmouth, Massachusetts and has made headlines worldwide. At two Royalty For Life won four legs of the New York Sire Stakes and earned $129,063 for his efforts and he went on to finish second in the Breeders Crown his sophomore year as well. At three, he raced exclusively on the Grand Circuit and won the $1.2 million Hambletonian. And he did it old-school; winning two heats on the same day as the classic stake returned to its traditional format in 2013, the first time since 1997. Royalty For Life was a truly New England affair as the horse was foaled in Belchertown, Massachusetts and was owned by Alfred Ross of South Dartmouth, Massachusetts, Raymond Campbell of Belchertown, Massachusetts and Paul Fontaine of Woonsocket, Rhode Island. Plus his trainer George Ducharme is from Norfolk, Massachusetts. Wings Of Royalty (R C Royalty-Sparkling Cider 1:51.4, $603,784) was bred by Raymond Campbell Jr. of Belchertown, Massachusetts and starred in two different sire stakes programs. At two, Wings Of Royalty raced exclusively in the New York program, winning two legs and finishing second in the final to bank $122,702 in Empire State earnings. At three he made $181,223 in New York Sire Stakes and also competed on the Grand Circuit in the Hambletonian, Zweig, Empire Breeders Classic and an elimination of the Yonkers Trot. But then he earned another $40,900 in the Massachusetts Sire Stakes. He raced in three eliminations and the final at Plainridge Park and won all four starts. And in the process he became the fastest 3-year-old trotting colt ever in the Massachusetts Sire Stakes and set the Plainridge Park track record for the same age, gait and gender while winning in 1:54.4 on September 28, 2015. Now 5-years-old, Wings of Royalty is racing Open competition and recently set a new all-time track trotting record at Tioga Downs of 1:53.2 on Saturday (May 13). With the success Plainridge Park has been having on the gaming floor and two more stand-alone casinos coming online in Massachusetts in the next two years, additional funding will further enhance the Massachusetts Sire Stakes program as provided in the language of the Race Horse Development Fund. And that could make the horses foaled in Massachusetts next year the most valuable crop yet.   By Tim Bojarski, for the Standardbred Breeders of Massachusetts  

Columbus, OH --- While most harness racing participants in the sport are focusing on what is transpiring in The Garden State prior to the Breeders Crown, George Ducharme and Chris Lems were hard at work in The Bay State. The fruits of their labors were rewarded, as the duo collected all four $75,000 Massachusetts Sire Stakes trotting contests on Monday (Oct. 24) at Plainridge Park. “We have had some good days before back here at home, but never a day quite like that,” Ducharme said. “With the infusion of the slots money into purses it has really helped us. The sire stakes races were only worth about half that last year. Even the overnights have gone up from $6,000 to $12,000 and it really helps out. There are a lot of people here that were just hanging on, waiting for this. Of course you will have some other people bringing horses in, but it’s good to see the people that stuck with it getting a little bit of money in their pocket.” Ducharme and Lems joined forces to meet in the winner’s circle with Onangelwings (Archangel-Anotherpennyplease) in the 2-year-old filly trot, Muscles Jared (Muscle Massive-Tetiana) in the 2-year-old colt and gelding trot, Do What You Dream (Conway Hall-Ksenia) in the 3-year-old colt and gelding trot and Royal Right (RC Royalty-Contrarian) in the 3-year-old filly trot. “A lot of my owners like to breed and race their own horses in their home state,” Ducharme said. “Our horses fit very well in these events and we always support racing here.” While the names, speed records and other stakes accomplishments may not jump off the pages of these state champions, there is one in the bunch that nearly punched Ducharme’s ticket to this weekend’s Breeders Crown events in Muscles Jared. Bred by Al Libfeld, the gelding is owned by Alfred Ross. In addition to his newly acquired crown, Muscles Jared has the distinction of coming first-over during Walner’s world record performance (1:51.3) in a $56,000 division of the International Stallion Stakes on Oct. 6 in Lexington. Steered by John Campbell on that day, the gelding came home fifth directly behind Breeders Crown elimination victor Sortie after an adventurous trip over the Red Mile oval. “He was second in his first race down in Lexington,” Ducharme said. “And I was happy how the horse performed in that race against Walner. He was first-over and then was used about three times. We thought about taking him to the Breeders Crown, but brought him here (Plainridge) instead to give him a little bit easier race and have a good chance to win rather than hoping to finish fourth or fifth. It was easier on him, but it was not easy as Andy Miller brought one (Big Man Ev, second) and (Frank) Antonacci brought one (French Moni, fourth). “He’s done for the year now. He’s the kind of horse we think needs to be turned out to give him some time to grow into his frame. When we bring him back next year though, he will be staked to everything, because we think once he grows he will be able to keep up and compete with those horses. We’ll wait on the Breeders Crown this year and point towards next year.” Muscles Jared embarks on his vacation with $150,856 in the bank and a resume of 11-5-2-0. He was also fourth in the $252,000 Pennsylvania Sire Stakes championship behind Breeders Crown participants Giveitgasango and Moonshiner Hanover. Ducharme also holds out optimism the Massachusetts program will be on the upswing yet again in 2017. “I don’t have my finger on the pulse quite as much as I used to now that I stable most of the time in New York,” he said. “But it is my understanding the state is looking to revisit the amount of revenue Standardbred horsemen receive at the end of the year. Horsemen in Massachusetts receive nine percent, but up until this year Standardbred horsemen received 25 percent of that while Thoroughbreds received 75 percent. Suffolk closed two years ago and there has been no Thoroughbred racing, so this year their percentage was changed to 55 percent. “The state plans on reviewing how the extra money for the Standardbreds is used to improve the communities rather than seeing other people come in just for increased purses. Hopefully, they will approve more money coming to Standardbreds and our stakes will be worth even more next year.” For complete results of the Massachusetts Sires Stakes finals, click here. by Kim French, USTA Internet News Editor 

1 to 14 of 14
1