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Plainville, MA --- Harness racing driver Scott Zeron was all business at Plainridge Park on Monday afternoon (Oct. 26) as he won four of the eight Massachusetts Sire Stake finals, including three straight to start the day. Trainer George Ducharme and owner/breeder Ray Campbell Jr. also combined for three stake wins and five in-the-money placings during the afternoon. There were eight $90,000 divisions combined for a total value of $720,000. Zeron struck first with the 2-year-old trotting gelding Incommunicado (Chapter Seven-Gran Cavalla) who took an early lead and marched on the point by 1-1/2 lengths all the way to the three-quarters. At that station Incommunicado kicked-away from the group and opened up six lengths around the last turn and stretched that advantage to 17-1/4 at the wire where he stopped the timer in 1:56.2, which was a new lifetime mark for the winner.   It was the third straight MASS win for Incommunicado ($2.60) who is owned by Knutsson Trotting, Little E, Arthur Geiger and David Stolz. Ake Svanstedt is the trainer. The Moni Maker Stable bred Incommunicado who was an $80,000 yearling purchase at the Lexington Selected Sale in 2019. Next in the 3-year-old male pacing division, Zeron sat behind the heavily favored Wyatt J (American Ideal-Think Pink) and similarly called the shots on the front. When the race got to the half, Spatterdash (Mike Stevenson) moved alongside and presented a real threat as the pair matched strides to the three-quarters and halfway around the last turn. There, Wyatt J pulled away by a length but still had to quell a late charge from R Maddy Blue Chip (Kevin Switzer) and Han Solo (Shawn Gray) to win by 1/2 length in 1:52.1. Now undefeated in four starts in Massachusetts, Wyatt J ($2.20) has also won eight straight starts this year for owner Ken Jacobs. Linda Toscano is the winning trainer. Wyatt J was bred by Lindy Farms of Connecticut and was a $245,000 yearling purchase at the 2018 Lexington Selected Sale. Zeron's natural Hat Trick was completed in the 2-year-old male pacing division with Mullinax (American Ideal-Up Front Kellie Jo) who took an early lead to the quarter in :26.4 before Maui (Shawn Gray) tipped and took control. At the five-eighth's pole Call Me Maverick (Mike Stevenson) and Bumpah Stickah (Jim Hardy) drew even with Maui and Mullinax and the foursome paced away from the field. At the top of the stretch Bumpah Stickah tipped three deep and Mullinax went four wide and got the best of the insiders by only a neck at the light in 1:53.4. The time was a new stake record and tied the existing track record that Mullinax set himself earlier this month. It was the sixth win of the year and second straight for Mullinax ($5.00) who is owned by William Varney and trained by Mark Ford. Mullinax was bred by his namesake, Ed Mullinax. Zeron completed the Grand Slam in the 3-year-old trotting filly division behind Without A Warning (RC Royalty-Concentration) who took the lead off the gate and was never headed after that. The filly trotted through quarters of :28, :58 and 1:26.2 when Zeron let Without A Warning out a notch and she swelled up down the stretch with a 6-1/4 length lead at the beam, timed in 1:55. Without A Warning ($2.10) swept the MASS for the second straight year and is now a two-time champion for owner/breeder Ray Campbell Jr. George Ducharme trains the winner. Without A Warning has also never lost a race in the state of Massachusetts and is a perfect nine-for-nine lifetime. The 2-year-old filly pace went to Purameri (American Ideal-J K Pure Pearl) who got away sixth behind the front-running So Amazing (Bruce Ranger). At the half Suzie Blue chip (Shawn Gray) was out and rolling and driver Nick Graffam followed that cover with Purameri all the way to the top of the stretch where they swung wide and paced up a storm passing So Amazing. Once in front, Purameri opened up a 2-1/2 length lead and won in 1:54.1 in a 7-1 upset. Purameri ($17.00) scored her second and biggest win in Massachusetts for owner the Purple Haze Stable and trainer Jessica Okusko. Next was the 3-year-old trotting colts and geldings and Double Dealing (RC Royalty-Heather Spur) dug deep to get the win. After getting away third behind Life Is A Feast (Scott Zeron), Shawn Gray pulled Double Dealing at the half and motored up the rim towards the leader and engaged him on the backstretch. The two trotters tangled to the three-quarters, around the last turn and into the stretch where Double Dealing opened up a two length lead and cruised to the wire under a line drive in 1:57.1. It was the third MASS win and seventh overall of the year for Double Dealing ($4.60) and owner/breeder Ray Campbell Jr. George Ducharme trains the winner. Royal Envy (RC Royalty-Temper Of Will) won her fourth straight MASS race after capturing the 2-year-old trotting filly division. Me Too Baby (Matty Athearn) opened up a quick three-length lead on the field while Royal Envy sat fifth. But that was short lived as Shawn Gray came early behind Moni For Lindy (Scott Zeron) who was on the move in front of the stands. Moni For Lindy cleared at the half before Royal Envy crossed over for the lead past the five-eighths. With no serious challenge from behind, Gray line-drove Royal Envy from that point all the way to the wire where she won in 1:57.4, which was a new lifetime mark. Royal Envy ($4.00) now has four wins out of six lifetime starts for owners/breeders Al Ross and Ray Campbell Jr. The filly is also trained by George Ducharme. Finally in the 3-year-old pacing filly group, Ry's Red Rocket (Sunshine Beach-Mo Molly Blue Chip) took no prisoners as Matty Athearn sent her to the front and she never looked back. Ry's Red Rocket tripped the timer in :26.4, :56.1 and 1:24.4 with Rojas Blue Chip (Drew Monti) right on her back, but her back was all the competition would see as Ry's Red Rocket turned for home and paced smartly to the wire on top by 1-1/4 lengths in 1:54. Ry's Red Rocket ($3.60) got her second stake win and sixth of the year for owner/breeder Linwood Higgins. Gretchen Athearn trains the winner. By Tim Bojarski, for the Standardbred Owners of Massachusetts  

Plainville, MA --- Harness racing trainer George Ducharme has been one of the top trainers competing in the Massachusetts Sire Stakes for years and his success in the series is no surprise as many of the horses the Walpole, Massachusetts native starts are tight and experienced coming in off their New York Sire Stake races. This year he brings a "Ducharmy" of nine starters to Plainridge Park on Monday (Oct. 26) including a pair of defending 2-year-old champions looking to repeat and take their share of the $720,000 up for grabs in purse money. Here is a look at his starters followed by some comments by Ducharme. In the 3-year-old trotting filly division, Ducharme has a three headed monster led by Without A Warning (RC Royalty-Concentration) who is one of those returning champions. Without A Warning race against Love A Good Story and Hypnotic Am all summer in the NYSS and finished third in the $225,000 final. She has now won three in a row in MASS competition, taking a new lifetime mark and setting a MASS stake record of 1:54.2 in the process. He is also starting Dramatra (Trixton-Bourbon 'n Grits) who is a sister to 2013 Hambletonian champion Royalty For Life and Greyscale (Credit Winner-Global Beauty) who has had some light stake work in New York. "Without A Warning is just a nice horse. She raced those three good fillies in New York all year and held her own. She was just maybe a step below them, but it has definitely bravened her up for the competition level she's had to race so far." "Dramatra was just growthy and sore last year so we quit with her. This year she's come back to be a useful racehorse that has held her own in stakes so far. Greyscale is a good honest little horse, not quite as fast as the other two, but one that has done what we've asked of her to this point for sure." Ducharme has two 3-year-old trotting colts starting including another returning champion, Life Is A Feast (Royalty For Life-Luau Hanover) who was racing in the Ontario Sire Stakes and Double Dealing who was a NYSS Excel A finalist. "I just got Life Is A Feast back a couple weeks ago. I trained him down last winter and then sent him up to Canada for his Canadian stakes. He hadn't raced in almost three weeks before his first MASS start the other day and I think he needed the race. So hopefully he should be a little better this week." "Double Dealing has just turned into a real honest little horse. He trots 55-ish every week and he can do it on the lead or from behind and I'm pretty happy with him." Another two starters appear in the 2-year-old trotting colts division with In The Cards (RC Royalty-Super Starlet) who had a win and a third in NYSS action and Beantown Madness (Conway Hall-Armbro Archer) who Ducharme has been very pleased with his progression coming in. "Beantown Madness has turned out to be a really nice little horse. We were very slow with him, we raced him in the NYSS Excel B races and let him learn because he wasn't the biggest horse at the time. But he's grown and filled out and really come into his own and he's learning how to make speed. I couldn't be happier with him." Ducharme's last trotting entry is 2-year-old trotting filly Royal Envy (RC Royalty-Temper Of Will) who seems to be peaking at the right time and is three-for-three in MASS action. "Royal Envy was growthy and sore most of the summer and that hindered her progress. I qualified and tried to race her and she just wasn't good so we backed off on her, blistered her up a couple of times, brought her back and she's been really good. She definitely has plenty of speed and she's finishing her miles real good right now. I think she'll become a useful horse, hopefully Monday, and then into next year." Ducharme is also starting one pacer, a 2-year-old filly named So Amazing (So Surreal-Teddy Ballgirl) that has actually raced up to her name. "So Amazing is just a nice filly. Last week I was really impressed with her, having horses at her the whole mile without a breather and finish the way she did. And to pace in 1:53 as a 2-year-old against a good group of fillies. That's a real good division because there are three or four in there that have taken turns every week depending on how the trips go." Ducharme also commented on how far the stake has come since the Race Horse Development Fund was put in place in 2015. "Every year this stake gets more competition as the quality of the mares gets better. And the numbers are getting better because people have faith in the program at Plainridge and Massachusetts right now. I think all of the class groups are in the 20's next year so a lot of them could go split divisions next year," said Ducharme. "We bought a couple more Mass-bred yearlings in Lexington this year besides our home-breds so we're going to keep supporting the program for sure." By Tim Bojarski, for the Standardbred Owners of Massachusetts

Plainville, MA --- Ken Jacobs has never had a horse compete in the Massachusetts Sire Stakes. But when the man who has competed harness racing standouts Heston Blue Chip (American Ideal-Shot Togo Bluechip $1.78 million), Kenneth J (Bettors Delight-Advantest $1.56 million), He's Gorgeous (Art Major- So Ravishing $743,844) and Walner (Chapter Seven-Random Destiny $567,652) finally does comes to town, it's no surprise he has the favorite in the glamour division of the $720,000 Massachusetts Sire Stake finals at Plainridge Park on Monday (Oct. 26). Wyatt J (American Ideal-Think Pink) is the heavy morning line favorite in the 3-year-old male pacing division. He was a $245,000 yearling purchase at Lexington in 2018, the highest price paid for any American Ideal yearling that year. And although his stature in the ring is what ultimately made Jacobs decide to buy him, it was also the reason he didn't meet his early expectations until this year. "I liked him going in; he was such a beautiful big horse, I had to have him. I usually don't go for big horses because I like a more medium size because we race on a half a lot in New York. But he was just gorgeous looking. As it turned out he was too big for his age and he had to grow into it," said Jacobs of Wyatt J. "As a 2-year-old he wasn't mature at all. He was so big I didn't want to hurt him. He did race decent at Vernon but that's a big track and I didn't want to put him on the smaller tracks so we shut him down and let him grow into his body. And he's done a pretty good job of that." His first two starts at three were 1:49 miles at Tioga and Vernon Downs against the top 3-year-old male pacers in New York and he acquitted himself pretty well. But Jacobs said he wasn't ready for that out of the gate and he decided to take him to Yonkers and get him brave in the non-winners classes and look past stakes in New York and forward to Massachusetts. "I sent him to Linda (Toscano) and that move worked out well for us. He kept winning races and kept getting better with each start. And he has just kept getting braver every week. They know when they're winning and they swell up, and that's what he's doing. And we want to keep that going for one more week," said Jacobs. Since moving to Yonkers, Wyatt J has won four straight races there before moving to Plainridge Park where he is now three for three in MASS competition. He has also set a new stake record of 1:51.3 for a 3-year-old pacing geldings in the process. Jacobs has never been to Plainridge Park, but plans to attend the finals this Monday. He said he has been impressed with the Sire Stake program and likes what he has experienced first hand this year. So much so he has already purchased another Massachusetts eligible yearling at Lexington named Knockout Lindy (Muscle Hill-Kinda Crazy Lindy) who was the sales topper for the third session and sold for $175,000. It's interesting to note that Knockout Lindy's dam, Kinda Crazy Lindy, is a sister to Big Man Ev (Chapter Seven-Possessed By Lindy 1:53.3, $231,921) who was the 3-year-old MASS trotting colt champion in 2017 and holds the stake and track record at Plainridge of 1:53.3 for 3-year-old trotting colts. Eight divisions of the $720,000 Massachusetts Sire Stake finals will take place at Plainridge Park on Monday (Oct. 26) with post time at 2 p.m. By Tim Bojarski, for the Standardbred Owners of Massachusetts

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

Plainville, MA --- Harness racing records continued to fall in the 2020 edition of the Massachusetts Sire Stakes as the 2-year-olds hit the track for their second leg of the series. Monday's (Oct. 5) action at Plainridge Park was highlighted by pacing filly Purameri (American Ideal-J K Pure Pearl) who lit it up in her $29,000 division. So Amazing (Bruce Ranger) took a quick early lead before Rightfully Mine (Jason Bartlett) claimed that position at the quarter and then skated to the half in :57.1. At that point, post time favorite Suzie Blue Chip (Shawn Gray) pulled first-over and advanced towards the leader heading towards the three-quarters where Purameri (Nick Graffam) joined the fray, one out and one back. Positions remained unchanged around the last turn and into the stretch where Suzie Blue Chip finally got the lead. But Purameri tipped off her cover and started tracking her down. She drew even with the leader in deep stretch and then just edged in front at the beam to win by a head in 1:52.4 at 30-1.   The time was a new track and MASS stake record for 2-year-old pacing fillies and a new lifetime mark for Purameri. Purameri ($68.60) is owned by the Purple Haze Stables and is trained by Jessica Okusko. 3 Brothers Stable and Camelot Stable bred the winner. The male pacers split into two $14,000 divisions with a record tying effort by Call Me Maverick (Western Maverick-Briefly) occurring in the first. Call Me Maverick (Mike Stevenson) and Maui (Shawn Gray) played give-and-go with the lead with the latter taking control by the quarter. Maui hit the half in :56.4 and the three-quarters in 1:26.1 with Call Me Maverick following right behind. When they reached the top of the stretch, Stevenson tipped Call Me Maverick and he incrementally gained ground on Maui all the way to the wire where he got a neck in front to win in 1:54, which was a new lifetime mark and tied the track and MASS stake record for 2-year-old pacing geldings. It was the sixth win in a row for Call Me Maverick ($3.40) who is owned and bred by the Upland Farm and trained by Alison Hynes. The second division went to Bumpah Stickah (Roll With Joe-Caila Fra) who gave up an early lead at the three-eighth's to trip-out behind Mullinax (Jason Bartlett) until the top of the stretch. There, Bumpah Stickah tipped and out-paced Mullinax to the wire where he won by a head in 1:54.1, which was a new lifetime mark for the winner. Bumpah Stickah ($15.60) is owned by David Thibault, Paul Vacca, Ed Nowak Jr. and Jim Hardy. Frederick Hertrich III is the breeder. The two trotting divisions saw one favorite jog and another get upset. The colts and geldings went for $28,000 and Beantown Madness (Conway Hall-Armbro Archer) performed and expected. Going off at 1-9, Beantown Madness (Shawn Gray) took early control and never relinquished it. He cut relatively soft quarters of :29.2, :59.4 and 1:29.3 before turning for home and hitting the gas in a :28 final panel to win by three lengths in 1:57.3. Beantown Madness ($2.10) now has six wins in only eight lifetime starts for owner/breeder Michael Goldberg and trainer George Ducharme. Just like he did yesterday, Ducharme also won the $29,000 filly division with Royal Envy (R C Royalty-Temper Of Will) who put on quite a show in the lane. Me Too Baby (Matty Athearn) led the field to the half in a soft 1:00.1 when Moni For Lindy (Drew Monti) drew alongside past the five-eighth's pole. From there the two trotters stepped in tandem all the way around the final bend and opened up five lengths on the field. Just past the seven-eighth's pole Moni For Lindy took the lead and looked like a winner. But Royal Envy (Shawn Gray) who was fifth and five lengths off, uncorked a furious stretch drive that saw her trot home in :28.4 to catch Moni For Lindy by a nose in 1:58, which was a new personal best. It was the second straight MASS victory for Royal Envy ($11.60) who is owned and bred by Al Ross and Ray Campbell Jr. The Massachusetts Sire Stakes take a break next week and resume on Sunday (Oct. 18) and Monday (Oct. 19). The finals follow one week later on Monday (Oct. 26) at Plainridge Park when all eight divisions will compete for an estimated $750,000 in purses. Racing resumes at Plainridge Park on Thursday (Oct. 8) with post time at 2 p.m. By Tim Bojarski, for the Standardbred Owners of Massachusetts

Plainville, MA --- The $1.4 million (est.) Massachusetts Sire Stakes kicked off its 2020 season at Plainridge Park on Sunday afternoon (Sept. 27) when the 3-year-olds took center stage for their first of three legs. The harness racing track was lightning fast and the performances were as well as three stake records fell right out of the box. In the $29,000 male pacing division, Wyatt J (American Ideal-Think Pink) drafted third on the rail while R Maddy Blue Chip (Kevin Switzer) and Spatterdash (Mike Stevenson) traded leads before the half. Passing the five-eighths, driver Scott Zeron tipped Wyatt J and marched up the outside towards the leading Spatterdash and paced alongside him around the last turn. At the head of the stretch Wyatt J pulled away to a 1-3/4 length lead and won in 1:52.1.   The time was a new lifetime mark for the winner and a new stake record for a 3-year-old pacing colt. Wyatt J ($2.20) registered his fifth win in a row for owner Ken Jacobs and trainer Linda Toscano. Lindy Farms of Connecticut bred the winner. Then in the $28,000 leg for pacing fillies, She's A Fireball (Western Maverick-Fire Can Fly) got away fourth behind the heavily favored Ry's Red Rocket (Matty Athearn) before pulling first-over past the half to engage the leader by the three-quarter pole. From there driver Ron Cushing urged She's A Fireball around the final turn and all the way down the stretch and his filly out-fought a very game Ry's Red Rocket to win by a neck in 1:54.1. The time was another new lifetime mark and a new stake record for a 3-year-old pacing filly. She's A Fireball ($7.40) scored her second win in her last three starts for owners Ron Cushing and Adams Racing. She's A Fireball is trained by Heidi Gibbs and was bred by Lucia Les and Kenneth Clairmont. The trotting fillies went for $29,000 in their first grouping and Without A Warning (RC Royalty-Concentration) put on quite a show. After taking the lead at the quarter, Without A Warning was visited by stablemate Dramatra at the half and the two trotted stride for stride to the three quarters. At that point Without A Warning switched gears and left Dramatra in her dust. She spun off the far turn and opened up a six length gap at the wire to win in 1:54.2. As in the previous two races, the time was a new lifetime mark for the winner and a new stake record for a 3-year-old trotting filly. Without A Warning ($2.40) gave Zeron his second win of the day and now has three wins this year for owner/breeder Ray Campbell Jr. George Ducharme trains the winner. Owner/breeder Campbell and trainer Ducharme also had the winner of the $28,000 male trotting division, Double Dealing, who left from post one led the entire race by 1-1/4 lengths before turning for home and stretching out to a four length advantage at the beam in 1:56.1. Double Dealing ($6.20) now has five wins on the year for his connections. Shawn Gray drove the winner. The Massachusetts Sire Stakes continue at Plainridge Park on Monday (Sept. 28) at 2 p.m. when four divisions of 2-year-olds will vie for $114,000 in purses. By Tim Bojarski, for the Standardbred Owners of Massachusetts    

Plainville, MA --- The $1.4 million (est.) Massachusetts Sire Stakes kick off on Sunday (Sept. 27) at Plainridge Park and the 2020 edition looks to be one of the most competitive harness racing sessions to date. With the flexibility of the Massachusetts resident mare program, many of the eligibles shipping in have already competed in other sire stake programs this year and are coming into these stakes in top form. The 3-year-old divisions for both genders and gaits will take place on Sunday (Sept. 27) followed by the 2-year-olds on Monday (Sept. 28). Post time for both days will be 2 p.m. Sunday's card has 28 sophomores going postward including two 2-year-old champions looking to repeat at three. Without A Warning (RC Royalty-Concentration) was the 2019 MASS champion 2-year-old trotting filly who ended the year with $188,160 on her card after sweeping all three legs and the final. This year the filly has been competing successfully in the New York Sire Stakes all summer, finished as the second highest point-getter in her division and made the $225,000 final for the second year in a row. In that race she finished a very solid third behind a runaway Hypnotic Am. Two starts before that she posted an impressive win 1:55.1 in a NYSS event at Yonkers Raceway and all tolled, has made $138,662 in only eight starts this year. Her main competition is Dramatra (Trixton-Bourbon N Grits) who is a sister to 2013 Hambletonian champion Royalty for Life. Dramatra has seen limited stake competition in New Jersey, making only five starts over the last two years. But she has been building an impressive resume recently in overnights at Plainridge where she has won four out of her last six starts including a lifetime best 1:55.1 outing in August. She comes into this first leg off a 1:55.3 win and looks to be tuned up and ready for a top effort. Both fillies are trained by George Ducharme. Scott Zeron will drive Without A Warning from post three at 6-5 and Shawn Gray will steer Dramatra from post two at 9-5. The other returning champion Sunday is pacing gelding Finnbar (Real Desire-Unbeachable) who is coming off a lifetime best win of 1:53.3 just two weeks ago. He followed up that trip with a solid second place finish after being parked out most of the mile. Has been racing consistently at Plainridge but has shown his best form in those two starts. Wyatt J (American Ideal-Think Pink) rolls into town on the strength of a four-race win streak at Yonkers Raceway that saw him take a career best mark of 1:53.1. After two NYSS starts earlier this summer, Wyatt J found his groove in overnight condition races and looks to cash in during the month of October in Massachusetts. Trainer Nancy Longobardi has Ron Cushing up behind Finnbar from post five at 7-1 while Wyatt J will team with Scott Zeron from post two at 9-5 for trainer Linda Toscano. The 3-year-old male trotting division should be very closely contested having three standout performers. Double Dealing (RC Royalty-Heather Spur) is another Ducharme pupil and was second best in the MASS final last year. In 2020 Double Dealing was very effective in the NYSS Excel A series where he made the $50,000 final. He has four wins this year and took a lifetime mark of 1:54.2 at Tioga Downs. Then there is the powerful duo from the Domenico Cecere barn, Dazzling Lindy and Marquis Lafayette. Dazzling Lindy (Crazed-Lindy On The Rocks) finished third in the MASS final last year and has come back looking much improved. In only five starts at Plainridge, Dazzling Lindy has won three while finishing second and third in the other two. His wins include a lifetime best 1:55.2 outing last week. Marquis Lafayette (Ready For Cash-Highscore Kemp) has only four lifetime starts, but his single 2020 start is worth noting. It was a 13-1/2 length, 1:55.2 romp that gives immediate legitimacy to his presence. Double Dealing drew the pylons for driver Shawn Gray and is 3-2. Dazzling Lindy and Drew Monti leave from post six at 2-1 and Marquis Lafayette starts from post five at 5-2 for Scott Zeron. The 3-year-old pacing fillies are also closely matched with a former track record holder leading the way. Ry's Red Rocket (Sunshine Beach-Mo Molly Blue Chip) broke the Plainridge track record for 3-year-old pacing fillies on July 23 when she went a personal best 1:52.2 mile. Whereas that mark has since been broken again, she has continued to race well through the summer and is highly regarded here. She's A Fireball (Western Maverick-Fire Can Fly) was the Maine Sire Stake champion at two but did not fare well in the MASS final after making a break. This year she has two wins, a new mark of 1:55.1 and was race timed in 1:52.4 while finishing only 1-3/4 lengths behind Ry's Red Rocket in her track record performance. Trainer Gretchen Athearn has Matty "Ice" Athearn up behind Ry's Red Rocket who drew post six at 3-2 while Ron Cushing will steer She's A Fireball from the pylons at 5-2 for trainer Heidi Gibbs. The 2-year-old divisions begin on Monday (Sept. 28) as 33 first-year campaigners go postward. The trotting fillies will go in two divisions week one and each has a definite favorite. Moni For Lindy (Credit Winner-Live Moni) competed twice in the NYSS this year, winning at Tioga Downs in 1:55.3. She won two starts ago in the Wood End Light series at Plainridge Park in 1:57.4 and is the even money chalk from post four in the short field. The Domenico Cecere trained filly will be driven by Scott Zeron. In the second split, Me Too Baby (Muscle Hill-Baby Shaq) comes in off an impressive gate to wire victory in 1:58.2 in a division of the Wood End Light and looks to have a decided advantage over her competitors after that start. Me Too Baby is the 3-5 favorite off the pylons for Team Athearn. The pacing males have several strong entrants and the weeks leading up to the finals should be interesting. Mullinax (American Ideal-Up Front Kellie Jo) was a star in the NYSS Excel A series this year, winning two legs before going a lifetime best 1:53.2 mile in the $50,000 final. Plus he has won four out of his last five starts, finishing second in the other which brings him into this race at his best for trainer Mark Ford. Maui (Bettor's Delight-Barbara Ann) had two impressive wins in 1:54 and 1:54.3 in condition races before falling short in his most recent effort in Plainridge's Nauset Light series while stablemate Dancing Lew (Rocknroll Dance-Love Rocks) just took his mark of 1:54.4 at Plainridge after finishing fifth in his lone Pennsylvania Stallion Series start at the Downs at Mohegan Sun Pocono. Both geldings hail from the Kevin Switzer stable. Mullinax is 2-1 from post seven with Scott Zeron, Maui leaves from post two with Shawn Gray at 8-5 and Dancing Lew drew post six with Bruce Ranger at 7-2. The trotting colts and geldings feature two more standouts from the NYSS. Incommunicado (Chapter Seven-Gran Cavalla) was the fourth leading point-getter among his peers and finished third in the NYSS final at Yonkers after cutting the mile and falling short by only 1/2 length. Trainer Ake Svanstedt will be making his first appearance in the MASS and looks to be one to beat. Beantown Madness (Conway Hall-Armbro Archer) competed in the NYSS Excel B series all summer where he amassed four wins in five starts. In his last start at Plainridge he won by five lengths in a career best 1:56.1, which was only 2/5th's of a second off the track record. Another George Ducharme trainee, Beantown Madness will have much to say in the coming weeks. Incommunicado leaves from post six at 2-1 with Scott Zeron and Beantown Madness drew post eight with Shawn Gray at 3-2. The pacing fillies offer a wide open affair that should go down to the wire. Rightfully Mine (American Ideal-Leah) finished as the third top point-getter in the NYSS and made the final where she drew poorly and had a rough trip. So Amazing (So Surreal-Teddy Ballgirl) was a NYSS Excel A star that also made that final and had an unfortunate draw. So Amazing beat Rightfully Mine at Plainridge Park on September 4 in the Nauset Light series where she went a career best 1:53.4. Suzie Blue Chip (American Ideal-Betty Hill) comes in off three straight wins including her 1:54.4 best at Plainridge and a NYSS Excel B event. Rightfully Mine drew post two for trainer Sheena Mcelhiney who has Scott Zeron up at 2-1, Ducharme's So Amazing drew post seven at 5-1 for Bruce Ranger and Suzie Blue Chip starts from post six at 9-5 with Shawn Gray up for Eve Bergeron. Here is the complete MASS 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 --- The Friday afternoon (Sept. 4) card at Plainridge Park featured a pair of $15,000 races for 2-year-olds of both harness racing gaits who may be competing in the Massachusetts Sire Stakes later this month and if today's results are any indication, that series will be very tough this year. The Nauset Light for freshman pacers was won by So Amazing (So Surreal-Teddy Ballgirl) on the strength of a career best effort. Tim Mcmiki (Kevin Switzer Jr.) led the field to the half in :55 and continun the point to the five-eighths where the heavily favored Rightfully Mine (Shawn Gray) came first over with So Amazing (Bruce Ranger) on her tail. Rightfully Mine quickly grabbed the lead and So Amazing drew alongside at the three-quarters. From there the pair traded strides and leads around the far turn and into the stretch. Then they paced almost dead even all the way down the lane until So Amazing got a head advantage at the beam in 1:53.4, which was a new lifetime mark for the winner.   So Amazing is owned by Nancy Longobardi and Domenic Longobardi, who also bred the winner that is trained by George Ducharme. It was the third win in the last four starts for So Amazing ($11.80) who is the fourth leading point-getter in the New York Sire Stake Excelsior Series for 2-year-old pacing fillies and will be heading to the $50,000 final on Friday (Sept. 11) at Tioga Downs. Rightfully Mine (American Ideal-Leah) is the third leading point-getter in the New York Sire Stakes and will make her next start in the $225,000 2-year-old pacing filly division during the Night Of Champions at Yonkers Raceway on Saturday (Sept. 12). Both fillies are MASS eligible and will be pointed towards that stake which starts later this month. The Wood End Light was for 2-year-old trotters and Moni for Lindy (Credit Winner-Live Moni) put in a dominating performance. Drew Monti sent Moni for Lindy right to the front and led the whole race by no less than a gapped length. After skirting through quarters of :29.1, :58.3 and 1:28.3, Moni for Lindy opened up a two length advantage at the top of the stretch and extended her lead to 3-3/4 as she cruised home under no urging at all in 1:57.4, which was only 1/5th of a second off the track record for 2-year-old trotting fillies.   It was the second straight win for Moni for Lindy ($2.40) who is owned and bred by the Moni Maker Stable and trained by Domenico Cecere. Moni For Lindy is the ninth highest 2-year-old filly trotter point-getter in the NYSS and could draw into the $225,000 final at Yonkers Raceway on Saturday (Sept. 12). She too is MASS eligible. Horsemen scoring two wins on Friday were drivers Bruce Ranger, Mike Stevenson and Shawn Gray and trainer Joe Flynn. The dash driving race continues to stay close with only seven wins separating the top four drivers. Drew Monti leads with 39 wins ahead of Shawn Gray with 36, Mitchell Cushing with 33 and Bruce Ranger with 32. Racing resumes at Plainridge Park on Labor Day Monday (Sept. 7) at 2 p.m. By Tim Bojarski, for the Standardbred Owners of Massachusetts

Plainville, MA --- On Monday (Oct. 28) the Standardbred Owners of Massachusetts and Plainridge Park will co-sponsor a buffet reception for the harness racing owners, trainers and connections of those parties who will be participating in the $800,000 finals of the Massachusetts Sire Stakes (MASS). This event will be held in the Boylston Room on the second floor of the grandstand and will begin at 1 p.m., followed by a buffet lunch served at 2 p.m. Everyone racing in the MASS finals on Monday are encouraged to stop up and enjoy watching your starters, as well as all the best-bred horses in the state, compete in one of the fastest growing stake series in North America. Also please remember that all of the horses starting in the Massachusetts Sire Stake finals must be checked in and physically on the grounds of Plainridge Park no later than 8 a.m. Monday morning (Oct. 28). By Tim Bojarski, for the Standardbred Owners of Massachusetts

Plainville, MA --- The finals of the $1.8 million Massachusetts Sire Stakes (MASS) will be held at Plainridge Park on Monday (Oct. 28) where 2 and 3-year-old harness racing trotters and pacers of both genders will compete in eight $100,000 divisions to claim state champion status. Trainer George Ducharme, who hails from Walpole, Massachusetts located just a few miles from Plainridge, holds the distinction of having eight starters in the 2019 edition of the MASS which is the most of any other conditioner taking part. But that isn't surprising as Ducharme has been participating in this series for a long time and has much success to show for it. Here is a look at the roster of starters Ducharme will be bringing to The Ridge, followed with his comments on each. 2-year-old filly trotters: Without A Warning (RC Royalty-Concentration) 1:57.3 ($136,160) is the current co-holder (with Bag O Chips) of the MASS stake and Plainridge track record for her age, sex and gait. She is three for three in the stake this year and looks to make it four in a row in the final. Her biggest effort during her freshman season was a third place finish behind Hypnotic AM in the $225,000 New York Sire Stake final at Batavia Downs in September. "She is a real good filly. She was good enough to make the New York final and now that she's come here she's won a few races and has gotten brave. She is definitely one of my better 2-year-olds. She will be back racing in New York next year and also has some Grand Circuit dates on her schedule as well." Greyscale (Credit Winner-Global Beauty) 2:02.1 ($18,340) has yet to hit the board in the MASS but has improved her finish position each week. "She's struggling a little. She's an immature filly that just needs a little time and hopefully she'll be a little stronger next year." 2-year-old gelding trotters: Life Is A Feast (Royalty For Life-Luau Hanover) 1:55.4 ($63,475) is the current holder of the MASS stake and Plainridge track record for his class. He has two wins and a second in the series and is the leading point-getter in his division. "I had a little trouble with him early because he's a big, growthy colt. But he's got lots of speed and lots of potential going forward. He's been very good at Plainridge and hopefully he can continue being good for one more week." Double Dealing (RC Royalty- Heather Spur) 2:02.2 ($26,280) is a brother to the 2017 MASS 2-year-old trotting filly champion Bag O Chips (Sierra Kosmos-Heather Spur) 1:55.1 ($212,820) and has hit the board in all three preliminary legs of the MASS this year. "Joe Di Stefano trained him down and they sent him up to me and I finished him and he has improved every week since I've had him. And I think he's going to be a useful race horse as time goes on a little more." 3-year-old filly trotter: Crystalline (Chapter Seven-Royalty Free) 1:55.4 ($121,186) is a full sister to the 2017 MASS 3-year-old trotting colt champion Hashtagmadeyalook (1:55.4, $231,402) and is the current MASS stake record holder for her division. She has two wins and a second leading up to the final and will be on top of her game this weekend. "She's just a nice, honest filly. She gives you everything she's got every week and you can't ask for any more than that. That's a pretty even bunch she's in with and all three of those fillies have been knocking heads each week, so it's whoever gets the best trip and is good that day." 3-year-old gelding trotters: Simple Kaos (RC Royalty-Ksenia) 1:54.3 ($199,820) was the 2018 2-year-old male trotting champion in the MASS last year and had come back at three just as good. He has been racing aged trotters for most of the season and that's paid dividends as he is undefeated in three tries in the MASS and makes him the top point earners in his division as a result. "Kaos has been good all year. We just raced him in overnights until the MASS started he seems to be peaking at the right time. He's been very good the last three weeks." Jake G's Champion (RC Royalty-Super Starlet) 1:57.1 ($94,899) is a full brother to the 2018 MASS 3-year-old trotting filly champion Ithinkthatsmine (1:56, $215,135) and he has hit the board in all three of his MASS starts this year. "He's a solid trotter and goes where he can go each week. He's not a Grand Circuit horse but a good New York horse and he obviously fits well in these MASS stakes." The Fixer (Trixton-Give You My Word) 1:54.1 ($90,323) has also been on the board in all three of his MASS starts as were both of his stablemates in this division. "I got him in the middle of the summer, made a couple little changes on him and he win in 1:54 at Vernon and he's turned out to be a nice little horse. He's not a superstar, but he's a good race horse." Five of the eight horses from the Ducharme stable (Without A Warning, Greyscale, Double Dealing, Crystalline and Jake G's Champion) were bred and are owned by Ray Campbell Jr. as Campbell and Ducharme have been a racing team for over 35 years. Campbell started his breeding operation with his father back in the 1980's and has kept a small but effective band of between six to ten broodmares over that time, producing crop after crop of successful Massachusetts Standardbreds. Campbell raises the yearlings and then turns them over to Ducharme to break, train and race. It's a formula that has worked well for them for decades, producing both state and Grand Circuit champions. The pinnacle of both their careers was winning the 2013 Hambletonian with Royalty for Life (RC Royalty-Bourbon N Grits) 1:51.3 ($1,620,166). He was bred by fellow Massachusetts resident Al Ross, who co-owned Royalty For Life with Campbell and Paul Fontaine. Ducharme trained him from day-one and made him the champion he became. Royalty For Life is the sire of 2019 MASS starter Life Is A Feast. Ducharme predicts great things for the Massachusetts Sire Stakes moving forward and says it gets more competitive each year. "Everywhere I race people are asking me about the MASS program and this year there are 12 MASS eligible yearlings in the Harrisburg Sale. Some big names have been involved now with Andy Miller having been here for a few years and Tony Alagna and Blake Macintosh are here this year; the program is really starting to take hold. People have taken notice and now the breeders are taking notice so that will help keep the program strong in the future," said Ducharme. Seven of the eight MASS finals are on the regular betting program Monday, carded as race one through seven with post time for the first race at 2 p.m. The eighth event goes as a non-betting race to be held before the main card with a post time of 1:30 p.m. Notice for starters in MA SIRE STAKES The connections of starters in the Massachusetts Sire Stake finals that will be held at Plainridge Park on Monday (Oct. 28) should be advised that all stake horses MUST be checked in and physically on the grounds no later than 8 a.m. Monday (Oct. 28) morning.  By Tim Bojarski, for the Standardbred Owners of Massachusetts  

Plainville, MA --- The third leg of the $1.8 million Massachusetts Sire Stakes (MASS) for 3-year-old competitors was conducted at Plainridge Park on Monday (Oct. 21) and all four harness racing divisional winners were charted gate to wire winners. Three of the four races were non-betting and held prior to the track's regular post time. In the $38,500 trot for 3-year-old colts and geldings, Simple Kaos (RC Royalty-Ksenia) grabbed the lead by the :28.3 quarter and settled on the pylons by a gapped margin. After hitting the half in :57.4 and three-quarters in 1:27, driver Jimmy Whittemore guided Simple Kaos home in :28.3 and won by three-lengths in 1:55.3. Simple Kaos remained perfect in the MASS, winning his third straight event and now showing $76,070 earned for owners the George Ducharme Stable and Michelle Larson. Ducharme trains Simple Kaos and Larson was the breeder. The $38,700 pace for 3-year-old fillies was no contest as Karan's Choice (Sportswriter-Denverlove) took command at the start and never looked back. Jim Hardy had Karan's Choice on top by a comfortable 2-1/2 length lead at three-quarters in 1:26.3, extended that to five-lengths at the top of the stretch and then blew it wide open at the wire, winning by 11-lengths in 1:55.4. It was the third straight MASS win and seventh tally overall in 2019 for Karan's Choice who boosted her earnings to $79,624 for owner/breeder Al Ross. Jim Hardy also trains the winner. The $37,800 filly trot provided somewhat of a surprise as Mother Teresa (Father Patrick-Highscore Kemp) grabbed the lead for driver Drew Monti and kept everyone seated through fractions of :28.1, :57.4 and 1:26.4 before turning for home and turning back the winner of the first two legs and current stake record holder, Crystalline (Shawn Gray), to win by 2-3/4 lengths in 1:56. It was the first win of the year for Mother Teresa and it increased her earnings to $46,173 as a result. K R Breeding bred and owns Mother Teresa and Domenico Cecere trains the filly. The most competitive race of the day was the $39,900 3-year-old colt and gelding pace where Levi (Pet Rock-Beam Of Joy) overcame constant pressure during the mile to win in a display of intestinal fortitude and heart. Levi (Scott Renz) took the lead but had Good Heavens (Ivan Davies) at his side by the quarter, pushing the pace in :27.2. The two paced side by side past the half and to the five-eighths pole where CBF Bantam (Shawn Gray) tipped three-wide and by the three-quarters, and took over for the fading Good Heavens. Now being pushed again, Levi momentarily gave way at the head of the stretch where CBF Bantam took a short lead. But Levi swelled up and came back strong under animated urging from Renz to win by 2-1/4 lengths in 1:54.3. It was the first MASS win for Levi ($7.20) who now boasts $62,979 in earnings this year for owner/breeder Stephen Richard. With all the preliminary legs in the books for both 2 and 3-year-old eligibles, the $800,000 (est.) Massachusetts Sire Stake finals are next and will be held on Sunday (Oct. 28) at Plainridge Park. For updated points and information heading into those finals, please log onto the Standardbred Owners of Massachusetts website at www.sominc.net. By Tim Bojarski, for the Standardbred Owners of Massachusetts  

Plainville, MA --- The $1.8 million Massachusetts Sire Stakes (MASS) reconvened at Plainridge Park on Sunday (Oct. 20) after a one week sabbatical, with five harness racing divisions of 2-year-olds competing for $161,450 in total purses. The strongest performances of the day were turned in by Han Solo (Mister Big-Leah) and Life Is A Feast (Royalty For Life-Luau Hanover) who combined, tied or set four race records. The 2-year-old pacing colts and geldings went two divisions and Han Solo was victorious in his $22,100 split after a hard-fought race. R Maddy Blue Chip (Drew Monti) left and cut the mile, giving Han Solo (Kevin Switzer Jr.) a perfect pocket trip. R Maddy Blue Chip set a moderate pace of :27.1, :57.1 and 1:25.2 while Han Solo drafted closely behind, waiting to make his move. At the top of the stretch Switzer tipped Han Solo and started driving him hard down the lane. Monti was also heavily urging R Maddy Blue Chip and the two were almost even heading to the wire. But Han Solo got the advantage before tripping the beam and won by one-half length in 1:54.1. The time was a new lifetime mark for Han Solo, a new MASS stake record for 2-year-old pacing colts and tied his own track record for 2-year-old pacing colts. It was the fifth win in the last six starts for Han Solo ($5.40) who now has total earnings of $59,837 for owner, trainer and breeder Monique Cohen. In the $39,200 division for 2-year-old trotting colts and geldings, Life Is A Feast (Howard Parker) left from post five and was pushed to the front. From there he set quarters of :28, :57.2 and 1:26.1 before turning for home and extending his lead to 1-3/4 lengths at the wire in 1:55.4. The time tied Life Is A Feast's lifetime mark and also tied the MASS stake record and the Plainridge Park track record for 2-year-old trotting geldings, both of which he set earlier this year. It was the fourth win in a row and third straight in the MASS series for Life Is Feast ($3.00) who pushed his earnings to $63,475 for owners Al Ross and Paul Fontaine. George Ducharme trains the Karen Carroll-bred winner. The $40,600 2-year-old pacing filly division went to Odds On Orlando (Captaintreacherous-Lindys Old Lady) for the third straight time this year. Driver Drew Monti took Odds On Orlando back to fourth while Mini Pini (Ivan Davies) and Rojas Blue Chip (Kevin Switzer Jr.) argued for the lead to the quarter in a swift :26.3. Mini Pini finally grabbed the front and the field then went to the half in single file in :55.2. After the five-eighths pole Rojas Blue Chip came back out to challenge Mini Pini along with I Am Wonder Woman (Wally Watson). This forced Odds On Orlando to go three-deep at the three-quarter pole and around the entire turn. Outside of her four-wide was Ry's Red Rocket (Matty Athearn) who was now even with the other three fillies. At the top of the stretch Odds On Orlando swelled up and paced away from the field under a line-drive to win by 1-3/4 lengths in 1:55, which was a new lifetime mark. Odds On Orlando ($2.20) remains perfect in Massachusetts while earning $62,416 for owner Odds On Racing and trainer Tony Alagna. Lindy Farms of Connecticut bred Odds On Orlando. The other $21,750 2-year-old pacing colt and gelding division went to Finnbar (Real Desire-Unbeachable) who scored his first stake victory. Mcbeantown (Mitchell Cushing) led the way to the half in :57.4 with the field in single file behind. They remained that way until the five-eighths pole where driver Ivan Davies pulled Finnbar from third, took the lead in the turn and cleared the front by the top of the stretch. From there he cruised home down the lane a wrapped-up two-length winner in 1:55.1, which was a new lifetime mark. Finnbar ($4.00) is owned by Nancy Longobardi and is trained by his driver Davies. Steve O'Toole was the breeder of Finnbar. The $37,800 division of the 2-year-old trotting fillies was the lone non-betting event and it went to Without A Warning, who remains perfect this year in the stake. Leaving from the pylons, Without A Warning (Shawn Gray) led every step of the way while cutting fractions of :29.1, :58.2 and 1:28. He rounded the last turn and trotted away in the stretch while opening up a 3-1/4 length margin of victory in 1:58. Without A Warning has now earned $136,160 this year for owner Ray Campbell Jr., who also bred the filly. George Ducharme is the trainer. The 3-year-old divisions will compete on Monday (Oct. 21) when live racing resumes at Plainridge Park. There are three non-betting events with post times of 1 p.m., 1:15 p.m. and 1:30 p.m. The fourth division goes as race one on the regular betting card with a post time of 2 p.m. All eight divisions of the $800,000 (est.) MASS finals will be held at Plainridge Park on Monday (Oct. 28). By Tim Bojarski, for the Standardbred Owners of Massachusetts

Plainville, MA --- With two of the three preliminary harness racing legs of the $1.8 million Massachusetts Sire Stakes (MASS) in the books, six stake records have been either broken or tied and leaders have emerged in several divisions. With the stake taking a break from action this week, many of its competitors have too and it's a good time to evaluate what has happened so far. The 2-year-old pacing colts and geldings have had the largest field of eligibles and as a result, have been racing two divisions each week. And the four races held in the first two legs have yielded four different winners. Han Solo (Mister Big-Leah) won in week one in a new stake record of 1:54.4 with Spatterdash (Deuce Seelster-Poster Hanover) winning the other division, but in a much slower 1:56.3. But the story in that second division was fourth place finisher R Maddy Blue Chip (American Ideal-Frontierpan) and third place finisher Kevmarvalous (Delmarvalous-Shady Sabrina) who both emerged the following week. R Maddy Blue Chip lowered the stake record to 1:54.3 in the second leg on the strength of a dominant performance while Kevmarvalous also had a coming-out party, winning in 1:56.3 and blowing up the tote board at 45-1. The points are well spread among this group with the top four currently being Han Solo (75), Kevmarvalous (62), R Maddy Blue Chip (58) and Spatterdash (58). The 2-year-old pacing filly division has been a one-horse show; Odds On Orlando (Captaintreacherous-Lindys Old Lady). Both weeks Odds On Orlando has come from off the pace to win in consecutive lifetime marks. After having been stretched out in Lexington for three starts prior to coming to Massachusetts, she has finished very strong in her two efforts at Plainridge and remains the perfect leader with 100 points. Currently sitting in third place with 26 points is She's A Fireball (Western Maverick-Fire Can Fly). This filly finished a very strong second in the first MASS leg before making an untimely break in the second. On Saturday (Oct. 12) she won the $55,073 final of 2-year-old pacing filly division of the Maine Sire Stakes (MSS) in a new lifetime mark with a strong first-over trip. That race will definitely set her up for a big effort in the next leg in Massachusetts and moving forward into the final. The 2-year-old trotting colt and gelding division has been a two-horse race so far. Life Is A Feast (Royalty For Life-Luau Hanover) took a new lifetime mark of 1:55.4 in the first leg which also set a new MASS stake record and a new Plainridge Park track record for 2-year-old trotting geldings. In the second leg, Crazy For Luca (Crazed-Teachmehowto Lindy) earned a hard fought 1:57.3 victory over Life Is A Feast to take his first lifetime win, which also set a new track record for 2-year-old trotting colts. As a result each horse now has 75 points and look to continue a head to head battle down to the final. The 2-year-old trotting fillies has been dominated by Without A Warning (RC Royalty-Concentration) who had won two straight starts and has tied the stake and track record of 1:57.3 in the process. However RT's Warrior has become an emerging force. RT's Warrior (Noble Venture-Oye Oye) has finished third and second behind Without A Warning through two legs but the filly just won the $55,045 MSS final on Saturday (Oct. 12) by 3-1/4 lengths in a new lifetime mark. When the MASS reconvenes next week, that race should provide forward momentum in RT's Warrior's continued development. Moving on to the sophomore class, all four 3-year-old divisions have seen two-time winners after the first two legs and two of the four were 2-year-old MASS champions that are looking to repeat. 3-year-old trotting gelding Simple Kaos (RC Royalty-Ksenia) has won back to back legs and leads with 100 points. The first week he was a wrapped-up winner in 1:54.3 and that set a new track record at Plainridge Park for 3-year-old trotting geldings. Simple Kaos was the freshman Mass champion and is well on his way to taking another crown. Jake G's Champion (RC Royalty-Super Starlet) and The Fixer (Trixton-Give You My Word) have been second and third once each and look to be the main rivals in here. Each currently have 37 points. 3-year-old pacing filly Karan's Choice (Sportswriter-Denverlove) is the other 2018 champion and she is off to a great start this year as well. After sweating out a mere head victory over So Beautiful (So Surreal-Leanback Coco) in week one, Karan's Choice rebounded to a more handy 1-1/2 length win over So Beautiful once again in week two. These two top the points standings with 100 and 50 points respectively heading into week three. The 3-year-old colt and gelding pace has a developing dynamic between last year's top two finishers that should provide an interesting race to the final this fall. Current MASS leader CBF Bantam (Baron Biltmore-Cohenucopia) is two for two and alone at the top with 100 points. But Victoria's Maverick (Western Maverick-Perfect Launch), who was the 2-year-old champion and has finished second and third behind CBF Bantam this year, just won the $82,195 MSS final on Saturday (Oct. 12). In that race CBF Bantam, who also competed, made a break at the start and finished third at the wire. This rivalry will renew next week and should keep this division very competitive through the final. Victoria's Maverick is tied for second with Levi (Pet Rock-Beam Of Joy), who just won an overnight race on Sunday (Oct. 13), with 37 points each. The MASS 3-year-old filly trotters have been dominated by Crystalline (Chapter Seven-Royalty Free) who has not only won two weeks in a row, but has also set two consecutive stake records in the process. After going winless in 2018 and finishing second and third twice each in the MASS, Crystalline has come back strong in 2019, winning six races as a dominant force in the New York Sire Stake (NYSS) Excelsior series and now in the MASS. Crystalline has 100 points and is ahead of Ev's Girl (Crazed-Lindy's Lullaby) and Mother Teresa (Father Patrick-Highscore Kemp) who each have 37. To date Shawn Gray is the leading driver in the MASS with six wins and is ahead of Drew Monti and Jimmy Whittemore who are tied with three and Jim Hardy who has won two. The top trainer in the series so far is George Ducharme with seven victories while Tony Alagna, David Crochere and Jim Hardy are tied for second with two apiece. The series will resume on Sunday (Oct. 20) at Plainridge Park at 2 p.m. For a complete set of Massachusetts Sire Stake points listings and all the remaining race dates, please log onto the Standardbred Owners of Massachusetts website at www.sominc.net and click on the links on the homepage. By Tim Bojarski, for the Standardbred Owners of Massachusetts

Plainville, MA --- The harness racing records continued to fall at Plainridge Park after five divisions of 2-year-olds competed in the $1.8 million Massachusetts Sire Stakes (MASS) on Monday afternoon (Oct. 7). Five more track and/or stake standards were either matched or reset when the action concluded in the second leg of the series. In the first $22,450 division for 2-year-old pacing colts and geldings, R Maddy Blue Chip (Drew Monti) left from post four and dictated the race. After splits of :27.3, :57 and 1:25.1 he was firmly in control of the race with Mcbeantown (Mitchell Cushing) being the only horse with a legitimate shot after drafting second the whole way. At the top of the stretch Mcbeantown took his best shot but it wasn't enough as Monti high-lined R Maddy Blue Chip down the lane to a 1-1/4 length victory in 1:54.2. The time was a new lifetime mark for R Maddy Blue Chip (American Ideal-Frontierpan), a new stake record and a new track record for 2-year-old pacing geldings. It was the first MASS win for R Maddy Blue Chip ($4.20) who is owned by Thomas and Scott Dillon and trained by Joe Nelson. Blue Chip Bloodstock bred R Maddy Blue Chip. The $39,200 division for 2-year-old trotting fillies saw the heavy 1-9 favorite Without A Warning (Shawn Gray) out-tussle Pembroke Whisper (Heath Campbell) past the quarter where she cleared and never looked back. She continued on at her own pace, tripping the next two timers in :58 and 1:27.3 without any pursuit to deal with. At the top of the stretch Gray sat chilly as Without A Warning knew what to do and pulled away to a handy 4-1/4 length win in 1:57.3. The time was a new lifetime mark for Without A Warning (RC Royalty-Concentration) and it tied the stake and track record for 2-year-old trotting fillies. Without A Warning ($2.10) is now two for two in MASS action this year and those wins inflated her bankroll to $117,260 in 2019 for breeder/owner Ray Campbell Jr. George Ducharme trains the winner. The lone non-betting event was the $38,500 trot for 2-year-old colts and geldings and Crazy For Luca (Jimmy Whittemore) earned a hard fought victory over Life Is A Feast who was coming in on a three-race winning streak. Double Dealing (Shawn Gray) cut the quarter in :27.4 before Life Is A Feast (Howard Parker) pulled first-over from fourth with Crazy For Luca on his back. Life Is A Feast eventually cleared but still had Crazy For Luca to his outside and pushing hard to the three-quarters. Still 1-1/2 lengths off, Crazy For Luca continued to dig and cut the lead to 1/4 length at the top of the stretch and from there, never gave up down to the wire where he gained a nose advantage and won in 1:57.3. It was the first lifetime win for Crazy For Luca (Crazed-Teachmehowto Lindy) and the time set a new track record for 2-year-old trotting colts. Crazy For Luca is owned by Dale Hein, Tessa Roland and Royal Roland and is trained by Marissa Chadbourne. K R Breeding bred Crazy For Luca. In the $41,300 pace for 2-year-old fillies, Odds On Orlando (Drew Monti) stayed perfect in Massachusetts since shipping in from Lexington. After pulling from second at the quarter to take the lead from Rojas Blue Chip (Kevin Switzer Jr.), Odds On Orlando took control the race and from there, put on quite a show. After getting to the three-quarters only 1/2 length in front of Bold N Sporty (Mitchell Cushing) and Rojas Blue Chip, Odds On Orlando swelled up at the head of the lane and paced away in a :28.2 final panel to a wrapped-up five length win in 1:56, which was a new lifetime mark. Odds On Orlando ($3.60) is owned by Odds On Racing and is trained by Tony Alagna. Lindy Farms of Connecticut bred Odds On Orlando (Captaintreacherous-Lindys Old Lady). The second $22,450 division of the 2-year-old pacing colts and geldings returned the biggest surprise of the day after the 45-1 Kevmarvalous (Mitchell Cushing) upset the current track record holder Han Solo, who came into the day with a four-race winning streak. Han Solo (Kevin Switzer Jr.) got away fourth but pulled at the quarter and took the lead from Mister Puzzles (John Nason) before the half in :56.2. At this point Kevmarvalous was last by 7-1/2 lengths. Han Solo then took the race to the three-quarters while Kevmarvalous was pacing third-over in the breeze before pulling three-deep into the final turn. Han Solo took a three-length lead into the stretch but Cushing was methodically urging Kevmarvalous all the way to the wire and got there first by a nose in 1:56.4. It was the first lifetime win for Kevmarvalous ($92.80) who owned by KDK Standardbreds and is trained by Kevin Switzer. KDK Standardbreds also bred Kevmarvalous (Delmarvalous-Shady Sabrina). There are no Massachusetts Sire Stakes scheduled for next week. The series will resume at Plainridge Park on Sunday (Oct. 20) for the 2-year-olds and Monday (Oct. 21) for the 3-year-olds. All eight finals will be held on Monday (Oct. 28). By Tim Bojarski, for the Standardbred Owners of Massachusetts  

Plainville, MA --- Monday (Sept. 30) was the second day of the $1.8 million (est.) Massachusetts Sire Stakes (MASS) at Plainridge Park featuring the 2-year-old harness racing performers and that group picked up where their 3-year-old counterparts left off on Sunday (Sept. 29); breaking records. Topping the list were Life Is A Feast and Han Solo who put on brilliant performances in their non-betting events and etched themselves into the Massachusetts record books. In the $38,500 trot for 2-year-old colts and geldings, Life Is A Feast (Howard Parker) went gate to wire uncontested, and pulled away in the last half of the race to be the easiest of winners by 4-1/4 lengths in 1:55.4. Life Is A Feast (Royalty For Life-Luau Hanover) not only extended his current win streak to three, he also took a new lifetime mark, set a new MASS stake record and a new Plainridge Park track record for 2-year-old trotting geldings. Both former marks were 1:56.3 set by Hashtagmadeyalook in 2017. Life Is A Feast is owned by Al Ross and Paul Fontaine and is trained by George Ducharme. Karen Carroll bred the gelding. Then in the first $22,100 division of 2-year-old pacing colts and geldings, Han Solo (Kevin Switzer Jr.) undertook an identical race strategy by taking the front, leading at every station and maintaining a 1-1/4 length lead to the wire where he stopped the timer in 1:54.4. Han Solo (Mister Big-Leah) is now on a four-race win streak and with this victory, set a new MASS stake record for 2-year-old pacing colts. He broke the former mark of 1:56 set by Ideal Smile in 2011 and later matched by Twelve in 2017. Monique Cohen bred, owns and trains Han Solo. The next three stake races were on the regular pari-mutuel card and they returned some healthy payoffs for the betting faithful. In the second $22,450 division for 2-year-old pacing colts and geldings the 38-1 Spatterdash (Mike Stevenson) got away sixth while the heavily favored R Maddy Blue Chip (Gary Mosher) cut all the fractions. Stevenson pulled Spatterdash second-over behind Kevmarvelous (Kevin Switzer Jr.) at the three-quarters, then tipped three-deep into the stretch and barreled down the lane to beat a fast closing McBeantown (Mitchell Cushing) at the wire in 1:56.3. It was the first lifetime win and mark for Spatterdash ($78.00) who is owned and trained by Ralph Anderson. Anderson also bred Spatterdash (Deuce Seelster-Poster Hanover). The $41,300 pace for 2-year-old fillies was a full field of nine that I Am Wonder Woman (Wally Watson) took to the half in :56.4. Odds On Orlando (Drew Monti) was out and rolling at that point and she continued to grind around the second turn, up the backstretch and to the three-quarters where she found welcomed cover from the favored Ry's Red Rocket (Matty Athearn) who popped the pocket for the advance. Positions remained the same until the top of the stretch where Ry's Red Rocket opened up a two length lead. However Odds On Orlando was relentless in pursuit, tracking her down and catching the leader at the wire to win in 1:56.1. It was the first lifetime win and mark for Odds On Orlando ($28.40) who is owned by Odds On Racing and trained by Tony Alagna. Lindy Farms of Connecticut bred Odds On Orlando (Captaintreacherous-Lindys Old Lady). The only favored winner of the day came in the $39,900 2-year-old filly trot where Without A Warning (Shawn Gray) got away 10-lengths behind the front-running RT's Warrior (Matty Athearn). She eventually tripped-out a gapped third-over from the half to the three-quarters where the field finally bunched in 1:27.4. Gray tipped Without A Warning three-deep into the last turn and proceeded to make up ground. At the head of the lane Without A Warning fanned five-wide and was in full stride; flying down the lane under a hand drive from Gray and passing everyone at the wire in 1:58.4. Without A Warning ($2.20) scored her first lifetime win for owner Ray Campbell Jr. and trainer George Ducharme. Campbell also bred Without A Warning (RC Royalty-Concentration). After only nine races in the first leg of the MASS this year, three stake and two track records have already been rewritten between the two age groups. The Massachusetts Sire Stakes will continue with the second leg of the series next week at Plainridge Park. On Sunday (Oct. 6) the 3-year-olds will compete in divisions worth $35,000 (added) and on Monday (Oct. 7) the 2-year-olds will reconvene and go for purses of $35,000 (added) each. Post time for both days is 2 p.m. The next day of live racing at Plainridge Park is Thursday (Oct. 2) with post time for the first race at 2 p.m. By Tim Bojarski, for the Standardbred Owners of Massachusetts

Plainville, MA --- The 3-year-old trotters and pacers hit the harness racing track for the first leg of the $1.8 million (est.) Massachusetts Sire Stakes (MASS) on Sunday afternoon (Sept. 29) at Plainridge Park and the record books were rewritten in two of the four events. In the $39,900 3-year-old colt and gelding trot, Simple Kaos (Jimmy Whittemore) took a quick lead in the race, followed by Jake G's Champion (Shawn Gray) and the two opened up a three-length lead on the field by the quarter in :28.2. They remained one-two to the half and extended their gap on the field to seven-lengths when they hit the three quarters in 1:25.3. It was there that Simple Kaos parted ways with Jake G's Champion and opened up a three-length lead on him, that he extended to five down the lane and to the wire where he was a wrapped-up winner in 1:54.3. The time was a new lifetime mark for Simple Kaos and also a new track record at Plainridge Park for 3-year-old trotting geldings, replacing the old mark of 1:55.1 set by Now's The Moment in 2018. Simple Kaos ($4.40) who was the 2018 MASS 2-year-old trotting champion, scored his first win of 2019 for owner/trainer George Ducharme. Michelle Larson bred Simple Kaos (RC Royalty-Ksenia). Then in the $38,500 3-year-old trotting fillies division, Crystalline made a big late move to capture her first stake win of the year. Mother Teresa (Drew Monti) took the point off the gate and led the single-file pack to the half without a challenge in :57. An outer-flow formed with Ev's Girl (Steve Smith) coming first up with Crystalline (Shawn Gray) second-over. At the three-quarters they fanned three-wide with Ev's Girl two out and Crystalline, who had made a move from fourth, farthest from the pegs. Ev's Girl did take the lead at the head of the stretch but Crystalline was still closing, and closing fast. Gray kept her to her work and Crystalline gained the lead in deep stretch and won by a length in 1:56.1. It was a new lifetime mark for Crystalline and a new MASS stake record for 3-year-old trotting fillies, surpassing the 10-year-old standard of 1:58.1 set by RC Curiosity in 2009. Crystalline ($7.20) is owned by Ray Campbell Jr. and is trained by George Ducharme. Campbell also bred Crystalline (Chapter Seven-Royalty Free). Crystalline The 3-year-old pacing fillies competed for $37,800 with Karan's Choice scoring a narrow victory. Secure The Boarder (Ivan Davies) and Karan's Choice (Jim Hardy) argued hard for the lead to the quarter in :27.4 before Secure The Boarder eventually won the battle and seated Karan's Choice. The race then went to the half in :57.1 and the three-quarters in 1:26.1 where Karan's Choice was back out and moving with So Beautiful (Mike Stevenson) on her back. At the top of the lane, Karan's Choice took the lead and So Beautiful drew alongside and the two matched strides all the way to the wire. Karan's Choice eventually out-muscled So Beautiful and scored victory by a head in 1:56. Karan's Choice ($2.20) is looking to become a two-time MASS champion for owner Al Ross and trainer Jim Hardy. Al Ross bred Karan's Choice (Sportswriter-Denverlove). Karan's Choice The final event was the $40,600 pace for 3-year-old colts and geldings with CBF Bantam getting the winner's share. It was a four-horse mad rush for the lead with Magnetron (Steve Nason) and Stihl N (Kevin Switzer Jr.) directing the fast fight for the front in a :26.3 first quarter. With Magnetron on the pylons and Stihl N outside, the two continued to trade blows to the half with Victoria's Maverick (Heath Campbell) in a close stalking position behind. At the three-quarters the field was four-deep again with CBF Bantam (Shawn Gray) being the farthest outside making a big move from sixth. CBF Bantam made up a four-length deficit before swooping the group in the turn and opening up a three-length lead, coasting home easily in 1:55. CBF Bantam ($2.40) is owned by Glenn Harris and Marion Phelps and is trained by David Crochere. Glenn Harris and Marion Phelps also bred CBF Bantam (Baron Biltmore-Cohenucopia). CBF Bantam The Massachusetts Sire Stakes will continue at Plainridge Park on Monday (Sept. 30) with two non-betting events that will take place at 1:30 p.m. and 1:45 p.m. before the regular card and then three more races that will go as race one, two and three on the regular pari-mutuel program which starts at 2 p.m. By Tim Bojarski, for the Standardbred Owners of Massachusetts

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