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Plainville, MA --- The curtain fell on the 2019 live harness racing season at Plainridge Park on Friday (Nov. 29) and Sailor Jerry had the honor of winning the last $14,000 pacing feature of the year. Leaving from post six, Nick Graffam sent Sailor Jerry right to the front and never looked back. After posting fairly even quarters of :28.1, :56.4 and 1:24.4, Sailor Jerry took a one-length lead into the stretch and bravely held off the fast closing Betterlatethnnever (Mitchell Cushing) and Beachchip Hanover (Kevin Switzer Jr.) to win by a neck in 1:53.1. It was the sixth win of the year for Sailor Jerry ($15.00) who is owned by Mike Graffam and Christopher Hamilton. Mike Graffam also does the training. Lindy Pearl (Bruce Ranger) took the getaway $12,000 top trot after gaining the lead past the half and cruising home to a 2-1/2 length win in 1:56. Owned by the Lindy Farms of Connecticut and trained by Domenico Cecere, Lindy Pearl ($5.20) captured her third straight win at Plainridge Park as a result of today's effort. There were several presentations made in the winner's circle on the final day of racing as well. Track announcer Lenny Calderone was honored by friends and track management as he completed his 20th year of calling races at Plainridge Park. Calderone has been a staple in the announcer's booth since the track opened in 1999 and has added excitement and color to every contest he has described from high above the grandstand. Later, the meet's top driver and trainer were also lauded. Mitchell Cushing was the meet's leading dash driver finishing the year with 170 wins, 33 ahead of second place Drew Campbell, after his three-bagger on Friday. Cushing also earned in excess of $1.22 million in purses and sported a .352 Universal Driver Rating (UDR). Jimmy Nickerson led all conditioners this year at The Ridge with 58 wins, over $450,000 in earnings and a UTR of .377. By Tim Bojarski, for the Standardbred Owners of Massachusetts  

Plainville, Ma --- Driver Shawn Gray kicked off the final week of harness racing in Massachusetts in a big way, winning four races on the nine-race card at Plainridge Park on Monday afternoon (Nov. 25) including the $16,000 Open Handicap trot. In the feature race, Gray drove Quicksilver Kemp from post four an got away last in the field of five while Nows The Moment (Mike Stevenson) stepped lively on the front with a gapped lead to the half in :57.2. The heavily favored O So Easy (Bruce Ranger) pulled first-over and Gray followed with Quicksilver Kemp as the race motored up the backside. Then O So Easy found a seat second behind the leader before the three-quarters and that left Quicksilver Kemp out in the breeze. As the race rounded the far turn Quicksilver Kemp was winding up and continued to gain momentum before really starting to trot at the apex of the bend. Now reeling in Nows The Moment with every stride, Quicksilver Kemp drew even at the top of the stretch and then blew right by under a hand drive and won by 1-3/4 lengths in 1:55.4. It was the third win in the last five starts and fifth win of the year for Quicksilver Kemp ($12.80) and it pushed his 2019 earnings to $72,595 for owner/trainer Joel Wheeler. Gray completed his Grand Slam with Good Heavens (1:57.2, $10.80), Jericho (1:56.3, $3.00) and All Night Credit (1:57, $10.00). The top pace on the card was a $14,000 conditioned event that saw Zinny Mach (Ron Cushing) pull first-over at the half and methodically advance towards the leading No Ordinary Man (Drew Campbell) before catching and out-duelling him in the stretch to win by a head in 1:53.2. The win was the second straight and third in the last four starts for Zinny Mach ($15.00) who is owned by Frank Sywyk, Ron Cushing and Frank Ranaldi. Heidi Gibbs is the trainer. Whereas Gray led all driver on Monday, trainer Nancy Longobardi was the top conditioner on the card sending two of her students to the winner's enclosure for photographs. Live racing resumes at Plainridge Park on Wednesday afternoon (Nov. 27) with post time at 1 p.m. There is no racing on Thursday this week due to the Thanksgiving holiday and the meet will wrap up on Friday (Nov. 29) with a 1 p.m. post time. By Tim Bojarski, for the Standardbred Owners of Massachusetts

Plainville, MA --- A pair of $12,000 conditioned events for trotters under 6-years of age were contested at Plainridge Park on Friday afternoon (Nov. 22) and it was girl power all around as 3-year-old fillies Lindy Pearl and Crystalline were much the best in their respective divisions despite weather that continued to decline as the day went on. Lindy Pearl (Drew Monti) got away sixth; seven lengths behind the leading Hs Marcia (Drew Campbell) who took to group to the half in :59.3. Monti was out and rolling with Lindy Pearl at that point and moved methodically up the rim as the race went to three-quarters. There they took the lead, turned for home and stretched out to a four-length win in 1:58.2. It was the second straight win for Lindy Pearl ($2.40) who is owned by Lindy Farms of Connecticut and trained by Domenico Cecere. Meanwhile, using a completely different strategy, driver Kevin Switzer Jr. pushed Crystalline right to the front and moved through fractions of :28.3, :58.4 and 1:28.4 where the team had opened up a commanding four-length advantage. Crystalline then turned into the stretch and trotted home ahead by two at the line in 2:00. Crystalline ($3.00), who is the 2019 Massachusetts Sire Stake 3-year-old trotting filly champion, captured her ninth win of the year and enhanced her earnings to $147,465 for owner Ray Campbell Jr. Scott Renz trains the winner. Monti and Switzer each added another victory during the card and joined Mitchell Cushing as the leading drivers for the day with two wins apiece. Racing resumes at Plainridge Park on Monday afternoon (Nov. 25) at 1 p.m. By Tim Bojarski, for the Standardbred Owners of Massachusetts  

Plainville, MA --- Driver Drew Monti captured the 1,500th win of his harness racing career on Thursday afternoon (Nov. 21) at Plainridge Park when he guided the venerable trotter Hailstorm Volo to a gate to wire victory in the second race. For his career, Monti now has 1,501 wins, 1,346 seconds and 1,295 thirds out of 9,320 starts with a Universal Driver Rating (UDR) of .299 and as a result of his work, the horses he's driven have earned a total of $9,259,976 during his brief seven year career. This year Monti has 256 wins, a UDR of .303 and earnings of $2,149,908. However the bulk of those numbers came just during the last five months. Starting in July, Monti divided his driving time between Batavia Downs, Plainridge Park and The Red Mile and at one point was listed as one of the top four drivers for wins at all three tracks. He was the primary driver for Lindy Farms at Plainridge and became a sought-after catch driver there in the process. He also drove Lindy's horses in the Massachusetts Sire Stakes and most of their entries in the Kentucky Sire Stakes as well. As a result of the multi-track schedule he maintained since getting his first win at Plainridge on July 10, Monti has won 170 races and bankrolled $1,574,959 during that short span. Although he did have more wins in 2017 (294), this year's earnings is a milestone for Monti and the first time in his career that he eclipsed the $2 million mark. With the Plainridge meet down to four days and the Batavia meet down to nine, Monti plans to take up residency at the Meadowlands right after the holidays. Driver Bruce Ranger was in top form at Plainridge Park on Thursday and put on a driving clinic while winning the feature as well as four other races on the nine-race card, which included a natural hat trick in races four through six. In the $12,000 pace for upper-level condition horses, Ranger left with Opus Blue Chip from post eight, went right to the front and never looked back. After cutting quarters of :26.3, :56.2 and 1:24.1, Opus Blue Chip took a three-length lead into the stretch and made it last to the wire, defeating a fast closing Betterlatethnnever (Mitchell Cushing) in 1:53.2. For Opus Blue Chip ($14.20) it was the eighth win of the year and it pushed his earnings to $94,530 for owner Scott Dillon. Joe Nelson trains the winner. Prior to that Ranger won with Bet On Joe (1:55, $17.00), Chief Altawick (1:54, $4.20), Burkes Bandit (1:54.4, $5.80) and JJs Shark (1:54, $15.20). The five wins pushed him to 200 for the year which is the most driving tallies he has had since 2013. Ranger now has 9,159 wins and $37,379,248 in earnings during his distinguished career. Ranger is a member of both the Florida and New England Halls of Fame. Racing resumes at Plainridge Park on Friday (Nov. 22) at 1 p.m. By Tim Bojarski, for the Standardbred Owners of Massachusetts  

Plainville, MA --- A consistent rain and sloppy harness racing track were no deterrent for O So Easy who took an unconventional route to victory in the $20,000 Open Handicap trotting feature at Plainridge Park on Monday afternoon (Nov. 18). In a reversal of strategy, driver Bruce Ranger left with the usually slow-starting O So Easy and put her right on the point. The lone mare shook her tail at the eight boys in the field as she took them through fractions of :28.1, :57.4 and 1:27.2, leading the whole way by 1-¼ lengths. She then rolled around the far turn and started to pull away in the stretch and ended up hitting the wire 3-¾ lengths in front in 1:57. It was the third win in the last five starts and the sixth win of the year for O So Easy ($2.80) who is owned by Greathorse of Massachusetts and trained by Domenico Cecere. The top pace of the day was a $14,000 conditioned event that saw Zinny Mach N (Ron Cushing) get away sixth before pulling at the half, tipping three-wide at three-quarters and then pull away to a dominant five-length win in 1:55. It was the fourth North American win for Zinny Mach N ($4.40) who is owned by Kevin Sywyk, Ron Cushing and Frank Ranaldi. Heidi Gibbs does the training. Drew Campbell was the top driver at The Ridge on Monday, winning three races on the card while Jim Hardy and Mitchell Cushing finished the day with two apiece. Racing resumes at Plainridge Park on Thursday afternoon (Nov. 21) at 1 p.m. By Tim Bojarski, for the Standardbred Owners of Massachusetts  

Plainville, MA --- The 3-year-old Massachusetts Sire Stake Champion Crystalline looked in top harness racing form two-weeks removed from her $100,000 final victory after cruising to an easy win in the $12,000 trotting feature at Plainridge Park on Friday afternoon (Nov. 15). Driver Kevin Switzer Jr. took Crystalline to the wood fourth and waited for everyone to seat behind Hs Marcia (Drew Campbell) moving to the quarter. When they did, he pulled the classy trotter off the pegs and rushed her to the lead she would maintain for the remainder of the mile. Crystalline hit the half in :57.3 and three-quarters in 1:27.1 while the competition stacked up behind her. The group then rolled off the far turn with Crystalline opening up a two length advantage under her own terms and won without issue in 1:57.1. Crystalline ($5.20) captured her eighth win of the year and boosted her earnings to $141,465. Ray Campbell Jr. bred and owns the daughter of Chapter Seven-Royalty Free who is trained by Scott Renz. After spending the last two months competing in stake engagements in Kentucky and Indiana, Lindy Pearl (Drew Monti) returned to Plainridge Park and made a strong move from the back of the pack to score a convincing 4-¼ length victory in 1:58.1 in the $10,000 trotting sub-feature on the card. It was the first seasonal win for the heavily favored Lindy Pearl ($2.20) who is owned by Lindy Farms of Connecticut and trained by Domenico Cecere. Matty "Ice" Athearn and Bruce Ranger were the top winning drivers on Friday taking two races each. Racing resumes at Plainridge Park on Monday afternoon (Nov. 18) at 1 p.m. By Tim Bojarski, for the Standardbred Owners of Massachusetts

Plainville, MA --- The classic line "Thank you sir, may I have another?" from the movie Animal House seems more than fitting to describe the effort put in by top-class pacer Bettors Fire N on Thursday afternoon (Nov. 14) after taking his second straight harness racing win in identical fashion in the $15,000 Open Handicap pace at Plainridge Park. Opus Blue Chip (Bruce Ranger) took the initial lead in the race while Bettors Fire N (Mitchell Cushing) employed an overland route to the front that he reached by the quarter in :26.2. And once he hit the pegs, the rest of the field was racing for place. After grabbing leather and taking a leisurely saunter to the half in a pedestrian :30 flat, Cushing tapped the gas pedal and flew to the three-quarters in 1:24.1 with Bet You (Kevin Switzer Jr.) a half-length behind and outside while the rest of the field was bunched and keeping pace. But after rounding the final turn and hitting the stretch, Bettors Fire N found another gear and started to pull away from his pursuers under no urging whatsoever and cruised home to an easy two-length win in 1:52.3. Continuing to build on an already stellar season, Bettors Fire N ($2.80) chalked up his 11th win of the year and pushed his earnings to $179,220 for owners Kevin Sywyk, Ron Cushing and Frank Ranaldi. Heidi Gibbs trains the 11-year-old gelded son of Bettors Delight-Sparks A Flyin. Since making his North American debut in October of 2018, Bettors Fire N has never lost a race at Plainridge Park, going a perfect six for six during that time. In the $10,000 upper-level conditioned undercard pace, Passport To Art (Shawn Gray) pulled early into an outside grind behind Beachchip Hanover (Kevin Switzer Jr.) chasing down the leading Fernleigh Rebel N (Drew Monti) and eventually took the lead from his cover down the lane to win by a nose in 1:53. Passport To Art ($8.00) is owned by Elizabeth and Dyce Spalluto and is trained by Alicia Gray. Mitchell Cushing led all driver with three wins on Thursday while Nick Graffam and Shawn Gray each had two. Mike Girouard and Jimmy Nickerson were the top trainers winning two races apiece as well. Racing resumes at Plainridge Park on Friday (Nov. 15) at 1 p.m. By Tim Bojarski, for the Standardbred Owners of Massachusetts

Plainville, MA --- The harness racing team of owner/trainer Joel Wheeler and driver Shawn Gray was prolific at Plainridge Park as the horses they sent to post took both features on the card on Monday afternoon (Nov. 11) . After taking the top trot at the Ridge just two weeks ago, Quicksilver Kemp scored again in the $20,000 Open Handicap on the strength of a late closing bid. Shorething Fashion (Nick Graffam) got off to a quick lead and opened up a three-length gap at the quarter in :28. Going unchallenged through the next panel, Shorething Fashion was greeted by a bid from last week's winner O So Easy (Drew Monti) past the half. O So Easy made a slow and methodical advance towards the leader and by the three-quarters was only a length away. However also moving on the outside was Quicksilver Kemp who had been following O So Easy into the far turn. When the race straightened out in the stretch, Gray tipped Quicksilver Kemp three-deep and easily circled the two trotters ahead of him to win by 1-1/4 lengths in 1:55.1. It was the fourth win of the year for Quicksilver Kemp ($13.20) who has now earned $62,195 this year. Then in the $14,000 conditioned event for 6-year-old and younger pacing mares, Beach Watch led at every station, going quarters of :281, :58.2 and 1:26.2 before turning for home and holding off a fast closing Sometimes Always (John Beckwith) to win by one-quarter of a length in 1:54.3. The fifth win of the year for Beach Watch ($5.80) raised her earnings to $54,970 in 2019 making it the best season she's had in her career for both victories and deposits. Gray had one more win with All Night Credit ($10.40) which gave him the driving hat trick to lead all reinsmen on the day. Wheeler was also the winningest trainer on Monday. Racing resumes at Plainridge Park on Thursday (Nov. 14) with post time at 1 p.m. By Tim Bojarski, for the Standardbred Owners of Massachusetts

Plainville, MA --- After shipping back from a two-week stint at Yonkers Raceway, Bettors Fire N turned up the heat on his competition at Plainridge Park on Thursday afternoon (Nov. 7) as he took no prisoners en route to winning the $20,000 Open Handicap featured harness racing pace. Rock Diamonds N (Ron Cushing) and Bettors Fire N (Mitchell Cushing) flew off the wings and went right to the front, with Bettors Fire N grabbing the lead and Cushing then grabbing leather as no one challenged early. He took the field to the quarter in :28 and the half in :56.3 before Betterlatethnever (Drew Monti) pulled first-over into the breeze. Bettors Fire N switched gears after hearing hoofprints and zipped the third panel in :27.2, leaving Betterlatethnever hung without advancing. The race rounded the final bend and when they straightened out at the top of the stretch, Betterlatethnever faded enough to allow the pocket-sitting Rock Diamonds N out of the hole to take a late shot. With both Cushings driving hard to the light, Bettors Fire N would not give up or in and he won by one-half length in 1:51.3. It was the 55th lifetime win and 10th win of the year for Bettors Fire N ($5.20) who has now earned $171,720 this year for owners Kevin Sywyk, Ron Cushing and Frank Ranaldi. Heidi Gibbs trains the winner who in only 32 North American starts, has now won $202,120 in purses. The same connections own and train the runner-up Rock Diamonds N. In the secondary featured $10,500 upper-level conditioned pace, Tisadream N (Drew Monti) sat a perfect garden spot trip behind Quick Shot (Drew Campbell) through fractions of :26.4, :55.3 and 1:23.2. Then coming off the far turn and heading into the lane, Tisadream N pulled and out-muscled the stubborn Quick Shot in a hard-fought stretch drive to win by one-quarter length in 1:52.1. Tisadream N ($3.60) scored his seventh win of the year and has now earned $55,110 in 2019 for owners Tony Gruppo and Tim Bojarski, Scott Rollins trains Tisadream N. Mitchell Cushing led all drivers on Thursday with three wins on the card while Drew Monti scored two. Scott Rollins was the top trainer with two tallies as well. Racing resumes at Plainridge Park on Friday afternoon (Nov. 8) at 1 p.m. By Tim Bojarski, for the Standardbred Owners of Massachusetts      

Plainville, MA --- Drafting off the pace early in pursuit of a stiff fraction, O So Easy rallied first-over past the half, grinding it out to capture the $20,000 Open Handicap harness racing trot at Plainridge Park on Monday afternoon (Nov. 4). Madhatter Bluechip (Kevin Switzer Jr.) took his usual position on the front end off the gate and flew to the quarter in :26.3. Shorething Fashion (Nick Graffam) was keeping a fairly close stance while the rest of the field was gapped-off as they moved past the stands. Moving into the second half O So Easy (Drew Monti) pulled and was rolling in the breeze methodically making his way towards Madhatter Bluechip, who was still strong on the lead all through the final bend. Coming off the far turn O So Easy was outside of Madhatter Bluechip with the tripped-out Shorething Fashion trotting freely along the pylons. All three drivers were working their rides hard through the stretch where O So Easy did the best work and got up by a neck in 1:54.3. It was the fifth win of the year for O So Easy ($5.60) who is owned by Greathorse of Massachusetts and trained by Domenico Cecere. The best pace of the day came in the $12,000 conditioned event for 6-year-olds and under where the recently imported Zinny Mach N (Ron Cushing) took control of the race on the front, backed down the half to :56.4 and then posted back to back quarters of :27.1 and :28 to cruise home a wrapped-up winner by 2-1/4 lengths in 1:52. The time was a new lifetime mark for the winner. It was the second North American win for Zinny Mach N ($9.40) who has acclimated well since shipping over. The 4-year-old gelded son of Mach Three-Zingara is owned by Kevin Sywyk, Ron Cushing and Frank Ranaldi. Heidi Gibbs trains the winner. Drivers Ron Cushing, Kevin Switzer Jr., Matty "Ice" Athearn and Nick Graffam all had driving doubles on the card. Trainer Heidi Gibbs also had two winners on Monday. Racing resumes at Plainridge Park on Thursday (Nov. 7) at 1 p.m. By Tim Bojarski, for the Standardbred Owners of Massachusetts

Plainville, MA --- After a three-year layoff from harness racing, Whiskey Lindy made his first start back this August a winning one and has repeated that outcome every week since. He extended his streak to six on Friday (Nov. 1) after he won the $12,000 conditioned trotting feature at Plainridge Park. As he has done just about every week this year, Whiskey Lindy (Bruce Ranger) went right to the front and controlled his own destiny. Setting fractions of :28.1, :58.4 and 1:27.3 along the way, whiskey Lindy turned for home and pulled away to a 3-1/2 length margin of victory in 1:57.3. The undefeated Whiskey Lindy ($2.40) now boasts earnings of $35,000 this year for his owners Greathorse and trainer Domenico Cecere. Racing resumes at Plainridge Park on Monday (Nov. 4) at 1 p.m. By Tim Bojarski, for the Standardbred Owners of Massachusetts  

Plainville, MA --- Despite wind, rain and six formidable harness racing foes, Bet You overcame all adversity to capture the $20,000 Open Handicap pacing feature at Plainridge Park on Thursday afternoon (Oct. 31). Bet You (Kevin Switzer Jr.) got away fifth in line of the single-file group chasing the :26.3 quarter set by Opus Blue Chip (Bruce Ranger). Positions remained the same until Switzer pulled Bet you moving towards the half and advanced in the breeze first-over from there. Opus Blue Chip remained the dictator of fractions with no one able to gain ground as the race was rolling up the backside. After passing the three-quarters in 1:23.4, Bet You, who had been lagging on advancement, started to reel in Opus Blue Chip and by the top of the stretch looked him in the eye and then went right by. Bet You was in full flight in the stretch and paced away to a 1-3/4 length win over a fast-closing Calvin B (Mitchell Cushing) to win in 1:52.3. It was the seventh win of the year for Bet You ($11.20) who has now earned $86,310 for owner Scott Dillon. Joe Nelson trains the winner. In the $10,500 conditioned pacing undercard, Rockin' Cougar (Nick Graffam) won his second straight race in an upset after making a bold three-wide move at the three-quarters to collar Ben N Crosby (John Nason) by a neck at the wire in 1:55.2. Rockin' Cougar ($28.20) is owned by Diane Hellen and trained by Mike Graffam. Rockin' Cougar was one of three wins on the card for Nick Graffam who led all drivers on Thursday with a hat trick. Racing resumes at Plainridge Park on Friday (Nov. 1). Please note that starting with Friday's card, post time will be at 1 p.m. and remain at that time for the entire month of November. The Plainridge meet runs through Friday (Nov. 29). By Tim Bojarski, for the Standardbred Owners of Massachusetts

Plainville, MA --- Eight divisions of Massachusetts Sire Stake (MASS) finalists went postward to compete for the $800,000 up for grabs at Plainridge Park on Monday afternoon (Oct. 28) in what turned out to be some of the best championship races the state harness racing series has ever seen. Trainer George Ducharme had an outstanding day winning four MASS stakes with two seconds and one third out of the eight starters he sent to post. Driver Shawn Gray led all his peers in the series by winning three stakes and five races total during the afternoon. Here is a summary of the championship day of racing in Massachusetts.   $100,000 2-year-old trotting colt and gelding champion: Life Is A Feast (Royalty For Life-Luau Hanover) There was never any doubt in the mile for Life Is A Feast (Howard Parker) who grabbed the lead and ran away with the race. After trotting fractions of :28.1, :57.3 and 1:25.2 well in hand, Parker came off the last turn and extended his lead to six at the top of the stretch before coming to the wire a wrapped-up winner in 1:55.4. The time matched Life Is A Feast's lifetime mark and also tied the MASS stake and Plainridge Park track records for 2-year-old trotting geldings. Life Is A Feast ($3.00) scored his fifth win of the year, all at Plainridge Park, for owners Al Ross and Paul Fontaine and the MASS champion has now earned $113,475 in only nine starts during his freshman campaign. Karen Carroll bred Life Is A Feast. Ross and Fontaine were also part owners of Life Is A Feast's sire, Royalty For Life, who won the 2013 Hambletonian.   $100,000 2-year-old trotting filly champion: Without A Warning (RC Royalty-Concentration) RFL's M London (Jim Hardy) took a quick lead but soon gave it up to the 1-9 favorite Without A Warning (Shawn Gray) who pulled at the eighth pole and hurried to the front by the quarter in :28.4. The field stayed in single file to the half before Sophia's Express (Jimmy Whittemore) came first over and tried to move forward. After passing three-quarters in 1:28.2 it was clear the competition was not going to catch Without A Warning as she rounded the last turn with a strong lead that she held to the wire where she won by 3-¾ lengths in 1:58. Without A Warning ($2.10) remained undefeated in the MASS with her fourth straight win in the series and it pushed her earnings to $186,160 in her first year on the track for owner/breeder Ray Campbell Jr. George Ducharme trains Without A Warning.   $100,000 2-year-old pacing colt and gelding champion: Finnbar (Real Desire-Unbeachable) Favorites R Maddy Blue Chip (Drew Monti) and Han Solo (Kevin Switzer) took turns with the lead, twice by the quarter in :26.3 and one more time at the half in :55.2. There R Maddy Blue Chip finally settled on the front heading up the backstretch. Finnbar (Ivan Davies) who had been drafting fourth, pulled first over at the five eighths and made his way to the front on the outside. He hooked up with the leader and it became a match race for the next quarter mile. R Maddy Blue Chip and Finnbar paced side by side around the last turn and into the stretch where Finnbar swelled up and opened up a tow-length lead. Davies kept Finnbar to his task and paced strong to the wire, winning by 1-¾ lengths in 1:54.4. The win was the third of the year and a new lifetime mark for Finnbar ($14.40) who has now earned $75,670 this year for owner Nancy Longobardi and trainer Ivan Davies. Steve O'Toole bred the winner.   $100,000 2-year-old pacing filly champion: Odds On Orlando (Captaintreacherous-Lindys Old Lady) Ry's Red Rocket (Matt Athearn) took control of the race and set fractions of :28.1 and :57.1 to the half with no movement behind her. Then at the five-eighths marker, 1-9 favorite Odds On Orlando (Drew Monti) pulled first-over and came alongside the leader where a real battle ensued. Ry's Red Rocket would not relent and Odds On Orlando could not get by. The two tangled around the last turn and traded leads in the process. But as they made their way into the head of the stretch, Odds On Orlando took the lead for good and ended up one-half length in front under the wire in 1:54.4. The time was the fourth consecutive new lifetime mark taken by Odd On Orlando. Sweeping her MASS division to become champion and pushing her bankroll to $112,416 during her month in Massachusetts, Odds On Orlando ($2.20) is owned by Odds On Racing and trained by Tony Alagna. Lindy Farms of Connecticut bred Odds On Orlando.   $100,000 3-year-old trotting colt and gelding champion: Simple Kaos (RC Royalty-Ksenia) Simple Kaos (Jimmy Whittemore) flew off the wings and took a four-length lead before they hit the quarter in :27.4. The Fixer (Howard Parker) and Jake G's Champion (Shawn Gray) settled in second and third with the rest of the field having trouble coping with the pace. Positions remained unchanged from there as Simple Kaos stopped the clock in :55.3 and 1:25.1. When they turned for home Simple Kaos was on cruise control and won by 1-¾ lengths in 1:54.4. With The Fixer finishing second and Jake G's Champion finishing third, trainer George Ducharme swept the board in this division. It was the fourth win of the year, all in the MASS, for Simple Kaos ($2.40) who is now a two-time MASS champion. On the strength of the final win, Simple Kaos has now earned $126,070 is 2019 and $249,820 lifetime for owners the George Ducharme Stable and Michelle Larson, who bred the gelding. Ducharme also trains the winner.   $100,000 3-year-old trotting filly champion: Crystalline (Chapter Seven-Royalty Free) After Mother Teresa (Drew Monti) made a break at the start, Ev's Girl (Andy Miller) became the commander of fractions, taking the lead ahead of Just Dreamin (Mike Stevenson) and Crystalline (Shawn Gray). After a handy :57.1 half, Gray pulled Crystalline at the five-eighths, drew alongside Ev's Girl in the turn and then trotted away from the field in the stretch. Under a line drive, Crystalline opened up a 6-¼ length lead at the wire where she won in 1:55.2. The time was a new lifetime mark for Crystalline and a new MASS stake record for 3-year-old trotting fillies. It was the seventh win of the year for Crystalline ($4.40) who on the strength of her MASS competition ran her earnings up to $134,025 this year and $171,186 lifetime for breeder/owner Ray Campbell Jr. George Ducharme trains the winner.   $100,000 3-year-old pacing colt and gelding champion: CBF Bantam (Baron Biltmore-Cohenucopia) Levi (Scott Renz) and Hollywood Deemon (Drew Campbell) left hard and pushed a swift quarter of :26.2 before the dust settled. Levi ended up on top and kept that position until the half in :55. That's where Victorias Maverick (Heath Campbell) came flying on the outside, took the lead and opened up a four-length advantage heading into the last turn. But the race was far from over. CBF Bantam (Shawn Gray) was pacing up a storm on the outside after tipping from mid-pack and caught Victorias Maverick in the last turn. The two hooked up at the top of the stretch and paced stride for stride all the way to the wire where CBF Bantam got a narrow advantage and won by a neck in 1:53.3. It was the ninth win of the year for CBF Bantam ($3.60) and pushed his winnings to $148,765 this year and $189,952 lifetime for owners Glenn Harris and Marion Phelps, who also bred the winner. David Crochere trains the winner.   $100,000 3-year-old pacing filly champion: Karan's Choice (Sportswriter-Denverlove) In the lone non-betting event of the day, Karan's Choice (Jim Hardy) took command of the race at the start and controlled the pace the entire way. After cutting fractions of :28.2, :59.1 and 1:28 to the three-quarters, Karan's Choice saw Secure The Boarder (Ivan Davies) draw near around the last turn trying to mount an attack. But the leader switched gears and turned back the challenge heading into the lane. Hardy gave Karan's Choice her head and let her stride-out down the stretch where she pulled away to a 6-¼ length win in 1:56.4. It was the fourth straight win in the MASS for Karan's Choice who is now a two-time MASS champion. On the strength of her eighth win of the year, Karan's Choice has now earned $129,624 in 2019 and $253,968 lifetime for owner Al Ross, who also bred the filly. Driver Jim Hardy also trains Karan's Choice.     By Tim Bojarski for the Standardbred Owners of Massachusetts

Plainville, MA --- Taking advantage of a front-end bias on a very rainy day, My Mind Is Made Up scored his fifth harness racing victory of the year in upset fashion by winning the $12,000 featured pace at Plainridge Park on Sunday afternoon (Oct. 27). Leaving from post five, driver Kevin Switzer Jr. got My Mind Is Made Up to the front and the quarter in very fast :26.2. After that station Tisadream N (Drew Monti) pulled first-over and sat in the breeze, pushing the issue for the rest of the mile. They hit the half in :55 and the three-quarters in 1:22.4 with positions remaining the same. Around the last turn My Mind Is Made Up maintained his lead but Tisadream N continued to dig and drew to within a length at the head of the lane. But the trip favored the leader and he hung on to a 1-½ length victory in 1:52.2. My Mind Is Made Up ($37.60) is owned by the Jesmeral Stable and is trained by Sheena Mcelhiney. The $10,000 final of the Dan Tuccillo Memorial Amateur Driving Series was also held on Sunday with Steal My Thunder (Eugene Pratt) scoring a 3-½ length come from behind win in 1:57 after making a big three-wide move in the last turn. Steal My Thunder ($23.00) is owned by Helen Tuccillo and Dan Tuccillo Jr., who also trains the winner. The amateur race series was named after long time New England horseman and amateur driver Dan Tuccillo Sr. who passed away this summer. Live racing resumes at Plainridge Park on Monday (Oct. 28) with the finals of the $1.8 million Massachusetts Sire Stakes (MASS). Post time for the first MASS race (which is a non-betting event) is at 1:30 p.m. The regular betting card starts 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  

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