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Plainville, MA---After competing against Hannelore Hanover, Crazy Wow and Marion Marauder in the Breeders Crown last month, Mambo Lindy returned home to Plainridge Park for his first start in 19 days and won the $14,000 Open Handicap Trot in commanding style on Thursday afternoon (Nov. 16). The strategy was simple for driver Greg Merton; go to the front and win the race. After floating out fifth over the rain-soaked track until everyone seated, Mambo Lindy then brushed for the lead and had it by the quarter in :28.3. From there it was pretty much a training mile. Sitting chilly in the bike, Merton guided his horse to the half in :57.4 and three-quarters in 1:26.4 before letting loose on the lines and letting Mambo Lindy do it on his own. Mambo Lindy visibly accelerate around the last turn and put some space between himself and most of the field. With only Osprey Impact (Mike Stevenson) still in the conversation, Merton didn't raise a line or move a muscle because Mambo Lindy was on cruise control and rolled to a measured length victory in 1:54.3, with a last quarter in quick :27.4 over the sloppy track. It was the 10th win in 17 starts this year for the heavily favored Mambo Lindy ($2.10) who now has $114,375 on his card for owners Greathorse of Massachusetts. Frank Antonacci trains the 6-year-old gelded son of Donato Hanover. In the $12,000 conditioned undercard trot, it was bombs-away as 30-1 Neverdie (Chris Long) came barreling down the lane from sixth at the head of the stretch to overtake fellow 36-1 longshot Annie OK (Truman Gale) at the wire to win by a length in 1:56.3, blowing up the tote board. Owned by Mike Graham and Mike Cushing (who also trains him), the sixth win of 2017 for Neverdie was memorable for the betting public. He paid $65.20 to win and triggered a 4-9-3-all Superfecta that paid $17,321.20. Greg Merton scored three more wins on Thursday pushing his meet total to 225. Racing resumes at Plainridge Park on Friday afternoon (Nov.17) at 1 p.m. There are only four more days of live racing at The Ridge for the 2017 meet that concludes on Friday (Nov. 24). There is no racing on Thanksgiving Day.   By Tim Bojarski, for the Standardbred Owners of Massachusetts  

Plainville, MA---A driving rain and cold temperatures provided a miserable day for harness racing at Plainridge Park, but Cherokee Hiflyzane went from worst to first and captured the $14,000 Plainridge Special pacing feature in impressive style on Monday afternoon (Nov. 13). Cherokee Hiflyzane (Mike Stevenson) got away a distant last off the gate while SB Mike's Hot Beach (Shawn Gray) barked the marching orders on the front end. After a fast :27 first split and pedestrian :29 second, Rooster Rabbit (Mike Eaton) pulled first up to challenge and brought Cherokee Hiflyzane with him. The pair continued to advance on the rim but the leader was still not in reach. At the three-quarter pole, SB Mike's Hot Beach opened up a three-length lead and Rooster Rabbit was done. So Cherokee Hiflyzane tipped three-deep around him in the last turn and had a lot of ground to make up. As the race headed into the stretch, Gray was driving SB Mike's Hot Beach hard, trying to keep him alive while Stevenson was sitting chilly behind Cherokee Hiflyzane who was flying down the lane and paced right by the leader to win by a length in 1:53. It was a career high eighth win of the year for Cherokee Hiflyzane ($3.20) who has also set career bests in 2017 for earnings ($72,280) and mark (1:51.4). The 5-year-old gelded son of World of Rocknroll is owned by Roger Farrar II and Barrie Farrar, who also does the training. In the co-featured $12,000 conditioned pace, BP Diet Food (Mike Stevenson) was happy to cut the mile and had no problem initiating that task from post two. With the field single file behind him, Stevenson went a moderate :27.1 and :56.2 with a good hold on the leader. No one really challenged until past the five-eighths when Cam's Lucky Sam (Greg Merton) popped out of the three-hole and made a weak bid to advance, but couldn't even draw even with the pocket-sitting Western Victory (Wally Watson). At the top of the lane BP Diet Food was looking vulnerable as the field he was trying to shake in the :28.2 third quarter had caught up and was now bearing down. Western Victory found room by the pylons and was making up ground quickly while Cam's Lucky Sam was outside catching a second wind. Behind them, the rest of the field continued to get closer. Nonetheless BP Diet Food dug down deep and hung on to claim victory by a neck in 1:54.1 as six of the seven horses in the race crossed the wire within one length of each other in a blanket finish. It was the seventh win of the year for BP Diet Food ($6.60), six of which were at Plainridge Park. Owned by Chris Wescott and trained by Ken Secord, BP Diet Food has had a career year for wins (7), money earned ($29,849) and lifetime mark (1:51.1). Shawn Gray led all drivers on Monday with three wins on the card. Racing resumes at Plainridge Park on Tuesday (Nov. 14) at 1 p.m.   By Tim Bojarski, for the Standardbred Owners of Massachusetts  

Plainville, MA---Even though he finished second in the top trot at The Ridge last week, the harness racing betting public that allowed Namesmuscle to go off at 20-1 from post one was sorely mistaken after he tripped-out to a convincing victory in the $14,000 Open Handicap Trot at Plainridge Park on Thursday afternoon (Nov. 9). Osprey Impact (Mike Stevenson) who won two of the last three Open trots at Plainridge was looking to put another notch on his belt and left from post seven with authority. With early breaks by Dony Andreas (Eric Davis) and A Nashty Business (Chris Long) the short field of six was then whittled down to four and Namesmuscle (Matt Athearn) had the best seat in the house; tucked in behind the leader getting a golden journey. Front-running Osprey Impact set fractional times of :27.2, :58.1 and 1:27.1 and headed into the stretch looking good with a two-length advantage on the field. But Athearn tipped Namesmuscle and with minimal urging not only made up the deficit trotting down the lane, he went right by Osprey Impact and opened up a three length gap at the wire to win handily in 1:55.2. The time was both a seasonal and lifetime mark for the winner. It was the ninth win of what has become a career year for Namesmuscle ($43.80) who has now earned $47,631 for owner William Phipps. Gretchen Athearn trains the 5-year-old gelded son of Muscle Mass. In the $12,000 co-featured condition trot, Shorething Fashion (Bruce Aldrich Jr.) sat patiently behind Midnight Craze (Ivan Davies) for seven-eighths of a mile before tipping into the passing lane and out-brushing the leader to the wire to win by a length in 1:56 in a finish that saw all eight horses within four lengths of each other at the wire. It was also the ninth win of 2017 for Shorething Fashion ($4.00) who has bankrolled $62,497 this year for owners Bob McHugh and Mike Eaton, who also does the training. Bruce Aldrich Jr. led all drivers with four wins on Thursday. Racing resumes Friday at Plainridge Park with first race post time set at 1 p.m. There are only eight days of racing left at Plainridge this year with he meet concluding on Friday (Nov. 24). Please note there is no live racing on Thanksgiving Day (Nov. 24).   By Tim Bojarski, for the Standardbred Owners of Massachusetts  

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

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

Plainville, Ma---Osprey Impact has been a harness racing win machine since coming to the Commonwealth from Prince Edward Island in September and that trend continued as he won the $14,000 Open Trot at Plainridge Park on Thursday afternoon (Nov. 2). Osprey Impact (Mike Stevenson) left sharply for the lead along with Ostrich Blue Chip (Greg Merton) who floated-out indecisively third until past the half when he got in gear and bolted for the front. The trailing horses remained unchanged as the leader then ponied the pack to the half in :56.1 and three-quarters in 1:25.1. At that station, 45-1 shot Namesmuscle (Mark Athearn) popped out from third and started to advance to the front. When they hit the top of the lane Merton glanced over his right shoulder at the encroaching Namesmuscle and in doing so, allowed Ostrich Blue Chip to come off the rail clearing the way for Osprey Impact to trot on from there. With a horse now both inside and out of him, Ostrich Blue Chip made a break that cost him the race and Osprey Impact cruised home under wraps in 1:54.4. It was the fifth win in six Plainridge Park starts and tenth victory of the year for Osprey Impact ($9.40) who now has $32,204 on the card for owner Paul Larrabbe. Robert Marston trains the winner. In the co-featured $12,000 trotting event, Tag Up And Go (Bruce Aldrich Jr.) was motoring along on the front end for three-quarters of a mile before getting rough gaited around the last turn, allowing Wind And A Prayer (Nick Graffam) to take the lead at the head of the stretch. But after Aldrich gathered him back together, Tag Up And Go regained his composure and trotted home cleanly to a length victory in 1:54.3. The ninth win of the year for Tag Up And Go ($13.20) pushed him over the century mark in earnings for the year with a total of $103,160 now in the bank. Lester Gelardi Jr. and Frank Passafaro own the 7-year-old son of Angus Hall that is trained by Monique Cohen. Bruce Aldrich Jr. had four winners on the card while Mike Stevenson posted a hat trick of his own. Monique Cohen had three training wins and Robert Marston had two. Racing resumes at Plainridge Park on Friday (Nov. 3) with post time set at 1 p.m.   By Tim Bojarski, for the Standardbred Owners of Massachusetts  

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

According to the new report, the harness racing track and slot machine parlor in Plainville owned and operated by Penn National Gaming, has helped to keep the state’s gamblers’ money from traveling out of Massachusetts. A recent survey of Massachusetts gamblers has shown that had the Plainridge Park Casino not opened, the lion’s share of money spent there since it opened in June 2015 would have been spent at gambling facilities located out of state. In a statement on Thursday, the Massachusetts Gaming Commission said the “Social and Economic Impacts of Gambling in Massachusetts,” is a comprehensive, multi-year study conducted in 2016 by a team of researchers from the University of Massachusetts Amherst, reports The Boston Globe. The Boston Globe reports that patrons of Plainridge Park Casino were asked by the research team about both their non-gambling and gambling spending habits during their casinos visits so that information could be gathered about money brought in by the casino. Information included how much of patron’s spending at the casino was “reallocated” in state from other services and goods and how much of it was “recaptured” from individuals who would have instead spent their money at casinos located beyond the borders of Massachusetts. The team reportedly estimated that 58.3 percent of all gambling spending by residents of Massachusetts was recaptured, while just 16.3 percent was reallocated. In the statement, a lead researcher on the team, Mark Melnik, said, “We were able to use the survey results to estimate that the majority of the money spent at PPC would have been spent out of state if gambling had never expanded in Massachusetts,” according to the news agency. Furthermore, the survey found that the year prior to the June 2015 opening of the Plainridge casino, nearly 90 percent of the patrons surveyed had frequented casinos in other states, with the majority having reportedly traveled to Rhode Island and Connecticut to gamble. Other results of the survey found that most of the patrons who gambled at the casino were older than the general population of the state, were likely to be white, with a higher education that many and an annual household income of between $50,000 and $100,000. Most patrons, the survey found, were from Massachusetts, with residents of Plainville and nearby communities accounting for 11.4 percent and 66.5 percent from other parts of the state. Of all of the casino’s attractions, slot machines are the most popular, with 87 percent of those surveyed saying they played them. A smaller percentage of the gamblers surveyed reportedly said they bet on horse races and played electronic table games at the casino. The Boston Globe reports that according to the Massachusetts Gaming Commission, the results of the survey were shared by the researchers in order to help the commission understand better the economic effects of new gaming facilities. One of the team’s lead researchers, Rachel Volberg, who is also a professor of epidemiology at UMass Amherst, said in the statement, “The survey is a tool that allows us to collect data from patrons about where they come from and how much they spend, which is important for understanding the economic impacts of the casino.” While Enrique Zuniga, the Gaming Commissioner, said in the statement, “No other gaming commission in the country has this type of information at their fingertips to inform policy and make data-driven decisions,” according to The Boston Globe. Massachusetts finally enacted casino legislation in 2011, authorizing up to three resort-style casinos and one slots-only facility. After the license was approved in February 2014, ground was broken March 14th for the Plainridge Park Casino at the Plainridge Race Course. By K Morrison Reprinted with permission of World Casino News

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

Plainville, MA---In what may have been her easiest win this year, Black Broadway captured the $14,000 Open Handicap Trot at Plainridge Park on Thursday afternoon (Oct. 26). With a late scratch in the race, an already short field was whittled down again to five and Black Broadway (Bruce Aldrich Jr.) made the most of the opportunity by going right to the lead and staying there every step of the way. After cutting quarter times of :28.2, :58.2 and 1:27.2 unhurried by the competition, Aldrich sat in the bike like he was home in his chair and let Black Broadway trot home on her own to win handily in 1:56.2 to score her eighth win of 2017. Black Broadway ($2.80) has now earned $79,900 this year for owners Bob McHugh and Mike Eaton, who also does the training. In the fifth race on Thursday, former Grand Circuit trotter Master Of Law (Greg Merton) returned to the winner's circle for the first time since November 7, 2015 after getting parked to the quarter, then clearing and leading the rest of the way to win by two lengths in 1:54.3. It was only the fourth start of the year for Master Of Law ($2.20) who didn't race like he was coming back from a two-year layoff. Frank Antonacci trains Master Of Law for Lindy Farms of Connecticut. Racing resumes at Plainridge Park on Friday afternoon at 2:30 p.m. Please note that post time will remain at 2:30 p.m. for all race days in October and will be moved to 1 p.m. starting Thursday (Nov. 2) for the remainder of the meet.   By Tim Bojarski, for the Standardbred Owners of Massachusetts

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

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

Plainville, MA---A Nashty Business rolled into Plainridge Park last week from a multi-track sojourn that included three wins in two countries. He continued the streak at The Ridge in his harness racing track debut and returned to defend it this week in the top class and came away with his fifth straight win, taking the $14,000 Open Handicap Trot on Thursday afternoon (Oct. 19). It was all A Nashty Business (Chris Long) from the start as he smoked to the quarter in :26.4. From there Long kept him in hand and rated an even, yet speedy mile. He rolled down to the half in :55.2 and three-quarters in 1:23.3 and had a two-length lead coming into the stretch. With minor urging from Long, A Nashty Business kept his mind on his business and won with confidence in 1:54.1. It was the seventh win of the year for A Nashty Business ($6.20) who now has $26,507 on his card in 2017. The 8-year-old son of Armbro Nash is owned by William Sartin and trained by Joe De Carlo. In the co-featured $12,000 conditioned trotting event, Dony Andreas (Mike Stevenson) sat a two-hole trip the entire mile behind Just Make Believe (Bruce Aldrich Jr.) before popping the pocket in the stretch to capture a head victory in 1:54.4. The seventh win of the year was also a new lifetime mark for the winner. Dony Andreas ($22.00) is owned and trained by Robert Marston. Chris Long led all drivers on Thursday with three wins. Racing resumes at Plainridge Park on Friday afternoon at 2:30 p.m.   By Tim Bojarski, for the Standardbred Owners of Massachusetts  

Plainville, MA---Two horses took two different paths to victory in the day's harness racing featured races at Plainridge Park on Monday afternoon (Oct. 16). In the $14,000 "Plainridge Special" SB Mike's Hot Beach (Heath Campbell) led every step of the way and held off late challenges by Quick Shot (Eddie Davis Jr.) and Cherokee Hiflyzane (Ron Cushing) to win by a length in 1:52.1, which was a new seasonal mark for the winner. Since being claimed on August 28, SB Mike's Hot Beach ($5.40) has had a win, three seconds and a third in six starts for owner William Mc Elvain Jr. and trainer James Dunn. Then in the $10,000 conditioned pacing event, Grand Theft (David Ingraham) got away seventh in the field of nine before pulling second over at the half and then tip three-deep around the last turn to out-muscle Silver Bullet (Steve Nason) down the lane to win by two-lengths in 1:53.2, which was also a new seasonal mark. Grand Theft slipped by the betting public at 49-1 and blew up the tote board with a $100.40 payoff. It was the second win of the year for the 5-year-old gelded son of Art Major who is owned by Kristie Leigh Farm Inc., Joseph Betro, Stephen Giagni and Stephen Demeter. Grand Theft is trained by Elisha Lafreniere. Greg Merton won five more races on Monday, pushing his win total for the meet to 208. Jim Hardy had a double and that moved him to 98 wins for the year and in second place in the driver's race. The top three trainers of the meet each had one win on the card: Monique Cohen now has 56 wins, Jim Hardy 47 wins and Elisha Lafreniere 45 wins. Racing resumes at Plainridge Park on Tuesday (Oct. 17) at 2:30 p.m.   By Tim Bojarski, for the Standardbred Owners of Massachusetts

Plainville, MA---Since shipping in from Charlottetown, PEI, Osprey Impact had been undefeated in three starts in Massachusetts and he extended that harness racing streak once again on Thursday afternoon (Oct. 12) by winning the $14,000 Open Handicap Trot at Plainridge Park. Osprey Impact (Mike Stevenson) left and led every step of the way in race seven, setting fractions of :27.3, :56.2 and 1:24.3. He opened up around the final turn and stretched out to a four-length margin of victory timed in 1:53.4, which was only one-fifth second off the lifetime mark he just set last week. It was the ninth win of the year for Osprey Impact ($3.40) who is owned by Paul Larrabee and trained by Robert Marston. The $12,000 conditioned undercard trot produced a very similar race and result as A Nashty Business (Chris Long) left off the wings and dictated every step from there. He barreled down to the half in :55.4 and trotted home handily with a gapped 2-length lead to win in 1:53.3, which was a new lifetime mark by three full seconds. The win also completed a grand slam for A Nashty Business except that all the wins were at four different tracks: Grand River, Flamboro Downs, Yonkers Raceway and now Plainridge Park. A Nashty Business ($8.00) is owned by William Sartin who just privately purchased the 8-year-old Armbro Nash gelding on September 15 and is trained by Joe De Carlo. Racing resumes at Plainridge Park on Friday (October 13) with post time set at 2:30 p.m.   By Tim Bojarski, for the Standardbred Owners of Massachusetts  

Plainville, MA---As heavy weather blew into the Commonwealth, the harness racing horses seemed to dismiss the sloppy-going and Rooster Rabbit was the epitome of that, winning the $14,000 "Plainridge Special" pace at The Ridge on Monday afternoon (Oct. 9) in a career-best effort. He's Marvelous (Nick Graffam) took an uncontested lead and flew the widely-gapped field to the quarter in :26 flat over the water-logged oval. Going past the stands and into turn three, Beautiful Lady (Greg Merton) pulled first-over from third approaching the :54.4 half and prompted Graffam to pop the plugs on the leader as a result. Her opening allowed Rooster Rabbit (Mike Eaton) to slide up a closer fifth along the pylons. When He's Marvelous hit three-quarters in 1:22, Beautiful Lady dropped anchor and SB Mikes Hot Beach (Shawn Gray) pulled out from second, allowing Rooster Rabbit to get one step closer into third. As He's Marvelous and SB Mikes Hot Beach were matching strides at the top of the lane, Eaton pulled Rooster Rabbit three-deep into the middle of the stretch and started driving hard. He's Marvelous tagged-out along the pylons and SB Mikes Hot Beach and Rooster Rabbit hit the wire together with Rooster Rabbit getting a nose advantage in 1:51.3. With five wins and $45,827 to his credit already in 2017, now Rooster Rabbit ($23.80) also has a new lifetime mark of 1:51.3 to go along with them. The 5-year-old gelded son of Rocknroll Hanover is owned by Charles Franklin and Brenna Gill and is trained by Dan Gill. In the $10,000 co-featured condition pace, Lindy Beach (Greg Merton) followed third-over in a live outer-flow at the half before tipping three-deep at the three-quarters to pace away to a three-length victory in 1:53.1. Lindy Farms of Connecticut and Frank Baldassare own Lindy Beach ($2.60) who now has won five out of seven starts this year. The 4-year-old Somebeachsomewhere gelding is trained by Frank Antonacci. Greg Merton won more six races during the day and pushed his win total to 198 for the year. With over seven weeks left in the meet, Merton has already eclipsed his track record numbers for wins and purses in 2016 (167-$809,012) and has set new standards for both categories. Besides the 198 wins, Merton has also earned $1.15 million in purses to this point. Racing resumes at Plainridge Park on Tuesday (Oct. 10) with post time at 2:30 p.m.   By Tim Bojarski, for the Standardbred Owners of Massachusetts  

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