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Plainville, MA --- After acquitting herself well against the toughest harness racing Open mares in North America her last two starts in the Lady Liberty at the Meadowlands and the Artiscape at Tioga Downs, Apple Bottom Jeans came to Plainridge Park on Tuesday (Aug. 28) and toyed with the field; going from worst to first to win the $16,000 Winners-Over Handicap for distaff pacers. Apple Bottom Jeans (Jimmy Whittemore) got away last while the lead changed hands twice between Western Stepp (Nick Graffam) and Watts Was I Drinkn (Jim Hardy) by the quarter. As the field was pacing by the half, they were four in and three out with Empty Gesture (Chris Long) putting pressure on the front running Watts Was I Drinkn while Apple Bottom Jeans was still sixth and third over in the second tier. Positions remained unchanged up the backside and Watts Was I Drinkn was looking strong in command. When they hit three-quarters, Empty Gesture's advance had stopped and Whittemore tipped Apple Bottom Jeans three-deep into the final turn. Apple Bottom Jeans started to pace with purpose, circling from sixth to second by the time they hit the straight. As soon as she had Watts Was I Drinkn in her sight, Apple Bottom Jeans dug in and blew past the leader and paced home alone in 1:52.1 while Whittemore smiled for the photographer. KDK Standardbreds has now benefitted the amount of $140,817 in 2018 from the accomplishments of Apple Bottom Jeans ($3.60) who has won eight times this year for trainer Kevin Switzer. In a real oddity, 11 different drivers won the 12 races on the card with Jim Hardy being the only one to visit the circle more than once. And 12 different trainers accounted for the day's 12 winning horses. There was no winner in the Wicked Hi-5 Pentafecta again on Tuesday so a carryover pool of $6,291 will be available in the sixth race on Thursday (Aug. 30) when live racing resumes at Plainridge Park with post time at 4 p.m. Thursday will be the last 4 p.m. post for 2018 as the starting time will be moved back to 2 p.m. beginning on Labor Day Monday (Sept. 3) and will remain there through the end of October. By Tim Bojarski, for the Standardbred Owners of Massachusetts

Plainville, MA---Although Eddie Davis Jr. hasn't had as many starts at Plainridge Park this year as he's had in the past, there's no question he is still one of the craftiest reinsmen to regularly compete in the Commonwealth. One Monday (July 16) Davis illustrated that point when he scored a driving triple that included wins in both feature races. In the $16,000 Winners-Over pace, Davis directed Bet You from post four and hit the pylons while One To Draw To (Shawn Gray) left hard in :26 flat. But his passive attitude was short-lived as he rolled Bet You to the outside past the three-eighths and motored up towards the leader. In a grinding fashion, Bet You inched his way towards One To Draw To and by the 1:22.3 three-quarters was dead even with him. The two shadowed each other around far turn but by the head of the stretch, Bet You had taken the lead and extended it to two lengths. He hit the wire by himself and stopped the clock in 1:51, which equaled his seasonal mark. It was the fourth win of the year for Bet You ($3.00) who is owned by Scott Dillon and trained by Joe Nelson. And in the $12,000 conditioned undercard pace, Davis took control at the start with Attention Please and never let go. Attention Please set fractions of :26.2, :55.2 and 1:22.3 while never letting anyone get closer than a length. Rounding the final bend and heading down the lane, Davis provided some moderate urging to keep him on task but Attention Please didn't really need it as he cruised home an easy winner in 1:51.3, which was a new lifetime mark. Attention Please ($15.40) also registered his fourth win of 2018 for owner Kathleen Brewer and trainer Timmie Griffith. Davis's also won with Rapid It Up Art (1:54, $5.20) who completed the hat trick. Once again, no one hit the Wicked Hi-5 pentafecta wager in the sixth race and as a result, there is a large carry over pool of $10,931 in the sixth race on Tuesday afternoon (July 17) when live racing resumes at Plainridge Park. Post time for the first race is 4 p.m. by Tim Bojarski, for the Standardbred Owners of Massachusetts  

Plainville, MA---There were two harness racing stars at Plainridge Park on Thursday (July 12); one was in front of the race bike and one was sitting in it. Massachusetts-bred Muscles Jared made a visit home from his New York base at Vernon Downs and impressed the locals by winning the $14,000 Winners-Over trotting feature. And sharing the spotlight was reinsman Drew Campbell who drove five winners during the 10-race card. Muscles Jared (Shawn Gray) was a determined leaver and took the front with authority. From there he set moderate fractions to the half before Jericho (Joe Di Stefano) came first-up and tried to push the issue. But as the outside interloper drew near, Muscles Jared switched a gear and trotted up the backstretch in :28 flat. As the race headed into the final turn, Jericho packed it in and Muscles Jared continued on cruise control. He opened up a five-length lead by the head of the stretch and after Gray looked over his shoulder and tucked away his whip, Muscle Jared flew home a wrapped-up winner in 1:54.1, which was only one-fifth off his lifetime mark. His homecoming was also the 11th win in 37 lifetime starts for Muscles Jared ($4.20) who now boasts $380,034 in earnings for his all Massachusetts connections that include owner Al Ross of Dartmouth and trainer George Ducharme, originally of Walpole. North American leading UDR pilot and Plainridge Park top dash driver Drew Campbell was on fire Thursday, winning half of the 10 races on the card. In the eight races he drove in, Campbell won five and was second and third one time each giving him an unbelievable .736 UDR for the day. These numbers clearly illustrate why he leads in both of these categories. Campbell had his picture taken with Prayers Do Matter (1:56.2 LTM, $2.20), Armenian Warrior (1:51.2 LTM, $2.80), Panhellenic (1:53, $13.40), Vodkancaviar (1:55.4, $10.40) and Nathaniel (1:53.4 LTM, $8.00). Campbell now has 96 wins for the meet, 29 ahead of second place Greg Merton. He also maintains his North American UDR lead with a .429 mark to date. There were no winners in the Wicked Hi-5 pentafecta wager in the sixth race today and as a result, there will be a carry-over pool of $8,723 in tomorrow's sixth betting event when live harness racing action resumes at Plainridge Park on Friday afternoon (July 13) at 4 p.m. by Tim Bojarski, for the Standardbred Owners of Massachusetts  

Plainville, MA---They were one class apart and took different paths to victory. But the commonality between Quick Shot and Bet You was they both came up big in the top two featured paces at Plainridge Park on Monday afternoon (July 9). In the $14,000 Winners-Over Handicap pace driver Drew Campbell reversed his strategy of recent weeks by leaving hard and fast with Quick Shot to take early command of the race. Once on the point, Quick Shot got to the quarter in a blistering :25.1 and had everyone seated. As they headed down the front stretch, Campbell grabbed two handfuls of leather and backed off the second quarter to :30.4, stacking up the trailers and coaxing Moonlight Artist (Jim Hardy) to begin an outer flow. Moonlight Artist continued to advance but as soon as he got within a length of the leader, Campbell let Quick Shot out a notch and he immediately opened up a three-length advantage. Rounding the last turn, Quick Shot was under moderate urging from Campbell and coasted home to a length victory in 1:51.1. It was the seventh win of the year and third top class win in a row at Plainridge Park for Quick Shot ($5.00), who is owned by Kathleen Brewer and trained by John Bowman. Quick Shot now has $66,860 in earnings for the year. In the $12,000 conditioned pacing secondary feature, Bet You (Eddie Davis Jr.) sat fifth off the pace, watching Kenrick N (Ron Cushing) and Electric Western (Greg Merton) battle it out to the half before following the outside cover of Ace Of Clubs (Shawn Gray) to the head of the stretch where he tipped three-deep and exploded with pace to the wire to win by a length in 1:51. In his first Plainridge start of 2018, Bet You ($13.20) got his third win of the year and came away with a new seasonal mark. Bet You is owned by Scott Dillon and is trained by Joseph Nelson. Plainridge Park defending dash winning driver Greg Merton is not accustomed to going off at 50-1, but that is what happened in race four and Merton made the most of it. Merton maneuvered Mr. Blissful, who had spent the last three weeks racing at Yonkers, from worst at the quarter to first the wire and paid $102.80 for the win. Despite the two favorites finishing second and third, the large win mutual generated bountiful gimmick payouts as well. The 7-5 exacta paid $262.40, 7-5-3 trifecta paid $1,166.40 and the 7-5-3-8 super returned $4,729.80. Eddie Davis Jr. led all drivers for wins on Monday, visiting the track photographer three times. Racing resumes on Tuesday afternoon (July 10) at Plainridge Park with a Wicked Hi-5 carryover pool of $5,210 in the sixth race. by Tim Bojarski, for the Standardbred Owners of Massachusetts

Plainville, MA---The epic growth of harness racing in Massachusetts since the introduction of gaming at Plainridge Park in 2015 has produced increased handles and purses, a higher caliber of horse competing and in turn, more reinsmen here to steer them as well. As evidence of that, the current driver colony at Plainridge includes Drew Campbell and Shawn Gray, who are currently the top two leading UDR drivers in North America for drivers with 500 or more starts, along with fast-rising star Mitchell Cushing who is the seventh best on the continent for those with 300 to 499 drives. Drew Campbell is the top UDR driver nationally with a .426 and is also at the top of the win charts at the Plainridge meet with 88 victories in 385 starts and $601,863 in earnings. He's also sporting a .397 UDR and has hit the board 59% of the time. Campbell also is the leading driver at Scarborough Downs where his numbers are equally impressive. There he has 76 wins in 235 starts and $191,227 in purses. He has a UDR of .477 and hits the board at an unbelievable 65% clip. Campbell is on course for a career year for wins and earnings in a career whose annual numbers are already impressive. He currently sits at 4,737 wins and is just short of $13 million in earnings while hitting the board 53% of the time since 1989. Shawn Gray is right behind Campbell nationwide with a .417 UDR and currently sits third in victories at Plainridge with 62 behind Greg Merton (65) who is the defending driving title holder here the past two seasons. Gray has also pocketed $455,966 in purses, hit the board 58% of the time and has a local UDR of .371. Gray splits his time at Buffalo Raceway and is the second winningest driver there with 103 tallies in 301 starts behind Drew Monti (114) who leads the locals in Western New York. At that meet, Gray's UDR is a lofty .483 and he's extracted $511,544 from that track's coffers to date. Like Campbell, Gray is also on track for new personal one-year standards for wins and earnings and is almost certain to get them. For his career to date, Gray has 3,970 wins and just under $15 million in purses. Plainridge's sixth leading dash driver is Mitchell Cushing who ranks seventh in North America for drivers between 300 and 499 starts and is only .010 out of second place in that category. At the Ridge, Cushing has 23 wins in 147 starts, $154,278 in the bank and a UDR of 261. He has hit the board at a 40% clip while sporting a phenomenal 90% return on investment rating that illustrates how many times he's brought the long-price horse back to the winner's enclosure. Cushing also drives at two tracks and is currently second (behind Campbell) at Scarborough Downs with 47 wins, $132,184 in earnings and a UDR of .385. Cushing is only 20-years-old and is a driver whose career is taking off. After racing in Maine and Massachusetts since he was 16, Cushing decided to up the ante and made the move to the Meadowlands this past winter to compete with some of the best in the business. He got his first win on the big stage on March 17 behind Fly'n With Royalty in gate to wire fashion and since returning home to New England, has exhibited skills and patience that have gotten noticeably sharper. As a result, he has become a sought-after catch driver at both tracks. by Tim Bojarski, for the Standardbred Owners of Massachusetts

Plainville, MA---Longtime New England horseman and Plainridge Park regular Wally Watson hit a career milestone in the eighth race on Thursday (July 5) when Cyclone Artist pulled three-deep around the last turn and paced away to win in 1:53.3, giving Watson his 2,000th career driving victory at the Ridge. Watson, who lives in Cumberland, Maine, started his driving career in 1987 and has been a full-time participant in the sport ever since. He has a total of 16,413 lifetime starts with 2,000 wins, 2,332 seconds and 2,377 thirds and $5,545,755 million in earnings. Watson had a single season career high 168 wins in 1998 and just completed his best ever season for earnings in 2017 when he made $455,685 in purses. At the current Plainridge meet, Watson has 18 wins in 190 starts with $178,103 in earnings. Watson also has 6,137 training starts during his career with 722 wins, 925 seconds and 908 thirds with $2,555,499 million in the bank. Wally Watson was greeted in the winner's by friends and family after the race along with every driver competing on the Thursday card. While Watson captured the spotlight for top human achievement of the day, Osprey Vision stole the show for the equine set by winning the featured $12,000 conditioned event for the diagonal-gaited. Osprey Impact (Mike Stevenson) left sharply and grabbed the lead by the eighth pole before letting Nathaniel (Drew Campbell) overtake that position by the quarter. These two raced in that order to the half in :57.1 and three-quarters in 1:25.1 with a pesky French Moni (Patrizio Ancora) parked outside prompting the leaders. Coming off the far turn the top three held the same positions, but Nathaniel started to tire and drifted away from the pylons. This provided Osprey Impact a clear path and shortest route to the wire. While French Moni continued to drive on the grandstand side, Osprey Impact barreled down the stretch on the inside and out-muscled them all; winning in 1:55. It was the third win of the year and second straight victory at Plainridge Park for Osprey Impact ($6.80) who is owned by Paul Larrabee and trained by Robert Marston. Racing resumes at Plainridge Park on Friday (July 6) with post time at 4 p.m. by Tim Bojarski, for the Standardbred Owners of Massachusetts

Plainville, MA---Following fast fractions and live cover on a humid afternoon that hit 92 degrees, Quick Shot beat the heat, an outside post and six rivals in taking the $16,000 Winners-Over Handicap feature pace at Plainridge Park on Monday afternoon (July 2). BJ's Guy (Eddie Davis, Jr.) left with authority and sped the field to the quarter in :25.2. With no one feeling frisky enough to pull into that fraction heading to the half, Drew Campbell stepped up and pulled Quick Shot from fifth and eventually flushed Vegas Dream (David Ingraham) who then escorted him up the backside. As the group tripped three-quarters in 1:22.2, BJ's Guy succumbed to the pace while Vegas Dream, Quick Shot and Soho Jackman A (Chris Long) were flying three-wide and pacing in unison around the last turn . Vegas Dream had the lead in the pylon path but was passed in short order by Quick Shot and Soho Jackman A who were now both set to battle down the lane. Quick Shot gained a small advantage and despite the best effort of Soho Jackman A, he could not get by the classy Quick Shot in the stretch and he won by a length in 1:51, which tied his season's best outing of last week. It was the sixth win of the year for Quick Shot ($4.20) who has now earned $59,860 for owner Kathleen Brewer. The 6-year-old gelded son of Art Major is trained by John Bowman. The $12,500 final of the "2007 Sox" $10,000 claiming series was won by Sports Lightning (Mitchell Cushing) who pulled just past the quarter and toughed-out a first over trip to overtake the front-running Dr. C Z Tam (Greg Merton) in the stretch and win by a length in 1:52.3, which was a new seasonal mark. Sports Lightning ($4.20) is owned by William Emmons and is trained by Jim Nickerson. Drew Campbell led all drivers with three wins on the card while Mitchell Cushing and Nick Graffam had two wins apiece. Racing resumes at Plainridge Park on Tuesday (July 3) with post time at 4 p.m. by Tim Bojarski, for the Standardbred Owners of Massachusetts

Plainville, MA---Osprey Impact took full advantage of early position en route to his first win of 2018 at Plainridge Park in the fastest division of the $10,000 Paul Revere trot for horses with a Trackmaster rating of 88 or lower on Thursday afternoon (June 28). Nathaniel (Drew Campbell) went right to the front and Osprey Impact (Mike Stevenson) would shadow him to the top of the lane. Trotting in line; one-two for seven-eighths of the mile, Nathaniel and Osprey Impact went :27.3, :56.4 and 1:24.1 by a gapped margin as the rest of the field tried to keep up. At the head of the lane, Stevenson pulled Osprey Impact and they went right past Nathaniel without any resistance. Osprey Impact was a wrapped up winner when he hit the wire in 1:54.1, which was a new seasonal mark. Osprey Impact ($9.20) is owned by Paul Larrabee and is trained by Robert Marston. In the first $10,000 division, Ugly Stik (Ron Cushing) overcame a slow start that had him last at the three quarter pole before tipping four-deep at the head of the stretch to close with a rush and win by a neck in 1:55.4, which was a new seasonal mark. Ugly Stik ($10.00) scored his fifth victory of the year for owner Lucia Les and trainer Heidi Gibbs. Drew Campbell topped all drivers with four wins on the day while Ron Cushing ended up winning three races himself. Racing resumes at Plainridge Park on Friday afternoon (June 29) at 4 p.m. by Tim Bojarski, for the Standardbred Owners of Massachusetts

Plainville, MA --- Piercewave Hanover climbed up the class ladder after last week's inaugural Plainridge Park victory, but the move made little difference. After turning back multiple challenges, Piercewave Hanover handily took the $14,000 Winners-Over trot on Thursday afternoon (June 21) in a career best effort. Shawn Gray went right for the lead with Piercewave Hanover but the pair would be under duress the entire mile. First, Just Make Believe (Joe Di Stefano) left right along with them and acted as a prompter for the first half of the race. Parked out from the word go, Just Make Believe pushed the quarter in :26.2 and the half in :55.1. As they moved up the back stretch the rim-rider faded but Piercewave Hanover would still not get a breather. Approaching the three-quarter pole, Osprey Impact (Mike Stevenson) tipped three wide around Just Make Believe and moved right alongside Piercewave Hanover. These two trotted in close proximity to the seven-eighths pole when Osprey Impact packed it in. The final push came from Buff (Greg Merton) who had gotten a perfect pocket trip. He made a late charge, but it was short lived as Piercewave Hanover trotted away under a loose-line drive by Gray to win in 1:53, which was a new lifetime mark. Piercewave Hanover ($5.00) now tops $40,000 in seasonal earnings for owners FBP Racing Stable and Jordan Derue, who also trains him. Trainer Domenico Cecere and the connections of Lindy Farms remained hot on Thursday winning both $10,000 conditioned trotting co-feature events. Kinda Lucky Lindy (Greg Merton) took a new lifetime mark of 1:54.2 after scoring from off the pace by three lengths in the first race and French Moni (Patrizio Ancora) also registered a career best effort after winning by three lengths from behind in 1:54.1 in the eighth. Greg Merton, Drew Campbell and Shawn Gray all had driving triples on the card. Live racing returns to Plainridge Park on Friday (June 22) at 4 p.m. by Tim Bojarski, for the Standardbred Owners of Massachusetts  

Plainville, MA---Robert Gary Gray, age 56, passed away unexpectedly on Sunday, June 10, 2018 at Saratoga Hospital, surrounded by his family. He was born on October 28, 1961 in Norway, Maine, the son of Hazel Toothaker Gray and the late Gary R. Gray. After finishing school Mr. Gray entered the Army and learned to drive truck while serving his country. This is a skill would stay with him for the rest of his life. Upon returning to civilian life, Mr. Gray drove everything from commercial tractor-trailers to horse transportation vans of all sizes and became a friend to everyone who met him while shipping race horses all over New England and the Northeast for years. Aside from earning a living to support his family, Mr. Gray's true passion had always been harness racing and he took part in the sport whenever time allowed. First attending the races with his father, he did the same with his children as they grew up and all enjoyed the races together as a family affair. Mr. Gray was a trainer and driver and was first licensed in 1982. He was an amateur driver his whole life and competed in the CKG Billings series as well as amateur races in Maine and most recently in Massachusetts at Plainridge Park in 2017. On the training side, Mr. Gray oversaw a small stable most of his career and posted 1,412 lifetime starts with 189 wins, 183 seconds and 169 thirds. Those starts earned his trainees $564,166 in purses. His best two years were 2011 and 2012 when he won a combined 108 races and $300,328 in purses. He did everything he could to provide the best for the horses in his care, but always made time to help those that needed a hand at the racetrack. All of his racing colleagues, who affectionately knew him as Bobby, have truly lost a great friend. He has been a fixture in the harness racing community for many years and will be greatly missed by all who knew him. Mr. Gray cared deeply about his family, was a proud husband and father and always gave all he had to them. He is survived by his beloved wife Sheryl Gray; daughters Dawn Gray and Mikayla Gray; son Zackary Gray; sisters Patricia Mandeville (Scott) and JoAnn Nichols (Butch); brother John Gray (Omar Vazquez); mother-in-law Patricia Phipps; devoted friend Jim Nickerson (Heidi) along with many nieces, nephews and friends who will miss him dearly. A funeral service will be held at 10 am on Friday, June 15, 2018 at Compassionate Funeral Care, 402 Maple Avenue Saratoga Springs, NY 12866. Family and friends may call from 6 pm to 8 pm on Thursday, June 14, 2018 at Compassionate Funeral Care, 402 Maple Ave, Saratoga Springs, New York. There will be a celebration of life at 11 am on Monday, June 18, 2018 at the American Legion, 46 Griffin St., Gardiner, ME. In lieu of flowers, donations can be made to the American Diabetes Association, 2 Pine West Plaza, Albany, NY 12205. A Go Fund Me account has been set up to help defray the cost of this unexpected tragedy. It is getting close to hitting its goal and if you would wish to help, you can go to www.gofundme.com/5nu43jc?member=290172 to donate. Also, if you wish to express your online condolences please visit www.compassionatefuneralcare.com . By Tim Bojarski for USHWA  

Plainville, MA---Lindy Racing head trainer Domenico Cecere brought a group of their prospects from the farm's Somers, Connecticut base for some early season work and at the end of the day, captured the pair of $10,000 conditioned trotting events at Plainridge Park on Thursday afternoon (June 7). In the first feature, Kinda Lucky Lindy (Greg Merton) got away second and sat the pocket behind On First (Mark Athearn) to the half when the outer flow eventually locked him in moving to the three-quarters. Leading that rim-rush was Now's The Moment (Mike Stevenson) who cleared and opened up a four-length advantage. Still looking for racing room and seemingly out of it around the last turn, Kinda Lucky Lindy got a break when Pirate (Ivan Davies) made a break, clearing the way for Merton to pull his charge around the fading On First and set dead aim on the leader. With a lot of ground to make up in the last eighth of a mile, Kinda Lucky Lindy went to work and trotted like the wind under a mere hand drive by Merton and closed the gap with every stride to win by a length in 1:55.4, which was a new lifetime mark. After starts in the New York Sires Stakes and elimination of the Empire Breeders Classic, Kinda Lucky Lindy ($9.60) scored his first victory of 2018 for owner Lindy Farms of Connecticut. The second $10,000 event saw French Moni (Patrizio Ancora) get away third off the gate before making an early move for the front at the quarter and once there, led the rest of the way. As they passed the half in :58.1, One Swan For All (Wally Watson) came barreling up the outside and drew within a neck of French Moni by the three-quarters. But Ancora sped up that third panel to :28 flat and quenched the threat of One Swan For All. Now in command by two heading off the last turn, French Moni had one more bid to put away as the pocket-sitting L Dees Yoyo Ma made a late lunge at the leader, but the attempt was too little too late. Ancora had French Moni all but wrapped-up and crossed the wire an easy winner in 1:55.3. It was the second win of the year for French Moni ($5.20), both of which were registered at Plainridge Park. The Moni Maker Stable owns the 4-year-old son of Love You. At the end of the day Cecere had the training hat trick as he also took the first race with the Greg Merton-driven Shortie Joe ($2.20) who won his second in a row this year, lifetime and at Plainridge Park. The 1:56.4 clocking was also a new lifetime mark for the Fred Monteleone Stable LLC-owned 3-year-old Chapter Seven colt. Greg Merton was Thursday's winningest driver with three trips to the circle. Racing resumes at Plainridge Park on Friday afternoon (June 8) at 4 p.m. By Tim Bojarski, for the Standardbred Owners of Massachusetts      

Plainville, MA---Now's The Moment stole the show during Thursday's (May 31) all-trot card when he captured the $20,000 Highland Light Late Closer trot final at Plainridge Park and set a new track standard in the process. Mike Stevenson left with Now's The Moment and led every step of the way. With the best view, they toured the facility in fractions of :27.2, :58.2 and 1:26 before turning for home. With no challengers in sight, Now's The Moment stretched out to a four-length advantage and won in 1:55.1. The winning time was not only a lifetime mark for Now's The Moment; it was also a new Plainridge Park track record for 3-year-old trotting geldings. It was the second consecutive win for Now's The Moment ($2.60) who is owned by Sonya Mac Donald and trained by Mr. Allison Mac Donald. The $20,000 final of the Ralph Waldo Emerson trot final was won by the Massachusetts-bred Pirate, who scored in a sharp off-the-pace finish. Manssive (Ron Cushing) out-left The Lindy Treaty (Shawn Gray) and trotted strong on the lead for three-quarters of a mile until Jericho (Joe Di Stefano) pushed the issue at that station. Pirate (Drew Campbell) who was seventh at the time, tipped three-deep around a stagnant outer flow and was gaining momentum around the far turn. By the head of the stretch Pirate was four-wide and under a full head of steam, eventually engaging and then passing Jericho to win by a length in 1:55.3. It was the third win of the year for Pirate ($27.20) who is owned by Kathy Beaman and Earl Beaman and trained by Ivan Davies. In the $14,000 Winners-Over trot, Buff (Greg Merton) got to the lead past the quarter and was never headed from there. After putting away a challenge from Platoon Seelster (Ron Cushing) by the head of the lane, Buff responded to mild urging from Merton and held off a late rally from Golden Tate (Nick Graffam) to win by one-half length in 1:54.3, which was a new seasonal mark. Buff ($4.00) now has four wins this year for owners Bill Reepmeyer LLC, Jackie Rousse Stables LLC, Frank Witz and Jill Witz and trainer Jackie Greene. Greg Merton and Drew Campbell each had three winners on Thursday's card. Racing resumes at Plainridge Park on Friday afternoon at 4 p.m. By Tim Bojarski, for the Standardbred Owners of Massachusetts      

Plainville, MA---After putting in a stellar effort in the top distaff event here last week, Iheartquestionmark stepped down in class and scored her third win in her last four starts, taking the $12,000 fillies and mares pacing feature at Plainridge Park on Tuesday afternoon (May 29). Beautiful Lady (Nick Graffam) took the lead and got the girls to the half in :55.2 before Shesgotthebeat (Greg Merton) came calling on the outside to engage the leader for the rest of the race. With Iheartquestionmark (Eric Davis) sitting second-over in the fray, Beautiful Lady and Shesgotthebeat went stride for stride up the backside and to the three-quarters in 1:24. They kept at it around the last turn when Iheartquestionmark tipped three-deep with a full head of steam and a highly animated driver. Davis kept the mare to task and paced away to a one-half length margin of victory in 1:53, which was a new seasonal mark for the mare. The Janet Davis owned and trained Iheartquestionmark was overlooked by the betting public despite the class drop and inside draw and was allowed to go off 17-1. As a result, the venerable 9-year-old returned $36.80 for the win and topped the two post time favorites in a 2-5-4 trifecta that paid $1,344.60. The three leading Plainridge dash drivers continued their winning ways on Tuesday as Drew Campbell and Greg Merton scored two wins apiece while Shawn Gray had one. As a result, Campbell is the leader of the pack right now with 40 wins for the meet with Gray and Merton tied for second with 38 wins each. Racing resumes at Plainridge Park on Thursday afternoon (May 31) at 4 p.m. By Tim Bojarski, for the Standardbred Owners of Massachusetts

Plainville, MA---An assigned outside post and three inside leavers did not dissuade Kenrick N from his preferred style of racing and at the end of the mile, the local wonder from down under notched another big win in the $14,000 Winners-Over feature pace at Plainridge Park on Memorial Day Monday (May 28) in front of a large trackside crowd. Leaving from post seven, driver Ron Cushing floated Kenrick N off the gate and waited for Sailor Jerry (Nick Graffam), Quick Shot (Drew Campbell) and Pretty Boy Hill (Greg Merton) to find the pylons before he urged his horse to the front just before they hit the half in :53.4. From there the race was basically over. Moving up the backstretch, there were three horses out and three horses in behind the leader but none were making any headway. Cushing popped the plugs right at the three-quarter pole and Kenrick N responded big time. Under mild urging Kenrick N opened up a quick three-length advantage as they approached the top of the stretch where Cushing looked over his shoulder and saw the gap he had opened. Then he simply put his hands in his lap and let Kenrick N cruise to the wire at his own pace a wrapped-up, four-length winner in 1:50, which was a new lifetime mark. Now sporting two wins, a second and a third in five North American starts since arriving in April, Kenrick N ($4.40) is well on his way to a career year for owners Kevin Sywyk and Ron Cushing and his trainer Heidi Gibbs. In the secondary feature $12,000 condition pace, Mysharona Bluechip (Greg Merton) played give-and-go with Treasure Mach (Ron Cushing) before taking the lead for good at the quarter pole, en route to a solid one-length victory in 1:51.3. It was the third win on the last four starts for Mysharona Bluechip ($7.00) and his owner A Piece of the Action LLC. Eric Beach was the successful traine Three drivers won nine of the eleven races on Monday. Shawn Gray registered a grand slam while Greg Merton scored a hat trick and Drew Campbell doubled up. Racing resumes on Tuesday at Plainridge Park with post time at 4 p.m. By Tim Bojarski, for the Standardbred Owners of Massachusetts  

Plainville, MA---Walpole, Massachusetts native George Ducharme left his Vernon Downs base of operations to return home with two of his state-bred trotters and came away with two wins, two lifetime marks and a tie for a harness racing track record for his students after their day of work at Plainridge Park on Thursday afternoon (May 17). Last year's Massachusetts Sire Stake (MASS) 2-year-old champion Hashtagmadeyalook bounced back from a disappointing start in a $40,600 New York Sire Stake at Vernon Downs last week to defeat nine rivals in the $12,500 Highland Light Series for 3 and 4-year-old trotters at Plainridge today. Leaving from post three, Hashtagmadeyalook (Shawn Gray) took a quarter to get the lead, but when he did it was for good. After cutting fractions of :28, :57.3 and 1:26.3, Gray kept his trotter on task and held off a rush from a late-closing Now's The Moment (Mike Stevenson) to win by a half-length in 1:55.4. The time was a new lifetime mark for the winner. Hashtagmadeyalook ($3.20), who is a 2018 Hambletonian eligible, is owned by his breeder Ray Campbell Jr. Ducharme's other entry was 2016 2-year-old MASS champion Muscles Jared who made heads turn in the $12,000 conditioned overnight trotting feature. In a similar manner to his stablemate, Muscles Jared (Shawn Gray) left and cleared past the quarter and dictated every station after that. After settling the field in with a tepid :57 half, Gray tapped the gas pedal and went back to back :28.1 and :28.4 quarters to win by five, stopping the clock in 1:54 flat. The time equaled both his lifetime mark and the track record for 4-year-old trotting geldings. Muscles Jared ($3.20) is owned by Al Ross. In the second division of the $12,500 Highland Light Series, J-S Miss Carolyn (Steeven Genois) scored an impressive gate to wire victory in 1:57.4. Owned by Adam Friedland and trained by Jim Nickerson, J-S Miss Carolyn ($8.80) scored her first win of the year, and at Plainridge, in her first ever trip here. There was also two divisions of the $10,000 Ralph Waldo Emerson trotting series on Thursday. Saratoga invader The Lindy Treaty (Shawn Gray) took early cover before pulling first-up at the three-quarters to trot by the front-running Manssive (Ron Cushing) down the lane and win by three lengths in 1:54.3, which was a new lifetime mark for the 7-year-old. The Lindy Treaty ($13.80) is owned by Barry Wishard and is trained by Brett Derue. The second division saw Jericho (Joe Di Stefano) follow cover second-over past the half to eventually out-muscle Candy Lane (Matt Athearn) by a nose at the wire in 1:55.1, which was yet another lifetime mark. Jericho ($14.20) is owned by Linda Kenney, Robert Kenney and the Di Stefano and Son Stable and is trained by John Di Stefano. Shawn Gray led all drivers with three wins on the card. Racing resumes at Plainridge Park on Friday (May 18) at 4 p.m. By Tim Bojarski, for the Standardbred Owners of Massachusetts

Plainville, MA---While the eighth race pacers were taking their final score before going to the gate, a severe storm blew into the area and forced the cancellation of the rest of the races for Tuesday afternoon (May 15). There were four more contests scheduled to be run. With a severe thunderstorm warning posted by the National Weather Service until 9 p.m., torrents of rain and steady lightning engulfed most of eastern Massachusetts by 6:30 p.m. and with no letup in sight, the welfare of the horses, horsemen and horsewomen became the main priority of the track. "Due to a severe thunder and lightning storm, we were forced to cancel the remainder of today's card at Plainridge. The safety of everyone involved was the main reason for the cancellation as lightning and darkness overtook the area" said Director of racing Steve O'Toole. Live racing will resume at Plainridge Park on Thursday afternoon (May 17) with post time for the first race at 4 p.m. By Tim Bojarski, for the Standardbred Owners of Massachusetts  

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