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Plainville, MA --- Quick Shot lived up to his name on Monday (Aug. 19) when he went from third to first in a matter of yards to win the harness racing $14,000 Winners-Over Handicap pace at Plainridge Park. The heavily favored Opus Blue Chip (Kevin Switzer Jr.) called the shots from the start of the race while Quick Shot (Drew Campbell) settled in third for the ride. After a blazing :25.4 quarter in the rain, Opus Blue Chip went to the half in :54.4 and three-quarters in 1:22.2 and the only challenge came from a weak outer flow that never got closer than fourth. As they made their way around the final turn, Switzer raised the lines and Opus Blue Chip entered the stretch with a three-length lead looking like a winner. But Quick Shot had gotten out of the pack and was pacing like a loose horse down the middle of the track. Campbell was able to get around the drifting Opus Blue Chip and flew past him under the line to win by a head in 1:51. The winning time was a new seasonal mark. Although it was only his second win of the year, Quick Shot ($9.00) has still earned $68,714 in 2019 for owner Kathleen Brewer. Artie Brewer II trains the winner. In the $12,000 conditioned undercard pace, Betterlatethannever (Jay Randall) took full advantage of a short field and post one and went gate to wire -- despite the best efforts of Fernleigh Rebel N (Mitchell Cushing) who challenged him on the outside for the better part of the mile -- and won by 2-1/2 lengths in 1:52.1. Betterlatethannever ($3.40) is owned by Nickerson Racing and David Glazer with Jimmy Nickerson doing the conditioning. Plainridge Park held the first leg of it's developmental series for 2-year-old trotters, "The Wood End Light", on Monday. The $10,000 race was won by Capital Comet (Drew Monti) who followed stablemate Dazzling Lindy (Mitchell Cushing) the entire mile before popping the deuce and brushing by in the stretch to score his first lifetime victory in 1:58.4. Capital Comet ($7.20) is owned by Lindy Farms, Robert Rudolph and M Biasuzzi Stable. Domenico Cecere trains the top two finishers. Capital Comet Mitchell Cushing, Drew Campbell, Drew Monti and Jay Randall all had driving doubles on Monday. Eric Beach did the same on the training side. Racing resumes at Plainridge Park on Thursday (Aug. 22) with post time at 4 p.m.   By Tim Bojarski, for the Standardbred Owners of Massachusetts

Plainville, MA --- After having minimal success at harness racing in Ohio as a 2 and 3-year-old, Mad Dog has turned his fortunes around as an aged horse in Massachusetts. On Friday (Aug. 16) at Plainridge Park, he set the bar for himself once again after he won the $12,000 5-year-old and under conditioned trotting feature with a personal best effort. Post eight wasn't and issue for Mad Dog (John Beckwith) as he left the gate strong and rolled up to the lead by the quarter in :27.3. As the race moved to the half, he was unchallenged and set his own pace until the five-eighths pole when Simple Kaos (Shawn Gray) and Chav Hanover (Steve Nason) came in the outer tier. Simple Kaos engaged Mad Dog at the three-quarters and the two tangled around the final bend and into the stretch just a neck apart. Trotting down the lane, Simple Kaos was joined by Hs Marcia (Drew Campbell) in pursuit of Mad Dog and they both inched closer as the wire approached. Mad Dog continued to fight and held his advantage through the beam to win by a nose in 1:55.1, which was a new lifetime mark. Mad Dog ($14.00) has now won four races this year and has hit the board 13 out of 18 starts. As a result he has earned $40,010 for his owners Michele Nelson and Jeffrey Nelson. Joe Nelson does the training. Also on the card were a pair of $10,000 condition races -- one on each gait -- that saw their winners both take marks in victory. In the pace, Western Thunder (Drew Campbell) pulled first-over at the half and overtook the front-running Rock The Heavens (Matt Athearn) in deep stretch to win by 1-3/4 lengths in 1:54.3, which was a new lifetime mark. It was the fourth seasonal win for Western Thunder ($4.40) who is owned by Kathleen Brewer and trained by Timmie Griffith. Then in the trot, Whiskey Lindy (Drew Monti) left like a rocket in :27.1, opened up five-lengths and then never looked back. Basically unchallenged during the mile, Whiskey Lindy turned for home with a length lead and held off a late charge by a fast closing Box Of Gifts (Shawn Gray) to win in 1:56.1, which was a new seasonal mark. Whiskey Lindy ($4.00) is owned by Greathorse and trained by Domenico Cecere. Drew Campbell led all drivers on Friday with three wins while Mike Stevenson was right behind him with two. Racing resumes at Plainridge Park on Monday (Aug. 19) with post time at 4 p.m. By Tim Bojarski, for the Standardbred Owners of Massachusetts

Plainville, MA --- Lightly regarded at the windows, Bet You made the faithful take notice after putting in a career-best performance winning the $14,000 New England-owned Winners-Over pacing feature at Plainridge Park on Monday afternoon (Aug. 12). Bet You (Kevin Switzer Jr.) pulled from third past the :26.4 quarter and took the lead from Quick Shot (Drew Campbell) before the :55.1 half and proceeded to open up a three-length lead. Rolling up the backside, he maintained that gapped margin to the three-quarters and then around the last turn while the competition tried to keep pace. When the race headed for the wire, Quick Shot was relentless in his pursuit to catch the leader and did begin to make up the difference. But Bet You was strong to the wire and hung on to win by a length in 1:50.3. The winning time was a new seasonal mark for Bet You and tied his lifetime best mile. It was the 30th career win for Bet You ($17.40) and pushed his total earnings to $489,932. Scott Dillon owns the 7-year-old altered son of Bettor's Delight-Armbro Amoretto that is trained by Joe Nelson. The $12,000 upper-level conditioned secondary feature was a heavyweight battle between Tisadream N (Drew Monti) who shot right for the lead and Betterlatethannever (Jay Randall) who had the same idea in mind. Tisadream N got to the quarter in :26.3 but Betterlatethannever was right on his back, before trying to clear. Tisadream N would not give up position so Betterlatethannever was now in the breeze pushing the issue. After tripping the half in :54.1 in tandem, the two horses continued pacing side by side up the backstretch to three-quarters in 1:22 when Fernleigh Rebel N (Mitchell Cushing) tipped three-deep and joined the fray off the last turn. As they hit the stretch Tisadream N regained a length lead and refused to lose in deep stretch and tripped the beam first in 1:51.1. It was the second straight win and fifth of the season for Tisadream N ($3.60) who has now earned $40,040 this year for owners Tony Gruppo and Tim Bojarski. Scott Rollins trains the winner. The $10,000 Nauset Light is Plainridge Park's 2-year-old developmental pacing series and the first leg was contested on Monday. Mancrush (Captaintreacherous-Authorize) was floated off the wings to the quarter by driver Jimmy Whittemore and eventually settled on the lead in front of the stands the first time. From there he led the group the rest of the way holding off Sweet Lucille (Drew Monti) and Han Solo (Kevin Switzer Jr.) by a 1/2 length at the wire where he won in 1:55.1. It was the second lifetime victory for Mancrush ($4.60) who is owned by M And L of Delaware and trained by Marissa Chadbourne. Kevin Switzer Jr. Had the hot hand at The Ridge Monday leading all other drivers with three wins on the card. Racing resumes at Plainridge Park on Thursday afternoon (Aug. 14) with post time at 4 p.m. By Tim Bojarski, for the Standardbred Owners of Massachusetts

Plainville, MA --- Daniel Tuccillo, 78, of Prospect, Connecticut passed away peacefully surrounded by his loving family at the Vitas unit of St. Mary's Hospital. Mr. Tuccillo was born April 20, 1941 in Waterbury, Connecticut, a son of the late Ralph R. and Aurelie (Hamel) Tuccillo. He graduated from high school and went on to establish General Borings, Inc. of Prospect, Connecticut and to marry the love of his life, Helen (Doner). When he wasn't earning a living running his business, Mr. Tuccillo loved harness racing. He was first exposed to the sport at Green Mountain Park in 1970 and eventually started working for several trainers at Rockingham Park and Hinsdale Raceway in 1972 learning the business. By 1976 he got his driver's license and started to compete at tracks all over New England. With the help of his wife and son Dan Jr., Mr. Tuccillo built a small but competitive stable and competed successfully for many years. He even trained the 1984 Massachusetts Sire Stake 2-year-old pacing filly of the year Wynn's Mabel By. Mr. Tuccillo retired from full time racing in the mid-1990's but when Plainridge Park opened in 1999, an amateur driving club was formed and he couldn't wait to get back in and compete. As a charter member of the New England Amateur Harness Driver's Club, Mr. Tuccillo has campaigned several horses each year including right until the time of his passing. During his career, Mr. Tuccillo won 199 races and $504,471 in purses. As a trainer he won another 66 races and an additional $219,689 in winnings. He won his final race on June 27, 2019 at the age of 78 when he drove Steal My Thunder to a one-length victory at Plainridge Park in 1:56.1 and paid $81.60. Aside from racing his horses, Mr. Tuccillo's greatest joy was his family, and their memories of time spent with him at the lake will always be treasured. Mr. Tuccillo will be forever missed by his wife of 57 years Helen, son Daniel and daughter Bernadette Casson all of Prospect, his grandchildren; Nicholas and Christina Tuccillo and Alyssa and Brittney Casson, a brother Ralph and his wife Margaret Tuccillo of New Hartford, a brother-in-law Joseph Doner of Bristol, a host of nieces, nephews and cousins and many friends that he treated as family. A Mass of Christian Burial will be held at 10:00 a.m. on Wednesday August 14, 2019 at St. Anthony's Church, 4 Union City Rd, Prospect, Connecticut with burial to immediately follow in Prospect Cemetery, 1 Union City Rd, Prospect, Connecticut. Calling hours will be held Tuesday August 13, 2019 from 5 p.m. to 8 p.m. at Prospect Memorial Funeral Home, 72 Waterbury Rd, Prospect, Connecticut. In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to The Hole in the Wall Gang, 565 Ashford Center Rd., Ashford, CT 06278 For directions and online condolences please visit www.prospectmemorial.com By Tim Bojarski, for the Standardbred Owners of Massachusetts

Plainville, MA --- Coming off a 3-year-old year that saw him earn in excess of $65,000 without any stake events, Quicksilver Kemp has come back strong at four and has now taken a new lifetime mark after winning the $12,000 conditioned trotting feature at Plainridge Park on Friday afternoon (Aug. 9). Quicksilver Kemp (Wally Watson) got away third and watched Simple Kaos (Shawn Gray) run away with the first seven-eighths of the race. With a gapped three-length lead, Simple Kaos set fast fractions of :27.4, :56.3 and 1:25.1 and looked like he had the win wrapped up. As they moved into the stretch, Simple Kaos got simply tired and came off the pylons. This left an opening for the drafting Quicksilver Kemp and he took full advantage. Watson had him in full gear and they trotted up a storm to the wire, winning by one length in 1:55.2, which was a career best for the gelding. It was the second win in the last three starts for Quicksilver Kemp ($7.80) who is owned and trained by Joel Wheeler. Shawn Gray had a driving hat trick on Friday and Todd O'Dea had a double-double; that being two wins with horses he both trains and drives. Racing resumes at Plainridge Park on Monday afternoon (Aug. 12) with post time at 4 p.m. By Tim Bojarski, for the Standardbred Owners of Massachusetts

Plainville, MA --- The driver/trainer harness racing combination of Mike Stevenson and Ralph Andersen were on top of their game on Thursday (Aug. 8) as they won both $8,500 condition races at Plainridge Park. In the $8,500 mid-level condition for pacing fillies and mares, Hilaria took control of the race past the :27 quarter and led the group through the next two panels in :55.2 and 1:23.2. Then she turned for home and rebuffed a challenge from Life Isa Shortwalk (Drew Campbell) in the stretch to win by 1/2 length in 1:52.2. It was the third win in a row and ninth of the season for Hilaria ($4.00) who is owned by her trainer Andersen. Then in the $8,500 conditioned trot, Wind And A Prayer rallied from off the pace fourth at the half to overtake the leading Sortie Hanover (Mitchell Cushing) past the three-quarters. Once he cleared the 11-year-old trotted home smartly and won by a length in 1:56.4. Wind And A Prayer ($13.80) scored his fourth win of 2019 for owner Keith Franklin. Mitchell Cushing led all drivers on Thursday winning three races on the card. The wins pushed him over the century mark for the meet, now with 101 at the Ridge. That total has him in first place for the dash title ahead of Shawn Gray who sits in second with 91. The Wicked Hi-5 pentafecta was finally hit in the ninth race when one lucky person cashed a 20-cent ticket on the combination of 9-6-1-8-2 and walked away with a jackpot payout of $23,852. Racing resumes at Plainridge Park on Friday (Aug. 9) with post time at 4 p.m. By Tim Bojarski, for the Standardbred Owners of Massachusetts  

Plainville, MA --- The Massachusetts Sire Stakes (MASS) are still about two months away, but horses eligible to the $1.8 million (est.) series are already preparing to compete in that stake in competition at many tracks. At Plainridge Park on Friday afternoon a pair of 3-year-olds, one on each gait, moved one step closer to being ready after adding solid wins in their respective races. RFL's Lord Command (Royalty For Life-Tetiana) put in a gutsy performance in the $10,000 conditioned event for 5-year-old and younger trotters and continues to build an impressive body of work as a sophomore. RFL's Lord Command (Jim Hardy) sat third to the quarter and then pulled by the half to pressure the leading Pembroke Monet (Drew Campbell) for the next half-mile. After hitting the three-quarters in 1:27.1, RFL's Lord Command took control from Pembroke Monet but still wasn't in the clear. He then had to deal with Valentin (Wally Watson) who was trotting up a storm on the outside. Valentin got within a head of RFL's Lord Command at the top of the lane but the leader would not submit and RFL's Lord Command stayed tough to the wire, winning by 1/2 length in 1:57. It was the fifth win in only nine starts this year for RFL's Lord Command ($4.00) for owner/breeder Al Ross. Jim Hardy trains the winner. RFL's Lord Command is a 3/4 brother to Muscles Jared who was a 2-year-old MASS champion in 2016. On the pacing side, Good Heavens (Rock N Roll Heaven-Ms Pininfarina) scored an equally impressive win in the $10,000 conditioned event for 5-year-old and younger side-wheelers and kept his winning streak alive in the process. Good Heavens (Drew Campbell) left for position from post eight and dropped in fifth by the quarter. But that pylon position was vacated after they hit the front straight as Campbell brought Good Heavens first up to challenge Radical (Jim Hardy) who was cutting the mile. By the time they hit the half these two tangled eye to eye and were pacing strong up the backside in a :27.1 split. At the three-quarter, Good Heavens cleared and opened up a length advantage in the final bend. But as they were heading down the stretch, Radical found new life on the outside and was barreling down on the leader. The two hit the wire together, but Good Heavens hit it first by a neck in 1:54.2. It was the third straight win for Good Heavens ($4.80) and the winning time equaled the geldings lifetime mark set just last week. Nancy Longobardi owns Good Heavens who is trained by Ivan Davies. The gelding was bred by Frederick Hertrich III. Drew Campbell had a driving Grand Slam on Friday, pushing him to 72 wins for the meet at Plainridge. Live racing resumes at Plainridge Park on Monday (Aug. 5) with post time at 4 p.m. and there will be a $16,715 carryover in the sixth race Wicked Hi-5 Pentafecta jackpot wager. By Tim Bojarski, for the Standardbred Owners of Massachusetts    

Plainville, MA --- Last week Little Honeybadger wired the field and won in a lifetime mark. This week, it was Deja Vu all over again as the mare went gate to wire in her fastest lifetime clocking in the $10,000 feature conditioned pace at Plainridge Park on Thursday afternoon (Aug. 1). Little Honeybadger (Nick Graffam) left from post six and went right to the front. She proceeded to cut comfortable fractions from there of :27.2, :56.3 and 1:25.2 with only a momentary challenge at the last station from Babebzgorgeous (John Beckwith). As the field proceeded into the turn Little Honeybadger was pacing strong, pulled away from Babebzgorgeous and looked like she would close it out. Shez A Maverick (John Nason) took one last shot when she pulled the pocket in the stretch but it was too late as Graffam had Little Honeybadger cruising to the line where she won in 1:53.4. The time was a new lifetime mark, knocking a full second off the one she set just six days ago. The third win of the season for Little Honeybadger ($7.60) pushed her earnings to $31,576 for owner/trainer Mike Graffam. Matt Athearn and Drew Monti each had a driving double on Thursday. When racing resumes at Plainridge Park on Friday afternoon (Aug. 2) there will be a $14,572 carryover in the sixth race Wicked Hi-5 Jackpot. Post time for the first race is 4 p.m. By Tim Bojarski, for the Standardbred Owners of Massachusetts  

Both horseman and employees at Plainridge Park Casino & Racing waited early into Thursday morning to find out if they should show up for work today as a legislative stalemate had put harness racing there in jeopardy for a second year in a row. Legislators Wednesday night were burning the midnight oil trying to pass last-minute legislation to keep the Standardbred races on, which they finally approved at 12:11 a.m. this morning as they recessed for this legislative session. A similar dispute caused Plainridge to stop racing for a few days last year before the Legislature acted. by Steve Wolf, for Harnesslink

Plainville, MA — Robert McHugh, the president of the Harness Horseman’s Association of New England, has sent out a message to all members urging them to contact their legislators. To read that message click here. From the New England HHA

Plainville, MA --- Coming off a lifetime mark last week, Mach Doro A (Ron Cushing) bounced right back in seven days to win again in the $14,000 Winners-Over Handicap at Plainridge Park on Monday afternoon (July 29). Having been assigned post nine, Cushing floated Mach Doro A off the gate and unhurriedly made his way to the front past the quarter in :26.2. The son of Mach Three then snapped off the next two quarters in :28.4 and :28.3 with Opus Blue Chip (Mike Stevenson) following close behind. The race made its way around the last turn when Betterlatethannever (Jay Randall), who had been rolling up the outside, drew even with Opus Blue Chip but neither could gain any ground on the leader and by the top of the lane, the leader was gone. Cushing lifted the lines a bit and Mach Doro A accelerated away to a 2-½ length advantage he would take to the wire where he won in 1:51 over the sloppy-rated track. Mach Doro A now has six wins and $71,000 made in North America for owners Kevin Sywyk, his driver Cushing and Frank Ranaldi. Heidi Gibbs trains the winner. In the $12,000 upper-level conditioned co-featured event, Tisadream N (Drew Monti) pulled from second past a fast :26 first quarter to take the lead. Shortly after Captain Deo (Mitchell Cushing) pulled from third, drew alongside the leader and battled stride for stride with Tisadream N to the half in :54.3 and three-quarters in 1:22 as the pair broke-away from the field. Halfway through the last turn Tisadream N got a short advantage and Monti popped the plugs as they opened up a two-length lead. Captain Deo continued to pursue all the way to the wire but Tisadream N held sway and won by a length in 1:50. The time was a new lifetime mark for Tisadream N ($5.80) and was only two-fifths of a second off the track record for aged pacing geldings. Tisadream N is owned by Tony Gruppo and Tim Bojarski and is trained by Scott Rollins. Shawn Gray had a driving Hat Trick while Ron Cushing and Mitchell Cushing each had two wins apiece. Racing resumes at Plainridge Park on Thursday (Aug. 1) with post time at 4 p.m. By Tim Bojarski, for the Standardbred Owners of Massachusetts

Shartin, the champion harness racing daughter of Yirribee Pacing Stud sire Tintin In America, hoisted new track records at Plainridge Park's five furlong track when she captured the $US100,000 Clara Barton Distaff Pace on Sunday (July 28). Her time of 1:49.1 was 0.2 inside the 14-year-old all-time standard set by Maltese Artist in 2005 and 0.8 inside the aged pacing mare's record set by Youaremycandygirl set three races earlier. Sent straight to the top, Shartin reached the quarter in 26.6, the half in 55.2 and the three-quarters in 1:22.2 before careering away to win untouched by 1-3/4 lengths. It was her 10th win on end and her 11th for the year and increased her 2019 stake tally to $US655,765, making her easily the richest standardbred in North America for the year. She boasts lifetime earnings of $US1,785,118. Meanwhile, Million Dollar Cam, Tintin In America's studmate, received a significant boost to his stocks when Romero, a three-year-old gelding bred by Yirribee Pacing Stud who stand his sire, took out a NSW Breeders Challenge Regional heat at Bathurst in a career-best 1:56.6. Our Mista Kalle, who completed a hat trick at Bunbury in 1:59, and Kiss Cam (Redcliffe), were other recent winners sired by Million Dollar Cam. Million Dollar Cam has left 82 individual winners in Australia to date for progeny earnings of almost $3.4 million, an average of $25,275 per starter. He is the sire of 42 winners this season. By Peter Wharton                      

Plainville, MA --- Guardian Angel As lived up to his billing in the $250,000 Spirit of Massachusetts Trot as he led every step of the way en route to an impressive victory, setting a harness racing new track record in the process. Tim Tetrick wasted no time putting Guardian Angel As on the point, seating everyone else in the process before he hit the quarter in :26.4. Tetrick then slowed down the pace in the second panel to :28.3, forcing an outer flow that brought Weslynn Dancer (David Miller), La Grange A (Andy Miller) and Mambo Lindy (Drew Monti). The field made its way up the backside and Weslynn Dancer eventually drew even with Guardian Angel As before they hit three-quarters in 1:22.4. There Tetrick tapped his horse twice and he shifted gears and opened up by a length. Down the lane Tetrick reminded Guardian Angel As his work wasn't quite finished and he tapped the wheel disk a couple times more and the trotter closed it out on his own, winning by a length in 1:51.3. The time was a new track record for aged trotting horses, smashing the standing mark of 1:53.4 set by Kodak Lindy in 2016 and was only one-fifth of a second off the all-time trotting mark of 1:51.2 set by JL Cruze in the inaugural edition of the Spirit of Massachusetts Trot back in 2017. Guardian Angel As ($3.00) has now won five out of his last six races and the winner's share of the purse boosted his 2019 earnings to $312,934 for owners Acl Stuteri Ab and Kjell Johansson. Anette Lorentzon trains Guardian Angel As. Two races before that track record breaking performance, Shartin N put on a show of her own when she broke two standing Plainridge records in the $100,000 Clara Barton Distaff Pace. Shartin N Once again the hot-handed Tetrick vaulted Shartin N to the front and took that position unopposed and from there she was simply a pacing machine. As Tetrick had his hands full with his mare on the bit, Shartin N went to the quarter in :26.3, the half in :55.1 and the three-quarters in 1:22.1 with the field just trying to keep pace. When they made their way around the last turn you could see Shartin N starting to pull away. Tetrick was sitting statuesque without urging the mare at all while she was accelerating on her own towards the record book. Shartin N pulled away to a two-length margin and was wrapped up at the wire in 1:49.1. Shartin N broke the aged pacing mare record of 1:50 set by Youaremycandygirl (Yannick Gingras) just three races earlier on the card and also the 14-year-old all-time pacing mark of 1:49.2 set by Maltese Artist in 2005. It was the 10th win in a row and 11th of the season for Shartin N ($2.20) and it raised her 2019 earnings to $655,765 for owners Rich Poillucci, Jo Ann Looney-King and her driver Tim Tetrick. Jim King Jr. trains the 2018 Dan Patch Award winning mare. "It was a great day of racing at Plainridge Park and it was good to see such a strong turnout of racing fans throughout the facility," said Steve O'Toole, Director of Racing at Plainridge Park. "It was also great to see Massachusetts native Rich Poillucci and Shartin N win the Barton and also Massachusetts natives Jim Winske, Paul Kelley and Steve Michaels finishing second with The Veteran in the Spirit." by Tim Bojarski, for Plainridge Park and the HHANE

Plainville, MA --- Some of the top harness racing handicappers in North American give their selections for the $100,000 Clara Barton Distaff Pace and the $250,000 Spirit of Massachusetts Trot that will be contested when the Grand Circuit rolls into Plainridge Park on Sunday (July 28). Post time for the first race is 2 p.m. Gordon Waterstone - Associate Editor, The Horseman And Fair World $100,000 Clara Barton Pace 3 - Shartin N - Easy finding the winner here as the Queen of the division isn't relinquishing her crown. 2 - Apple Bottom Jeans - Has the tactical speed to be in position to get a nice piece. 5 - Bettor Joy N - Been chasing her star stablemate all year and will likely do so here again. $250,000 Spirit of Massachusetts Trot 6 - Guardian Angel As - Has been on a roll of late, could not overcome the tough post last time out at Meadowlands. 7 - Fiftydallarbill - No chance last two starts against trotting stars, but has been right there for the most part. 1 - Weslynn Dancer - Lone mare in the field should get a great trip from the inside post position.   Dave Brower - Oddsmaker and Broadcaster - Meadowlands Racing and Entertainment $100,000 Clara Barton Pace 3 - Shartin N - It is virtually impossible to go against this mare. She's been invincible all season and handles all size tracks. Post is a plus as well. 2 - Apple Bottom Jeans - This one looks to be the next best since she can sprint off the car and look to follow the favorite. 5 - Bettor Joy N - She figures to pick up the pieces from the rest, provided she's not trip or pace compromised. $250,000 Spirit of Massachusetts Trot 3 - Trolley - I'll take a shot with Trolley to upset. Erv and Marcus Miller have him good again, and with post edge on the favorite, he might be able to steal away at a price. 6 - Guardian Angel As - He might be the best older trotter in North America, but he will have to bounce back from a tough post in a race that hasn't been kind to favorites. 1 - Weslynn Dancer - The lone mare in the race is in a nice spot to step up and showcase her talent if she sits, saves and rallies late.   Michael Carter - Social Media/Publicity Coordinator USTA $100,000 Clara Barton Pace 3 - Shartin N - Who has been better than Shartin N in the mare division as of late. She enters the race having won 10 of 11 starts in 2019 and hasn't shown any signs of slowing down. 2 - Apple Bottom Jeans - Has really shown a lot of promise as of late and while her most recent form shows her not winning, she does have five wins to her credit this year with over $200,000 in the bank. I think she has a sneaky chance to possibly upend the favorite. 6 - Baron Remy - Recently tied a world-record at Northfield Park on July 19 having won by 4-3/4 lengths. She draws a little tough, but has proven she can handle an outside draw. That effort last week is really hard to ignore, she seems to be on the upswing. $250,000 Spirit of Massachusetts Trot 1 - Weslynn Dancer - I had the luxury of calling her qualifier at The Meadowlands where she was prepping for this race after making a break in the Cleveland Trotting Classic. I want to say that maybe she just didn't take to the track that night. Plainridge is a bigger surface and should be more suited to her capability. 3 - Trolley - This talented horse has been sneaky good as of late against some really good company. This field came up just to his liking I believe as there is a good amount of talent, but I think they are all on the same playing field. He is as versatile as they come and should be able to get into a good stalking spot. 6 - Guardian Angel AS - Won the Cleveland Trotting Classic at Northfield Park and after a couple week hiatus, just did not take to The Meadowlands surface. That effort that night is making me shy away, but he is a talented horse who shouldn't be over looked.   Garnet Barnsdale - Public Handicapper for DRF Harness $100,000 Clara Barton Pace 3 - Shartin N - is simply too good for these and is sure to go off at 1 to 9 in this field. It's best to seek value underneath here. 1 - Kimberlee - comes off a lifetime- best score and she may offer some exacta value with the step up in class. She could trip out here. 2 - Apple Bottom Jeans - is always in the mix and she sit a nice trip and hit the board again. $250,000 Spirit of Massachusetts Trot 1 - Weslynn Dancer - is likely to get overlooked here coming off a break in stride, but her strong 2nd to Atlanta in the Armbro Flight puts her right there with these; call to upset. 6 - Guardian Angel As - had a perfect tightener for this and he is sure to be put into action much earlier here. He's the horse to beat. 3 - Trolley - has been solid most of the year and he can get a trip and take a share in this spot.   Mike Bozich - Track Announcer at Harrah's Philadelphia - Post Time with Mike and Mike $100,000 Clara Barton Pace 2 - Apple Bottom Jeans - was a bit out of range her last two efforts vs. Shartin N. She is the likely pocket-sitter. 3 - Shartin N - is the queen, but gives back little value to the punter. We'll try to beat her. 5 - Bettor Joy N - will need striking position and a pace breakdown to score the upset. $250,000 Spirit of Massachusetts Trot 4 - Mambo Lindy - has home court advantage and has proven he can go with these in the past. 6 - Guardian Angel As - had no chance from poor position in his most recent, but the world-record holder has been ultra sharp this season. 1 - Weslynn Dancer - nearly beat the great Atlanta in the Armbro Fling at Mohawk a few starts ago. She's more than capable with the right journey.   Derick Giwner - Editor - DRF Harness $100,000 Clara Barton Pace 3 - Shartin N 2 - Apple Bottom Jeans 5 - Bettor Joy N Shartin N is the best pacing mare in North America and perhaps the best horse. It is difficult to imagine her losing. $250,000 Spirit of Massachusetts Trot 3 - Trolley 6 - Guardian Angel As 5 - The Veteran Trolley isn't the best horse in this race but he has a post edge on Guardian Angel As which should provide a tactical edge if driver Marcus Miller gets uber-aggressive.   Tim Bojarski - Racing Media Relations - Plainridge Park $100,000 Clara Barton Pace 3 - Shartin N - The Queen is simply the toughest pacing mare I have ever seen. She has no quit in her and doesn't know where the wire is. I don't see her changing her ways today. 2 - Apple Bottom Jeans - Should get the perfect trip and has won at Plainridge in the past. I think she has the only chance of an upset. 5 - Bettor Joy N - Would be the star in anyone's barn, but will have to watch stablemate Shartin N win again. $250,000 Spirit of Massachusetts Trot 6 - Guardian Angel As - Comes into this race off four straight tough wins and an even tougher parked outing. He is tight and right so say good night! 3 - Trolley - Had a very successful campaign at the Meadowlands this year and seems to be peaking at the right time. He will be dangerous. 4 - Mambo Lindy - Knows this track very well and the short field plays right into his hands. Could be the price play of the day!   Bob "Hollywood" Heyden - Historian-Meadowlands Racing and Entertainment $100,000 Clara Barton Pace 3 - Shartin N - doesn't carry her track around and loves what she's doing-we may be looking at the #1 earning female of all time when done. 2 - Apple Bottom Jeans - can sprint with the best of them and that should help secure position here. 5 - Better Joy N - is the down under stablemate to the HOY runnerup; she has all kinds of ability herself and can pace with the rest of these ladies for sure. $250,000 Spirit of Massachusetts Trot 7 - Fiftydallarbill - was originally thought of as some kind of Indiana fluke (Breeders Crown winner at 2) He's spent about a year and a half showing that is NOT the case. 6 - Guardian Angel - has been one of the better stories of the year and will have to keep on improving to better this talented bunch. 3 - Trolley - went well on both ends last out-likely with an eye on this one. He's been sharp pretty much all year long and his best days are still in front of him.   James Witherite - Race Caller / "Trip Note Master" $100,000 Clara Barton Pace 3 - SHARTIN N - remains the class of the division after victory over nine furlongs in the Golden Girls. She's gone some monstrous miles this season and has tackled all comers. Once again, she's the mare to beat. 2 - APPLE BOTTOM JEANS - emerged from traffic to just miss Shartin N By a length in the Golden Girls after consistently good showings in series and stakes action. Expect her to be close to the action with ease. 7 - KAITLYN N - has been out of action since April, but her Yonkers qualifier last Friday indicates fitness. Forgive her effort in the Matchmaker final given she chased without cover into a pretty stout middle half. $250,000 Spirit of Massachusetts Trot 6 - GUARDIAN ANGEL AS - should have a more direct journey here than he did in New Jersey behind JL Cruze and Trolley. He showed ability to absorb and deliver pressure alike in May and June stakes assignments. 3 - TROLLEY - has been just a cut below in marquee events, but that has largely been a byproduct of unfavourable journeys. Note his first-over push in the Maxie Lee and excess cover three back. He can threaten if more directly involved. 1 - WESLYNN DANCER - takes on the boys after chasing for second behind 2018 Hambletonian winner Atlanta in the Armbro Flight and the Miami Valley Distaff. Her qualifier a fortnight ago indicates fitness.   Consensus $100,000 Clara Barton Pace 3 - Shartin N 2 - Apple Bottom Jeans 5 - Bettor Joy N $250,000 Spirit of Massachusetts Trot 6 - Guardian Angel As 1- Weslynn Dancer 3 - Trolley To see the full program for this day's racing click on this link. By Tim Bojarski, for Plainridge Park and the HHANE  

Plainville, MA --- It's been 20-days since Lindy's Crazy Hall scored a convincing gate to wire harness racing victory at the Downs at Mohegan Sun Pocono in a $30,000 Pennsylvania Sire Stake event. But the time off did nothing but make him sharper as he ran away with the $10,000 featured trot for 5-year-olds and under at Plainridge Park on Friday afternoon (July 26). Lindy's Crazy Hall (Drew Monti) blasted off the gate from post eight and found himself on the point by five lengths in an extremely peppy :26.3. Monti reined in the colt in the second panel but gave him his head again in the third as he went three-quarters in 1:26. Still gapping the competition, Lindy's Crazy Hall rounded the last turn already wrapped up, and trotted home in :29.4 to stop the clock in 1:55.4 in the 3½ length victory. It was the fourth straight win for the 1-9 Lindy's Crazy Hall ($2.10) who has now banked $40,000 in five 2019 starts. The 3-year-old colt by Cantab Hall-Lindy's Gone Crazy is owned by Greathorse of Massachusetts. Mitchell Cushing led all driver for wins on Friday, scoring a Hat Trick on the card. Those wins vaulted him back into the driving led for the meet now with 89 wins, one ahead of Shawn Gray who had the lead going into the day. The next live card of racing at Plainridge Park will be Sunday (July 28) when the track will host the $250,000 Spirit of Massachusetts Trot and the $100,000 Clara Barton Distaff Pace. Post time for the first race Sunday is 2 p.m. By Tim Bojarski, for the Standardbred Owners of Massachusetts

Plainville, MA --- As post time for the $250,000 Spirit of Massachusetts Trot at Plainridge Park on Sunday (July 28) draws near, the excitement of everyone involved in the race continues to grow. But for two Massachusetts owners who have horses entered and have seen the many ups and downs of the sport in New England, the race itself is proof there is a harness racing renaissance in the Commonwealth. Frank M. Antonacci is the president of Lindy Farms of Connecticut and a member of the ownership group Greathorse of Massachusetts. Lindy Farms and the Antonacci's have owned or bred five Hambletonian champions since 1965 and have been racing in Massachusetts just as long. They will be starting Mambo Lindy in the Spirit of Massachusetts Trot on Sunday. Jim Winske has owned many race horses over the years and has partnered with his friends Paul Kelley and Steve Michaels on a lot of them. They all grew up in Massachusetts and started out competing at the old Foxboro Park and have since been at Plainridge Park for a total of over 40 years in the state. They've all experienced every level of the competition and their passion for the sport is unparalleled. Their entry in the stake is The Veteran. Although Antonacci and Winske will be competing against each other on Sunday they've also been working together for years, along with countless other New England horsemen and horsewomen, trying to keep harness racing alive through some very tough times. Now that the sport has made a turnaround on the strength of the state's gaming program and the Horse Racing Development Fund, their participation in this race Sunday holds special meaning. "I grew up racing at Plainridge. I drove horses there when I went to school in Boston and I was even there the first day they opened in 1999; I was 15. At that point it was one of the lowest statured racing in the country. And to see it go from that to having some of the best horses in the country competing now is really a testament to the horsemen and women in New England and their determination and resilience to stick around through all those hard times. I think it's a real success story," said Antonacci. "Racing in Massachusetts has gotten so much better and it's because there is cooperation going on between the track and the horsemen and obviously the casino helped a lot. But the breeding industry has picked up and people have been buying better horses and you're seeing better drivers coming here too. The floor plan is set where people are excited, the track is putting on big races and we just have to keep getting the people here to keep it going strong," Winske commented. These two gentlemen both like what has been going on within the industry in this state, but they also like their chances in the Spirit of Massachusetts Trot and had a little bit to say about that as well. Antonacci explained that despite seeing limited action last year, Mambo Lindy has turned a major corner and is finding his old form at the right time. "Mambo Lindy ended 2017 very strong, winning an elimination of the Maple Leaf Trot, winning at Lexington in a lifetime best of 1:51.4 and racing in the Breeders Crown. In 2018 we brought him back and got a really brutal trip in the Cutler at the Meadowlands and he got injured. So it basically took the whole year to get him sound and bring him back and since he started racing this season, he's been absolutely super. He's really as good as he's ever been right now," said Antonacci. "He's coming into this race really solid. He's won twice in a row and and came out of both starts with trot left. He has a definite home field advantage at Plainridge as he has won 22 out of 35 starts here and knows how to get around this track. So we're really excited about it because there is no more local horse at Plainridge than Mambo." Mambo Lindy Winske points out there have been some adjustments for his horse to transition from the 3-year-old division to facing older horses. But he points out he's coming along just fine as the year progresses. "He raced successfully at three and we wanted to bring him back as an aged horse because he's just so nice. But when you start back it's against bearcats. The aged division is really tough. But he took a lifetime mark of 1:51.1 at the Meadowlands in May and he just finished second at Saratoga last week in 1:53.4 parked out the entire mile. That was probably his best race of the year so far," said Winske. "All of us guys have been around the track all our lives. Paul (Kelley) trains him and calls the shots but we all decided, what the heck let's take a chance and nominate him for this race because we're all from Massachusetts and when you get a chance to put a horse in there you take it. Yeah, we might be a longshot but it's called horse racing and you never know what can happen." The Veteran Both of these horse have had stellar careers and a number of stake victories to their credit. Mambo Lindy (Donato Hanover-Rum Boogie) has 49 lifetime starts with 26 wins, seven seconds and four thirds and has earned $252,660 in purses. He has drawn post four and will be driven by Drew Monti. The Veteran (Muscle Mass-Tequila Slammer) has 29 starts with 10 wins, five seconds and five thirds and has banked $361,955 in the process. He will start in post five with Yannick Gingras aboard. The $250,000 Spirit of Massachusetts Trot and the $100,000 Clara Barton Distaff Pace are part of the biggest card of the summer at Plainridge Park with a total of $465,500 in purses up for grabs on the 10-race program on Sunday (July 28). The race is scheduled to go off at 5:05 p.m. Post time for the first race is 2 p.m. By Tim Bojarski, for Plainridge Park and the HHANE

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