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Plainville, Ma---State-bred Muscles Jared was a champion at two and runner-up at three in Massachusetts Sire Stake action. But it appears that the best may be yet to come as he is now two-for-two as an aged performer, notching his second harness racing victory in a $10,000 conditioned event at Plainridge Park on Thursday afternoon (April 19). Starting from post one, Muscles Jared (Truman Gale) took a quick lead before yielding to Cincinnati Miss (Greg Merton) at the quarter in :27.2. After that one seated, Gale quickly pulled his gelding, went right back to the front and became a passenger for the rest of the mile. The sharp-stepping Muscles Jared dictated back to back quarters of :28.4 and :28.3 while extending a lead that eventually became insurmountable. When Gale popped the plugs at three-quarters, Muscles Jared responded in kind and opened up a seven-length advantage rounding the final bend. With the race all but locked-up, Gale sat chilly down the lane and Muscles Jared hit the wire a wrapped-up winner in 1:55.2 over a wet track rated "good", which was a new seasonal mark. Muscles Jared now boasts $359,346 in lifetime earnings for owner Al Ross of South Dartmouth, Massachusetts and has a perfect race record for his new trainer Robert Gale. Shawn Gray and Drew Campbell each drove two winners on the card. Racing resumes at Plainridge Park on Monday (April 23) with an 11-race card that kicks off at 4 p.m. By Tim Bojarski, for the Standardbred Owners of Massachusetts

Plainville, MA---Elliesjet N came to Plainridge Park fresh off a seasonal best 1:52.1 victory at the Downs at Mohegan Sun Pocono and the public took notice of that outing. Going off the 1-5 harness racing favorite, Elliesjet N did not disappoint her backers as she captured the $15,000 Fillies and Mares Open Handicap on Tuesday afternoon (April 17).   Stylish Beachwhere (Ron Cushing) smoked off the gate and took the girls through a :26.4 opening panel. During that span, Elliesjet N (Greg Merton) languished a parked third for an eighth before finding her gear and overtaking just past that first station.   From there she proceeded to call all the shots.   Merton slowed the half to :55.3 and the three quarters to 1:24.3 and enjoyed a comfortable lead around the final bend. Coming down the lane Stylish Beachwhere, Ask Queenie (Shawn Gray) and Happy Heart (Chris Long) all made strongs bid to collar the leader but Elliesjet N was not to be caught and was a wrapped-up, two-length winner in 1:53.2.   Owned by the Foulk Stables Inc. and trained by Lance Hudson, Elliesjet N ($2.60) posted her fifth 2018 victory in only nine starts and has bankrolled $30,100 for her efforts.   Greg Merton scored a driving triple on the card to lead all reinsmen for the day.   Racing resumes on Thursday at Plainridge Park with the first race post time of 4 p.m.   By Tim Bojarski, for the Standardbred Owners of Massachusetts

Plainville, MA---Even the deluge of rain couldn't dampen the excitement of opening day at Plainridge Park on Monday afternoon (April 16) as Artful Way found his way to the winner's circle after taking the $15,000 Open pace over a very sloppy harness racing track.   Artful Way (Shawn Gray) left sharply for the lead while Lindy Beach (Greg Merton) slid in behind him second and sat there for almost the whole mile. Gray cut quarters of :28.1, :57.4 and 1:25.4 with a leisurely two-length lead all the while.   But as the race progressed into the stretch, Merton pulled Lindy Beach and started closing the gap on the leader. Although Gray was now getting after Artful Way in a spirited manner, his lead continued to diminish. But Artful Way got to the wire before Lindy Beach got to him and won in 1:52.4, last quarter in :27 flat.   It was the fourth win of the year for Artful Way ($2.20) and owner the Kellogg Racing Stables LLC. The winner is trained by Jackie Greene.   In the $12,000 undercard pace, Rooster Rabbit (Mike Eaton) turned a pocket journey behind J J S Jet (Drew Campbell) into a one and one-half length victory in 1:55.1.   Rooster Rabbit ($6.00) who is coming off a career year, captured his second win of 2018 for owners Charles Franklin and Adam Friedland and trainer Craig Mosher.   Last year's leading driver at Plainridge put himself into an early lead already this year. Greg Merton won three races on the card and headed all drivers for the day.   Jackie Greene was the best among conditioners, scoring a natural hat trick in races eight, nine and ten.   Racing resumes at Plainridge Park on Tuesday (April 17) with post time set for 4 p.m.   By Tim Bojarski, for the Standardbred Owners of Massachusetts

Plainville, MA---Coming off a season that saw a significant increase in purses and handle, 11 track records reset and the most competitive racing New England has witnessed in many years, Plainridge Park will open its 2018 live harness racing season on Monday (April 16) when the first race goes to post at 4 p.m. The 19th season at The Ridge will include 110 racing dates that run through Thursday (Nov. 29). Post time is 4 p.m. every racing day through Monday (Sept. 3) when the start moves back to 2 p.m. The post time adjusts once again on Thursday (Nov. 1) to 1 p.m. where it will remain for the rest of the meet. Race days will be Monday, Tuesday and Thursday until May 1 when the track goes to four days a week, adding Friday until the end of July. The schedule then reverts back to three days (Monday, Tuesday and Thursday) in August and remains that way until the end of the meet. The track will be dark on Friday (July 27) and Thursday (November 22). Plainridge Park also offers full card simulcasting seven days a week: Monday-Thursday, 10:30 a.m. to 11 p.m., Friday and Saturday, 11:45 a.m. to 12 a.m. and Sunday 10:30 a.m. to 10 p.m. "We are committed to producing an excellent racing product and look forward to a successful and exciting season" said Steve O'Toole, Director of Racing at Plainridge Park. In an effort to provide the best wagering options possible, O'Toole has brought back the popular Wicked Hi-5 pentafecta wager for another year and will be announcing some guaranteed wagering pools when the meet gets underway. The track is also introducing 18 new claiming and late-closer series that will be run throughout the season. The claiming series will include all price levels from both gaits and in some cases, divided by gender. Late closers include divisions for 2-year-olds, 3 and 4-year-olds and aged horses of both gaits and genders. There are no nominating or starting fees for these races and finals will see purses as high as $25,000. All those events will be overseen by Plainridge Park Race Secretary Paul Verrette. "In some ways we have gone back to the future by putting the summer long claiming series back on the condition sheet. They used to be a staple here and we are going to see if there is still interest in them." said Verrette. "We tried to compliment them with some series for younger and overnight horses as well. The hope is that there is a special event available for most horses and that it will keep the racing fresh throughout the long season." Last year's leading driver and trainer will be back to defend their titles and are scheduled to be on hand opening day. Greg Merton posted 230 driving victories in 2017 and they earned his connections $1.509 million in purses. Both of those totals were new track records. Monique Cohen was the meet's leading trainer a year ago with 71 wins and that was also a new track record for condition in victories for the session. The Massachusetts Sire Stakes (MASS) are also on the agenda when all the summer action winds down. The estimated $1.3 million in purses up for grabs by state-reared Standardbreds will take place four consecutive weeks during the month of October. This ever improving program produced eight stake records during the competition last year and those standards will be under attack once again. The dates for the 2018 MASS are Monday (Oct. 1) 2-year-old First Leg $25,000 added, Tuesday (Oct. 2) 3-year-old First Leg $25,000 added, Monday (Oct. 8) 2-year-old Second Leg $25,000 added, Tuesday (Oct. 9) 3-year-old Second Leg $25,000 added, Monday (Oct. 22) 2-year-old Third Leg $25,000 added, Tuesday (Oct. 23) 3-year-old Third Leg $25,000 added, Tuesday (Oct. 30) 2 and 3-year-old Finals, $85,000 estimated each leg. For more information on all the live racing action at Plainridge Park throughout the year, log onto the Standardbred Owners of Massachusetts (www.sominc.net) or Plainridge Park Casino (www.plainridgeparkcasino.com). By Tim Bojarski, for the Standardbred Owners of Massachusetts    

"Clearly visible from the regulator’s reports, harness racing is not particularly popular within the state, with monthly earnings of a little more than $1 million generated at Plainridge Park Casino." The State of Massachusetts has collected $5.5 million from slot taxes in February, 82 per cent of which is intended for the Local Aid fund. In its monthly revenue report for Plainridge Park Casino released Thursday, the state gambling regulator announced that since the opening of the venue in June 2015, it has received nearly $212,9 million in state taxes. Gambling fans spent $163,7 million while playing slot machines at Plainridge Park Casino last month which is an increase of more than $5 million from January. The gambling venue generated nearly $13.9 in Gross Gaming Revenue from its Slot Parlor, while $1,25 million was collected as race horse assessments. The figures show positive growth for the Category 2 Slot Parlor after a four-month plunge in revenues from slots. The state receives 49 per cent of the slot gross gaming revenue generated by Plainridge Park Casino and 82 per cent of this total taxed amount goes to the Local Aid fund. The other 18 per cent of this amount is paid to the Race Horse Development Fund, which was created to support the horse racing industry in Massachusetts. Clearly visible from the regulator’s reports, harness racing is not particularly popular within the state, with monthly earnings of a little more than $1 million generated at Plainridge Park Casino. Currently, there are no functional casinos in Massachusetts as Plainridge Park Casino is defined as a harness racing track with a slot machine parlor of Category 2, which was added in June, 2015. The facility, located in Plainville, Massachusetts, is owned by Penn National Gaming. A couple of casino projects are underway, MGM Springfield and Wynn Boston Harbor. Several tribal casinos are also planned. $212,9 Poured in State Coffers for Less than 3 Years According to the latest Plainridge Park Casino revenue report, the gambling facility has contributed to the state economy nearly $212,9 million since the official opening of the Slot Parlor in June 2015. This figure represents the taxes from the slot machines and the race track collected over a period of two years and a half. At the same time, customers have spent $5,4 billionat Plainridge Park Casino since the Slots Parlor has opened, with nearly 434,5 million of this amount kept as Gross Gaming Revenue from Slots. Currently, this is the only gambling venue operating within the state borders, although several properties have been planned and construction has commenced on some of them. The State of Massachusetts requires casinos and other gambling facilities to file monthly detailed revenue reports, which serve as a basis for the state tax. Venues from Category 1 – casino resorts, are taxed 25 per cent of the gross gaming revenue and in addition, the license tax they need to pay is $85 million. Although there are still no casino resorts in the state, the collected taxes from them will go to several funds, including the Healthcare Payment Reform Fund and the Community Colleges Fund. Gambling facilities from Category 2, such as Plainville’s Plainridge Park Casino are taxed on 49 per cent of the gross gaming revenue. The single-time fee they need to pay for receiving such a license is considerably lower at $25 million. State officials expect that the Commonwealth would receive $250 million annually in direct revenues from Category 1 facilities, once they become operational. Until then, however, they can rely mainly on taxes collected from Plainridge Park Casino. Reprinted with permission of The Casino News Daily

Plainville, MA - Due to a lack of consent by the Harness Horsemen's Association of New England (HHANE), the $250,000 Spirit of Massachusetts Trot will not be contested in 2018.   "After a tremendous first running last year we are very disappointed that the HHANE chose not to provide their consent for the 2018 edition," said Steve O'Toole, Plainridge Park Casino Director of Racing.   "Although the race that put Plainridge Park back on the harness racing map will not be part of our 2018 season, Plainridge Park is committed to a racing program that highlights our local participants as well as high quality events," O'Toole added.      

The state Gaming Commission has once again voted to increase the share of a harness racing development fund that goes to Plainridge Park Casino. The casino, which runs harness racing during the spring and summer, will get 60 percent of the fund as opposed to the 55 percent it was receiving as the result of a 4-1 vote by the commission Thursday. When the casino first opened in 2015, it was only getting 25 percent and thoroughbred horse racing was getting 75 percent. But, the commission, based on the recommendation of a horse-racing committee, has been changing the split because there is virtually no thoroughbred racing in Massachusetts to share the fund since Suffolk Downs in Boston closed. The Plainville track operates more than 100 races per year. Eighty percent of the horse development fund is earmarked for purses — the winnings that go to horse owners and drivers. Plainridge contends the increased purses at its Route 1 track mean a higher quality of racing and owners reinvesting in the industry. Steve O’Toole of Plainridge said the 5 percent increase in Plainridge’s share “is obviously a good thing. It means purses will keep steady for the next year.” Revenue for the horse development fund comes from taxes on slot machines at Plainridge. The 49 percent tax is split by the state with 40 percent going toward local aid and 9 percent to the development fund. Plainridge has been paying more than $1 million a month into the fund from the 9 percent tax on slot machines. By Jim Hand Reprinted with permission of The Sun Chronicle

Plainville, MA---The curtain came down on the 2017 live harness racing season at Plainridge Park on Friday afternoon (Nov. 24) with many outstanding human and equine performances to mention from the 125 day meet. Greg Merton was the leading dash driver with 230 victories and those starts earned his connections $1.509 million in purses. Both numbers were new track records, smashing the same records Merton set last year. Merton was also the leading UDR driver (with a minimum of 100 starts at the meet) with a glowing percentage of .475. Jim Hardy was second for both wins and earnings with 109 tallies and $745,663 in the bank. Monique Cohen was the meet's leading trainer with 71 wins for the session while Frank Antonacci led in UTR (with a minimum of 100 starts at the meet) with a stellar .596 and in earnings with $467,917 deposited. All totals for both Cohen and Antonacci were new track records. The horses themselves were responsible for setting some records as well during 2017. There were 11 track records broken and two more that were tied during the course of the meet. The biggest day of harness racing ever held at Plainridge Park as well as in the State of Massachusetts, was responsible for two of those track records when some of the best aged trotters from the Grand Circuit convened at The Ridge on Friday (July 28). The old standard of 1:53 for an aged trotter was first beaten by Gural Hanover (Matt Kakaley) in 1:52.1. And then just one race later in Plainridge's signature event, the $250,000 Spirit of Massachusetts Trot, JL Cruze (Andrew McCarthy) scorched the oval in 1:51.2 to break it again. The recently concluded Massachusetts Sire Stakes also set record numbers. The state-bred program distributed in excess of $1.44 million in purses which was the highest amount ever for that series and the horses that participated in those events were responsible for breaking eight stake records and also tying one more. In the three years since Plainridge Park has opened its gaming floor the effect on the racing product has been profound. In the track's recent filing to the Massachusetts Gaming Commission for next year's racing dates it indicated that from 2015 through 2017 purses have more than doubled and handle has gone up 34%. The 2018 live racing meet will once again kick off in April and run through November with a total of 110 racing days. Year-round simulcasting continues without interruption. By Tim Bojarski, for the Standardbred Owners of Massachusetts  

Plainville, MA---Cougar Bait completed his harness racing 2-year-old campaign in impressive style, winning four of his last five starts. But too many inconsistent outings and only one win this year led to him become catalog number 1575 in the Black Book at Harrisburg earlier this month. That is where Joel Wheeler cast the winning bid and brought the altered son of Western Terror home to Plainridge Park. In his first start in his new barn, Cougar Bait certainly turned some heads as he went from dead-last to victory in a quarter mile in the $12,000 conditioned pace at The Ridge on Monday afternoon (Nov. 20), setting a new seasonal mark for himself in the process. Horses left four-deep off the gate and remained three-deep to the quarter before Beachchip Hanover (Chris Long) finally found the pylons. But as soon as he cleared, Forever Worth It (DT Sumner) was right at him and the two battled to the half in :56. As they motored up the backside, Forever Worth It packed it in and the outer flow that had formed behind him went three deep around. Third-over and still ninth in that grouping was Cougar Bait (Wally Watson). In the far turn Beachchip Hanover was starting to tire, so everyone behind his had tipped out around him and Cougar Bait was widest of all; five deep and near the I-495 ramp. With horses coming from everywhere in the stretch, Cougar Bait was in the middle of the track pacing like a machine and simply blew by everyone to win by a half-length in 1:53.3 with a sharp :28.2 last quarter into a stiff wind. Six of the nine horses hit the wire withing two lengths of each other. Looking much like he did at the end of last year, Cougar Bait ($12.20) scored his second win of this year for new owner Wheeler and trainer Lisa Watson. With the heavily favored Treasure Mach (Greg Merton) finishing fourth, Cougar Bait's mild upset triggered a 9-2-7-6 Superfecta that paid an instant jackpot of $22,090.20. In the co-featured $10,000 conditioned pace, Grand Galop Semalu (Shawn Gray) got a perfect two-hole trip behind BP Diet Food (Mike Stevenson) before shaking loose in the lane and outpacing Rooster Rabbit (Mike Eaton) to the wire to win by a half-length in 1:53.1. William Mc Elvain Jr.'s Grand Galop Semalu ($9.80) scored his tenth win of the year for trainer James Dunn and has benefited the amount of $44,266 earned as a result of those outings. Shawn Gray led all drivers on Monday with three wins on the card. Racing resumes at Plainridge Park on Tuesday afternoon (Nov. 21) with post time set at 1 p.m.   By Tim Bojarski, for the Standardbred Owners of Massachusetts  

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  

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